The annual return of Motel Postcards! Surely this means it's summer. And it is. It’s warm. It’s bright. It’s perfect. This is the perfect start to June. A steady thrill of delight runs through everyone; the illusion of eternal green has taken hold as it always does. For all. Save one.
How are you today, said the clerk at Walgreen’s, where I was buying a bag of dog chews.
“Marvelous,” I said. “It’s a beautiful day.”
He scrunched up his thin shoulders and looked out the window and said “it’s so humid.”
Wha? It wasn’t.
“This is what we wait for,” I said, beeping my card against the barcode reader so I could get, I don’t know, points. For something. “This is what we think about in January.”
“I hope it doesn’t rain,” he said. “It feels like it’s gonna rain.”
“Not in the forecast.”
“They had so much severe weather up north,” he said. “I hope the people don’t lose power again.”
At this point I really wanted to say “what the hell is the matter with you?” but he just seemed to be a Timid Soul who dreads the summer and all it suggests, all it implies, all the supposed carnalities of Beach and Fun and nights on the roof of some chic city bar where all the money bros are laughing too loudly. As if this is Mandatory Extrovert Season. I suppose I get that; had a bookish youth myself, but even if I was alone, reading comic books on the front steps at dusk, there was freedom and warmth and beauty in the day’s retreat, with the mysteries of a summer night to come. You learn about the world in school. You learn about yourself in the summer.
Like whether you’re the sort of person who stocks up on candles and batteries, to go to his point about the power going out. I’m better situated for an outage than ever. I have two flashlights that can pick out flags on the moon and computer back-up packs and enough candles for one of those scenes in a creepy movie where you know you’ve stumbled into the realm of madness because someone lit 574 candles.
Like whether you’re a kid who reads comic books on the stoop in the summer. I hate going back to revisit these memories, because they’re few, and that makes you wonder whether your child will remember fleeting details instead of the great breadth of the life you share. Whether all the memories are still stored in the brain, sparks in the sponge, kept from view because evolution decided you didn’t need them. It’s infuriating. I can draw the layout of the lobby of almost every hotel I’ve ever stayed in, but can’t tell you what I did in the summer of my 16th year besides watch “The Price is Right” and wear raw eggs on my scalp to prevent hair loss.
My mother’s hairdresser said it would work. I remember that.
Shot some video on University Avenue about University Avenue for Saturday’s University Avenue piece. Had Shari for a shooter, so it was fun. I hesitate to see how the first part turns out, because it was the first take, and it was the only take, and it was 3 minutes long. At the end of it I thought: can’t do that again. Put it in the can and let’s move on. Really, I could have done it better, perhaps, but it would have taken five takes starting and stopping and allowing for bus noise and yahoos leaning out of the car and shouting at us, and even then something wouldn’t have been right. There was no script; just yammering away and trusting I’ll dig myself out of whatever verbal hole into which I just leaped.
Speaking of video: here’s today’s botheration. The Giant Swede alerted me to this; we were talking about daughters and the men they would someday meet, and what we hoped they would look for. Not this guy.
You’ll see why.
The question is why SelectComfort decided to make men hate their brand. And most men will, if they see this. Is it because the woman is Strong and In Control and has a Noble Dog standing attentive devotion? Of course not. You have to live in a very small dark-walled bubble with limited circulation to believe that.
It’s the guy in pink satin pajamas frolicking with kitties.
It is inconceivable the two would be reversed; that’s a given. It is frowned upon to suggest that a reversal of the roles might approximate reality more than the scenario in the ad, so no one suggests it. You would find yourself brought up on the internet somewhere as someone who thinks women don’t read the Wall Street Journal but prefer to wear pink and play with kittens. You would also be someone who doesn’t get the humor! of the ad and is overthinking things, but I have to ask: since the ad is aimed at wome - it explicitly says “he’s the softy, you’re the rock” - is this something women find appealing?
Guys in pink PJs with kitties?
It’s like they assume that a base level of amused contempt is built right into modern relationships.
we heard the dog wail in pain and distress; turned around to see him roll over in the grass. I picked him up and his legs were boneless. Check the mouth; nothing there. He was favoring a leg now. He had bit himself so hard it hurt, a lot. Well, now you know.
