The new emergency room at Southdale Fairview is quite nice! It's brand new. The old one was like, well, an emergency room; harsh light and institutional seating. The new one looks like a hotel lobby, with partitioned areas whose most striking aspect are large flat-screen TVs. Because when you're bleeding internally you want some entertainment. I was surprised they weren't all tuned to Airport CNN.
It's been a while since we went out on a Saturday night, so it was a break from the routine. Not exactly dinner and dancing, though. Wife had enjoyed her usual Saturday: up and out to a workout class, two hours of planting stuff in the broiling sun, then tennis outdoors. Add it all up and it spells Heat Stroke. She came home a bit shaky while the Giant Swede and I were sitting under the gazebo cover. (The new one. The old one, which was too small, was removed, and the new one fit. Huzzah.) When she told her story - almost passing out, having to lay in the grass while they poured ice on her, I said "you need some electrolytes. I will go get you Gatorade."
"I don't want Gatorade," she said.
"It has electrolytes. They're what plants crave."
"Nevermind. I will get electrolytes." So I drove to Wallgreens and bought some Power Zero. So many options. MANGO CRUSH FUEL-AIDE RECHARGING FLUID with a POWER NOZZLE for EXTREME HYDRATION and so on. It didn't seem to help, though, and she wasn't in good shape. Google Heat Stroke, would you? All the pages had to do with symptoms and immediate actions; nothing about how you feel like a train hit you three hours later. Obviously she wasn't still heat-stroken; she'd taken a cold shower until she started to feel chilled and then had taken a hot shower before thinking we're really complicating the narrative here.
We figured she needed to have fluids installed directly into the pipes, where it would stay in place. Off to the hospital where daughter was born. First step was the triage room; the nurse asked lots of questions, and wrote everything done. Asked her if I beat her. She said no.
"That's what you'd better say," I said. I'M SORRY I know, but I couldn't help it. I made some noises about the bad wifi and said I had to text daughter and left the room, just in case the nurse said no seriously, and I wasn't there to glower like Offlo Jabagaj and twirl my Turkish moustach. Then we went down a hallway that felt like a very nice prison for financial criminals, into a small room connected to the pod. There were eight rooms around the pod, four pods on the floor. I kept hearing a musical pattern of seven notes.
Another nurse came in and asked her the same questions and wrote it all down. I asked about the music. Was someone playing the piano?
"It's an alarm," she said. "It makes that sound when a monitor slips off someone's finger."
So shouldn't you be . . . I don't know, checking? I thought. Then it changed to something more urgent, but it was in a major key so it couldn't too bad. The nurse said they got "alarm fatigue" sometimes and tuned them out. Oh.
Then "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" played over the speakers, wherever the speakers were; the song just appeared. I asked what that was.
"It means a baby was born," the nurse said. And then she said something about new life as someone else dies, which I can't quite remember. You get a 30,000 feet perspective in that line, I guess.
The doctor came in. He said: "Tell me your story." If it had been me I would have said "It all started in a small 5,000 watt radio station" and no one would have got the reference. There was a tech at a keyboard writing down her Story for the third time. The doctor explained everything and used some Latin, so we knew this was normal, inasmuch as it wasn't. Then he said he was going to put her on a drip for 2 hours, and I almost said "she's had a drip for 26 years!" ha ha husband joke, but nevermind.
Well, it was just her and the TV now; they all the channels. She bade me to go and run an errand if I needed to, so I walked back to the car. I had parked in the Southdale lot so I didn't have to pay ramp costs, and that was a small hike.
Went to the Traders Joe parking lot just so I could get this shot:
Then Target. Their security cameras would have shown a guy who came in, looked at the display of peanuts, took a picture, went to the luggage department, picked up a suitcase lock (TSA approved!) then put it back, went to cleaning and got a package of screen wipes, sniffed the Mrs. Meyer Clean Day Red Clover dish soap, put it in his cart, went to Water, chose one bottle of blueberry BAE brand water, put the Red Clover dish soap back, then took a phone call and checked out. So he came to Target at 9:35 on Saturday night for screen wipes. Huh.
When I checked my phone in the car it was my wife again, saying she'd be out soon, but could I get her a Smoothie?
So the security tapes would show Mr. Screen Wipes reentering the store, proceeding to the cooler, bending down to look at the Kafir Smoothie AntiOxident Superfood Infused, then shaking his head and leaving the store without buying anything. If they ran the tapes back six hours they would have seen me enter, get a bottle of Tide and one roll of clear packing tape, and then leave. What the hell, this guy.
I figured they would have more smoothies at Wallgreens. As I entered the parking lot there was a woman standing in the middle of the asphalt expanse; she stared at me. She moved to place herself in front of my path, then moved away. She stared at me as I parked.
