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This will make sense only if you read yesterday’s Bleat:

The dentist walked in this morning and handed me a Post-It note on which he had drawn six french fries. Just to make me feel better.

There. Aren’t you glad you read yesterday’s Bleat?

He did, obviously. Had the cleaning and poking this morning. All of my old dentist-related anxiety has gone, just like my old anxieties about flying. The last vestige of fear left with the molar that was extracted on a Sunday morning in a strip mall, when I received three injections with a foot-long needle that was in place for about thirteen minutes each, it seemed, and then had the most remarkable series of distant sensations as things were wrenched out of my head. So, yeah. But, hey: nitrous!

I should go into business counseling nervous fliers, really. Charge money for a seminar. Spent the entire time talking about the importance of showing up early, going through security with at least two hours to spare, then heading directly to the bar. Here are some of the things you can drink. And then the rest of the class consists of information about various cocktails.

It’s been years since I had to steady myself with a belt before I got on a plane, because after a while it’s not only normal, it’s fun. I can’t say that sitting in a reclining chair with that high skeeter whine of the drill in your ears is fun, and I’d rather be in a plane, but if you have a great dentist with a great staff it’s like a trip to see old friends. Who occasionally put needles in your mouth, granted, but it’s not as if they like to. I hope.

Daughter was in the next room getting cleaned as well. She has transitioned out of the kiddie dentist shop. They had a TV in the corner playing Disney or Pixar, which probably served to remind kids of the time when they watched the movie without the immediate prospect of needles in the head-area.

Speaking of Disney: it was cool today, fall-style cool, sudden but not unwelcome. There was something about the drop that felt like a paternal lesson, a reminder, a warning. Otherwise sunny and beautiful, but the sun felt like a thin wall between you and a cold, empty place. As I was making supper I thought of the “Grasshopper and the Ants” Silly Symphony, how for a few years we marked the change of seasons with the cartoons on those Disney Treasures disks. When I put the supper plates down I noted that this was the first day that seemed like Fall was en route, and say: “ohhh, the world owes me a livin’” in the Goofy voice. Daughter smiled. She knew exactly what I meant.



The voice of the Grasshopper was Pinto Colvig, who was not only Goofy, but the original Bozo the Clown. And he voiced a Munchkin in the “Wizard of Oz.”

As I’ve always said: every dad should know how to do the Goofy voice - at least the Gawrsh - and the Donald Duck Sputter.

Something else I learned today, besides the inevitable approach of fall right on schedule: the comedy channel on XM played this 1960s bit from a record, its appeal long evaporated to modern ears. A guy described people you should avoid. “Men who take out the garbage . . . in their underwear. Women with varicose veins . . . who wear miniskirts.” Not a laugh in the entire routine, but it was notable for having a lazy jazzy improv underneath the spoken words, something other comics would adopt later. I looked him up on wikipedia when I got home. Eddie Lawrence.

When I read the biography, clouds parted. He had a bit called “the Old Philosopher,” which I never heard - but I heard countless parodies and rip-offs in commercials for years afterwards. Tell me if this sounds familiar. From his wiki bio:

Speaking in a comically downtrodden, empathetic voice, and accompanied by a flute rendition of "Love's Old Sweet Song," he begins, "Hey there, friend" — or "cousin" or "bunkie" or "pal" — "You say you lost your job today ...", followed by a litany of improbable disasters like "Your daughter's goin' out with a convict?" and "Your wife just confessed she spent your last 60 bucks for a deposit on an airplane hangar?" Pause as the flute retires. Eddie asks plaintively, "Is that what's troubling you, friend?" Suddenly cymbals crash and a brassy rendition of "National Emblem" plays as Eddie declaims in full voice, "L-L-L-Lift your head up high and take a walk in the sun with that dignity and stick-to-it-iveness and you'll show the world, you'll show them where to get off, you'll never give up, never give up, never give up" — [two drumbeats] — "that ship!"

That explained something I could never figure out: where the hell that format came from. Is that what’s troubling you, bunkie? Well get on down to Freeway Ford and see the deals! and so on. I never knew why that was a thing, as they say on the internet, only that it seemed to be referring to something I didn’t recognize and didn’t like.

Now you know.

One last thing from the unused screen grabs collected over the week: a Google Street View picture. What if everyone who stares at the camera is really an alien, and this is what their faces really look like to a camera immune to their thought-control?



I feel as if I’m a loop where I think I’m having a new experience but something in the back of my head resonates in a way beyond the edges of perceptual definition, and I think I’ve heard this before. I feel as if I’m a loop where I think I’m having a new experience but something in the back of my head resonates in a way beyond the edges of perceptual definition, and I think I’ve heard this before.

Deja vu of the audio sort. It happens with these segments from the CBS EZ-Cue music library. Note: I don’t even know if this is the EZ-cue library, but I can’t imagine what else it would be. But I heard something in one piece that not only made me believe I’d identified the composer - finally! - but I wasn’t sure I haven’t done this before over the same riff.

Well, if I’ve forgotten, you’ve forgotten. And so. While I’m 97% sure these are mostly unheard, this might be a repeat. After 178 cuts, as I say, they blur.


#179 Busy city scurrying swirling down into the The Chord of Domestic Satisfaction, or whatever I’m calling it this week.




#180. There’s a style here that’s not generic, but comes from a specific composer. I just know it. Whoever he was, Leroy Anderson was his god:



#181 I really want to hear the entire piece. It’s music to accompany a fellow as he sets out to fix something, overly confident of his abilities. Or a comic fat kid walking somewhere with exaggerated dignity. Or any number of situations where we’re making gentle fun of the character, with affection.




#182 Absolutely begging to be a cue for “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”




#183 Boilerplate swirling interstitial music, with excessive bird chirping at the end. I left in Peg at the end for surreal effect.



#184 Another twitterpated version of one of the other themes; they appear in so many shapes and keys and tonalities it’s like listening to a shapeshifter symphony. Of course, it dives down into the soft embrace of The Chord.




#185. You know this is used when the plot shifts to the baby.



#186 Some mad strings at the end, swooping and diving like gulls:




#187 Another new tune I want to hear in its entirely: a tune for walking away with a cocky lilt in your step, because you finally got one over on that pesky guy:




#188 Again with the mocking. So much mocking. This time mechanical soldiers come to mind, don’t they?



#189 If it’s not mocking, it’s exaggerating the basic emotions of simple genres and turning them into something that you hear and understand even if you’re not paying attention. Like all of this stuff, it has the same message: life is amusing.




Hoooolllld on. I know this:



Yes. “Trafficscape,” by Eric Winstone. His finest work:




The whole piece.




Taking a break from the parade of Jell-O weeks, we have Campbell Soup, 1959:




That's it for this week! Hope you enjoyed it. Column up here; scroll down to the COLUMNS pane.



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