As noted, he is mouthy and bitty, and regards attempts to discipline him for this as a Game. Today I’d had enough, and rubbed Cholula hot sauce all over my hands, and waited for him to bite. This had the desired effect. Earlier I had put some on the flowers he was intent on destroying, and his reaction was shock and horror, running to the corner of the flowerbed and barking at the evil, vile plants that had suddenly developed a defense.
He is house-trained, after a week. Housebroken? That word suddenly looks odd. As if his spirit had somehow been crushed, when that’s not the case. We took a nap today because I was exhausted - long night, early morn, running around St. Paul for the aforementioned video - and trusted him to sleep without A) peeing, or B) waking early and chewing the bedposts. Most notable moment: you know those loooong dog stretches, where they extend themselves to twice their length? He did that and I know he did it because I was sleeping, and became aware of ten pin-sharp claws raking my leg.
After which I went back to sleep. Like I said, exhausted.
As was he.
This sounds like fun.
As usual, the re-Cap, where our grinning hero sums up the last - HEY, what's this?
Matson is so important he gets his own card now? Who among us even remembered he was called Matson?
It’s easy to save someone if you add 45 seconds of footage, which is what they always do. Cap gets Gale out and they leave the barn and kaboom. At this point I can’t remember if she knows his secret identity. Probably. I mean, he’s her boss. She’d note the same cologne.
Well, the plot having reached a complete dead end, it’s time to introduce another story. Gale, if you will:
Dr. Clinton Lyman invented the thing, and as it happens, he’s the brother of one of the victims of the Purple Death. Remember the Purple Death? That was the first thing the Scarab unleashed on the members of the Mayan Explorers Club. As it happens, all the surviving members fo the MEC will be present at the demonstration - because if someone was picking off all the members of your group, you’d want to get together in a specific location and have the newspaper announce it in 72 pt type under a headline about immortality, which everyone in town would read, and want to see proven, thereby leading to a crowd outside the building, riots, mob action, and the like.
The police chief actually says “looks like they’re asking for the Scarab to wipe them out,” so at least someone has his head screwed on. Captain DA asks Dr. Lyman to call off the demonstration, but Dr. Lyman says that’s impossible.
Back at the Scarab’s HQ, we learn that Malorodoro the Scarab, the nation’s most inefficatious supervillain, says he intends to be at the meeting, since he’s a member of the MEC, and he intends to possess the secret to eternal life, if it works. Which means: He won’t use his position in the group to volunteer for human trials, but will exert force and trickery, starting by hijacking the Humane Society truck delivering the dead dog.
So all that stuff about the blow-dart gun - ahh, never mind.
When it comes to framing a shot about the resuscitation of a dead dog, this director knows his stuff:
The process, in case you’re curious, works along the diothermic properties of inducing fevers with high temperatures, which brings back things to life. Rose bushes, dogs, doesn’t matter. The dog comes back to life but runs out the window; District America runs after it at the exact moment the Scarab’s men come in. When he returns: gun fight!
And the District Attorney kills another man. I think he’s up to ten in the last week and a half. Having checked that box, it’s tine for a car chase. Oh, that’s so boring; any way to liven that up?
Okay, grenades, that’s pretty good, but I’m wishing something else would -
Okay, that’s substantial. So far, we have one skyscraper destroyed, one oil facility, one barn, and one bridge.
So . . . Maldor has the eternal life machine. But he learns that Captain District frisked the body of the guy he shot and found a "watchman's key." This is trouble:
Everything always points back to Maldor, doesn’t it? This is a supervillain who was worried he'd be tied to a crime because of the grandson of a blow-dart gun indentification expert.
Well, he has a plan: pack dynamite into the shed the District Attorney will visit to see if the key fits. To the crooks’ surprise, Captain America shows up. Earlier Gale had showed up, and the crooks said “The girl! She’s the one who works with Captain America!” And the District Attorney. Who is the same size as Captain America. Who always appears in alternating battles. ERGO.
Cap shows up, they get the drop on him, and it’s a murky fistfight. But Cap uses his secret weapon:
Gravity. Alas, Gale is in the shed that sites over the box of dynamite, and . . .
Oh no. She is dead. Whatever will Captain do to wash away the shame.
Don't forget the Motel Postcards, back for its annual run. Click on the menu up to the right, and revel in the return of a summer tradition.
Why is it a summer tradition? Perhaps that's a subject for tomorrow. See you around.