Today: no dog. But, as promised, a Light Moment. ™
Sunday I figured I wouldn’t hear anything. I don’t know why; just my feeling. Of course, I heard something. I’d gone downtown to do some office stuff, and the phone rang.
The guy says he saw my dog many blocks from target location, and it was chained up in someone’s yard, and he had called animal control. Then he saw the posters and said “that’s the dog” and called me. He was Indian, very sincere, God Bless. So.
Animal control isn’t open on Sundays. But they do scan chips and put up pictures. Nothing on their site - but he said animal control had just been there. So I go to the address - tiny yard, no fence. A dump. I go to the house next door, where a family is sitting around a card table, the yard filled with 4,302 parts of a disassembled engine. There are four cars in the back, two with hoods open, two with flat tires and tags from long ago. I apologize for the interruption, show them the pictures of Scout, ask if there was a dog next door: they are unclear. Oh yes animal control did come by, and take a yellow lab.
A yellow lab.
Oh and a black dog.
When was that?
It was before.
Yes yes, well, everything that has already happened is technically before, but okay.
Called Scout’s case worker; she laughed. Animal Control doesn’t just come and take animals out of front yards - unless there was evidence of abuse. but this guy had made a complaint. Why would he lie?
That’s the thing you find hard to believe: why would someone do something like that?
Called Animal Control on Monday; they had no record of a call.
Prank. Crank. An ache-yanker.
Now, our previously scheduled Light Moment.
Conversation had with Daughter’s friend in kitchen at midnight:
Daughter: we went to this cool little English town where (two celebrities I can’t remember) live, and Kiera Knightly.
Me: And the director of the Mission: Impossible movies.
Friend: The one with the doves?
Me: Doves? There were doves?
Friend: Tom Cruise and all these doves.
Me: That’s because it was directed by a Lutheran.
Friend: Of course. Doves, Lutherans,
Me: No really, he was a Hong Kong action director, did “The Killer,” which had all these doves. John . . . dang, I can't - John Yoo? That’s not right.
Friend: Who’s John Yoo?
Me: Friend of mine. He - he wrote some memos for President Bush. You were two years old. Woo! John Woo. He directed the Mission Impossible movie with the doves.
Friend: and he lives in England?
Me: no, that’s Paul Greenglass. Greengrass. I never get it right. Speaking of Lutherans, what’s your uncle doing?
Friend: he has a new series he does all himself with puppets explaining the Bible.
Daughter: (sings song about hairbrush)
Daughter: We are the pirates who don’t do anything
Second friend: I never knew at the time the Veggie Tales were Christian.
Me: (to first friend) What is your shirt say? Ohhhh. (It has a picture of Nagen from The Walking Dead, with a logo The Nagen Sluggers) That’s hilarious. But I hate that guy.
Friend: My mom doesn't like this shirt.
Me: what's his bat called? (They don't know.) Lucille. And what’s that a reference to?
Daughter: (Rolls eyes)
Me: Chuck Berry’s guitar.
Friend: Who’s Chuck Berry?
Me: (squeak of despair) Ever see “Back to the Future?”
Friend shakes head
Me: (thinking internally: all is lost)
You know the name she does remember? MARVIN BERRY. We have so much work to do.
Items recently noted at my favorite art museum - er, antique store.
Accept no substitutes. It's the original Bimbo.
Mint condition; I assume it works, like most of the coin-op machines at Hunt & Gather. It'll sit around for a year and then one day it'll be gone.
Oh, the circus. Such wholesome fun that isn't strange in the least bit.
Bonus: Bimbo sings!
Look at that sauce. Look at it. It is a frozen gout of bloody shellac.
Mushrooms now, you say? Wow! They’re not just any mushrooms, though - these are the slimy things that put kids off mushrooms for the rest of their lives.
I’ll give them this: the pairing of Italian-style sauce and Spaghetti is really quite a bold innovation.
Now, some car stuff. Behold the 56 Merc:
It’s the Montclair model. Here’s Ed selling it in his inimitably style. More safety features - the steering column is 17% less likely to spear you in the heart!
Ford historians are at a loss as to where the name originated; the consensus is that it's taken from the upper class community of Montclair, New Jersey. For 1955 and 1956, Montclairs featured Mercury's best appointments, extra chrome trim, and different two-tone paint combinations to set them apart from other Mercury products. 1956 was the year that Ford introduced its Lifeguard safety program, and the Mercury Montclair came standard with a deep-dish steering wheel to help protect the driver from the steering column, safety door locks, a breakaway rear view mirror, and optional seat belts and padded dashboards.
You’d think they would avoid the whole pole-through-the-sternum implication, but here it is. New! Improved! Just crushes your ribs!
Man, these things were dangerous:
Safety-Beam is a term you know only if you spent time looking at the headlights of your car, which few people ever do - until it does out.
“What do you like about your new rear-view mirror?”
“Well, the glass seems less likely to shatter and send shards into my eyeballs.”
Yeah, we know, we know. You won’t use ‘em until it’s the law. We know.
"For more safety in passing" - but heck with that. It's got pick-up, that's what counts.
In other words, it’s all about the car’s safety, and not much about the styling or joy it gives you. This was the Lifeguard safety package.
In 1956, Ford tried unsuccessfully to interest Americans in purchasing safer cars with their Lifeguard safety package.
Initially, the package sold. In fact, there was so much demand for seat belts that Ford couldn't keep up and delivered cars without them for five months.
But ultimately, sales fizzled out. Ford's safety campaign lasted only until midyear and was canceled. A critical industry adopted a new credo based on Ford's experience: 'Safety Doesn't Sell.'
By the numbers: In 1955, Chevrolet outsold Ford by 67,000 cars. In 1956, Chevrolet outsold Ford by 190,000 cars.
Ahead of its time.
That'll do; see you around. Sorry, no update. Late. Beat.