Here is a thing that is askew with the world. It is very, very minor. I had set the DVR to record “The Walking Dead,” even though I find the show tiresome and depressing. The last two weeks before the show started again - like many Important cable shows, it stops in the middle of the season so it can leak all dramatic momentum - the DVR started filling up with shows from previous seasons, just to get me in the mood for watching people drive sharp implements into the eye sockets of rotten telemarketing executives. At least that’s what I like to think they are. I got a call on my cell today from one of those “there’s nothing wrong with your credit card, but it is important that you call us now so we can take advantage of your mental infirmity to give you a card with a 37% interest rate.” I would like the people who set up these companies to wander the woods of Georgia, their skin hanging off their bones, waiting for someone to cut off their head. But this is not what “The Walking Dead” is about, so you have to add your own details.

The descriptions for the shows are always amusing: “The group is spread thin.” “A rescue mission.” “New challenges face the group.” “The group meets some people who may not be what they seem.” If the descriptions were honest, they’d say: “Characters you will not be seeing next season enjoy a little character development so you’ll feel something when they are eaten.” “Rick’s humanity diminishes in exact proportion to his facial hair.” “Someone finds a can of chili.”

Since all the descriptions were familiar, inasmuch as they were meaningless, I just went through and deleted, deleted, deleted. I was unaware that one of them was the premier. So now I’ve gone from not caring that I saw it to being annoyed that I missed it - something that would be easy to cure if the channel reran the show. Which they did, all night, but not today.

I could buy it on iTunes, but I’ve already bought it. I could download it from iTunes by tying in my DirecTV account, but no such arrangement exists. I will have to wait a week before it rolls around.

I should be able to get it now on the platform to which I pay money. This is 2015. There should be no such thing as a TV show you missed. They’re not comets or thunderclaps.

I was reading an article in the paper on Target’s new ideas (nothing startling) and suddenly realized there was the visual equivalent of a railing, a handhold, something that could keep you from skidding into the tarpits of the Comments. The usual misanthropy. On the idea of offering kid-sized carts:

Little brats to clog up the aisles for people trying to get in and out of the store without catching pink eye, measles or strep throat. Oh goody! Another dreadful idea.

It’s possible this person is nice to everyone and known for good cheer and a bright disposition, and only turns into a black hole of sunshine-sucking negativity online. I just wonder if the person spends hours every day roaming around news stories, telling people what’s what. Because people need to be told what’s what. In this case, the author also said that his / her family regards Target as just another Wal-Mart, and there’s no point to going there when you can go to Kowalski’s for groceries.

Well, A) Kowalski’s is much more expensive, B) has fewer items, and C) has the kid-sized carts. But it’s the Commentator’s Creed: you should stop doing what you do and stop liking what you like. Stop that.

On repairs to a major road that goes north-south:

Just shut it down and remove the freeway permanently. Redevelop all the land and heal the scars caused by car sewers slicing apart cities.

This is a person who is not happy in this country, and feels superior to most of it. Every bite of food galls, knowing it came in on car sewers, when it could have been grown down the block, if people tore down their garages and built greenhouses.

Is it possible to disagree with that comment while being smug and disagreeable? Of course:

But then Minneapolitans would be cut off from the outside world and will not be able to have their iPads, craft beers, trendy clothing, food for their hipster restaurants, coffee and all other consumables delivered to them.

Oh, man! That iPad crack - zing! You city people with yer tablet-devices! Why, out here in the real world we have Big Indian pads, come in five colors and one of ‘em’s goldenrod. You want a game, you play tic-tac-toe. Note the other insults: craft beers. Unavailable outside of the city, because everyone wants watery lager. Can’t give that Pale Ale away. Trendy clothing! Why I hear in the cities now they’re wearin’ pants with buttons on the front instead of a zipper.

Finally, the most devastating riposte of them all: food for their hipster restaurants.

Right now there are guys sitting at an Applebee’s with a flip-phone in their pocket drinking Bud and watching sports on TV while waiting for some chicken strips. You know what? I’ll bet they’re content. I’ll bet they’re enjoying themselves, and why not? You get that ranch for dipping, it’s pretty good. Their choices do not invalidate mine. My choices are available to them, and vice versa. But you suspect they think the Minneapolis people look down on them, which many do, just as the some of them look down on the Minneapolis people, and both groups regard each other with a sneer across the gulf of an old highway.

It’s the worst on news sites, where the comments make you think that everyone who reads news sites has one key, and every story is a lock into which they shove it. Sometimes it turns. Sometimes it doesn’t. Smug, narrow, old, bilious, and arrogant - who knew there were so many of them?



You could say we've come a long way from the days when almost every episode began with a brilliant illustration of Elsie and her family, and you'd be right.

The Laugh of the Century doesn't even seem to have produced a second of mirth in this instance. It's from Billboard magazine, of all things. The Mitchell Company was based in Minneapolis, and I hope they did well with these, because when you're stuck with a load of gag ties and no one's buying, it's the sort of thing a fellow would beat him self up about. I shoulda known! I shoulda known!




A reference that modern audiences, for the most part, might not get. It's a peculiar tableau - the furniture is modern, but the picture frame isn't, and the lady could be a dowager of a certain age who lacks for male companionship, and hence is possessed by the delusion that the Student Prince actually dwells within the talking box.

V-M's gone, but of course there's a webpage for enthusiasts and collectors.





As Freud said - oh, never mind.

Sales must have been soft, if they decided that they needed to show a pretty girl and corn in its unprocessed state. The thing about Corn Flakes is this: no one cares that they're from corn. There's not much about them that suggests corn at all. In fact it's a disconnect to show corn like this, because it reminds you of sweet buttered salted corn on the cob, which has no relation whatsoever to the bowl of dry flakes you're about to eat.



Tri-Ban kills rats, mice . . . and anything else? What's the third part of the Tri?

What I love is the color: you got your meat flavor and your grain flavor. It's colored for the poisoner's benefit, as if you shouldn't feel bad about putting it out because they're getting a good meal out of it.


My parents had one of these. It sounded like such a great idea, until you thought about it a little more.

Hot electrical coils embedded in fabric. Great idea!

But don't put a blanket over an electrical heater. FIRE!


Jimmy finally got "the gang" off his back when he agreed that the razor removed the 1/32nd inch of fuzz he had, along with the rest of the boys.

There's a "Knapp Shaver Road" in Unadilla, NY - so either the locals were known for a long history of shaving Knapps, or that's where they were made.



Finally, historical bacon, in perhaps its most noble form:


I'm not one of those people who goes nuts over bacon and thinks it's funny to add bacon to anything or tell people how much you love bacon. But this is something else. BACON PIZZA.

A new idea! All American!



That's it today; I'm just in a dial-tone mood. Snow on Tuesday, and lots of it, they say. Good: I've meatloaf planned, and that's hunkering-down food. See you around.



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