So far, so good; only had pizza three days in a row.

This isn’t because I can’t cook, but because I like pizza, and keep finding myself in pizza-type situations. Friday night, of course it was pizza, since that is the order of things. Since I am not an utter glutton I had some left over, and it made for lunch the next day. Sunday, football at the Giant Swede’s; pizza is part of the routine, along with shots. Usually I don’t do shots, because I have a horror of feeling tipsy in the afternoon. Then you’re tired. Then the day is a smear and nothing is accomplished. But if the game goes into overtime, yes. Steady the nerves.

Camel ads used to note that they steadied the nerves, possibly because people were jittery from not smoking a Camel. No one ever offered a Camel to a nervous non-smoker, though. No one who was feeling as if their nerves were unsteady thought “I bet a cigarette will take care of this.”

There will be no more pizza for a while. Just a series of small bachelor meals. Probably take the dog to drive-through, which will be a whole new world for him: you can do this? Just go somewhere and food comes out of a window? To this day he is excited to take a car ride, even though 9 out of 10 end up right back at the house. I always think of that scene in the Marathon Man where Dustin Hoffman is sprung from captivity, driven away, then driven right back to where he was held. It was all a ruse!

I wonder if he still associates the car with the frequent trips to pick up Daughter at work. I wonder if he remembers her. He goes into her room and takes her wolf-printed pillow off the bed and gnaws at it from time to time. He sleeps on the bed now and then as well. It’s the only bed he goes to.

So far I have made no progress on any big arrangement or cleaning-out plans. Moved some boxes to the basement: whoo-hoo. On Saturday - day two - I forced myself to go out. Got a haircut, and had an interesting chat with the stylist. They have to be licensed, and it costs $30K to go to school. There are 2900 licensed cosmetologists in the state, 900 are in instruction (!) And 1000 aren’t practicing. That leaves 1,000, which is inadequate for the needs of the state, particularly in the Metro. There aren’t enough stylists going to school to fill the bill. So, I said, maybe they shouldn’t have to be licensed? That restricts the supply, which makes the cost of education go up. Not to demean the cutting of hair, but does it take 30K to learn it?

Well, they have to know other things, like hair coloring, permanents, and the like. Okay but what if they didn’t? How much of your business is the fancy stuff, and how much are the walk-ins who just want their mop snipped? The latter is 85% of the business. So why not have a 3-1 ratio of snippers vs. full-service stylists?

Yes, well, that’s just the way it is.

Yes, that is the way it is. Meanwhile, competition drives down the price of the basic cut, which makes it harder to pay off the loans. And there’s the occasional continuing-education racket; they have to go back to learn new Safety Protocols every so often, and that’s $400 a throw. The company pays for it, unless you’re not working for one of the big chains. So if you’re thinking of getting back into the scissors game, you have to cough up four bills before you can pick up the the clippers.

It’s a good thing we’re not living in some miserably anarchist-libertarian dystopia where people can just cut other people’s hair without state sanction.

Then I went to Target. On Saturday. I never learn. Amateur hour. All the people with no situational awareness. The sort of people who seem to enter a hypnotic trance when they are looking at the rice options, and are surprised when someone else has come along with a cart and wishes to get around them. Oh! Sorry! I got out quickly and went straight home, cursing myself for even thinking about shopping on a weekend. There’s no better cure for being alone than being around people.

So I thought on Saturday. Sunday I was grateful for the ritual observation of the Vikings with the Giant Swede and Crazy Uke, except that Buffalo’s first possession wasn’t met with particularly vigorous defense, and they scored, and I thought: this is not good. And then we were hammered like a kettle drum in a Wagner opera.

But it was still fun. Afterwards I had a meager bachelor supper, which was ill-advised. Before the can of chili, you are happy: chili! After a can of chili, you have such immense regret. Every time. Never fails. The dog licked the can in the trash and sneezed for a minute.

Tomorrow: How bad could Stouffer's really be, anyway?



Hard grim 50s crime stuff:

That's the last we'll see of KC, because right away we're in Backlot City:

From the start it’s a caper movie - a bank robbery masterminded by a mysterious man who has exceptionally good handwriting.

Let's meet our thugs.

Craaazy, man - Jack Elam, the nervous jumped-up weirdo.

We also need an incrementally smarter weirdo:

Lee Van Cleef, classic bad guy, all sneers and oil.

Since we've had a psycho and a sexual deviant, let's have a sociopathic psycho sexual deviant:

Neville Brand. The glasses give him something of a beat aspect, which meant he might be hopped up on reefer! Bio:

His heavy features and gravelly voice made Brand a natural tough guy (and he wasn't just a "movie" tough guy--he was among the most highly decorated American soldiers in World War II, fighting in the European Theater against the Germans).

Known for his "bad guy" terrorizing roles, he was well remembered for killing off Elvis Presley in the King's first film, Love Me Tender (1956).

A voracious reader, he owned one of the largest private libraries in Hollywood with over 5,000 books. He once had over 30,000 books until a 1978 Malibu home fire destroyed most of them.

Here’s the line: they rob a bank, then split up, intending to meet later when the heat’s off. They all wear masks, so no one can squeal. They don’t know the head man. They have teared-off playing cards, by which they’ll now they’re getting a communication from the head man. All this takes about 15 minutes, and after that it’s the story of John Payne, who was framed for the job, and wants to get even.

So it’s down to Mexico, and that brings us to . . .

The Obligatory Sensuous Untrustworthy Senorita. And there's a story.

In a situation that closely recalls the Fannie Hurst story "Imitation of Life" in which a girl strives to pass for white, beautiful light-skinned African-American actress/singer/dancer/bandleader Dona Drake, for the sake of her career, denied her heritage and passed for white (in her case Mexican) for the duration of it.

While it did not make her a true star, her zesty talents and charm went a long way in the field of war-time music. Unlike the story, Dona, however, did not abandon her parents or deny her parentage.


She gave a spellbinding snake-like dancing performance during "The Lady Dances" number in Strike Me Pink (1936) with Eddie Cantor. The dance reached its climax with her being thrown extremely high into the air by Cantor and is then caught by him on the palm of one hand in another position some distance away.


Stands to reason there has to be a good gal, though. You know, the white one you take home and marry.

Colleen Gray. She almost made it, but her it quotient was a few degrees shy of the requirements.

Want to watch the whole thing? Here you go.

It has one (1) twist; otherwise it's what you expect: everyone dies except for the people the movie tells you to like.

But there's nothing confidential about it. The term had come to mean "inside skinny on mucky-muck sex romps" or other forms of ruling- or entertainment-class corruption, but . . . no. Interesting how a word that implied secrecy and mutual reticence came to mean "sins broadcast far and wide" - but only for those who read the cheap peeper rags and gossipy books.

Now we have the internet, to state the incandescently obvious.


A lonely week ahead, but you'll come along for the ride. Right? RIGHT? I promise not to make you eat chili.


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