Screen capture from The Jerry Springer Show.

Jerry Beads

June 3, 2024

A recent melee involving three women in the U.S. House of Representatives led to an observation by Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman:

“In the past, I’ve described the U.S. House as ‘The Jerry Springer Show. Today, I’m apologizing to ‘The Jerry Springer Show,’”

I don’t have a bucket list per se, but one thing I always wanted to do before I go was to get Jerry Beads. These beads were given on the Jerry Springer show. Gerald Norman Springer was an American broadcaster, journalist, actor, producer, lawyer, and politician. Hand in many pots. He may be best known for being Jerry on the Jerry Springer show filmed in Stamford, Connecticut. Jerry gave Gong Show caste people 15 minutes of fame in hour-long chunks. If you slept with your sister or your uncle was also your brother-in-law, you might have appeared on Jerry’s show. I initially thought this was all at least as real as professional wrestling until I started noticing some people appearing multiple times. With whole different families. Jerry stretched credibility even further.

The show was somewhat formulaic. Viewers are introduced to an aggrieved party. During the introduction of the situation and parties involved, the ‘aggrievor’ would be shuttled on stage. There were recriminations and occasionally surprises that somehow made things even worse. At some point, a fight ensued. Jerry’s security would separate the combatants and give them cups of water to hydrate and cool them down. And you guessed it. The combatants would throw the water on each other and have at it again. And were again separated. Then the next menagerie would come up. Back to the formula.

I always wondered why anyone invited to appear on Jerry’s show would agree KNOWING the formula. Some guests were ‘clearly’ surprised and some even stormed out of the studio.

The last segment of the show gathered all of those who had appeared, seated on stage, for questions from the audience. More often to endure horrible comments and insults. And here is where I would have gotten my 15 minutes.

During the question/insult period, some of those selected audience members would spring from their seat and say “I want my Jerry Beads”. The females would hoist their shirts/bras and flash the studio audience. The males would turn their back to the audience and drop their trousers. ‘Shoot the moon’. On national TV. The round bits were always pixelated so only the audience got the uncensored show. Television viewers were spared (denied?). Flashers got Jerry Beads, cheap plastic beads like those given at Mardi Gras in New Orleans for similar exhibitions.

I always wanted Jerry Beads. We just never got to Stamford, Connecticut where the show was filmed. Shame because I had written a song to offer to Jerry for the show’s soundtrack. The words were written years ago to celebrate Jerry Beads.

Gonna Get My Jerry Beads

(Intro)
I never saw your lovin’ leavin’ leavin’ me here all alone.
I never saw your goin’ comin’ ‘til the moment you were gone.
I never saw this old sad ending when I saw the story start,
But I believe I see a remedy to relieve my broken heart.

(Verse)

My self respect got up and left unpleasant taste there in its place.
Since you’re gone I sit alone nursin’ tortured memories,
But I’m movin’ fast and ever faster to get past this old disaster.
I’m goin’ to Connecticut to get my Jerry beads.

You know I will inspire passion with some momentary flashin’
In a crowd of wild-eyed gawkers ‘preciatin’ what they see.
Show the whole wide world it hasn’t seen the end of me.
I’m goin’ to Connecticut to get my Jerry beads.

(Chorus)

I understand you never planned to spend the future lovin’ me
And I admit I missed the signals that were clearly bein’ sent.
Now instead of trav’lin’ with you on a journey to wherever
I am simply somewhere else that you once went.

(Verse)

So I’m all done marinatin’ in excruciatin’ lonely.
I’m declarin’ independence. I am single and I’m free.
Celebratin’, very merry, whole crowd screamin’ “Jerry! Jerry!,
Give that fella his own Jerry Beads”.

And I will be splashin’ passion in exhibitory fashion
In a pool of wide-eyed gawkers ‘preciatin’ what they see.
I’m gonna get my tickets to the studio for free
In a studio in Stamford where I’ll get my Jerry Beads.

(Chorus)

I understand you never planned to spend a lifetime lovin’ me.
I never thought I would be caught here bein’ let down easily.
I see forever never was a possibility
So I’m goin’ to Connecticut.
I’m headin’ to Connecticut.
Yeah, I’m jettin’ to Connecticut to get my Jerry Beads..

(Outro)

I’m gonna flash my fat behind for all the world to see.
Embarrass my whole family on national TV.
I’m gonna get my tickets to the studio for free.
Yeah! I’m goin’ to Connecticut to get my Jerry Beads.

© 2015 by e.g.bell All Rights Reserved

I’m not really someone who craves public attention but somehow the idea of my coworkers seeing me on TV, performance Jerry Bead rewarded, was appealing. Something that would re-calibrate how they viewed me. Let them imagine pixelated unpixelated. (Maybe not that so much). Sometimes you wait too long and dreams disappear. Jerry Springer died on April 27, 2023. He was an entertainer. The ‘Ringmaster’. He served a unique segment of the population. He was great fun in small doses.

I purposely did not name the parties to the House fracas or their political affiliations. Does any of that really matter? There is blame to go around in the House sideshow. Jerry Springer was great for pure entertainment. Like professional wrestling. Such antics are not appropriate for the people representing us in Congress. Where are the grown-ups? We expect better of our children? How much moreso those we elect to represent us? What lessons are our children taking away?

(I do have to admit there is some fun imagining Jerry Bead moments in the U.S. Congress though.)

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