Went to the Mall Wednesday night to get hairs cut; had a daffy stylist with a bosom tat and a fractured patter that made me wonder what she was doing to my head. Without my glasses, I can’t tell. She did a great job, but she also dumped half the snipped hair down my collar, and I walked around the mall itching and twitching, looking like wearing a sandpaper shirt inside out. First I went to Penneys to get sunglasses. The optical department was unstaffed; try later. Wandered over to the tie department, because no matter how ugly the selection you can always find one that’s ugly in your style. While I perused I heard Elvis Costello on the speaker above. Elvis! But I couldn’t place the song. It’s come to this, I thought: when I was 20 and felt myself perfectly synchronized with the hip smart nervy Youth Culture en route from high holy England, I would have dreamed of a day when Elvis was played at Penneys. Now it’s happened, and it’s a song I don’t know. But then I recognized it: “45.” A song about records. And being 45.

The ties were all ugly. Also too wide.

Went back to the optical department; still closed. I was hungry, so I went up to Arby’s for a turkey reuben without kraut, no dressing, in a wrap. Which wasn’t a Reuben at all, really. It was a wad of shaved turkey served in dowel form. I was almost relieved when I opened the bag and discovered that they’d given me a sandwich, not a wrap. I felt better. Having eaten a Reuben at Reuben’s, it would be a sin to pretend the abomination I’d ordered deserved the name. There’s some dispute over who invented the meal, but I’d like to think that the place on Mad Av was the real thing.

Do I have a postcard of the place in its top-hats-and-tails day? Why, yes. Yes, I do.  My postcard, let me show it to you.


After the sandwich I went back to Penneys. There was a clerk at the optical department; she said she wasn’t really open, but when I said I just needed clip-on sunglasses, she relented and sold me a pair. I thanked her and left. There are enough garments in that store to cloth 40,000 people. They had about sixteen customers.

I stopped at the Gap (boring) and Eddie Bauer (same old) and looked for Bay Rum at Bath and Body Works (discontinued) and left. Outside the sun was low, the weather warm; it felt like a summer day. I remembered what my stylist had said about the weather: it’s too cold, I want it to be cold. And I twitched and itched some more and headed to the car. Soon enough, dear.

Now I’m in the gazebo – late at night, with a jacket, but hardly cold. Battery power is failing, and I really am done with the day. I did a Diner this evening – intended just to start the show, but I was on a mad peculiar roll and it all came out quite quickly. It’ll be up Friday. You can hear the happiness over the warm weather in my voice, I think. I’m off now to write tomorrow’s buzz.mn post, but if you want more, there’s a new Stagworld update, and there’s my semi-regular movie review up at Smartflix.com. I review instructional videos. Why? Because it’s just fun, that’s why, and they’re good people.

This being Thursday, here’s this week’s Bleat Radio Theater: "A Diamond as Big As the Ritz", by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The story on which this play is based appeared in Smart Set magazine in the summer of 1922; the author was 25 when he wrote it, and you can tell. It has his trademark awe of wealth and privilege, an outsider’s bite, and the same sort of willowy useless empty love-object that would float through his stories and novels. Honestly, I don’t know what the appeal is; here a fellow goes off to college and get a good education and troths himself to a ninny who would spend the entire day talking about lace doilies if the mood struck her. Anyway, it’s a nice piece of work, wry and humorous, with deep dark notes beneath the piccolos.

Oh – the show was called “Escape,” a smart and expertly produced show that ran from ‘48 to ‘54. Many literary adaptations; somehow they got “The Man Who Would Be King” down to 28 minutes, which is no small feat. Enjoy! And I’ll see you at Buzz.mn - tune in for SputnikFest 07. It's the 50th anniversary, you know. Actual real Sputnik beeping will be provided.