Today: Arnie, Savage, Buddy, Bad-Luck Monday.

Closing day. Again. Once upon a time “closing” was a special time, almost like your wedding day. You signed some papers, pushed a check across the table, and you got the keys! To your new house! Now with the constant round of refinancing it has all the pleasure and payoff of a teeth-cleaning.

I drove separately, since I was coming from the office. Told the clerk my name. Smiles. She went to get the closer, who came back, smiling. “Your wife and daughter are on the highway,” she said, smiling. “They were in an accident.” Smile.

Explain what you mean by on the highway.

To the guy who got to the jobsite and wondered where the hell his ladder was, I’ll tell you: thanks to your expert knot technique, it flew off your truck on the entrance ramp to Highway 62, causing a six-car pileup in which my wife and child were car #2. They’re okay. Car’s okay. Subsequent cars were crumpled and knocked sideways. Wife was shaken up, though, and spent the rest of the day in the What-If Theater watching the same 12 seconds play in an endless loop.

This summer has certainly got our attention. Next: a tree falls on the house! Coming in August.

If Arnie is thinking of running for the gubership of California, what about the movies he’s committed to do in the near term? According to Entertainment Weekly (“Now with 100% less Joel Stein!”) he’s slated to do Conan the King soon, as well as a redo of Westworld. Of course he could lumber away from either project - the former is in preproduction, which could mean “narrowing down the list of caterers for the first script conference”. But surely someone in Hollywood knows what he’s attached to - how long has it been, after all, since he hasn’t had a movie cooking? If there’s nothing on the stove right now, that’s telling.

If he runs, he will get ten bazillion Jesse voters. First-timers - only timers, really - who will vote for Arnie because it’s fun to vote for Arnie. This is not a constituency Schwartzenegger would feel compelled to court after the election, incidentally. They’re like bee stings. You can only use them once, then politically they’re dead.

Did the Hewitt show again today; much fun. At one point we were talking about Buddy Ebsen, and I did a little riff based on his initial casting as the Tin Woodman. Well. Apparently it sounded as if I said he played the Woodman in the final Oz movie. I hadn’t been off the air a minute when Generalissimo called me and said “oh, you’re in trouble now.” Wrong actor! Wrong role! Bzz! America was rising up and smiting Hugh’s email box with blistering protestations! I said no, Buddy was originally cast in the role, and I can prove it: call you back. Upstairs to the library; find book; find picture; call the studio line, and bang, back on the air. While I’m talking I’m putting out the cod wedges and lemons for supper, thinking: it’s just the dangdest life; it really is.

Wife needed printer for resume, so I gave her my old Epson. My friend Epson. My buddy. I loaded the driver disk into her PC to install the drivers. Bong. Cryptic Windows Error Code #923,912,004:

This driver cannot be used because it is currently being used by Windows. Please quit all applications, exit Windows, and try again.

Well, my mistake; I must have clicked the wrong button. Let’s click the “Install Driver” button.

This driver cannot be used because it is currently being used by Windows. Please quit all applications, exit Windows, and try again.

Translation: This driver cannot be used because it is being used. Please stop everything you are doing, reboot, and hope it works next time. And thanks for choosing Windows!

Mwah hah hah. Tonight was the only time in my life I’ve made a point of tuning into the Michael Savage show. I’ve noted before how much I dislike the fellow. Now and then I catch some of the show on the weekend rebroadcast, and I listen for the same reason an etymologist studies a bug on a pin: because eventually he thinks “hey, I’m an etymologist, not an entomologist; I should be studying words, instead of staring with horror at this grotesque little insect.” It’s just a toxic show - the sneering tone, the hot blasts of hate towards anyone to the left of John Birch’s right nut, the endless parade of straw men propped up on his personal bazooka firing range, the ceaseless litany of the country’s faults. There’s nothing good in America anymore, if you believe him. He’s the ultimate Blame America Firster. His Fourth of July show started out with an admission that he didn’t feel like celebrating anything, and if you wanted that then go listen to some jingo-spouting moron. (Not an exact quote, but you get the flavor.) (Vinegar.)

It’s radio for people who have given up. Radio for people who mistake their anger for conviction. Listening to the show is like bobbing for dog turds in a chum bucket.

Today he got bounced from his MSNBC talk show for telling a caller he should get AIDS and die. It was obvious from the article that he got punk’d by someone, probably a Stern fan who asked him if he wanted to perform a certain act on Babalooie, or whatever that tiresome routine requires. The producers cut off the caller, but Savage continued to reply to the guy on the air.

So I had to tune in to hear the explanation. Why, he lost his temper because a prank caller - are you ready? - attacked him personally! on the phone! What can a man do but express a desire that the person commits sodomy, contracts AIDS, and dies an attenuated and excruciating death? Savage, it now appears, was the victim of some strange technological cock-up whereby the words you speak into your microphone are broadcast. He was goaded into it. He was defending himself. They’ve always been out to get him off the air. Now they’ve succeeded. The Republic has been wounded; a black night of a thousand years looms on the horizon, but lo, he will continue to speak out. He said: ”If God wants me on the radio, then God will permit my voice to be heard.”

I felt the Spirit move me, and yea, I turned the radio off.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

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