Warmth! Of the serious variety. Spring! Bustin’ out all over! Except on the holes on the lawn where the fargin’ grubs ruined the lawn - vast swaths I dug up, filled with dirt, then watched as the rains came and somehow converted the dirt to gravel.

“Maybe don’t buy the dirt with so much gravel” my wife said, and I couldn’t argue, but c’mon: when you but a bag of DIRT, you do not expect a significant amount of granulated stone.

Ping: text from the Giant Swede, wanting to know if I needed anything at Home Depot. But of course. It is that time. When do we not. So we went there, and I took one of the flatbed carts, and as I gripped its handle and pushed it I sagged with despair, because the time of Saturday Lawn Futility and Labor was upon me again.

So I got six bags of dirt, ploughed, raked, got out the Onan 9000 to strew the seed, watered, then degrubbed the front lawn with poison. I hope it works.


  I can’t stand when people say “do better.” It’s often “we can do better,” which is a given, but it usually means YOU, because the person telling US to do better obviously already does better, and wants the rest of us to conform. It’s so school-marmy, complete with pursed lips and a lemony expression.

Anyway, he’s free to come by the house and culturally stigmatize me.

Excuse me, what are you doing?

Applying a broad-spectrum scowl. I am hoping that other people walking past will detect my disapproval and we can start a conversation about lawns and stigmatize you.

In the sense that I manifest the wounds of Christ?

What? No. I mean create social disapproval that leads to a change in the way we see the traditional lawn.

That doesn’t sound like a conversation. That sounds like a lecture, and I’m graded at the end. A conversation is where you tell me what you think, and I tell you what you think, and at the end perhaps we have a better understanding of each other. But I think I already understand you. How do you suggest you culturally stigmatize me, anyway? How does that work?

I write articles on Medium and Vox until it’s understood that people like you are retrograde perils, and should be viewed through a prism that puts you on the side of the unenlightened.

Okay! Have fun storming the castle. Write if you get work.

When I was done, and Wife had made four pots with flowers, and then we sat down and rested.

“Oh,” she said. “Mulch. We need mulch before the weeds start.”

“How about if we just culturally destigmatize weeds?”


Okay, yes, Mulch.

Remember this feature? We never met Bela Lanan himself. We never will.

This was a daily feature, with the solution on Saturday. We'll do it the way they did it then - one entry per day, with the expectation that you'll be following the story.

It'll go all week. Don't try to reverse-engineer the file names. ;)





It doesn't say "big studio," but it doesn't say "poverty row," either.

You know exactly what this is going to be, right?

Yeah, it's another run at the same old story.

Yes, Barre Lyndon was his name. Wrote, among other things, the original War of the Worlds scipt.

The initial scenes have to be London at night in the fog, with gas lamps glowing, bobbies patrolling, etc.

Then of course the heedless victim, staggering down the street at 3 AM heedless of those awful tales, which are probably just talk . . .

Then of course the too-late bobby response . . .

Then of course the nice family in their overstuffed room . . .

Then of course the man who answers the ad offering lodgings.

And then comes the Beautiful Actress, the nice family’s niece.

Will she be a victim?

If you know the Lodger story, it’s all there - the signs of religious mania, the aversion to the pictures of actresses. SINFUL DON’T YOU KNOW. He’s a medical pathologist, too! With instruments quite sharp!
We’re supposed to wonder . . . could he be the murderer?


I much prefer the 1944 version, which had really nice shots of “London.”

Hey - hey wait a minute

Those are shots from another Lodger movie, a much better one starring . . .

Laird Cregar.

They reused the London footage and even some sets. Palance has a quiet strangeness with a touch of pathos, but it’s too bright, for one thing - and Palance isn’t Cregar. It’s a cup of tea left out for half an hour.

But it has one nice thing:

Aunt Bea.

That will do; see around, and have a fine Monday.




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