Wife's car wouldn't start this morning. I suppose if your battery is going to die, best to do it when it’s a cosy 7 above, as oppose to 20 below.

Tuesday it’s supposed to be about 20 below. Okay. After a certain point it’s meaningless; I haven’t the finely tuned senses that can detect the difference between -10 and -15. Anyway, the AAA guy was prompt.

But he didn’t have a battery. They were out of batteries. Will you be getting some? He didn’t know. Huh. So . . . going to the auto supply store six blocks away isn’t on the table? Sigh. Drove Wife to work, which was hard on her, since she tries to influence my driving by grasping the door handle as hard as possible, which I’m sure leads to capillary damage.

“It’s sheer ice! Careful!”

It’s not ice at all. In fact it’s nice crunchy helpful snow. Here, let me brake suddenly, since there’s no one around. Hear that? Not even a hint of ABS. Relax.

I exaggerate, of course. My civility, I mean.

Kidding. Got her to work, drove home, finished a piece, then drove to work to do work things. While waiting for the boss, I noticed some rather boastful tweets.

These do not indicate the gift of perspective. Among other things.


No. Let me put that another way that may be familiar to the site’s writers: pick 14 ways to say no in Disney GIFs and we’ll tell you the last time you peed!

Even if true, you have to wonder whether it's wise to admit this. I don't think there was an attorney present.


"Wonder why that time-suck spyware called Facebook got so stupid? Us us us! Also, him!" At least it's nice to see there was actually someone to blame, if there's a new History's Greatest Monster collection.

*moral consideration*

*things no one else was doing*

  It didn't create the internet, but certainly changed portions of it, giving voice to the shallow and illiterate and ahistorical and OMG these makeup tips but also you guys remember AOL

I'm not happy anyone lost a job in journalism, and yes, BuzzFeed did journalism. The big layoffs cae in the departments that produced Serious content, because after their success at amusing 20somethings they naturally pivoted to hard news, and built out a section that would be Substantial. Mixed record on the results. The BRB TBH AF section of the demographic didn't care, or didn't care in sufficient numbers. You'd see a big story with lots of reporting, and at the end, no comments.

Perhaps this is just a function of being young, and thinking you invented the world. But there was an internet before BuzzFeed, and while it was changed by sites like BuzzFeed and the people who wrote for them . . . it wasn't for the better.






I have to step away from the usual “it’s not a review, we’re just looking at interesting details and perhaps figuring out what this says about the culture” dodge I use to mask the fact that of course I’m sorta doing reviews.

Consider: The Incredible Mr. Limpet.

As I tweeted out while watching the film, this is an unusual film in which Don Knotts kills hundred of men. They die horrible deaths - crushed, suffocated, drowned, their last minutes spent in abject terror. Thanks to Don Knotts. WHO IS A FISH.

This might be one of the first movies I ever saw in the theater. I would have been around six. Don Knott plays a guy who wants to be a fish, because fish are awesome and have a great life!

Even as a kid, you know that's wrong.

It’s not as if his life is bad; he has a lovely wife, although there’s no chemistry in the scenes they have together. I wouldn’t have known that at the time. Most of this movie would have wooshed overhead. I know that it made a profound impression, because half a century later I could tell you the exact moment it gave me an overwhelming sense of dread.

First, the sky goes black and a purple light fills the screen, and the disembodied voice warn him to be careful, because, as they later put it, wishes can come true.


Those voices! They were moaning wordlessly over The Wizard of Oz credits! They sang on The Walt Disney Show! Every kid knew those voices. It's the register, the harmony, the omniscience of it all.

Then he falls in the drink, and the most horrible thing I had ever seen played out right before my eyes.

I really didn't want to see that.

Did this happen because he wanted it to happen, and someone took him seriously? Who? The voices? Could that happen to anyone? What horrible sensations wracked him when his skeleton lit up and half his body was changed into a fish?

Mr. Limpet instantly meets a crusty ol’ crab voiced by Paul Frees, who I did not realize would the voice behind so much of the entertainment I consumed, and a lady fish named Lady Fish who promptly took Limpet off to the spawning grounds to hook up.

Note: Limpet does not spawn, because he is still married. He is a fish with glasses, but still considers himself bound by the oath he took.

It takes place during WW2, and this might have been my first introduction to the very idea of such a thing, and my first introduction to Nazis. Knowing nothing about anything, I knew they were bad.

Oscar Beregi Jr., who played the totalitarian heavy from time to time.

At the climax of the film, Limpet assists the Allies in sinking at least seven U-Boats, one after the other. So he probably killed more men than any other movie.

it was not the last time I would be disturbed by Don Knotts; The Ghost and Mr. Chicken scared me so bad I had to leave the theater. The shears in the painting, the blood pouring from the neck of the portrait, the backward organ -

Gotta go gotta go

I remember sitting in the second floor lobby with my mom, who was solicitous of my fears. Pretty sure it was the Fargo theater. I remember heavy red drapery.

I wonder if that actually happened.

Anyway, I was never scared of Don Knotts. That would be silly

I was scared of Don Knott movies.




It’s 1932.

This ad does not the most intriguing set-up I’ve ever come across. You don’t lean forward and wonder how - how ever could that be?

“Every day of a girl’s life means a new Beauty Contest. You can’t enter a room, go to a party, without having people judge you.”

So use this soap or suffer accordingly.

“Have you ever wished you could veil your skin from the critical eyes of men and other women?”

Yes, oh yes! Rescue me Camay I beg you, I’ve pustules the size of Liberty quarters


How did Connie come back? By unstopping the tubes and laying down three-foot bowel-boa, it seems:

I love the fourth panel. Later that evening, locked in her room, Connie faced the facts. She hadn’t had a movement in a month.

Note: not a movie at all.

This child is "a dead-eyed Big Leaguer - like the old man nearly was.”

That’s pretty cold.




It beats just giving up and not advertising it all, I suppose:

Note the 21 flavors. Some bygone recipes in there - Mock Turtle? Not much call for it these days, I’m afraid.

Mutson? No, mutton. Printanier is a word you never see anymore. “Made or dressed with diced spring vegetables.”

Celery soup. Aka “water”

America has faced the cylinder question and America has made its choice? You weren’t consulted? Doesn’t matter. You’d say six, wouldn’t you? Everyone says six. WE ALL SAY SIX.

$445, or twice what you made this year, because of the thoroughgoing collapse of the economic order.

Dr. Faroy wasn’t above lending his expertise for a buck. He looks like the common conception of the European Specialist, no?

“I advise . . . fresh yeast”

Thanks, I’ll just brush.

Just to remind you, take bran to poop, yeast for your tongue, and malted milk for general and specific pep:

Like Connie, who is now empty of all fecal content and can wear dresses six sizes smaller, you will COME BACK FAST.

Steerage . . . or civilization?

Ethyl gave you the velvet ease of a full-powered motor, and you wouldn’t be lumped in with those guys who stood there embarrassed, searching for pocket change, while the little girl looked on thinking “I hope he can pay daddy so we can eat.”

That'll do; some Briggs awaits. See you around.

BTW, is this turning out to be the Best Bleat Week Ever? Why not throw in a dollar on a rotating basis in Gnat's College Fund to say "no, it is not the best week ever, and I challenge you to do better." Shame me into better Bleats!




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