"God holds a special place for those who provide the gift of laughter."
~Monica, "Cry and You Cry Alone," Touched by an Angel





Hi all,

Today would have been Charles Rocket's 59th birthday so once again we'll be sharing our memories of him and celebrating his career.  Sometime ago I made an Adam tribute video which I passed along to the members of the JABB YahooGroup.  But I don't think I ever mentioned it here so today I'd like to rededicate this video to Charles Rocket in thanks to the wonderful legacy he left us with Adam.

Because the laughter Mr. Rocket left with us is such a huge part of why we commemorate him yearly, I think it only right to begin with the following piece by Yvette.  I hope you enjoy it and laugh over it as much as I did!

God bless,
Jenni


Dear Readers,
 
As a long time fan of Charles Rocket's work, I have always felt that he emanated someone with a sense of humor and he was a person who was able to see the humor in many different things.  Some may have found his humor to be a bit out there, but he was always someone who gave me food for thought amidst his humorous persona.  His performance as Adam was case in point to that misunderstood humor that this remarkable man created.
 
In observance of his birthday, I wanted to present to you this little story.  It took a great deal of time and reflection for me to find the gumption to write and present this.  Somehow, I felt a bit fearful that it would come across as being somewhat crass.  Then I got to thinking that perhaps Charles Rocket would understand the rationale behind my writing this.  So it was with this idea in mind that I felt encouraged to present this to you.  I have, beside his name in the top of the story, inserted a little cross.  That is a sign in Germany that the person has passed on, but to my way of thinking, it is a reminder to all of us as to how much he is missed and how much, even today, he has inspired.
 
I hope that you will enjoy this, and that you will see the legacy of laughter that this remarkable person left with us.
 
Namasté,
Yvette

The User’s Guide and Manual For

Adam, Angel of Death Model

Copyright Actors Ltd.

Charles Rocket (  ) Chief Technical Advisor

CONGRATULATIONS!

Thank you for ordering your very own Adam, Angel of Death Unit! By purchasing this unit, aside from a few interesting evenings at Chez Tess, you may find yourself positively enthralled with the prospect of accompanying this angel Unit to a dinner consisting of ‘Turkey Like Substance’ or to taste some of the Tess Unit’s famous pheasant. Of course, it would be wise, in the former case, that you not attend whilst two women are fighting over the same man. Something rather unexpected could transpire as a result of it, and you would not want to get caught in the crossfire. A chandelier falling on your head might actually be preferable.

No matter, if you read and follow the information in this user’s guide, then you should have no trouble whatsoever with this particular unit.

TECHNICALITIES:

Unit Name: Adam (Although the Monica Unit has been known to call him ‘impossible’, he does not generally go by any other name.)

Type: Male

Species: Angel (not human, although he looks very human, he is not one.)

Manufacturers: Celestial Realm Incorporated

Height: about two meters, over six feet.

Weight: Somewhere between 190-210 pounds

Eyes: Blue

Hair: Salt and Pepper gray (see adaptations)

Adaptation: There are three versions of the Adam Unit, the 1994 original version with short wavy graying hair, the 2001 version with same short hair, but a beard covering his chin, and the 2003 version with wavy close to the shoulder graying hair.

ACCESSORIES:

Your Adam unit will be shipped to you in a beam of light from the Celestial Realm. He will be clad in a light gray colored suit and tie, his hair will be neatly combed. He will be glowing in a whitish or yellowish white light. In his pocket he will carry a golden pocket watch that will enable him to arrive punctually to your house or to the residences of his assignments.

He will come complete with a turkey key chain and an auto mechanic’s overalls with a patch with his name conveniently embossed. Also included in your shipping order will be the latest in tools so that he could take care of your automotive needs. Standing at your Adam Unit’s side will the Alexander special Turkey Unit and a plate stacked high with his famous ‘turkey like substance’ and ‘pheasant under glass’.

MODES:

Your Adam Unit comes in three modes.

Normal Mode: This is how your Adam unit generally is: Calm, cool, and collected 92.47 percent of the time. When you are freaking out about something, your Adam Unit will do his best to lighten the mood with jokes about death and dying, and will also accompany you to special political functions and Thanksgiving dinners. Of course, if you are afraid and worried, as was the case with the Serena Unit, then he will no doubt respond with a hug or a plethora of kind words.

