We’ve a Halloween extravaganza today – and I’m not much of Halloween guy, either. Oh, I like it fine, but I don’t build my life around it. Not to say others do, but you know what I mean; some people really, really love Halloween. If I had a party to go to – an adult party, that is, not something with Poohs and princesses running around – I would like to go in costume, but only if I could maintain character all night long. Go as the Phantom of the Opera, and spend the night raging at people who failed to recognize my genius. Then again: the only thing worse than people who don’t truly inhabit their characters are the ones who do, and insist on being somber zombies who won’t enter into conversation but just stand there moaning, staring into space. So, where do you work? Mrgggghhhooo ooaaahhhmmmm. Okay, whatever.

I do have a neighborhood party tomorrow; perhaps I’ll hook up a fake computer terminal chomping on my rear and go as The Newspaper Industry. Hah! Hah! Because the internet’s killing us, you see, and –

Anyway. Today we have a threefold Halloween treat. There’s a Diner, below. There’s a spoooooky story from “Quiet, Please” – the episode regarded as the best of the lot, “The Thing on the Fourbleboard.” I finally listened to it last weekend, and it gave me prickly hackles. Pay close attention to the end; it turns and turns and turns around. AND there’s the weekly video, which is Halloween-themed as well, of course.

(One of the bleatchat comments today apologized for not hitting the buzz, because the links often went to the Strib site, and the person didn’t want to register. I understand; I don’t like to register either. You can always apply for a seven-day pass – you needn’t give your name or email. And the posts aren’t always Strib links; sometimes I’m just writing mini-columns about matters with local hooks but wider implications, to really saturate the endeavor with unearned pretension.)

Today was spent shooting & editing, although I shot down to the office for confabs and emails; also got some fine old 30s and 40s Halloween photos from the Strib archives, and they’ll be up at tomorrow. No password required! Took (G)Nat to choir – the same drill every Tuesday. Pizza first, choir later. At least they disconnected the TV, which was always playing some brain-softening cartoon that turned all the kids into dead-eyed banality-reception units. Last week someone had turned the television to a PBS financial show, and the kids reacted like vampires shown a cross made out of a saint’s femurs; it had the most unusual effect. They did something else. For the last few weeks (G)Nat and friends have been playing outside in the church courtyard anyway. That’s where she played when she went to preschool. She says she remembers it, but I think she says that just for my benefit.

While they played I worked on the movie – did a rough cut on the laptop. Usually I read, but I’m between books.

Did someone say book?




Sorry; there’ll be a lot of this in the next few weeks.




Tuesday used to be merry happy slight relaxation day, since I had no columns due the next day. Hah! What a lotus-eater I was. Now Tuesday night is crammed and jammed. Anyway. Since it’s Halloween, let’s get to the fun. First: as is our tradition, some posters.

This movie scared me horribly when I was a kid. I didn’t see much of it. I didn’t have to see much. It had Vincent Price, which meant Bad Things were imminent – even though they never really happened, if you thought about it, but c’mon, he was Vincent Price (note: next week Bleat Radio Theater will feature VP; he plays The Saint. That’s right: the role Roger Moore made famous on TV.) It was the blade. The swinging blade. The swinging blade that lowered with each stroke. It never occurred to me why anyone would install such a device in their basement, but I suppose deli-shaved meats were hard to come by in olden times. It's Poe's Pit-Pendulum Panavision Plosive-packed Price-Picture! Radio announcers must have hated this one.

Ugh. The Ritz Brothers plus a guy in a rented fur-suit: the invention of "negative integers" was probably a result of accountants figuring out a way to describe the opening day box office. Note how Bela gets fourth billing:



Sometimes I think I'd like to live in the Fifties, but then I realize: if I lived in the Forties, I could enjoy a world that had posters like this:



And then I could live in the Fifties after that. Win-win. On the other hand:

Cool poster, but I was never a Bud and Lou fan. Aside from the famous routine. That's genius. This? Eh.

This movie was released in 1948. "Quiet, Please" ran from 47 to 49. Here you go for Halloween: Ernest Chappell reading the words of Wyllis Cooper.


Done? It has a wikipedia entry.

And now here's your Diner. MP3 here; iTunes here. One of the Bleatchat comments asked why there's no longer any embedded art, and I'm afraid the answer reflects poorly on your host: I just haven't felt like putting in an extra half-hour on it. Later, perhaps. Time is dear these days - this one took a little longer than expected, as you'll hear:


Finally, for all the parents of very small children who miss Rolie Polie Olie on the Disney channel: pumpykins!

You can have your Great Pumpkin. Spooky Ookie is real.

Happy Halloween! See you at for a video. No registration required.