Sorry: I like Daylight Savings Time. I understand the arguments against it, and people I respect rail against it, but they are usually in California. I'd be in favor of fixing the time and never messing with the clocks again if summer nights were allowed to continue past 9 PM, but the idea that we should make the sun go down at 8:30 on the longest day of the year is an evil notion. There's something definitive about changing the time in the Fall - it's the closing of a cell door, the clang of the lock. The darkness at 5 is apt for winter, and you feel the world as the small, dark, cold place it is when the bitter months rule. But when the clocks fall back, it's liberation. When the sky says bright long after the workday is finished (I speak for my wife here; my workday sprawls all over the day) there's a generous spirit to the world, and we walk to the equinox with gladness! And song! Strewing petals as we dance along, the pipes playing their mad song of Bacchus!
Okay, not that much.
I do hate going to bed on Saturday night and setting everything ahead, because you thing augh, I can't believe I stayed up this late. You know you didn't, but that's what the clock says, and the Clock is The Truth.
Went to Home Depot with the Giant Swede on Saturday; I needed some bracket-things to hold up a shelf, and some Velcro; he needed big metal ducts for his new oven vent. He's the sort of guy who installs his own oven vent and runs the ductwork through the attic, although Bog knows how he fits up there. I had some light bulbs to return, but Home Depot said I didn't get them there. How did they know? They beeped the barcode and the SKU didn't come up. The SKU would pop up like a gopher bolting from his hole if it was in The System, but it seems I got them elsewhere. Probably so. Menards. Well, let's go to Menards, then. Do you mind? Heck no; it's close; it's Saturday. World, oyster, etc. Besides, Menards was the only place on the planet he ever found Dr. Pepper Twizzlers, and they might have them again.
Think on that: Twizzlers. Or at least some variant, with "Twists" on the package, even though the twisted form of the sugar-sticks is irrelevant. The twisted form indicates you can expect a Twizzler-like experience, which ranges from soft and fresh to hard-as-nylon rope, but you know what you're in for. Twizzlers are known primarily for their Red flavor, I believe, something that popularized the idiotic concept of "Red Licorice." There is no such thing and cannot be such a thing. It turned "licorice" into a form, not a flavor, and this was wrong. You might say that Twizzler-type confections in the flavor of Dr. Pepper is a whole new level of Wrong, but have you tried them? I have. They're horrible. So yes, it's wrong, but he likes them.
They didn't have any. Acres of Easter candy, because the time of the Pastel Eggs symbolizing the appearance of men in bunny costumes in malls is upon us. I went to the returns desk to see about exchanging the bulbs.
Got G4s, needed G8s, I said, as if they care. Did I have the receipt? No. Not a problem - swipe your card in that machine over there, type in the SKU, and up she'll come.
She didn't. According to the machine, I hadn't used my card in the store for six months. Which was wrong. But there was simply no recourse: having swiped, my records did not Pop Right Up.
"Did you change your card?" the clerk asked, because she had to. For some this might be helpful information. Oh heck that's right, I canceled that old card and got this new one last week. No, I hadn't.
"All I can do is give you store credit," she said. I said that was fine, of course it was fine. I would go spend it right away. "But I can only do it for the current price."
"Those are never on sale," I said. "Ever." Halogen and Xenon bulbs aren't often considered loss-leaders.
So I got my store credit, and we went to the bracket-knob-shelf row, which meant going up the stairs to the second level, where a very broad man sat at a black piano playing "It Had to Be You." I didn't know whether to think of Warner Bros. cartoons or Diane Keaton. They had two sizes of brackets, one that was 5 mm and one that wasn't. Since I hadn't brought one for comparison, and believed there would be a standard for these things, I could only buy both. One of them would be right, and when I got home and saw which one fit the hole I would hum it had to be you.