I got out of the car.
"I'm sorry!" she laughed. "I was checking to see if you were my Lyft driver!"
"I'm sorry I'm not!"
"I'm actually your UBER driver."
There was a smoothie that was better than the Target smoothie, and I bought it and got to the emergency room door just as my wife was getting out. And so that was our exciting Saturday night. The difference being we didn't see a show and the bill will come in three weeks and it will be some absurd amount of money for a bag of water.
So that was Saturday! I've pretty much told you everything except the hideous worry part.
Here's something from the back of Western Stories magazine: the Hollow Tree, written by "Helen Smith." Sure. It was a place to leave messages for others, and ask for pen pals, because the Internet was a half-century away AT LEAST. It starts out like this:
The CCC, of course, as the relief program known as the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal program that ran from '33 until the war removed all excuses for not having steady employment. Since it was work for food, not a handout, and they built public parks, it was quite popular - although only three million people total participated.
About Ray Lenton, the Jingles King, history is silent.
Time on thier hands and itchy pens. Ruth and Clara sounded like a handful.
We'll have more through Thursday.
Is there something beyond the stars, Doctor? Well, is there?
There had better be, or we don't have a show.
We won't see these guys again; they're just here to say ominous things about the sky. Because the sky contains wondrous things. Also things the guys at the gas station banged together for their friend, who was making this movie:
Who's inside? THE WORST POSSIBLE THING
Very little I can say MST3K hasn't, but that's not what this feature is about. You know what you're going to get with one of these; humanoid aliens who look exactly like they're supposed to look. Tall, impassive, wearing jump suits, bent on conquest. If you're a fan of bad movies to be enjoyed for their badness, without commentary, then this is what you watch. I understand that. They remind me of youth, when the Saturday Afternoon movie would have creature features, and even then they seemed like something from another era, long ago, strange but somehow connected to ours. (This was because they were in black and white.)
Here's what's different about this movie:
They're all gay! No, it's not that. Let me back up; this is the scene where they land and a dog starts barking.
That violates the modern rules of movie-making right there; it would be less shocking if they'd skeletonized a human. I'm serious. That would have been shocking, but on the other hand if it was an old farmer, well, he'd had a good life. You don't do this to dogs. So from the start you think this might be different.
It isn't. Well, the Good SpaceTeen shows himself to be principled; he pulls a gun on the Captain because the planet is unacceptable for their purposes. The Captain says look, pal, we have to find grazing ground for our Gargans, so let's get a move on. The Good SpaceTeen gives a big speech about how they're going back on their history and heritage, and they used to be about love and life, and now they're grown in tubes and raised in pens, and other such things that make the Captain think "teens. I had to have teens on my ship."
Anyway, you can tell they're all superior beings, because they do not use contractions. The Gargans like Earth well enough, so they're going to invade. The Good SpaceTeen, who's named Derek, escapes; Bad SpaceTeen Thor goes after him. Derek walks to town and finds a nice family to take him in:
Thor, meanwhile, goes on a reign of terror:
Would that have been more shocking if he hadn't done it to the dog first? I don't know. I suspect it's the only such trick the movie has, so they'd best use it sparingly.
Thor goes to the pool party, and . . .
See? We're already a bit tired of it. He defleshes three others before he's wounded in a gun battle - and then he hides in a car and forces Derek (who by the way is the SON OF THE LEADER) to take him to a doctor "to remove the metal pellets from my flesh." He really has a Ray Liotta thing going on.
Anyway, there's more running around as the teenagers try to save the world. The Gargan grows and leaves its cave and threatens to terrorize the town.
Warning to young filmmakers: the word "seafood" should appear in your catering bill, not your FX budget.
Anyway, Derek beats the lobster, gets his mojo back, breaks Thor out of stir, then goes back to the landing site. You can tell the sky is darkening with alien vessels:
The Teen from Outer Space - who is really the son of the Supreme Leader, so he's like a prince and everything too!!!! - sacrifces himself for humanity, and turns into Space Jesus:
Tom Graeff's entire film career consisted of this one film and work editing another. He shot it for $5000, performed much of the work himself, and gave his boyfriend David Love (Charles Robert Kaltenthaler) the lead role. Graeff was 28 and Love 23 when the film was shot. Graeff died 12 years later after an apparent mental breakdown.
The film failed to perform at the box office, placing further stress on an already-burdened Graeff, and in the fall of 1959, he suffered a breakdown, proclaiming himself as the second coming of Christ. After a number of public appearances, followed by a subsequent arrest for disrupting a church service, Graeff disappeared from Hollywood until 1964. He committed suicide in 1970.