Gorgeous weekend - heavy rain then hot. This meant outdoor chores, so I cleaned out the shed - only to remember that I had cleaned it out in the spring, and it only needed rearranging. Drove around a bit to look at the beauty - the shot above, computationally altered by your host, is the end of the block down the hill by the creek. Birch almost made it this far yesterday; the smell of the creek must be quite alluring. But there are the Monsters, i.e. the cars, and he's still a bit shy.

That white patch is not snow. Yet.


These are cyclists that I hate, hate! These are cyclists that I hate, hate! They were on the street, on a bike! *

Number one: At this intersection. I am in the right-hand lane, stopped at the light, intending to proceed forward. I am not impeding the ability of the car behind me to turn right on red, since it’s forbidden at this intersection. A cyclist comes up between my car and the one in the left-hand lane, and pulls forward, angling his wheel in front of the left side of my car.

He has done this so he can turn right on red, which he is permitted to do because he is a cyclist, has a trimmed beard, black glasses, and tattoos.

Unfortunately he cannot turn, because of traffic. Since I am intending on proceeding straight, as per my lack of turn signals, and I really don’t know what the hell this guy is going to do, I pull over to the right and edge ahead of him, so I will not hit him when I go forward after the light changes.

He proceeds to go around me when the traffic thins, cutting from the middle of the street in front of me, and then gives me expressions and gestures, because in the Biker Code I was in the wrong. How was I in the wrong? I was not accommodating whatever the hell the cyclist wanted to do.

Two: The cyclist is on the parkway, which is right next to a dedicated bike path that leads through the woods along the creek. It does not permit one to go really fast, though, so he takes to the streets, as is his right. He is slower than vehicular traffic, but does not pull over when there’s room for others to pass. Eventually he pulls over a few inches so I can pass him. This earns much mouth-moving I assume is a series of muttered curses.

There is a stop sign, and I do something very evil. I stop. Now, no Serious Cyclists ever stop at this intersection:


They just blow through it, all the time. The evil thing that I do is stop, with my car positioned to the right just enough so the cyclist, pulling up behind me, cannot shoot through on my right. He makes mouth-movements again, and heads over to pass on my left. Whereupon I proceed through the intersection. Innocent as a lamb.

At the next intersection he pauses for a moment, then runs the red light.

Three: I’m driving up the parkway. Down the parkway? Either, I suppose, but I was heading west and north, so that’s up. A guy on a bike is riding the opposite direction. There’s not a lot of room. It’s right here:



I see him when the car in front of me pulls over to avoid hitting him; I slam on my brakes, the dog goes flying. And yes I honk, because what the hell are you doing? There’s no doubt about this being a one-way, and there’s a bike lane right over there. RIGHT OVER THERE.

The shaggy SOB flips me off and continues biking the wrong way down the parkway. Instead of up.




When I started doing this a few years ago, there seemed to be more pumpkinification. Perhaps it's all become white noise (or orange) by now, or perhaps there's less. Whatever the situation, you can always count on Little Debbiecakes to come through, and overplay her hand with the most banal examples imaginable.

Non-sectarian cakes:


No one has a Fall Party. Rather, no kid wants to have one.





The decline of any franchise can be fixed to the point when they go comic supernatural.


And the decline of any horror franchise can be fixed to the point when they go comic.

The poster shows a rather svelte Gildy:



Description on imdb:

Gildersleeve, running for office, is aided by two ghosts and hindered by a mad scientist and an invisible woman.

Oh, brother. No. But that’s not all:

Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve (of radio fame) is running for police commissioner against incumbent Haley. The ghosts (!) of his ancestors Randolph and Jonathan decide to help him get elected, but succeed only in getting him mixed up with mad scientist John Wells, an escaped gorilla, and an intermittently invisible showgirl…

OH BROTHER. The decline of any comic movie franchise, when it goes gorilla, is truly irreversible.

We start with some comic tombstones, ha ha:


Shore, law, close enough.

And then dead previous Gildersleeve rises from the grave.



And another.



As I’ve noted before in the previous Gildy movies and Lum & Abner outings, the movies ignored what made the radio shows work. There was never anything about Gildy that suggested it would profit from ghosts, gorillas, mad scientists, and so on.

The Mad scientist:



He tries his invisibility potion on a gorilla 5:43 into the movie, while the Gildersleeve ghosts watch. I suppose it might be Halloween fare, a Special Gildy! outing, but it was released in June.

Of course, in residential neighborhoods, this happens all the time:



At night. Peak campaign parade time.

Well, Gildy goes home, and Leeeeeroy, his nephew, is dressed like a gorilla as a campaign stunt. Of course the actual gorilla gets into the house, and comic misunderstandings - painful, slapsticky hijinx - ensue.

Because that’s what made the gentle character-based radio sitcom work. Gorillas in the kitchen.

Here’s how insane it gets.




The voice of the first guy would be immediately familiar to any fans of the show. Well:


That was the actor who played Hooker on the radio show. This was the only Gildy movie he did. So they swapped in other Hookers for no discernible reason, and when they finally used the real one, they didn’t use him much in the plot and kept his distinctive voice out of the story.

It’s like making a movie of Star Trek and Bones has one line in the 4th movie, and was played by three different actors in the previous movies.

So everyone ends up at the mad scientist’s mansion during a storm, of course - but at least the Police Commish remembers that he left the Black People out in the car.



This is a gross betrayal of the show, which never, ever resorted to minstrelry; Birdy was always the sensible, grounded, practical member of the household, and indeed you can read the whole show as a reconstruction of the nuclear family in its most untraditional sense: interracial parents, adopted children.

Oh it gets better:



I-za hee-za what-za I-za scared The police commish deputizes the pop-eyed Black Coward, thinking he will be immunized against his fears by a talisman.

That’s Horace Winfred Stewart, credited as Nick Stewart. Born 1910, died 2000. A long, full career - and he’s probably heard to this day:

He lent his voice talent once again to Disney for the Splash Mountain attraction at Disneyland. He supplied the voice of Bre'r Bear for the ride as he did for the animated film "Song of the South”

Had a chance for a big role on Amos ’n’ Andy:

He was originally offered the role of Calhoun the lawyer, which he turned down. (After his refusal, it went to Johnny Lee, who had the role on radio since 1949.)[ Soon Gosden and Correll were back on the telephone, this time offering Stewart the role of Lightnin' on the television show.[ Nick Stewart accepted the role with one idea in mind: to make enough money to be able to open his own theater where African Americans would not be typecast as maids and porters.

He actually has more comic skill and verve than anyone else in the picture, even if it’s all demeaning. And emasculating.



The end of the movie series. There wasn’t anything that had anything to do with anything.

Oh, those ghosts at the beginning? They never show up again.

Unredeemable 40s drivel.


That'll do; see you around!


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