On Father's Day I was reminded I am a lucky, lucky man; Daughter wanted to spend time together - not that we don't spend lots of time together already, even if some of it is just her down the hall writing and me in my room writing, and one or the other shouting out to come see this or listen to this. That counts. Sometimes it's the best. But she wanted to go see Captain America, having seen the annual Pixar movie with friends on Friday. Yes, she knew it was a tradition; of course she would go see it again
But I wanted to see Cap more than I wanted to see Finding Dory. For some reason I needed to see Captain America. Didn't know anything about the movie except for the "Civil War" part, and I always hate it when they fight. Yes, Marvel heroes squared off all the time, but there's just something dismaying about the rise of the internal division narrative - Cap vs. Iron Man, Batman vs. Superman. I knew who I was rooting for, and since it was a Captain America movie and not an Iron Man movie, you knew who the movie would be rooting for. I've gotten tired of Downey's bitchy quippy turns as Stark, but here he was just excellent, and wrong. And right. But wrong.
Since I hadn't read anything or seen any trailers, I only knew one thing - Spiderman shows up. That part was delightful. I didn't know about Ant-Man, which was delightful. I didn't know about the Black Panther, and thought introducing a third side into the debate kept the story from setting into a two-track rut. What I appreciated was the lowering of stakes - the planet was not at risk - and that made it seem more interesting. More credible, inasmuch as these things can be credible.
On the way to the theater I was talking to daughter about how I always winched at the wholesale destruction in these movies - who's going to pay for that? What of the people injured in office buildings, the capital destroyed, the infrastructure ruined? Turns out that was exactly what it was about. For once: consequences.
Trailers: Independence Day 2, or, Judd Hirsch is still alive and still can't get a decent shave. Bill Pullman looks beaten. Rogue One: yes yes yes yes thank you yes.
Afterwards we went to Perkins to eat. Couldn't think of a place, and Perkins has everything, and I had a hankering for the patty melt. Googled the closest one; it was on old Highway 12, now 394, and I told daughter this was where I came in college to sit at the counter and write when I wanted to get away from the Valli. She thought that was pretty cool: writing at a counter! Like a real writer in the old days.
It had been remodeled, of course. It looked spare. It was freezing. Everyone was old. I mean, everyone was old. We were filed away in the back and handed menus that didn't look like familiar Perkins menus. The waitress was curt. It smelled of old people. The menu didn't look right. No one said anything; it was just all Old Dads in baseball caps staring at pie.
"Let's go," I said. She said yes let's go.
The manager was surprised as we left - what could possibly be unexpected about Perkins? Who doesn't know exactly what they're getting? What was disappointing or strange?
"Nothing personal," I said, "we just decided against it."
There was another fellow standing by the register, and he said "We need to talk too because we're going to have a problem." I passed a woman with a hairy upper lip and her cheeks puffed out like Dizzy Gillespie and her tongue protruding slightly. GAH
In the car I said "It was like a movie, and there would be a flash of lightning and everyone would be skeletons with cobwebs hanging off them and then there would be another flash and everyone would be back to normal."
"They were already like that," Daughter said.
"I have no interest in being an old guy with a baseball cap staring at pie because it's Father's Day," I said, thinking: Hope I die before I get old.
My Generation - well, the one slightly before - has been muttering that all their lives.
Later I figured it out: it was like dream Perkins. You go to Perkins in your dream and it's supposed to be Perkins and it is Perkins but you know it's not, even though it has to be. It's just wrong.
A movie and laughter and a day to recollect with happiness, because it was all good, and so normal. So ordinary. Can't ask for more, and I don't.
Speaking of Father's Day: you may have seen some internetty pique over this.
"IT'S (really) HER DAY."
