Sigh. Back to the emergency vet. Bitch was horking up all day, and was lethargic. Since he didn’t get better over the day, I decided to take him to the emergency vet in case he had a gut blockage. Those can be bad. They said it would take 45 minutes to get him past triage, and then THREE to FOUR HOURS after that. Which puts the pick-up, if there is one, after midnight.

So we drove off to the suburban strip mall. We had been here before when he was a pup and was also feeling poorly. As soon as we got out of the car he perked up and walked with excitement and interest for two blocks of lush suburban greenery. Nothing sick about this fellow. But he didn’t want any water, so . . . better safe and out a bunch of $$ than sorry. Off he went inside. I would have taken my laptop and sat in the cell with him, but of course that is forbidden now.

I'm sure he'll be fine. Might have been worse if it was something bad and we waited. It's just bad not having the dog around the house at all, and makes you realize how you instincts are always incorporating the little fellow - whether he's outside enjoying the evening in the gazebo, or snoozing on one of his FOUR beds.

Okay, have to write a column. I plan to leave the house around 11:30 or so just to be there in case he gets out early. Which I doubt. It will be a long night.

UPDATE. Vet called at 11:00 to ask what the problem was; apparently all the notes and questions had been lost in a fire. Okay, I get it, just being thorough. Got the estimate for the X-rays, and was told that they might have to go to a radiologist, who usually looked at them within two hours. Gah. But if the vet sees something now, then some shots and pills and we're good. I'll heading out at midnight. For what this cost, I hope he swallowed a pincushion.

Not really. But, well, you know.

UPDATE 4:32 AM Dog had gas











Daughter has been cooking while she’s home. Made a really good fish sandwich, Bon Appetite recipe with ridiculous ingredients - we now have a lifetime’s supply of Sumac, whatever that is. (If only the brand name had been Notary.) The recipe called for - nay, demanded mackerel, like there’s lots of that to be had. She substituted a white fish. Delicious. Afterwards Wife ran off to tennis, and we cleaned up the kitchen talking about a podcast she’d listened to. It concerned memory and will, experience vs. ownership, and that’s a big bag from which you can pull out all sorts of things to talk about.

Somehow the conversation turned to Charles Grodin. Pretty sure I made the pivot. Earlier that day I’d seen a Johnny Carson interview that was quite remarkable; I was sitting in the office laughing out loud. I will have to lose that habit. When I got to work today the lights were on, which makes me prowl around the cubicles to see who’s here - it’s like trying to track down a smoke alarm dead-battery beep. Turns out it was the Boss Boss (in my hierarchy there are five levels of Boss) and we had a merry chat. It’s been months since I just stood in an office doorway and talked to someone.

Anyway, Grodin. I described the interview as an early example of Uncomfortable Comedy. She was interested.

She did not know who Johnny Carson was.

Hey, did I know who Jack Parr was? Yes, I did, because I was a Carson fan as a kid and wanted to know all about the rich and fascinating history of the show. But point taken. She knew who Letterman was, and expressed the judgment of her generation: he was a jerk, and not that funny.

I had to explain: in the early days, it was for my generation. It was the anti-Carson show, in a way, poking fun at all the showbiz tropes, playing with the form. It was loose and hip. We polled 400 people, and if you’ve ever been polled you know how painful that can be. In retrospect, was Larry Bud Melman actually funny? No. But it the idea of Larry Budd was funny. The recurrence was a wink and a nod to this small select group that got it. He was our Jerry Colona!

Not that I knew who that was.

“I want to play you this clip,” I said.



And so a few hours later I innocently asked if she was doing anything, and since she was not she had no defense. So I played her the clip. This was the first exposure to Johnny Carson.

It might be an uncharacteristic example, since Carson, in a way, drops the mask, but it turns out there’s an identical mask underneath.

And she laughed. “That’s really good,” she said at the end.

I was tempted to play the clip that came up on autoplay, a merry segment with Martin Short. But it probably would have meant little, since a lot of the people he imitates are not in her cultural constellation. AND THAT’S WRONG. ALL GENERATIONS SHOULD REVERE MY CULTURAL REFERENCES.

The bit with Bette Davis is . . . well. Yes, Bette Davis, smoking away.



It's 1916.

I believe they’d invented the tab button.

The time it saves will pay for the machine! Theoretically.

I know we’re past Easter, but except for December this isn’t a seasonal feature. It rolls by decades.

“We’re not going to mention church, but the lettering says it all.”

It’ll soon be time for summer blankets.

There was, it seems, a problem with seasonal blanket shrinkage. They sat in the box and contracted. Because of the soap.

“Loafing Range.”

“To be able to loaf smoothly behind retarded traffic and yet be able to dash ahead the moment there is an opening.”

Ahh, nothing changes.

Here’s a peculiar pivot:

. . . the Great Depression that began in 1929 greatly reduced the sales of luxury automobiles. Peerless stripped down its production and attempted to market one line of vehicles to wealthy Americans who were not affected by the depression. In 1930–31, Peerless commissioned Murphy Body Works to design what the company envisioned as its 1933 model. The task was assigned to a young Frank Hershey, who produced a remarkably clean, elegant vehicle. A single V16-engined 1931 Peerless was finished in June 1931, the last Peerless ever produced.

Peerless remained an idle business until the end of Prohibition in 1933 allowed the manufacture of alcohol. Peerless then revamped its factory and gained a license to brew beer under the Carling Black Label and Red Cap ale brands from the Brewing Corporation of Canada.

The only means? Really?

You even see your fellow species engage in actions as they happen!

It was an innovation, and it did improve the quality of the medium. Almost at once, people expected to see it, instead of just reading about it.


This contains a mystery or two. What’s in her hand?

The text refers to the Graduola, which lets you “shade each note, graduate each tone - literally play each record as you like, as you feel.” I think that’s the Graduola. Googling . . . yep.

I think that’s absolutely fascinating. A remote control.

Don’t shovel filthy coal! Drag a kerosene heater around the house.



Finally, an ad for a new apartment building at 200 West 58th Street 7th.


It’s still there.

I wonder about these.

What’s the reason for those? Signage? The facade abounds with these alterations. See for yourself, if you like.

That'll do; our weekly visit with Mr. Williams awaits.



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