Made a spectacle of myself tonight and it was completely and utterly worth it. I was at Traders Joe (for newcomers: that is what my French brother-in-law called it for a while) and I approached the sample counter. The little sign said EDAMAME CRACKERS AND UNEXPECTED CHEDDAR.

The sample bestower saw me and said "Would you like some -"

"WOAH I DID NOT EXPECT CHEDDAR!" I said, except I was about ten feet away and I said it really, really loudly. Surprised myself, actually. "DON'T DO THAT."

People looked. Usually in these parts we have a fear of doing anything that ends with "people looked" but I was in a mood.

I don't care any more. My bathroom is a disaster zone and the closet is -



Did I mention that a storm ripped off the gazebo roof, and a light fixture under the cabinet shorted out and must be replaced?

No? Well, that's just part of the fun of the Great Enfixenating going on here; this week should see two more walls opened up to connect pipes to conform to the All Holy Code. But we were talking about the wire wall shelves and clothes rack that fell down. I had selected a replacement, and drawn up a little diagram with the dimensions. Went to Home Depot. Found the main track unit from which the vertical standards would hang. I needed 62". It was 80". A guy in an orange vest asked if he could help, and I said I needed it cut. He waved me to the next aisle, and then I engaged him a conversation about where to cut it so it had the right number of screw holes.

"I have no idea," he said. "I don't know anything about this. You'd better ask someone in flooring."

Ah. Thank you. I found someone in flooring - the very woman who had helped me the previous day! I said I'm back, and I need your expert help.

"I'm no expert," she demurred. Well, you certainly gave me a convincing impression of one yesterday. She referred me to someone else in flooring, and we spent AN HOUR drawing and measuring and considering what should be done. In the end I had all the parts, but I still needed that one piece cut.

Stood in line at the cutting department, and watched a guy thread the end of three pipes. Fascinating, really - the pipe goes in, it's held in place, it wobbles as it revolves to cut the spiral groove, and oil is dumped all over the shaving area. Fascinating to watch a craftsman at his trade. Then he took a hacksaw and cut the main track unit and I was good to go.

Something was bothering me, though. I didn't know why. Something about this wasn't right. It would take an hour to figure out what it was: there was no way to attach the top shelf without two more verticals and two braces. Which the kind lady who helped me hadn't realized either. So I had to go back to Home Depot for the FOURTH. FARGIN'. TIME to get another part. But first I could drill.

I hate to drill.

Drilling one hole? That's okay. Drilling two or three? Lining them up? I have a level, but I always know it's going to be half-arsed when it's done. But drill we must for a better tomorrow, and I leaned into the wall, realizing that either these bits are dull - I've had them a while but it's not like I've been drilling holes into concrete weekly for 17 years. I smelled wood and realized I'd hit, well, wood. This was good: provided a solid anchor. Drilled everything and put in the screws just enough to hold it, and attached all the standards and shelves. Called in Wife to behold it.

You expect the hands clasped at the bosom and MY HERO! to be spoken completely with fluttering eyelashes, but she gave it a critical eye. "There's not as much hanging space." That is true. I fetched the old pole and discovered that there was two inches less space. But she could live with that.

Tomorrow I will drill more holes and put everything firmly in place. It looks great and it appears much more solid than what was there before.

I give it two, three years before it all falls down again.


Heart's International was a liberal magazine, and presented an long parade self-satisfied stories catering to contemporary pieties. Here are some ugly rich society people, interrogating their dinner guest.

T.S. cried commandingly. You there, Mr. Carpenter! Eat your dinner!

The rest of the illustration on the previous page:

Seriously, that is the most "I am so done with these people" Jesus I have ever seen, possibly because it's not a familiar expression.





Solium? Radium seem more like it:



It sounds like technobabble, but it's literally true: "The brand was created by Robert S Hudson and originally branded Hudson's Soap, which was sold to Lever Brothers of Port Sunlight, England, in 1908." The Solium name probably came from this: "The product's claim to better rinsing was due to its incorporation of sodium silicate as a builder rather than, or in addition to, the more commonly used sodium carbonate."

There was one other attribute the wikipedia page doesn't mention.





Let's jump ahead twenty-plus years to a more . . . forthright school of advertsing.

It's still made. I remember when it came out; it was the NEW TOOTHPASTE all the young people had to have, because it tasted different. Also, SEX.

The kickiest taste.

Now, a James Bond-style campaign for . . . Vaseline Hair Tonic. If there's anything that sounds goopier, I can't imagine.


We're going to find out.

It all started at the beach, when an impressionable young lady gets it into her head that fame awaits, and can be secured as easy as an ice-cream cone.



Note the look of concern, perhpas because the art director loaded up the table with cliches - the Rich Texan, the Alluring Woman of Mystery, the sunglassed Csontinental.

The action starts to pick up:



Why - this game isn't on the level.




In most casinos, manhandling the dealer would make big thick men appear and hustle you to the back room. But here:



She hit on 16? That's the kind of woman she is, I guess. Reckless but not too reckless. The dealer's probably thinking that this isn't going oto turn out well at all, and he's probably 3 minutes from being out of a job, and the casino will be shut down, and the boys who run it aren't going to be happy he got careless.



You are rewarded, Vaseline man, with permission to touch her neck! She is so grateful.





And that's it, except for two sci-fi covers. See you around!


blog comments powered by Disqus