I haven’t said much about Al Franken’s Senate Campaign, for the same reason I’m not talking about the presidential bid of Pat Paulson’s corpse, but this was rich: his solution to high energy  prices was revealed the other day, and it includes the usual sweeping initiatives: weatherizing people’s homes at Federal expense. Ah, but how to pay for such a thing? He would use part of the revenue generated by releasing oil from the Strategic Reserve. How much? Grab something and hold tight, because here comes the flood: 50 million barrels.

Which amounts to two and a half days’ consumption.

An ordinary day – blazingly hot and humid, which is just jake by me. Lots of work to do tonight, alas, so I’m going to have to load this up with . . . pictures! The trip to the grocery store was the usual cornucopia of peculiarities, not the least of which were the patrons, but I can’t take their picture. If I’d had a video camera I would have sneaked some shots of a fellow who stood in front of the cracker aisle and said, over and over, “They took it away. They just took it away.” I know how he feels; a man gets used to a certain cracker, and a man expects it’ll be around. But never ever stake your cravings on a brand extension. Ritz crackers will be around forever, but Ritz with Sour Cream and Chives? They can snatch that away the minute it goes south, or there’s a chive shortage. I had my own premonition of the end of the Mazola Pure Butter Spray – it’s something I spritz on “natural” microwave popcorn, if such a thing can exist, because it gives a little juice to the styro kernels, and lets them hold a few grains of salt. Well, it’s been disappearing from stores one by one, and in fact its appearance at Rainbow was the reason I switched to that store. So what do I see, but the dreaded word CLEARANCE below the cans. Half price. I bought eight. Left one for someone else.

Herewith this week's study of the world of food-specific mass marketing.

Why bother to change the signs? People know they’re wrong.

In the world of cereal, innovation continues apace:

I’ve never seen the Captain branch out into sports, and I do question the appeal of bat and ball shaped pieces; I doubt they import more crunchetizing power than the traditional shapes. It is interesting to note that the rank of the cereal does not need to be mentioned; simply CRUNCH is enough, if the Captain is screaming sugared glee on the box.

I have no love for the Flintstones, so this really didn’t hit me where I live:

It seems like a lot of words. It’s good to know they have perfected the technique by which S’more flavor is imparted to the pieces, and you do want to give them a mild round of applause for coming up with Dino-smores – get it? – but this is just prolonging the inevitable end of the Flintstones. For heaven’s sake, more than 40 years of this yabba-dabba-doo-doo. Not to say I wouldn’t pick up a box of Ann-Margrock cinnamon-flavored cereal, because I would, but that’s different.

And what's up with Dino's hands?

Finally: food science has finally cracked the secret to preparing bacon for microwave radiation. Before this, the bacon was taken completely unawares.

No noir this week – instead, I watched “Executive Suite,” one of those earnest 50s films based on a popular book. Perhaps this was America’s first look at the grim realities behind the corporate façade – infighting! Differences of opinions about product lines! Stock used as a bargaining chip! It was directed by John Houseman, and has an arresting first-person point-of-view beginning, but after that it’s all two-shots and pensive white guys.

That's the movie's acting style, right there. Then there are gripping moments where the secretary goes into the office of the fellow in charge of . . .

Material rejection! He's pretty zen about the factory, it seems. The movie has a smallish ration of William Holden, who finally turns up the burners about two minutes before the movie's over. Here's a swank modern pad c. 1953:

Three! In case they ever forgot what was between two and four. I wouldn't bring it up except for the opening credits, which were unintentionally amusing. Imagine you're in the theater. Big screen, You're near the front. You have a bit of a headache. The movie begins:





Well, it's back to the dentist tomorrow for more fun, and that means nothing to eat in the morning and nothing to eat or drink after midnight tonight, since I'll be hopped up on goofballs. This means a light day on buzz.mn, but I expect to chime in when the drugs wear off.

I'll try to twitter from the chair before I slide into Lethe. See you there! And there's a new comic, as well. Thanks for the visit.