Back to my place, coffee and cigars in the gazebo. March 12, Sixty-plus degrees. Marvelous. The whole weekend was marvelous. Friday - ah, Friday. All the old traditions sundered. Wife was going to a school play with three friends and their kids, old school chums from Daughter's grade- and middle-school, but Daughter had plans to meet friends at the lake for a cookout. No Friday pizza. Wife had asked if I'd get some things to eat, and I'd gone to Traders Joe and stocked up on that stuff women like. Little things with kale and stuff that looks French. I laid out the dishes, got out the wine, cooked all the appetizers and had everything ready when everyone came over. My wife works harder than anyone in the world, and it is my role to lessen the burden. I always want her to come home and see it as a relief, not another job.
I'm not perfect but I'm not stupid.
Daughter talked with her old friends, then I drove her to the new ones. They were cavoting in the twilight with glowsticks by the barbeque pit; she said BYE and got out and ran across the street and a friend gave her a big hug, and she was off on her night, gone in the shadows in a matter of seconds.
I drove home to the empty house - the women had decamped for the play - and cleaned the dishes and wiped the table. Made a cup of coffee, fired up a cigar, and sat outside with the dog, watching the planes come overhead. Just the two of us. Then the phone rang and it was time to do an podcast for 40 minutes about Trump.
Before the phone rang I was content for a while because I didn't care, but that doesn't last. You have to care. That's the best part and the worst, and vice versa.
And now, Odds and Ends, the strange, amorphous above-the-fold feature, presents . . .
I bought these in a flea market in a New York parking garage. I've no idea what their purpose was intented to be. Information and education, I guess. They had no value and couldn't be used for postage.
In the coming days you'll get to choose the CD job you'd like. There will be eight.
That never happened, but it was reasonable to prepare.
And now let's see what's going on down in Pine Ridge.
Comedy gold, this:
As I noticed over the last two weeks, the movies made a peculiar decision to A) misunderstand the appeal of the radio show on which it was based, and then B) create characters that had the same name as key characters on the show, but give them entirely different personalties. Why? I've no idea. Well, let's see what we have here.
It starts in the last place where you'd think:
They're big city types who are looking for something, and find it: PIne Ridge! They send off a letter, and we don't know what it's about. Then we're back to the town and meet one of the beloved rustics. It's Ulysses the mailman!
Just like the radio show, right? I mean, if there was a Ulysses in the popular radio show and a Ulysses in the movie, they'd be the same character, right? OF COURSE NOT. Because this is a Lum & Abner movie, and I now believe they take place in a parallel universe. Ulysses was a character who had two distinctive attributes: he was always trying to find someone to paint his barn, and 99% of his utterances consisted of the word "Okay." Said in the same tone. Never varied. A mild comic presence, used sparingly, and removed before he wore out his welcome.
So naturally here he's a garrulous postman.
He delivers the letter from the City Slickers, which says Abner has inherited a railroad. This leads to a plot that would fit on the radio; Lum declares himself president, they get big ideas, and sell stock. That would take up three to four weeks on the air; it's about four minutes here. (Squire Skimp, who would usually insinuate himself into the deal and figure out a way to take it over, appears briefly to buy some stock. And that's it.) And then they're off on the train to Chicago.
C'mon, give me a hard one:
But it's a brief stop, and then they're back on a sound stage:
As it turns out, the railroad is worthless, and they end up losing money on the deal. So far this is completely consistent with the show, and they even through in two catch phrases. (If you're curious, they're both Lum's: Wore to a Frazzle. Wore to a fraz-zle and Well if that don't beat the bugs a'fightin'.) Then Abner falls down the stairs, and through a series of misunderstanding is diagnosed with the movie's title.
This sets up a series of short plots, where Abner does dangerous things to make money so they can go back to Pine Ridge. He takes a job a flagpole painter doesn't want:
Irving Bacon. Movie credits: 541 roles.
So there's a pole-painting gag sequence; a bit with a gorilla; Abner as an aerial daredevil. Not one of these things resembles anything the show ever did. It's like a Beverly Hillbillies movie where Jed runs a restaurant and Granny is an astronaut.
In other words: the movie that finally gets the spirit of the show right spends all of its time outside of the very milieu the listeners expected. This, right here, is the antithesis of the world these two had created:
It's a rocket to Mars. I wrote that line about Granny before I saw that scene.
And that's our Monday. Next? Something tells me it's "Tuesday."