Glowing Mode: This is pretty self explanatory. Adam Units glow when telling their assignments that God loves them, or when he is getting ready to take someone Home. The glowing generally comes in a whitish color since Adam’s existence happened before the Father upgraded to energy efficient yellow light. The white glow, does generally bring out the color of the Unit’s eyes, so be warned if you are easily prone to swooning. Do not be alarmed if your Unit starts to glow while in a restaurant. Of course, it would be wise to make sure you are not requiring the Heimlich Maneuver, or are situated near any potentially hazardous chandeliers.

Upset / Worried Mode: Adam Units, like any Angel of Death Units, do not like to see their assignments give up hope. Of course, they are not exempt from feeling the horror that comes with the hazardous slaughtering of turkeys. The noble turkey, as passed down to Adam from Benjamin Franklin, might bring him into this mode whenever the topic of sending a turkey to its eternal resting place is even mentioned. This mode generally annoys or otherwise aggravates the Tess Unit.

STATES:

Introduction State: When you first meet your Adam Unit, he will be polite, but he will generally start making jokes about death and dying to conceal the overall discomfort of that particular moment. If you are hanging out at ‘The Sign of the Dove’, then your Adam Unit will be easily impressed if you try drinking ginger ale and freshly squeezed orange juice together. His musical abilities at the piano will somehow draw you in, even if he did learn to play at funerals.

Getting To Know You State: After getting past the somewhat strained introduction state, your Adam Unit will want nothing more than to get to know you, talk to you, and even spend time discussing the meaning of life with you. Mixed in with a few jokes and light hearted dialogue, you will find him to be very nice company, even on those evenings when he is stuck in the kitchen stirring. A willingness to stay in the kitchen will no doubt win over your Adam Unit.

Angel of Death State: This is when your Adam Unit is the most serious. He is after all, first and foremost an angel, an existence which he takes very seriously. In this state, Adam can and will take all living things to Heaven. If you see him in this state, make certain that you are not in the process of doing something dangerous or crazy. If you have been exposed to prolonged viewing of your Adam Unit in this state, then you may already be on the verge of going Home, so you might as well enjoy the trip, and trust that your Adam Unit will make the journey as entertaining as possible. Just be warned that if you distract him with the bonus round of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ that you will make him late for his next case, and that could upset the whole celestial apple cart.

Passive State: This is the state that your Adam Unit will have because he cannot get involved in free will. This is a state that is woven into all Angel Units, and cannot be changed. He could joke about it, but he knows that the decision is ultimately yours. Do not, we repeat, do not take this as though your Adam Unit doesn’t care, because he does. This passivity is a part of all Adam Units programming, so don’t blame him if you mess up. Basically, you’re going to have to live with the consequences of your own actions.

OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS:

Your Adam Unit is really quite easy to operate, and you should not have any problems with the overall unit. Although we do recommend that you read the ‘FAQ’ or ‘Troubleshooting’ sections if certain problems happen to arise. If you have any problems, please let us know so that we can put out an alert for other Adam Unit owners.

ADAM ANGEL OF DEATH UNIT SKILLS

Angel:
Your Adam Unit is an experienced Angel of Death. As such he is a messenger of God, and takes his role and faith very seriously. He will do whatever he can to help you accept the love of God in your heart and will not only assist you in death, but will also offer his assistance in life. As with all angels, he embraces life to the fullest, and his sense of humor is a sure sign of that enjoyment.

Singer:
Although he has the skills as a pianist, he also has a talent with singing. His rendition of ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ is always a crowd pleaser, although the rendition is often said to be too darn short for most people’s tastes. So, rest assured that your Adam unit will be more than able to entertain you and your friends, and his pleasing baritone would be an asset to any choir.

Adaptability:
Because your Adam Unit must blend into his environment, he has the skill of adaptability. That is; he can do just about any job, his favorite is automobile mechanic, his least favorite is sending turkeys to that eternal resting place. He has often said that he has experience with things that cease to function, so he is most definitely a handy unit to have around the house. Aside from the
unnecessary destruction of turkeys, there is no job too embarrassing or difficult for your Adam Unit to tackle. Of course, he could be prone to refusing to help clean up the kitchen after Thanksgiving dinner, so be prepared for an adamant ‘no’ to that particular request. Ask yourself if you really could blame him for that.

