The 1950s Radio Music Library excerpts return! Go here if you're uninterested in what folows.

Update on the Coffee Maker: I got through to Customer Service after a two minute wait. The hold music was quiet, regretful piano music, and if that’s what they’re playing in the corporate office I imagine everyone sitting around staring into space, looking at the upcoming specs for the new line of coffee maker, thinking: this is what life has become? This? Trying to shave off 3 cents from the next line by making the fastener on the metal front place slightly shorter, which would increase the chance it pops off if the user is cleaning the side and accidentally hooks a fingernail? It’s come to this?

A robot popped in every 20 seconds to tell me how important my call was. Note: do this every 60 seconds. At the most.

The operator was cheerful and concerned, and I gave her the model number. We found the serial number together on the bottom of the unit. I stated the problem, and she gave me some jargon: it’s not pulling water, then. No, water isn’t being pulled. I knew that if I ever had this problem again I wouldn’t be able to avoid using the jargon, and that it wouldn’t impress them at all. They probably wouldn’t even note it. Jargon is like that.

She said she would send me a label, which I could affix to a box I could send it back for examination. They would also send me a new one right away. I was grateful and thanked her, but I wanted to say:

Examination? Look, the fact that you called up the model number and serial and instantly said “here comes a brand new one” suggests there’s an alert in the system that says EDSEL PINTO SITUATION REPEAT EDSEL PINTO. I really don’t want to go to the UPS office or the Post Office and mail the thing back, and I’ll bet you know exactly what’s wrong with it. It’s junk. <bobdole> You know it I know it the American people know it. </bobdole> I don’t want it anymore, that’s the problem.

There are lessons here.

Amazon reviews are useless. You’ll see five stars from someone who loves it loves it LOVES it because they can make coffee on one side and a single K-cup on the other!!! Which is the point. But this person never confronted the inability to program the unit to brew a pot in the morning if someone else intends on using the K-cup side first. Someone else did, and gave it four stars for that, but never considered the problem of the burner going on under the pot while the K-cup is working, which heats up the brackish ichor on the bottom of the pot from yesterday and makes the house smell like burnt horse urine for a few minutes. So he gave it three stars, but never noticed that it broke, because it didn’t for him. It did break for the guy who gave it one star, but you figure, eh, that’ll happen once in a a blue moon, so you order it, then look out the window and think “my, what a lovely blue moon tonight.”

Amazon reviews all boil down to “love it! Does just what i want” or “Broke right away. Waste of money.” Except for the camera reviews, which are painfully detailed. I got into the weeds on some other K-cup maker reviews, and people were complaining that the cup overflowed. Because they put in too much water, in other words. Others complained that the coffee was weak. Because they put in too much water for a light roast, in other words. Others complained because they go through life casting sidelong glances at everything because everyone’s trying to rip you off. Everyone’s on the make. They’re always trying to push something on you.


Take Barber Al, in 1962:

Fallout schmallout. Al's unimpressed with all this talk of building shelters to reduce population loss in the case of a nuclear war; it's just something they're pushing and THEY, also defined as SOMEONE, is going to make a lot of money out of it. This is either based on an exhaustive investigation into the mitigating effects on mass death a nation-wide well-stocked shelter system would have, or rote relfex suspicion of nearly everyone he hears that doesn't come from a few guys who sit in his chair with lather on their face and periodically ask Al if he could step back so they could take a drag off their White Owl.

It's from a 1983 Life mag story about Shelters, and the cover must have given everyone a sick queasy feeling.

So that's what it would look like? Everyone parks the car on the grass and heads in, wearing their Sunday Best. Oh that's just wonderful. That's just grand. I love how it's so orderly. No panic. No crowds trying to shove their way in. Check in at the desk; let them know you're here, because records of these things is important. In a few minutes the TV will be turned on and we'll hear what's going on. Then they turn it on, and there's Arthur Godfrey reassuring them that this attack will not be the end of America. (Really, he cut some spots, just in case.)

The saddest thing about the picture:

When the door closes and Al's banging and shouting LET ME IN, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD LET ME IN I wonder if anyone will look through the peephole and remember him from that Life story. They would if it was a movie, and then Al would sit quietly in the corner until things went south, and then he'd be a real pain in the ass, wondering why they had to listen to the guy at the desk with the telephone. Who made him mayor? Who's he working for? Why does he think he can boss us around?

There's always an Al somewhere. Point is, when I called Hamilton Beach, I tried not to be Al, and was rewarded. They did right by me, and it's only fair to note that I am a fully satisfied customer. I just wish I hadn't been one in the first place, but that was my decision. They didn't make me do it.


First, a test, which I expect most will fail. It's only a quirk that I picked up on it. The Lum & Abner radio show, as available online, consists of eps with the commercialsl and music cues removed, for the most part; since most episodes took place in one place, there wasn't much need to transition to another locale with other characters. But apparently when they did, the organ walked the audience to the next act. My ears were piqued by this:

Why did this stick out?

If you can name that tune, bravo! Or brava. And now the cues. Some may be repeats; it seems they stopped raiding the vaults after 300 episodes and went with the old basics. This is what I heard on "The Couple Next Door" this week, and since not everyone hears everything, or you're new, or you were away, or WHATEVER, anyway, etc. You can always cut down to the bottom for the answer to the Mysterious Organ Reference.

CND Cue #276 I can’t quite figure out where this one goes, but it plugs into some larger suite.

CND Cue #277 I can’t quite figure out where this one goes, but it plugs into some larger suite.

CND Cue #278 I can’t quite figure out where this one goes, but it plugs into some larger suite.

CND Cue #279 I can’t quite figure out where this one goes, but it plugs into some larger suite.

CND Cue #280 I can’t quite figure out where this one goes, but it plugs into some larger suite.

CND Cue #281 I can’t quite figure out where this one goes, but it plugs into some larger suite.

CND Cue #282 I can’t quite figure out where this one goes, but it plugs into some larger suite.


L & A reference The dirge-like notes at the end: dum, da-dum dum / dumm dumm dumm

It's this.

It’s not that I have an encyclopedic knowledge of the music of the era; I’m probably a bit more conversant than the average person, but I know this because it was on the “Pennies From Heaven” soundtrack, which was one my first introduction to the music of the period way back in the 80s. I played that thing smooth. This was one of the milder tunes, the sort of bland 30s style that would be blown out of the water by swing in a few years.

It’s a couple toting up the results of a party. (“What did Mr. Brown say to Uncle Benny? Just one of things; he’d had a few too many." ) It’s at 1:30: Please go ‘way and let me sleep. Those few notes were either well-known enough that the organist could toss them in with the assumption everyone would get it, or he was amusing himself with the reference.

In context. Rudy Vallee seems to fumble the spoken part towards the end.

About as subversive a cigarette ad as you could imagine for the era. Can’t imagine the sponsor was particularly happy.

Bob & Ray for Chesterfield.


Updates on the right - a new Friday feature! Patriotica ads. See you around.



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