Wife said: We’re going to underwater Costco.

Ok. It had been a while. We got in my new car, which I had recently exchanged for my old new car. It was like my beloved Element, but I was dismayed to see that the screen - the display that shows the Apple CarPlay icons, maps, satellite radio - was the size of a playing card, and inconveniently located. Why did I buy this thing, I thought.

The descent was rough, and made my guts lurch; I had forgotten that the descent to Underwater Costco was like this. Entered the dome, parked, and went in; wife peeled off to shop. I was surprised to see no one wearing a mask. You’d think that all the recirculated air would spread the Covid. Went back to the car, got my mask, returned to UC. The complex looked a lot like a late 70s / early 80s mall. Brick, ferns. I decided to wait at a restaurant, where a bored waitress took my order and promptly deposited a plate of meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

The potatoes were cold. I pointed this out, and she shrugged, looking off down the hall, pulling on a cigarette. I figured she was in a bad mood, but someone came up and started talking to her and she lit up, all happy to see her friend, trading sarcastic quips about other people and the bands they liked. I asked if I could get my cold mashed potatoes to go, and she switched to bored waitress, and something in her eyes said I was being judged by my mask.

I snapped awake and checked the clock: too early to say I’d slept in late.

Sorry about yesterday. A rare no-Bleat day, I know. Want to know why? The evening proceeded in a slightly different fashion, I checked out of the home studio early and went to the kitchen, I had a column to do, and I thought I’d posted it. Didn’t check. Rare lapse/. This happens two or three times a year.

But you should be glad, in a way. It shows I don’t care or look at Twitter! Until noon. Then it’s aw, dang, I have failed. I’ll tell you this: it was a heck of a Thursday. Tasj-wise, the most broad-spectrum day I’ve had in some time. Details on Monday.

Anyway, here's the Motels. I'm banking the Main Street else for later.

And now, for October . . .

I wonder if kids who are peak Halloween age are disappointed in advance, because everything is Different now. There's a certain age where Halloween is just the best, and it spans, at most, four years. Some kids must have had enough good Halloweens to know this one's ruined already, and all these things that make the world seem to be playing along with your own anticipations just fall flat.

It's not the same now.

Anyway. The imagination shown in these boxes is not exactly abundant. Always the moon, the bats, the Victorian pile, the vampire cape and cowl.

Detailed analysis of the Marshmallows would prove that the are not, in any way, Spooky. But you'll note that the package says Spoooky, with an extra O; this may suggest a different emotional state entirely, which is passive, indifferent consumption.

The empty, rotting house, where soul-shearing ghouls and the minions of damnation must dwell:

Meanwhile, over in Frootsylvania:

Hmm: the Marshmallows are Spoooky in the first reference, but "spooky" in the second. The fine-print reference may be for legal reasons, but I don't get it; opens them up to lawsuits for failure to provide any spookiness.

The furry-headed toucan with the ungodly bill comes from this dead house:

The very sky burns with fevered anticipation of the return of the Dark Gods



The skyways at the top of the mall are open again, so once again I can take a picture from the location where I started taking these pictures.

The new skyway has presented a complication.

Just a few weeks before the bottom floors are completely clad.

The weekly sweep:


The comics section these days is remarkably free of dead guys shot in the head:


EEEEE-YAAAAAAAAHHH (sunglasses emoji)

Solution is here.






From Dimension X, a few cues. The first is used frequently, and is rather platform-agonstic; you could use it for sci-fi, or a Roman army drama.

This next one, however . . .




You might have heard that before, and in a strictly sci-fi context.

Can you name it?









I find it difficult to believe she was ever singing lonely midnight songs.






Make some Whoopie Soda! (1962)


That'll do! Four out of Five ain't bad. See you Monday.



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