Complain we might about humidity in the summer, a touch of it on a September night is like the breath of heaven. I’m in the gazebo, swatting mosquitoes; crickets and a lone contented frog in the margins of the yard. A storm is due, but they’ve said that all day. We were supposed to get Severe Weather in the afternoon, complete with hail the size of  . . . big hail, I don’t know. I’m tired of hail similes.  All I know is this: it’s midnight, I’m wearing shorts, it’s September, and there’s great drama in the trees up above. I live for this.

Gnat lost a tooth today. It was the second upper front tooth. Gives her a nice cheerful ogre look. It went right under the pillow, of course. Later I checked my wallet to see if I had a dollar to slide in the place of the tooth; only a fiver. That seemed excessive. I asked her what she expected from the Dental Familiar, and she said “well, a dime? Maybe even a quarter.” There’s something about the quarter. It has inherent heft. It’s one corner of a dollar, the cornerstone currency. Unfortunately for her, I hoard quarters for the parking meter. I let no quarter go uncorralled. Once upon a time I saved quarters for pinball; now they serve the slakeless mouth of the armless sentinel who lines the streets of the city, he said, overwriting as fast as possible. I had a JFK half-dollar on hand, though,  so that’ll do. It should surprise her, since I’m not sure she’s seen one. It’s BIG, and that counts.

She arranged her Pokemons and Webkins to greet the Tooth Fairy. You reach for your Fixative Spray to ensure that they’ll always be this age, but of course if you had such a thing you would have used it long ago. And aren’t you glad you didn’t.

After I posted a few things this morning I got the tent back into the bag. This was no small accomplishment. Behold. Above, the tent; below, the bag. It's like stuffing Fred Gwynne into Mickey Rooney's pants:

Plus I had to include this stuff as well, because you never know when you might want to hold an impromptu magician's convention in the woods:

And yet it worked. Even got the fire pit in. 


Friday’s Noir was “They Live By Night,” which the commentary trackheralded as one of the great film noirs. It was okay. Young Love on the Run, with a young Farley Granger looking all confused and worried, as usual. In this picture it seems like his mouth is slowly trying to inch off his face, hoping it won’t be noticed. The commentary track was notable for the presence of . .. Farley Granger, who’s 82 but has a bat-free attic. He wasn’t too clear on the details, though, and didn’t seem particularly interested in them. According to his autobiography, he slept with both Leonard Bernstein and <biting knuckle> Ava Gardner, </biting knuckle> which explains why Frank Sinatra said he hates Mahler. No, I made that up. But I can imagine him saying it. Mahler’s for losers, pally.

Yes, I know Mickey Rooney was married to Ava Gardner. I'm not even going to try to tie any of this together. Unless you can find YouTube video of Herman Munster brawling with Sinatra to the "Rumble" music of "West Side Story." Don't bother looking. It's not there. They've supressed it for years.

The movie had few interesting moments of inadvertent documentary, but this snippet of a late 40s street in a small California town:

That’s how it was. Beat-up cars, pool halls, weigh-yourself machines, dust.

I was amused and gratified to see who played the man who ran the all-night Marriage Bureau. Fire up the Atavachron:

Criminey: was he always 78 years old? Cool fact: Ian Wolfe was one of six credited Trek actors who was born in the 19th century.

Brett Somers died. I never knew why she was on the Match Game; she seemed like some strange dangerous aunt your mother never wants to invite over but could not avoid.  She wasn’t funny; she wore Kim Jung-Il glasses; she settled the question of what a woman of a Certain Age would look like in a Dorothy Hamill haircut, she brayed out every sentence, would periodically become dimly aware of the presence of Charles Nelson Reilly next to her and slap him with a card, and seemed one highball away from falling backwards off the stage. You suspect that the area behind her riser had mattresses and pillows. But it would not have been the Match Game without her, and that’s enough to make us doff hats and play the theme in remembrance.

It was written by Robert Israel, who also wrote the “Family Feud” theme. The “Feud” theme is a pure example of the hix-mix strains in the culture at the time; it’s Hee-Haw Waltons-friendly Deliverance-with-a-smile we got us a CONVOY-type music, a melody as bright as the sunlight bouncing off Burt Reynold’s moustache.  The Match Game theme can be reduced down to the bass line and the waa-waa guitar, but it veers hard into 60s lounge / game show territory after a while.

Ultra-special bonus points: he wrote the theme song for “The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show.”


Music like this reminds me how much time I wasted watching TV as a kid. And how little that eventually mattered. New Funny Book, and of course buzz.mn all day. Tomorrow, the ad site really starts, and then the Screedblog returns.

Oh, lots of stuff in the works. ;)