This felt like a short week, for which I am glad. It’s a bit perverse - boy, am I glad time passed quickly, when there was no reason to wish its passage would be hasty to vault o’er these trials! Daughter, on the other hand, entering a week of lockdown, said she has aged ten years in both directions, feeling scraped out and newly infantilized. She sent a photo of the ridiculous amount of food the college sent to stock her fridge, almost as if they’re really, really sorry they had to do this.

Ten cans of chili and eight packets of instant coffee. For a college student. What sort of lunatic decides that’s the proper ratio? Perhaps they want them to sleep instead of stay away, cocooning in an auto-narcotic state until the internment is over.

Didn’t go to the office on Thursday. Just as well. On Wednesday I wondered if I should go at all, because it’s not good for my state of mind. If I don’t go, I am bored. I AM SO BORED. If I do go, I get . . . mad. But I’m also grateful for the random interactions that seem unaccountably valuable. It’s just enough to nod to the guy who runs security at the 333 building as I pass. No - amend that. It’s making the nod and getting the nod back, or better yet, getting the nod first. We have had many conversations over the years, all relating to the building. Friendly, cheerful guy. Still is. When I get the nod it’s like there are so few of us left, it’s important to recognize our fellow citizens.

It’s important to chat with the guy who runs the hot dog stand in the empty food court.The heat seemed off when I went the other day, just as the heat had been off in the 333 skyway. The Proprietor shivered and said yes, it’s the door, right there, but it’s also the back wall, which has a gap, right up against the Burger King.

I laughed: “We are old timers if we call that the Burger King. It hasn’t been a BK for a long time.” And we got to talking about the restaurants that had filled the space, how there used to be, what, three Burger Kings downtown? One in the old Shinders spot on Hennepin, which used to be the flagship for the Snider’s chain. Built after a fire. And there was a BK in the Pillsbury Center, because they owned the chain then - of course, it’s not Pillsbury Center now.

He put my dog and chips in a bag and we reminisced a bit more and then I said well, thanks, see you later.

I suppose none of this matters much, but it matters some. I’d miss all of that.

As I’d walked over to the food court I saw this:

This restaurant does not exist anymore. Like all the others in the Food Court. But the sign remains. It used to be by the escalators; now it is here. I wonder if it’s because the restaurant is going to come back, or because maintenance never got orders about what to do with it. So they just move it around.

Anyway. If I don’t go, I sit at home and rot, and there is nothing to say about the world. If I do go, there is nothing to say except it’s cold. I think the answer is a new project that will occupy my mind and give me some direction. Back to the novel, perhaps. It needs ripping up and a fresh take.

It’s about Minneapolis. In 1929.

The skyway view, because it was too damned cold to take the usual picture from down the street.

It was all I could do to brave the wind for the weekly sweep:


On the other side of town, the Larking:

Seems like it's always been at that height, doesn't it? Week after week. A few from a few blocks away:

Five or so years ago, that entire wall of buildings was just blue sky.



It's like a Shylock Fox comic:


Suddenly-wraith-like Lance and Lori are rather unnerving,

Solution is here.





The arresting opening to a long-running show, featuring everyone's favorites, locked for all time in their cliches.





Ah, but then one day the listeners tuned in . . . and heard this.


  The opening conversation of the Sherlock show  . . .
  . . . and the opening convo of the show that replaced it with no explanation.
  It's so meta: the main character, in the course of the story, references the announcer, and the product he sponsors.

Gregory Hood, by the way, was played by someone we all knew from TV, growing up. But we never thought he was ever a detective.

Oh: they went from Sherlock to Hood because the producers were having troubles with the Doyle estate. Okay, we'll show you! We don't need Sherlock! We have Gregory Hood!

About whom no one cares.


But what of Mr. Melis' favorites? Does he have any say?


In 1954–55, Melis was the pianist when The Morning Show on CBS was hosted by Paar. Then Paar moved from mornings to late night, and from 1957 to 1962, Melis served as the musical director of The Tonight Show during Jack Paar's tenure as host. He also wrote the music for Paar's theme song, "IM4U" (lyrics by Sev F. Marino), and he performed with Paar on other shows, including Parr’s Startime (1960). One of his routines on Paar's shows was the "telephone game," in which Melis would improvise a musical number based on the last four digits of an audience member's telephone number.

So people knew the connection, of course.

1960s: the merits of a Four-Way

That'll do! See you around.



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