Before the Bleat-type prose part, it’s another Lum & Abner Mad Organist Challenge. This guy had fun. No idea who he was; I wonder if it’s even possible to know.

To bring you up to speed: many old radio shows had an organ to provide incidental music, and the sound - dated, somewhat spooky - is a defining characteristic to modern ears, and one of the reasons many people find it hard to connect with these shows. No such problem at the time. Well, the fellow who played between scenes on Lum & Abner seemed to have a lot of fun amusing himself with references to other pieces.

Setup: Robert the Robot (don’t ask; it’s complicated) walked away while running errands for the Jot ‘Em Down Store, and was found in a ditch near a prize bull that had been killed. Suspicion naturally fell on the robot, and now Lum and Abner are being law sued, as they put it, for the price of the bull.

Naturally, the organist played this.

More Rogue-Robot Organ Nightmare

Why? Took me a few seconds. Answer down in LISTEN below the fold.



The vet’s office has a wall of folders for all the dogs and cats who come and go. It’s packed thick. It struck me today as I drove down Lyndale that they might like to free up some space. A dossier on a dog who almost lived two decades would be thick. Room for puppies; room for a new cat.

So I went in. I’d been there just last month. Didn’t recognize anyone in the office; it was as if they just swapped out the entire staff. The nice young lady in the blue smock did not quite get what I wanted - did I wish to take the folder? No no. Really, no. Just wanted them to know they could take it out of the files on the wall.

Ohhh, she said, and she got it. She said she was sorry and like all vets she meant it. Name? I gave my name. Pet’s name? “It’s, ” I said and corrected myself. It was. Clickity clickity, peer at the screen.

“We were informed,” she said. “So you won’t be getting any notices.”

I hadn’t thought of that. The heartworm notice. The agents of canine quietus had informed them; that’s why they wanted the name of the vet. what a fine organization.

Anyway. There was a lady sitting on the bench by the desk. Out of the corner of my eye I saw her rise slightly when I gave my particulars, and when I turned around to go she said she had read my column in the newspaper about my dog.

“My dog was Jasper, too,” she said. He died just a few weeks ago. In his sleep overnight.

We talked about that and I thanked her for reading and told the vet I would be back someday and we would start a folder again. Went outside and climbed over a snowbank to get to the car, shivering in the wind; got in, started the engine, sat there, and sighed. That’s the second phase: the occasional private gust of breath, putting a period on the latest bout. Then you square you shoulders and pull out and go to the grocery store, because you need salad -

- but I should note that the gusts, the sighs, contain something else I’m lucky to have. Look: this is not the worst thing in the world. It just isn’t. It’s a bad thing in a good world. It’s a bone-deep ache but you know there’s worse - not for yourself. That’s a different vocabulary in another language in a different key. If your bow is forever unstrung by this, best you’re never called to reach into your quiver again.

Lucky: You guys, I mean. The sigh means something different. Grief less and less. Gratitude now. Time is only half the antidote. Gratitude is the tincture that blooms in the solution; gratitude is the cure.


More music cues from the exceptionally witty and warm-hearted Peg Lynch radio show, "The Couple Next Door." As it turns out, I was right: they did start using different music after a while. They had to. I knew they would.

CND Cue #301 You may recall last week I said that the two-note ending was a sign the show was over. I still think that’s the case. But try this three-note ending . .

CND Cue #302 And this one: it’s used in the middle, not the end. Three notes still denote the half-way point. Or not. I wonder if there was any generally-agreed-upon rule for these things.

CND Cue #303 This one is connected to the previous one, but it’s a sibling, not a twin.

CND Cue #304 An old favorite - but played much slower.

CND Cue #305 Finally! New passage of time music.

CND Cue #306 Sleepy middle-of-the-night music; works for drunks, too.

CND Cue #307 I have no idea why they went for this cliche, when there were so many others from which to choose. It’s a snippet from a stock score for silent movies, composed by John Zamecnik. Maybe. More here.

Now, the Mystery Organ Music.

Remember, the robot stands accused of crushiing a bull.


Skip to 1:09. From "Carmen." Wikipedia: " It is sung by the bullfighter Escamillo as he enters in Act 2 , and describes various situations in the bullring, the cheering of the crowds and the fame that comes with victory.


Here's another Jonathan Winters bug-spray ad from 1959. I had to adjust the pitch; it was high and all over the place, and never really sounds right. But note the "beatnik" archetype, with the jazz in the background and the lame lingo. All you had to do, I guess, was say "daddy-o" and "hip."

Jonathan Winters. Bug Spray 1959


Updates on the right - Patriotica ads, and a NEW COLUMN at the newspaper. Here. (Scroll down to the Columnists pane; when I did this it hadn't posted yet.) Have a grand weekend!



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