Finally finished the kitchen project! Except I didn’t.

The Kitchen Project involved hiring a craftsman to knock out the upper panels on the cupboard doors and install lights, so we could have . . . upper panels that were lit, I guess.

Here. This should help.

The lights are Philips Hue, which means I can control the color from my phone. If such a thing is possible, why would I not want it to be so? Okay then. The glass was the next step, but (record scratch) pandemic, which somehow bollixed things up. The guy who was supposed to do the glass didn’t call back. Then glass was in short supply for some reason. Also, no one noticed that there wasn’t any glass, which helped. Eventually I found a place, took in the knocked-out panels, had the pebbled glass cut to my specs, and put them in.

Two did not fit.

Two of them were off by about 1/32, or maybe 1/16th of an inch. Enough so they wouldn’t fit no matter how much I tried to massage the wood, and I’m sorry I just said that. What was interesting about the whole process of picking up the glass, fitting it in, swapping out the panes for the best fit, was the blood.

I saw it first on the counter, then noticed it was on the wood panels, and also my pants, and also my hands. Turns out cut glass is sharp! Who knew. I patched myself up, but knew that I’d be changing this dressing a lot, since the gauze pad filled up with its maximum allowable portion of blood quite quickly. Well, soldier on.

Promptly sliced my palm. Okay, stanch, dress, keep going. No more cuts. Called the hardware store, and they said bring them by, they’ll recut the panes. When I taped the glass to the panels to indicate the precise dimensions, I did so with the respect one shows to nitroglycerine after a minute portion blew off a finger.

At the hardware store I was astonished. There was rejoicing in my heart. There was a song of bright wide joy. Because:

We can go in the store now.

Repeat: I am grateful I can enter the neighborhood hardware store again. At the end of August in the year of our Lord 2020.

So! I said I had a lot of fun stuff for the week, and I did - but I also forgot I had planned to commemorate the nonexistent Fair with some history. This means the fun stuff gets moved to next week, which makes my life so much easier, and it also means you get to see a lot of old newspaper clippings and postcards that probably mean SQUAT, if you’re not here. I’ll try to make this interesting.

It’s hard to describe what it feels like for summer to end without the Fair. I was there last month, when it was empty, and it was enough to be there, to make the annual connection. It was a bit like the 2017 visit - I missed the Fair because I was on a ship, but went to the vacant grounds when I got back to do a story. I was enough, and felt like an apt end to the summer that had concluded with such surreal and pointless drama. In 2018 we’d just seen Daughter off to college, and I was a lone atom without the nucleus of Purpose, and showing up every day to do my show on the stage was an exercise in strenuous FORWARD MOVING. Last year was rote, but it had been a good summer, and I looked with a settled, comfortably resigned perspective to the rest of my life. I expect that 2020 would be a repeat.

But: HEYYY, MYCORONA. And so I wandered the grounds improving videos for the paper, which I’ll link to this week. But here we’ll look at the history, because the Fair is Us at our best, and I guarantee the collective mood of the state yearns towards the promise of 2021, the year we somehow expect to be a reward for 2020.

And the reward is simply normalcy.


Two things going on: the Fair and Carnival Week, it seems.


Gee, they got corn. To be honest, this looked like more fun - and the writing is certainly boosterism at its finest.

Looks like there’s going to be a hanging to top off the evening:

I know just where that was. And I was standing on that spot just the other day. Not a trace of anything remains.

There were always competing events, and even to this day you’ll find the Renaissance Festival taking place at the same time as the Fair.

Not this year, of course. PESTILENCE. You’d think it would be the perfect time for the Renaissance Festival.



Again, a reminder: the Shadow cannot be invisible, and is fighting the Black Tiger, who can turn invisible.

This month:

As the crawl notes, a deadly ray was sweeping slowly across the room, in the time-honored style of master-criminal executions. Set up the fiendish device! Leave the room!

We’re pretty sure no one gets bisected, but let’s just complete the story.

The Shadow is the only one who seems willing to shoot. If anyone else gets out a gat, it’s because he’s going to wave it around indecisively for a few seconds before getting socked on the kisser.

All the gang - Margo, the cabbie who’s also an assistant, and the industrialist - escape. Back at the Black Tiger HQ, the boys are lamenting the fact that the cops showed up and they couldn’t get anything out of the sanitarium, meaning the entire operation was compromised. (Including one of the Black Tiger’s patented Tiger Head Two-Way Radios, but I doubt we’ll hear anything about that.)

The Tiger shows up and tells the remaining henchmen that he killed the guy who blew the sanitarium op, and bitches out everyone for being useless. He’d kill them all if he could replace them quickly enough! He gives them one . . . more . . . chance to get Turner.

Who was that again? One of the industrialists. Okay. Well, the henchmen lure Turner out of his house - would you come downtown to The Press for an interview? Lamont smells a rat, and goes out dressed like Turner. Whatever that means.

How do they mean to get Turner?

Real detail-oriented, these guys. Cranston tails them to their safe house, where they contact the Tiger.

More of that classic Black Tiger enunciation, which is so EEEEEVIL it curdles the marrow:

The one-eyed man from Baker Street, eh. Cranston promptly runs into the room and starts punching people; he’s swiftly overwhelmed - but then the Shadow appears! A laughs!


It’s his Driver, of course. The scene existed just so we could see the Shadow, I guess. Cranston gets into his Oriental Man of Mystery costume:

Criminey. Velly. Well, he gets an address, and it’s a record store.

A minion is about to play the Black Tiger’s record. The Tiger loves to direct his schemes by using fragile objects.

Yeah I think that’s pretty obvious by now.

The record reveals that other minions are going to break into Turner’s bank - this being the thing that rocks the city to its foundation, I guess. The Shadow arrives, and as his style, picks a fight with four guys, again, and loses, again.


Again: no one ever calls the cops.


That'll do; matchbooks await.



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