Gnat was transfixed by the forklift: it was picking up a pallet of beer stacked 20 feet high. I was likewise interested, since the beer seemed likely to fall over, drop 30 feet to the floor and detonate in a tsunami of Budweiser. No worse fate: drowned in Bud Light. But the operator expertly brought the pallet down, and the peril passed. I bought some wine – three 1.5 liter bottles of Yellow Tail – and off we went. At Home Depot, the fatal mistake: I bought three vent filters.
Well, no, we could have survived that. If I’d brought them in. But they were lightweight, and I always want her to help bring stuff in to participate in the daily events of the house. She went up the tunnel, up the stairs – and one of the filters came out of her grasp. It looked like she’d trip on it, so I leaned forward –
The bottles shifted in the box. The box shifted out of the crook of my elbow. One bottle fell out. Hit the rug: whew. Bounced off the rug: no. Down one step, then skipped and step and hit the third hard enough to detonate.
White painted walls. A nice shiraz. You draw the picture.
Fifty minutes later I was done swabbing the garage (the wine ran down the tunnel and pooled under my car) but there was no getting those wine stains out; I’ll have to repaint.
It looks like a slaughterhouse down there. More than usual, anyway. Smells great, too. Smells like I swabbed the floor with a moist bum. Good wine may have a pleasant bouquet in a glass, but dump a bunch of it on the floor and it’s instant flophouse.
It’s a two-column night, so, blah, blah, excuses, excuses. Perhaps a few new Noir framegrabs will ease the pain.
You know the movie is going to have lots of smoldering bad-dame-and-her-gunsel-lug action when the credits look like this.
It’s “Born to Kill,” which isn’t all that hot. Part of the second “Noir” series from Warner Brothers. The bad guy is played by Lawrence Tierney, who’s so wooden I checked IMDB to see if the cause of death was “Dutch Elm Beetles.” He mostly stands around and tries to menacing, but he looks like he’s trying come up with a good excuse to put off changing the oil this afternoon. Claire Trevor, the supposed femme fatale has an aristocratic mien that doesn’t do anything for me - there doesn’t seem to be any reason she likes the bad guy, other than she’s rotten and he’s rotten and it’s a rotten world; why don’t we kill people so we can live happily ever after? Because that always works out so well. Elisha Cook Jr. plays Elisha Cook Jr., and does so tolerably. The only bright spot is a big sack of beer and hoots played by Esther Howard.
Not even very noirish in its look. But I did enjoy a shot of Reno c. 1948:
And the obligatory montage of Wild Life, with this nice image:
And finally, a scene of no particular importance or grace – Walter Slezak, one of the more unfortunately named stars – sounds like some sort of greasy salve for gonorrheal chancres - approaches a newsman. There’s the bygone world: the obligatory suit, the man sitting in a chair on the sidewalk selling the papers, the trolley in the background, the policebox from the 20s that's been painted sixteen times. Instantly recognizable; you could fit in quickly. But utterly gone in ways we can't even begin to imagine.
What did all the coins in their pockets look like? The trolley tokens, the brand of gum (okay, we can probably guess that), the feel of the pink and slightly furry paper receipt from the cleaners, the perfume of the woman who just passed, the odor of hair cream, and so forth. No one knew those things were important, and I suppose they weren't - until they were gone and forgotten.
(New Fence. Screedblog resumes Tuesday afternoon. RSS feeds soon. Perm link here.)