I don’t know what the image above is supposed to represent, Bleat-wise; the sensible answer is nothing. Last year I set aside all these 60s ad images for banner usage, and arranged them by season. This seemed summery enough. Perhaps I feared that there would be a rapture specific to our backyard.

Wonder where that shot was taken. It probably looks different now - not because anything happened, but because people get bored and restless and tear things up because they’re tired of the stone, and there’s a new look that’s popular, and then 50 years later it’s in fashion simply because someone saw a picture like this and thought those stone hues were just the thing to liven up contemporary patios.

The more you look at the picture, the more the chairs seem like some intelligent species that has come to Earth and masquerades as leisure furniture, while they collect data.

OMG! I am a finalist in a contest to win a car!


The envelope showed up with the ominous notice FINAL ATTEMPT at the bottom, and the return address - well, you can’t ignore this.


It was addressed to me, by name, although the next line on the address was “Or Current VIP Winner.”

I’m supposed to pull the strip from the plastic wand - I’m sorry, the Attached V.I.N. Gauge (TM) - and “your winning 6 digit VIN number will light up. Then, scratch off the circle below, and if the two numbers match you are one of our Grand Prize Winners!”

What do you think will happen? Let’s try!


Pulse pounding, I scratch off the numbers:


I AM A WINNER!!!! Okay what did I win? There are 5 prizes.

1 Pickup or $50K cash
2. $250 hotel gift card
3 7 Night Royal Caribbean Cruise
4 Big 65” TV
5 Apple iPad Pro! With WIFI!

I’m guessing it’s #2, which I can use at the resort or timeshare they sell me.

The “complete rules” can be seen art the Marketing Network Enterprises home office; apparently I have to go there to match my number to their Game Board. “Winning numbers will be displayed during normal business hours at participating locations.”

In Phoenix. I’m sure this satisfies some legal requirement, but it’s a tad inconvenient.

More fine print: “this is a fun way to promote travel so attendance is required at a 90-minute travel presentation.”

Hmm . . . I’m doubtful now. Hold on HOLD ON

“Call within 72 hours to RSVP and also receive a Complimentary 3-day 2-night vacation to locations such as Orlando, Bahamas, Virginia Beach, Las Vegas and many other locations . . . while supplies last.”



I am going to call to see just who answers and what they say. Yes, I know, I sound like I don’t trust these things, and I’ll have to admit this gave me pause:

I mean, they couldn’t say that if it wasn’t true!





The reasons for this entry are absolutely unique. Something happens in this entry that's never happened in the entirety of the Black and White World feature.

The chances are very low you've seen this. A TV show for a particular place. Can you guess where it's from?

That's right. England. Because they call flashlights "torches." We'll get to Torchy in a second, but first another frame of the credits:

A true pioneer:

She created eight puppet TV series, including The Adventures Of Twizzle (1957), Torchy the Battery Boy (1958), Sara and Hoppity (1962), Wonder Boy and Tiger, Send for Dithers, and Space Patrol (1962), - syndicated around the globe and achieving the highest ratings of any children’s show up to that time - which chronicled the year 2100 adventures of Captain Larry Dart of the spaceship Galasphere 347. This was followed by Paul Starr (1964) and a live-action colour space adventure series, The Solarnauts (1967).

Wait a minute, you say -


Really? Does that mean . . . yeah, it does.

Torchy the Battery Boy was the British second television series produced by AP Films and Gerry Anderson, running from 1960 to 1961. Directed by Anderson, it was a collaboration with author Roberta Leigh, with music scored by Barry Gray

Good Old Barry Gray. Anyway, puppets.

That's not Torchy, of course. That's Bossy Boots, I think.

This is Torchy.

Okay. Ready?

Two minutes. You can take it.


Anyway, here's the part that's never happened before.

Jill Raymond was a name used by the actress Jill Freud . . . with whom I did a show in Walberswick last summer.


So . . . how about that!

Eh, I got nuthin'.

That will do, I hope; matches await, because it is Monday, and Monday is the time when we join together to look at matchbooks.



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