Last night Daughter came downstairs and said “My ear really, really hurts. I think I have an ear infection.”

“What are you, six?” I said.

“I know! It’s ridiculous!”

She tried to sleep, but it’s hard when your skull has been lanced by a knitting needle, and you can’t quite find the right position. Today I said I would take her to Target - they have a walk-in clinic for dealing with these things - but she said she hda brunch first.

Priorities. Also, it didn’t hurt that bad anymore.

"Your head is leaking," I said, because it was.

"I’ll be fine."

After brunch we went to Target. This time she typed in all of her information on the sign-up screen. This time she answered the questionaire. This time she scrolled all the way through the legalese without reading. Really, we’ve trained an entire generation to automatically consent to any legal agreement longer than two sentences. What, it’s 5,000 words? Probably just boilerplate. Scroll to the bottom until the ACCEPT button isn’t grayed out . . . and click!

I say “Trained” because they watched their parents.

For all I know she agreed to be conscripted into Target’s Army, should they declare war against Wal-Mart and invade. What stirring ballads would come from that conflict? Well we lowered our prices but the Wallies kept a-comin’ / there weren’t as many as there were the time before / We lowered some more and they commenced to dunnin' / all the people who had charged some items at their store

I was trying to think of something for the Ballad of the Green Berets, but got stuck on the first lines. Fighting soldiers from the sky / Fearless men who jump and die

Surely there was more to it than that, or recruitment would be difficult. Why couldn't it be Special soldiers who take flight / fearless men who jump and fight? The original sounds heroic, but it also sounds like they missed the day where they taught them to pack their chutes.

I just had a memory of playing that song on the piano for the Aunts and Uncles; they were happy that a member of the Younger Generation, increasingly given to rioting and spitting on flags, had learned a patriotic song. There was a murmur of appreciation as I banged out the opening chords, and then an immediate, palpable sense of disappointment when I picked out the rest of it with one finger. Still, it was better than those Beatles. All that yeah, yeah, yeah. In our day we had real lyrics. Like Mairsydoats and hut-sut ralston.

Anyway. We had time until the nurse practioner finished practicing on the mother and child who preceded us - the boy had been waving his arms around in a madcap fashion when we entered the clinic, and whapped me right in the groinal area, so I hoped he got a shot. We went to the book aisle (kidding about the shot, of course) and Daughter showed her true stripes as a Real Writer; she critiqued every YA series on the shelf and found them wanting.

"I like going to Goodreads and reading all the one star reviews," she said.

"It is not enough for you to succeed," I said, quoting the Writer's Creed.

"Others must fail."

"That's my girl."

(We're kidding, of course. )

(<newtvoice> Mostly. </newtvoice>)

Then it was time for her appointent, and came out with a prescription for axomoxycxymicillin. It was a fun outing, really. You like feeling useful and needed. Even if you're just driving and handing over plastic cards.



Some stuff from the Detritus folder: at the orthodontist's the other day, I saw a framed story from the local suburban newspaper.

Editor: so many years have they been around?

Writer: Fifty, in a few months.

Editor: Well, they're not there yet.

Writer: so, Fifty year anniversary looms for Orthodonics? Half a Century straightening teeth?

Editor: hasn't happened yet.

Writer: how about we hold the piece, then? Run it next quarter, when it will be fifty years?

Editor: (silence)

Writer: well?

Editor: I've got it.


At Target today, I saw some "Uber wipes," and shuddered a little. Not s bad as Taxi Wipes would be, but still. Then I looked below.

Get it?


Huh? Huh? GET IT? If I buy that my 5 PM car ride will cost less!


There's one massive project downtown I haven't said anything about, because it's been so dull and depressing. Months of mud. No progress anyone can see. The streets had been returned to their original unpaved condition; business withered.

Now it's starting to look like something.


The original design had curves; the street undulated as it headed towards the river. It was the most influential and successful of the pedestrian-mall concept, and because it worked so well many cities emulated it. Most failed. Fargo, for example. They put up a pedestrian mall in 1975. The result? NDSU:

By 1986, it was apparent the Red River Mall had not saved downtown's retail sector. Most Broadway business owners wanted the mall's twisty street and planters removed. In its place they wanted the return of 55 parking spaces.

Downtown isn't perfect, but it's getting better. The Nicollet Mall redesign won't save downtown, but it's one of the pieces that will make it more pleasent. The old stones and hues and lamps were tired. This should be quite cool.


Do you see them? The first iron sprouts of the last part of the complex.




As noted, I'm going through the entire Gildersleeve series this year - and there's a lot. Season 5 is underway. Peak of the show's popularity and creativity.



Music to pace back and forth and be worried.



A newspaperman is pitching woo at Gildy's girl. Some city music, the tragic clown, ending in lounge piano.




And as long as we're using classical music to help write the week's cues . . .





There's that song again!




AD: 1944. Let's meet Mr. Shopper.



Or for taking Mushrooms:

Who? Why, " an American pianist, arranger, composer, and conductor who worked in music and television from the 1930s to the 1970s, pioneering mood music and becoming known as 'the Father of Mood Music'. 


It sounds so continental when scored like this. And you may rake your brain trying to figure out what the devil it is.


Now it gets fun.

Weston and (wife Jo) Stafford developed a comedy routine in which they assumed the guise of a bad lounge act named Jonathan and Darlene Edwards.

The routine was conceived in the 1950s, and involved Weston playing songs on the piano in unconventional rhythms, while Stafford sang off-key in a high pitched voice. Weston began his impression of an unskilled pianist in or around 1955, assuming the guise "when things got a little quiet, or when people began taking themselves too seriously at a Hollywood party.

The couple continued to release comedy albums for several years, and in 1979 released a cover of the Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" as a single, with an Edwards interpretation of Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" as its "B" side.


What an odd thing to do.

That'll do - thanks for stopping by this week!


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