Urgh. Checking the podcast, I misspoke. The relish bomb is not made of mayonnaise. I repeat: the relish bomb is not made of mayonnaise. 

Rote day; nothing to report. Went to the office, went home from the office. Picked up Gnat and watched TV for a while, since we had no homework. She likes funny candid animals shows, and the Animal Planet’s version of “Funniest Home Videos” was showing. It’s awful. Look: it’s a rabbit pushing a ball. Oh the hilarity. Gnat noted that the prizes seemed smaller – a hundred dollars? On America’s Funniest Pets they give you a THOUSAND dollars. I explained that the show was cheaper. Smaller. For example, does it have an audience? No. So, I asked, who was laughing and applauding? She shrugged. I explained about laugh tracks. It's one of those things daddies do: instruct their children on the evils of the world, and how to recognize them. Then we watched Spongebob, and I was reminded of a singular oddity of my youth: cartoons with laugh tracks. As though they had projected the images on a screen before a live audience and captured their reaction. It made no sense. But by then people accepted it as the customary accompaniment to purported hilarity. It’s really quite surreal, when you think about it. Who are these people? Where are they? Is this some strange meta-audience hovering over the drawing boards of underpaid inbetweeners?

Made dinner, did the Hewitt show. Went outside to finish a cigar; my neighbor came out to have a smoke, and said “BRAVO!” He’d been listening to the radio. I love that. Blew off some low-level work-related angst with some Quake 4, then did book work before finishing the Diner. And that’s it!

Well, not entirely. Another cast-off from the week of book scanning. Let’s see if you can figure out this couple’s problem:

She’s got Mary Astor eyes!  The fellow, meanwhile, has the horrible realization that he’s stuck with this forever, because no one gets divorced ever period end of story and you’re a commie for even thinking about it. So what troubles the couple? Let’s read:

Here we get a glimpse of the true horrors of life in a small town: everyone’s talking about them. The gayest couple in the whole big damn gay world now walk around with tragic eyes, and  everyone knows there’s something wrong. The butcher, the pastor, the cheerful orphan newsboy – no, wait, that’s a big city archetype, nevermind – the young unmarried florist who’s pretty in a plain sort of way but has horrible dandruff, the spinster who sits in her parlor with her starched collar rubbing her jaw raw looking out the window to see which of those high-hat hussies will walk down the sidewalk with her ankles showing, the friendly policeman Seamus O'Truncheon, Mr. Gothersworth, the banker – everyone in Gayesville knows that the Smiths have lost their newlywed shine, and frankly people cannot stop delighting in the fact. And by delighting of course I mean “discussing it with mock expressions of regret and solicitude.” Why, even the other day the fella at the gas station asked the husband “what happened to your wife? She ain’t so gay no more.” The husband looked straight ahead and said nothing. How could he? We read on:

Eh? Is she putting fire ants in her underwear as a means of keeping her husband from asserting his marital rights thrice a day? No. Let’s cut to the bottom of the ad, and look at the product:

That’s right: every time she uncrosses her legs, shingles slide off the roof across the street. Cats fall over. Peonies burn. But she doesn’t know it and he can’t say it and heaven forbid any of her friends should say anything. The text isn’t alarmist, no, not at all:

One has to wonder how the most serious deodorization problem is one that might go unsuspected. If it’s making its way through hubby’s cologne and pipe smoke, chances are a few errant tendrils might find their way to your nostrils at some point. 

The ad has a comforting reassurance:

Which suggests that once upon a time, such potions had those elements. In abundance.

Some links you may or may not have noted:

Dance! Dance, God-affronting undead husk-thing, dance!

Obama is a smoker. Who knew? I like the way this story raises the issue – they’re concerned about the effect on his voice if he stops smoking, don’t you see. Hah! I’m waiting for the candid shot of Obama having a smoke – if he’s in a good suit, giving off that Rat Pack vibe, it’ll set the anti-smoking cause back ten years. It's he's wearing a fedora, which would add a jazzman / forties twist, I see a fifty-state sweep. Or maybe not. Given how cigarette smoking has become a moral issue, it’ll be interesting to see how this gets played. A humanizing frailty? A surprising character flaw? DID HE SMOKE AROUND CHILDREN? Doesn't matter; the more I look at this fellow, the more I see a fifty state sweep.

The Jolly Green Giant makes a brief appearance in this week’s Diner. While doing research, I found this commercial, in which a stop-motion can-conjuring Giant appears to be utterly, joyfully insane.  It will haunt your dreams for years. And when you have banished the sight of his mad gleaming face, you will remember the music, and the dreams will start all over again.

Late to the party, but I just saw it yesterday. Flea Market! Montgomery! It’s just like a mini mall:

Germanic Idol. Mr. Love mit wasser bespritz! Das Randy is white and bald with a Goldfinger / George Sander vibe; Paula is taller and not insane, and Simon provides reassuring evidence that all those Nordic Aryan SS types have had their testicles dissolved by 45 years of shame and socialism.

It's me, but I don't know who to invite. Boohoo!

Finally, the Diner. It’s mostly plot-free, and explains the origins of a famous musical comedy scene that were unknown to me. Possibly to you as well. The MP4 link – with crucial, crucial art – is here; the MP3 link is here. I prefer you hit the first one, since the file is smaller.

Have a grand weekend! See you Monday. (New Quirk today and tomorrow, of course. And I repeat: the relish bomb is not made of mayonnaise.