There's snow beneath the green. The trees on the other side of the block dumped all their leaves at once, as if sick of it all, as if storming off in a huff. Inasmuch as a tree could storm off, which obviously it can't.

It was beautiful but disconcerting. The tree had no interest in lending beauty to the world anymore. None of this pathetic changing colors; that was for trees that couldn't face the truth. No, it was over, it was done, and there was no sense in denying it. There. Bare limbs without a single leaf. Honest. Already living in the month to come.

The new fridge arrived. It had been delayed because of COVID. This reason was accepted as normal, no explanation needed. Hey, why is the sky purple? COVID. Why did the car in the parking lot explode? COVID. Why are tentacles coming out of your nose? COVID exacerbated my pre-existing squid condition.

The deliver was set for noon to six, so you think, well, three-ish? Who knows. You certainly prepare for a noon-sharp appearance. This meant taking the stuff out and putting it in a chest full of ice, and moving the freezer stuff to the overladed freezer in the basement, already stuffed with remnants from wife’s trips to Costco. She says I stuff it full of things, and I agree, yes: meat, chicken, potatoes, things that tend to occur with predictable regularity on the dinner table. Whereas you bought a 40-lb sack of quinoa, no?

The deliverymen showed up at 4, and were sore dismayed: the steps. So many steps. I guided them to the back steps. They were relieved. Then they decided the fridge would have to come in the front, anyway, because it wouldn’t go through the door. Wha? It’s been done. Twice. The previous owner did it, I had it done when I replaced the old fridge. They measured the hallway spaces, muttered, agreed: back door it was.

Out went the old fridge. I had Birch on a leash, and he was barking a hellish racket: STRANGE MEN ARE TAKING FOOD BOX. They wrestled the old fridge from its nook, and . . . uh oh.

“Sir? We have a problem. I can’t attach the water hose.”

What? Why?

“There has to be a shutoff valve behind the fridge. I can’t attach the line because if it leaks I have to pay for any damage. Did they tell you about the shutoff valve behind the fridge?”

I’ve no bloody idea. Well I certainly understand your concerns, but I can shut off the water -

“I can show you how to attach it, it’s not hard.”

Okay fine but - hold on.

I went downstairs, shut off the water, came back, put a glass to the fridge’s water spout. It hissed and coughed, spat a drop or two, then gargled an empty refrain of failure.

This convinced him he could do it. Great! And I understood his concern. The minutes later the new one was up.

“Sir? We have a problem.”

Gah. What

“There’s a dent in the fridge. On the side.” He showed me a phone picture. Like Godzilla took a swipe. “We can take it back and you can get another, or we can put it in, and give you some money back.”

Wait for another? During COVID? “It’s not going to show,” I said. “Put it in.”

And so he did. I love it! So clean! So much space!


Shallow and broad is better than deep.

I spent some time zoning it, realizing it would all fall apart on contact with daily use.

But for now I can dream.



Boo! Hey, it's Halloween Week. Time for some Chills & Thrills. Early Grand Guignol, classic source:

Let’s take a look at the opening credits. The art is interesting - abstract, unnerving.


It begins at a Paris . . . fair of some sort, with hoochie-coochie dancers . .

. . . and Injuns from America.

I find this fascinating.


We've talked about this before, but just in case you missed it:

Apache, or La Danse Apache, Bowery Waltz, Apache Turn, Apache Dance and Tough Dance is a highly dramatic dance associated in popular culture with Parisian street culture at the beginning of the 20th century. The name of the dance (pronounced ah-PAHSH, not uh-PATCH-ee, like the English pronunciation of the Native American tribe) is taken from the term for Parisian underworld of the time.

The dance is sometimes said to reenact a violent "discussion" between a pimp and a prostitute. It includes mock slaps and punches, the man picking up and throwing the woman to the ground, or lifting and carrying her while she struggles or feigns unconsciousness. Thus, the dance shares many features with the theatrical discipline of stage combat. In some examples, the woman may fight back.


Anyway, we soon meet the fearsome monster's impresario:

And then the monster. The terrifying . . .


More terrifying, I think, is his master.

This would be quite impressive on the big screen:

Imagine that looming over the room at gigantic scale.

Meanwhile, back in Rear-Projection Paris:


She’s abducted, and tied up for a blood transfusion with the ape. It’s really gruesome stuff for the era. WIERD SCIENCE

Hey, we gots us an Igor!

By the way, the prostitute the doctor kills in his experiment?

Arlene Francis, of “What’s My Life” fame.

Doesn’t seem right.

Interesting camera work here:


It’s the go-to effect when shooting a movie in Paris. From Zaza, a Gloria Swanson silent:

As we know, it ends up on the roofs of Nightmare Paris:


Lugosi’s great, and some of the shots are pure perfect Universal 30s. But everything else . . . well, with Lugosi, I’m not sure they needed anything else, but it doesn’t feel as if it belongs on the same shelf with the rest of the monster classics.



That'll do; Matches await.



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