Cool day, wet and cloudy. The true sense of Halloween without all the cartoony accoutrements. Mystery and dread in the tenebrous gloom. Walked the dog; he seemed a bit surprised when we turned back at the bottom of the hill, but fine. Plod back up. Picked him up to carry him up the stairs, the usual slight grunt: humph. You can say: why are you dragging out a dog who’s two months shy of 19 years, who can’t even walk up the stairs? Because when I walked outside and picked up the leash he headed to the back gate.

When we get to the bottom of the stairs he looks left, and right, and chooses.

He walked slowly around the dinner table as the family chatted about the day, waiting for the inevitable thump of the plate of the mat: Meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Hearty fall fare. Lucky him daughter hates meatloaf, no longer how I dress it up. It’s Hamburger Slab! It’s Chuck Wad! Not a speck left on the plate when he was done. Plopped down on his mat and sighed and stared at the wall.

A few hours later the rain came, and of course the bladder speaks about then, so outside. Some days when he wants to come back in he puts up a foot, as if remembering when he bounded up the steepest stairs the world could craft, and then he takes it back, and looks up, and waits. Grunts when he’s picked up. Clacks back to his mat.

He did not stir last night when I said “Yes!” when I finished the novel. Maybe because I didn’t actually say it. I just nodded and walked away and got out the headphones and listened to Cheap Trick. The book clocks in at 72,000 words. The mystery, which is a sprawling mess, works. The last minute revelations are plausible. The preposterous machinations are gone. The whole thing is a headlong tumble, different from anything I’ve done, and sets up the book that literally ties together everything I’ve written.

After that I might be done. I get that feeling a lot these days. It’s odd. It’s a mood, I know, but it’s there. I lack a next. I’m focused on perfecting what I did, honing, cleaning, arranging. You get in a mubblefubble mood and feel spent and repetitive -

- and then there’s a knock on the studio door, and daughter has a question. She was watching a TV show and one of the characters said he liked Beethoven because it didn't have any bad connotations (I’m paraphrasing) and another character said “You’ve never seen Clockwork Orange, then.” Which leads to a conversation about Burgess, the book, Russian slang, the realization that appreciation of high art is no indication of morality, and the nature of free will. That’s what was next.

Every morning, really, the question that starts the three sections of “Clockwork Orange.” What’s it going to be then, eh? Coffee and sausage first and then we’ll figure something out. As long as we make something today, we’ve earned our keep. You may be at the bottom of the stairs but you still have a choice. This way or that.

Monday I posted this:

 

I think I asked where it was, who drew the cartoon character, or something like that. "Claridge" alone wouldn't be enough; I'm sure there are many Hotel Claridges, all trading on the reputation of the London hostelry. The Kleenex sign had Little Lulu, and I remmeber my grandma had a Little Lulu storybook with a real packet of Kleenxes built right in.

Because this is the 21st century with a giant connected database I can access in seconds. I found the book. Many copies for sale here and there, too. Never thought I'd see it again, and really, that's quite something. The rule: Overall, someone saved something and eventually everyone saves everything.

Anyway, the light pole is the final hint. Hotel, Neon sign, light pole: probably Times Square, right. Right. Another close-up from the 1959 picture:

But wait, you say. 1959? How do you know? Anwer for that one at the bottom of the page. The answer is in this picture.

It's also hinted at the picture above. In a way.

 

   

Last week we saw our heroes vaporized by an Atomic Eye, and gosh, how could they get out of that one? It wasn’t them. It was two agents from Vultura who looked like them, come to see Dr. Tobor about something.

Just to be clear: the forces of Vultura can shapeshift. This is something they toss into the mixture in the middle.All the attempts to kill Captain Video could be accomplished with one single shapeshifter infiltrating their organization. Of course once the concept is introduced, it’s promptly dropped, because it would cause too many complications.

Anyway:

We begin with the one thing that characterizes this exciting, action-packed serial: phone calls.

Vultura is either calling Tobor or Tobor is calling Vultura. In either case Tobor is apologizing to Vultura for failure, and Vultura takes it in stride and promptly cooks up another scheme on the spot as half-assed as the one he produced before.

Watching it all with a servility that's intensified by hatred and contempt, it's Skelton Kraggs, who's really giving the full Skelt in this ep.

That’s the invisibility cloak activator, which activates the invisibility cloak. It's something they've just had hanging around. Along with shapeshifting. So with shapeshifting invisible powers, they still can't do anything about Captain Video.

Evil Dr. Tabor hears from Vultura that Captain Video (and the Ranger!) are en route to pick up an Atomic Lookilator or something from the Apex Warehouse. Stop him! With that device he will be able to see everything, from my massed armies to the naughty mags under my bed!

Tobor uses the Cloak of Invisibility thus: he hides behind a rock with a gun. Invisibility being absolutely critical to this:

Instead of driving to the Apex factory, he hides out in the hills and shoots at Captain Video as he drives past. Shoots out his tire.

But at least he beats him to the WAREHOUSE OF THE FUTURE. Remember, this is Earth centuries from now:

Doesn't go well. And here we finally have it: Vultura's starting to realize how things really are.

He promptly gives him another job, of course. But will he succeed?

That'll be interesting, since he fell out of a suborbital platform at the end. By "springs a trap" maybe his lifeless, asphyxiated body hits a leg-hold someone out out for a wolf and triggers it.

--

Mystery solved: this movie came out in 1959.

Amazing how much info can be captured in a picture, eh?

The poster for "Anatomy of a Murder was done by Saul Bass, of course. He did logos as well. One of which, eventually . . . was Kleenx.

 

 

 

   
 

 
   
 
 
   
 
 
     
 
 
   
     
 
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