CLEANING:

Cleaning is something that your Adam Unit can handle on his own, although we recommend he use the ‘Angels Haven’ shampoo (as with the Andrew Unit) to make his hair extra shiny for those days in 'Angel of Death Mode'.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Q: My Adam Unit has been getting a bit rebellious. He has been doing handyman work, speaking with a Russian accent, and smoking excessively. What should I do? I thought angels had rules about smoking.
A: Absolutely right, there are rules about smoking, but you do not have an Adam Unit, you have been given the Steve Moscow Unit*. These units are generally very flip and unwilling to do anything but smoke cigarettes and annoy your friends. For an Adam Unit, please call 1-800-YA-NE-GOVOROO-PO-STEVE-MOSKVA. (Literally, I don’t speak Steve Moscow.). Of course, if you can get Steve Moscow out of your house without blowing the place up, we’ll send you two Alexander Units free of charge with your next Adam Unit order.

Q: I have a problem with my Adam Unit, he’s walking around dressed in a cape and even has strange vampire fangs. Now, I may be a fan of ‘Moonlight’, but I don’t get this. What’s wrong with Adam? Is this another mistakenly sent Unit? I just got rid of Steve Moscow, now this…
A: Your Adam unit got accidentally switched with the Hocus Pocus Dadcula Unit. Now, while he may be a gas at parties and like to dance, we can understand your annoyance. You want an Angel of Death Unit, not a guy who can dance all night. Call 1-800-ADAM-UNIT-IF-YOU-PLEASE and we’ll get that discrepancy corrected.

Q: All the oranges in our house have miraculously vanished, what gives?
A: You have discovered your Adam Unit’s weakness. Check around to see if he has been meeting with an Andrew 2000 Unit for ginger ale and freshly squeezed orange juice. If that is the case, then might we suggest that you start drinking something else like Mountain Dew?

TROUBLESHOOTING:

Problem: My Adam Unit has spent countless hours reading manuscripts and stories online. Before, he would shout ‘Oh Father in Heaven, No!’ as though having a nightmare. Now he won’t do anything except stare off into space. I know that he was never shipped, but somehow I have seen something about him and Tess, and that just gives me the heebie-jeebies. What is the story here?

Solution: A Tess and Adam shipper is the story, and the only thing we can suggest is for you to take the manuscripts away from him immediately and monitor closely how he is spending his time online! This sort of thing is a far cry worse than the ginger ale / orange juice mix. They basically scramble the Adam Unit’s circuitry beyond belief. If that happens, there is only one thing to do, give your Adam Unit several months of psychological treatments with our Sam Unit. You can order a Sam Unit by calling 1-800-I-NEED-A-SAM-UNIT-NOW and we’ll send one out straightaway.

Problem: Now my Adam Unit is hugging the Monica Unit and it’s totally grossing me out.

Solution: If their behavior is more than platonic, then there is trouble in paradise after all. You have, essentially, every reason and right to be concerned! We’ve already had more than our share of nightmares with Andrew and Monica Units getting cozy. If any of the angel units get too cozy with each other, then we will have no other alternative then to stop production of them and start making more Turkey Units. At least they know how to behave, even if they do tend to eat your socks. Not to worry, though, we have not gone that extreme with it, and the Sam Unit is very reliable and helpful in that sort of situation.

Problem: My Adam Unit has been depressed for several days. He withdraws into himself and seems to be very unhappy. Is this normal? I want to help him, but because I don’t gobble and have feathers, I fear he may not respond. What should I do?

Solution: If it is around Thanksgiving, then it is sadly quite normal, but also very nice that you have noticed this particular situation in relation to your Adam Unit. Although Adam Units are quite good at offering a compassionate response to situations beyond their control, it is nice when the Units can be on the receiving end of such actions as well. A hug will generally help remind your Adam Unit that he is not alone and that someone cares for him (platonically, of course). The general reminder that God loves him makes the Angel Units just as happy as it makes the humans they share that truth with.

FINAL NOTES

Although there may entail some problems with owning of an Adam Angel of Death Unit, we feel that on the whole, you have purchased a product that will have long years of compassionate and interesting (as well as humorous) dialogue and friendship. The Adam Unit (and other Angel Units) will make your life interesting, but it will often be difficult. Just keep the troubleshooting sections at close range and then there should be no problems.

We wish you years of happiness with your Adam Unit, and remember, God Loves You!

*Reference to Charles Rocket's appearance on the show “King of Queens.”



Thanks, Yvette, for sharing that with us!  Now for some thoughts from Liz on what Adam has meant to her.


