HOW WERE WE SUPPOSED TO KNOW? IT CAME WITH THE COMPUTER. NO ONE TOLD US IT WASN’T GOOD.
Calm down! Look I’m just saying -
IT’S FRIENDLY. IT’S GENTLE, LIKE THE MAN. CAN’T YOU SEE HOW HE’S TALKING WITH CHILDREN? CHILDREN WOULD LIKE THOSE WORDS.
Okay, okay! I’m sorry I brought it up.
That is how I imagine the conversation would go, but we’ll get to that.
Tuesday I went on an expedition looking for statues, because that is my job and I like it. Drove to the Lincoln statue on Victory Memorial Parkway, a straight-shot road on the north side laid out in 1922. You get there by threading through Theodore Wirth Park, and then the road is straight as a blade, with the trees standing like soldiers.
Or guardians of soldiers, really: in the grass are markers for the men who fell in WWI.
There's no Google entry for Walter Lukkoken. There should be now.
The Lincoln statue is humble; no looming Colossus of Abe.
Took Olson Memorial Parkway back, a broad road that defies any sort of redevelopment. No one would stand for widening the road and losing grass, but it feels too wide for the residential neighborhood. You drive at the posted speed and zip right past a statue, unless you’re on Statue Patrol. Then you turn off, park, pass a few houses with BEWARE OF DOG on the door and a faded, forlorn mood that tells you it’s been occupied by the same people for 50 years, and time stopped in that house about 25 years ago. There is a shelf with small ceramic figurines and other knick-knacks from the middle 60s. The statue’s small plaza is weedy and forgotten:
Floyd B. Olson, a governor in the 30s. This road was being constructed when he died in 1936, and they named it after him.
Despite considerable achievements and popular support, Olson's administration was marred by allegations made by crusading newspaper editor Walter Liggett that there were links between some members of his administration and organized crime. No evidence ever implicated Olson personally, however.
Liggett was gunned down in front of his family in 1935. Kid Cann, Minnesota gangster, was charged with but not convicted of the killing.
Those were the days.
Then to Loring Park, where I parked on one side of the lake and walked around to get to Ole Bull. This is all in Minneapolis proper; it’s all City, but there’s so much parkland and water and trees you never get that feeling of urban claustrophobia.
I got my picture of Ole Bull and watched some geese - filthy things, but you have to live with them - and listened to some guys arguing about a chess game. Nothing makes you appreciate the cultural portability of chess like hearing a fellow say "and that's how I kilt your bitch."
An ordinary summer day in the city. And now to go write the story about the statues. No idea what I'm going to say, but it's due tomorrow, so it will be done, and that's that.
Oh! Almost forgot.
On the way back I swung into the circular driveway for Theodore Worth golf course clubhouse, and outside there’s a sculpture group of Mr. Wirth, suffering the little children to come unto him. (I never understood that phrase. Or at least how it was a good thing.) He is kindly and the kids are happy and it’s all very pastoral and paternal. But then there’s the plaque.
You know, it really is just back and forth 'twixt Moon and the desert, but I don't know what else I expected.
When last we saw the gang, they were passing out from Lethal Gas that wasn’t immediately lethal, because why would you use that?
I know they have to leave out details for these things to be remotely plausible, but last week he did not hit the button.
Well, the police shows up, as they do when you press the emergency button that’s conveniently located on your desk, and while the cop is investigating the moron Criminals escape, and Cody goes after them in the cop car. A little inadvertent documentary of old Los Angeles as Cody gives chase:
That's some quality old LA; wish I could place it. There's a wall ad for Raphael Glass in one scene, and while the company was big enough to show up in old documents, the address for the company doesn't quite match up to the scene. Too bad there's nothing else to look up.
It's Los Angeles Street. In Los Angeles. Back to the story:
It should be noted that Cody fires out the window at the car, and misses, so presumably the bullets went somewhere. Alas, we see several people drop dead, and Cody stops, stricken, and realizes his carelessness has cost three lives, and it’s all useless anyway since the Moon will invade soon, and he puts the remaining round in his skull.
No, he tells his Gal Pal to get closer so he can shoot some more. But he’s out of bullets! Lucky for him and the plot, the car has . . . .
The road’s rough, though, and . . .
CRAP CRAP CRAP NOT MY DAY FOR GAS But his best gal smacks the car into the Criminals, who emerge from the wreck as we would expect them to:
HATS. ON. But the cops blame Cody for some reason - something about taking a cop car and shooting wildly during a high-speed chase - and everyone goes down to the station house. Cody talks his way out of it, and has the Criminals released so they can be followed. It’s a planned pursuit, you see. Cody surprises them, but apparently the effects of being gassed twice in one afternoon have made his reflexes sluggish.
And it’s on. So, car chase: check. Gunplay: check. Flying suit: check. Fistfight: check. By the way, President Moon is listening in, and probably isn’t happy about this:
Idiot. How stupid do you have to be to get yourself in that situation?
On the other hand:
I think that title should have come with a spoiler warning.
ONE MORE TO GO! Will Cody save the earth? Tune in next Wednesday. (Spoiler: no! Everyone dies!)