Writer’s Workshop: Riffing on “Break”

There were a lot of ways I could have gone with this. In the next few paragraphs, I’m going to attempt to go in all of them.

I started this one by thinking of all the song titles I could think of with “break” in the title. Given the ease with which I was able to come up with them, it occured to me that maybe I had already done a playlist on that, I searched my archives and discovered yes, I had already done a playlist with them. So that left the playlist idea out.

While I was searching through my archives, I discovered that I had forty pages (at five pages per page, that’s two hundred) of blog posts that contained the word “break.” Most of those are about breakfast. Coincidentally, I’m eating breakfast as I’m writing this. I’m having a Jimmy Dean sausage, egg and cheese croissant breakfast sandwich, if you must know. To quote Rachael Ray, “nummo!”

Neither Jimmy Dean nor Tyson Foods pay me anything for plugging their product.

When I was in the hospital, I watched Rachael Ray’s show every afternoon, which was followed by Ellen Degeneres’s show. Hey, when you’re in the hospital, it’s what you do. In the mornings I watched reruns of The Nanny and The Golden Girls. The former starred Fran Drescher, who once said her mother told her she had a face out of Vogue and a voice out of her nose. Only one of the Golden Girls is still alive, the incomparable Betty White. She’s been around on TV longer than I’ve been around, and that’s a very long time. She’s always been a part of my TV-viewing life. When she goes, I’ll feel a great sense of loss.

Anyway, back to “break”…

Kit Kat has used “gimme a break” in their commercials for a long time. Not sure how long, though I’m pretty sure it’s been less than forty years. My favorite “gimme a break” commercial was the one with the Russian musicians.

That’s a bass balalaika the guy on the right is playing. That accordion guy’s got some moves, doesn’t he? The band, I’ve learned, is “Limpopo,” who now call themselves The Red Elvises.

In the Sixties, at least in England, their slogan was “Have A Break.”

Kit Kat is evidently a very big deal in Japan. Here’s the What’s Inside? Family tasting a sampler of Japanese Kit Kats.

No wasabi. I’m bummed.

Anyway, I can’t end this without a tip o’ the Holton hat to the TV series Gimme A Break!. It was on from 1981 to 1987 and starred Nell Carter and Dolph Sweet. Here’s the series summary, courtesy of IMDb.

Carl Kanisky is chief of police in Glenlawn, California. After the death of his wife, Margaret, he asks her friend, Nell Harper, to come in to keep house and take care of his children, Katie, Julie, and Samantha, in short, be like a mother to them. Later, Carl’s father, Stanley, moves in. Around the same time, Nell takes in young Joey Donovan as her foster son.

Dolph Sweet died of cancer in May 1985, and the first show of Season 5 showed the family dealing with it. I wasn’t a big fan of the show, but the episode is one I’ll remember.

And with that, I think I’ll give you a break…

9 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Riffing on “Break”

  1. Hi John – I’m rather fond of KitKats and the English ad is fun … but your break – Russian ones … is fun too – cheers Hilary


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