Scene in the boardroom at a dishwasher detergent company:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, years of research has paid off. I give you: the GelPac. You’ll note that’s not Pack with a k, and it’s one word with capitalization in the middle to indicate modernity.”

The GelPacs are passed around to smiles and appreciative nods. Looks delicious! says one. Smells great, says another.

“I see you’re noting the pleasant feel of the GelPacs, the pleasing aroma, the vibrant colors - all these things have tested very well in focus groups, and -“


“Oh, you’ll excuse me - if you could just pass them to the front, yes, right over here. Annnd thank you. As I was saying - yes, question?”

Why did that bell go off?

“Well, the GelPacs degrade almost instantly when in contact with air. Perhaps degrade isn’t the right word. Their surfaces assume an adhesive property. Anyway, the color was chosen after months of rigorous polling. Orange - ah, yes, you had a follow up?”

What happens when they get sticky?

“They clump together in the bag.”

But they can be easily pulled apart.

“Actually, no; they tend to burst, and coat everything with super-concentrated detergent, but most people will attempt to separate them over the sink.”

Why is this so?

“It’s a property of the GelPac itself. We estimate that four to five out each box will be rendered useless this way.”

So the bag they come in, it has one of those zip-lock seals.

“No. But there is a warning on the bag, instructing the consumer to keep the bag sealed.”

So the bag easily crimps up, then.

“Well, no; it defies any such attempt to be sealed, requiring either tape or a series of rubber bands.”

So these are for the dollar store, then.

“Heavens no! This the top-of-the-line innovation. But we’re working on something that spontaneously explodes in the cupboard when exposed to water and gets soap all over everything.”



I love Judge Judy, as I have mentioned before. It seems odd that someone with such an anachronistic sense of responsibility and lack of interest in the personal narratives that led up to defaulting on a truck loan would be popular today, but it’s a heartening sign to see her still up on the bench shushing and glaring. It’s been years since I watched the show, but there it was, and I hit RECORD ALL. So. Thoughts:

Some things are unclear. One day the case is “Number 62 on the calendar.” The next case it’s “Number 147.” I think they might be making that up.

I would like to have been present when they suggested to Judge Judy that they use the da-da-da-dum from Beethoven’s 5th as her theme song. “GREAT. FINE. NEXT.”

She has fallen out of the public mind somewhat, but everyone knows what you mean when you say “Judge Judy.”

One of the most interesting jobs in the world, I think, would be the Wrangler for Spectator Seating on Judge Judy.

Are you noticing me? Let me tilt my head to the side and let you drink me in. Aren't I a stunning contrast? Why yesr friends do say I should model.

The defendant had the Silent Chorus of Sympathetic Women to give her blurry support.

I'd best go watch today's installments. And hope that Justice prevails. Usually does.


I had wifi on the last plane trip. It was okay. It was internet in the sky, which was less exciting than I thought. I mean, it’s the internet. All the websites you visited when you were in that chair on the ground, available now in this chair that’s in a tube with some noise outside! I called daughter on FaceTime and got one frame, which was still rather amazing, considering. Otherwise, no; that’s why I bring things to read.

Once upon a time air travel for the masses was a promise, something we’d experience when the birds returned to the white cliffs and the lights went back on. Towards the end, when ads shifted from “Soup is delicious, and by the way there isn’t any” to “When Johnny comes marching home to impregnate Suzy within the bounds of matrimony, you’ll have an atomic furnace.” No one ever asked why Johnny was still marching as he came up the walk. What have they done to you? Why can’t you stop walking in the rigid format of a soldier on parade?

Anyway, this was the ad:

Remember, this doesn’t exist, as such yet. But here’s what the future will bring:

Right away, we're in a new world: you enter the plane and head upstairs. Where you'll find:

A smart lounge! Look at all that room for smoking and drinking and reading. Butlers to serve you. But don't fill up on peanuts:

In case you think this was just fantasy, not intended to represent the imminent reality of post-war air travel, note the notches in the table. They left those in, for some reason. Perhaps because no one would have believed an aircraft table without them? Doubtful many would have noticed. It does remind you that the plane could, at any second, drop 200 feet and throw your dinner in your face.

Two bars. Are we clear? Two.

After you're good and hammered, there's nothing to do but hit the sack. No neck-crimping sleep in a barely-reclined chair:


When you wake up, it's Europe.

Total number of passengers - 20? 25?

They made the Martin Mars, all right; it was a troop & cargo transpor. After the war . . . they ended up as water bombers.

Updates on the right - restaurant interiors! Also, See you around.



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