Ha ha! Smart marketing, that. Moms go to Old Navy, I'd guess. Provision garments for the whole family. I've seen young men there, but they're not the sort you associate with the Dad demographic. They might agree with the shirt because, you know, Dads are lame and women are awesome. What fascinates me about this is the number of people involved who thought this was a good idea - from the person who came up with the shirt to the designer to the marketer to all the photographer to the stylist and everyone else who thought it's funny 'cause it's true.
Even though it's not true.
In what sense is Father's Day really her day? It's like the Father's Day TV ad that celebrated . . . Mothers. Well, single mothers, who had to fill in the role vacated by the father. I suppose you could argue that kids with two parents are privileged, to use the term that drizzles bile on anything that confers an advantage no matter how it was achieved. Anyway, no one saw how that T-shirt was insulting. No one stopped to think how foolish they looked, because they couldn't stand to see a Father praised without getting miffy and thin-lipped because women had been excluded by the sentiment. Which was, to remind you, simply Happy Father's Day. No, I'm not upset. I think it's funny, because they don't realize how they appear.
Tribalism and insularity leads to self-righteousness and ignorance, but since the only people telling them they're idiots are outside the tribe, they can be ignored. Or you can just wait and Facebook will ban them.
The comments defending the shirt are wonderful.There are also people offended that people are offended by different things than they might choose.
Pen-pal requests from folks who wanted to connect with another human being. Someone. FOR GOD'S SAKE ANYONE.
I don't think he's very lonely. He probably has little need for lots of friends. Stamps are his friends. All those noble faces in profile. Sometimes they turn to him and smile. It frightened him at first but now he looks forward to it.
On the other hand:
It's a good reminder: we live in an era where you can find strangers willing to talk almost instantly, and you can also call them horrible names and run away and then find more.
"Widow in a strange town"
is a different kind of lonely in '39. The Census put here here, in 1940, at 1347 Easter Terrace:
She had two children, Wallace King and Lloyd King . . . and a lodger, Marcas Norton. Twenty years old. Wonder if that raised eyebrows. Or skirts, to be frank.
Well, hello there, Red:
It's a brave move to use a redhead, since toothbrush / toothpaste ads of the day warned against PINK BRUSH. What they meant was bleeding gums.
The artist, if I make out the signature properly, is Robert G. Harris. He did okay:
As a successful illustrator in an era when illustrations helped to shape the national imagination, Harris could afford to build a large home and studio in fabled Westport, Connecticut with three cars in his garage and his own private sea-plane at the beach.
Born 1911; died 2007. A larger account of is life here.
I don't play tennis, so I can't tell you the history of these. Crisp - Sweet - Feel seems a rather enigmatic phrase.
If you didn't want the Championship Golf Balls, you could try the Championship Golf Balls:
It was a top brand around this time, but according to a three-part series it suffered a reversal in fortunes, and then came roaring back.
This is interesting to some people but it's one of those things about which I could not care less, because I don't golf and won't golf.
And now, the grumpy faces of the Non-Tawn Men. Number one is suffering from sudden adult onset partial albinism:
Number two looks hungover, because he drank everything in the house and then started in on the after shave lotion.
The day began bad enough, but when the stubble set in, so did Old Man Despair:
A strange, melancholic dementia set in towards the end. He would recover, but then came . . .
Swarms of stinging nits.
Finally, he just gave up. Walked around down with a downcast eyes, not wanting to meet his fellow citizen's gaze lest they sense the contempt that ran deep in his soul.
Note: the hair dressing was subject to Federal Tax.
Because there was a Federal Hair Dressing Tax.
Tall women everywhere, take heart! You too can get a man. But first, why don't you practice with a waxwork version?
That's enough for this week; can't find ten good ones all the time.
Oh, er, ahem:
Two covers await. The series will end before the year does, you know. I've only enough to get through, oh, September. And then what? THEN WHAT?
I think you know the answer to that. An old friend returns. Or, as the sci-fi covers might put it - Did he have enough covers left to make it worthwhile? Or was it folly to restart a site gone silent? Find out in CRISIS IN READESVILLE
But I'm getting ahead of myself. See you around.