There are a few things as to what Adam in TBAA means to me.

He brought about a different sense of humour to things.  The way he was with turkeys, his quirkiness about keeping them alive always brought a smile and a laugh to me.  Also how he was with Tess was also fun to see.  He held reverence to her but, at the same time, had a bit of fun with it all.  I think that's how the character was supposed to be.

Adam was also like a brother.  It shows in 'Sign of the Dove' when he was with Andrew.  When it came to the pivotal point as to who was going to help whom, it was obvious that he knew he had to take care of his assignment since the young man was part of the family that Andrew had followed and taken care of throughout the years.  At the end when Adam pointed to Andrew and told the young man that he had been talking to his family's angel, you could see the pride in Adam's face.  It's almost as if he was pointing out his younger brother with a pride that said 'Yep, he's my friend and he's special and I'm fortunate to know him'.

In "The Root of all Evil", Adam was in a different situation than he had been in before (in the show anyway).  It showed the diversity he had in whatever situation he was put into and how he made the best of it.  Adam obviously tried his best to make things work out for the 2 brothers even though he was reluctant at first to be a part of the whole thing.  In the end, everything worked out the way it should have.

Adam brought about a special feeling to the show.  It was a shame that he hadn't been in more episodes.

~Liz

Clark Bars and Lusciousness
by Jenni

Previously I've written about various things that have made me pause and think about Charles Rocket in the years since his passing.  There are the predictable things like turkeys and gray suits.  But I never realized how deep my associations with him go.  And I don't know quite when it happened but I realize now that, instead of making me sad, those associations bring me a good laugh or a sly smile depending on who is around at the time. 

Two or three months ago my mom and I were checking out at Michael's (a craft store).  Suddenly I started giggling and my mom looked at me curiously. 

"Clark bars!" I exclaimed. 

I'm sure she can't be blamed for not understanding why a candy bar seemed so funny to me.

"Like in Hocus Pocus!  I've never actually seen one!" I exclaimed.  At that point I heard someone else laugh.  It was the customer in the line next to us. 

"Hocus Pocus!" she repeated.

It turns out she had children who made a habit out of watching that film, as well.  So as I smiled giddily at memories of Bette Milder and Co. singing and, most especially, Dadcula in his PJs, the two mothers laughed about the things they'd let their kids watch when we were little.  It was probly my most enjoyable checking out experience.

Unknowingly, my mom's actually been witness to numerous of my lil Charles Rocket-inspired humorous moments.

Another one came on the way into work when we passed a salon boasting that it could give customers "luscious hair."  To some this might just be good advertising.  To me it's a clear reference to Adam.  Sometime ago in Dyeland, Lady JenniAnn dubbed Adam "Luscious."  I can't remember why exactly.  Did it have to do with his long hair?  His beard?  The world's most awesome beige sweater?  I can't recall.  Knowing me it was likely the long hair from "The Root of All Evil."  Whatever the reason, that salon sign made me smile every time I saw it.  I'm sure I would have laughed aloud had I been alone but who wants to explain that one's doppleganger has taken to referring to an angel of death as "Luscious"? 

Looking back I realize that Charles Rocket has brought me laughter at the following times: when my dad was taken to the emergency room, during a decidedly awkward date, during a decidedly awkward "non-date," while waiting in line, while heading into work and countless other times that don't exactly scream happy times.

If Monica's quote cited at the top is true, and I think it is, then God must certainly hold a special place for Mr. Rocket.  I know we all do.



We at JABB continue to pray for Charles Rocket's family, especially today.  In the wake of his tragic passing, we decided to do our part to make suicide prevention information accessible.  It's our sincere hope that if you feel suicidal or fear someone close to you is that you will seek out help.  You're not alone and you are loved. 

Below are some resources we've assembled.  If you are reading this and know a web site you feel should be added, please contact me.   Thanks to Yvette and Nicole for their help compiling these.

Thank you,
Jenni

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Yellow Ribbon Program

Worldwide Suicide Crisis Hotlines

Samaritans (UK)

Lebe dein Leben (German)

Lundbeck (German)

Suicide Prevention Help (Spanish)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Spanish)



Thank you, Charles Rocket!!!

JABB TOC

JABB 254

(Photo Credits: The "Hocus Pocus" photograph used on this page is owned by Walt Disney Pictures.  The rest of the photographs are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions.  They are not being used to seek profit.)