A middling thing today, since it's the middle of the week and the column pile-up has begun. Speaking of work, we had the usual staff meeting for Features today, and one of the writers noted something she'd heard from people who go up to the lakes on weekends: there's a bit of summer fatigue. In June. Why? Because it's been nice for quite a while now. It's really astonishing - and for some odd reason, I understand. As a species our capacity for ingratitude is almost boundless. We can imagine paradise, but we never consider that we would be drumming our fingers after a few days in the heavenly afterlife, saying "what else you got?" Spring drapes the world in green again, and it's a marvel, and miracle, a glorious testimonial to the power of life over winter's long raw rattle, and six weeks later we're swatting mosquitos and saying ugh it's so hot.

I just wrote something on Ricochet I might as well put here. The president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary had previously castigated Mr. Trump, and is now part of his advisory board. I imagined him sitting with a blank face, listening to the following, and rethinking the wisdom of his endorsement:

“You know, Jesus, great guy, tremendous manager. You want to talk about a brand, he built some brand, although to be honest we’re equal in name recognition now, all the surveys say so, and I think my books are a better read, but that’s fine. That’s fine. We’re a lot alike. He got a start from his dad, I got a start from my dad, I built something tremendous, okay, and we’re going to keep building until people call us up and say ‘stop with the building! You’ve made heaven on earth and we can’t take it, it’s so wonderful.’ But I would just say – and they actually did say the Chicago property was heaven on earth, you can read the reviews – I would just say that Jesus wasn’t smart when it came to managing a brand. I’m sorry but it’s true. People associate you with bread and wine, you bring out your own line. That’s what I did with vodka and I don’t even drink. They all say ‘oh your vodka was the best, and you don’t drink? How did you know?’ Because I knew the right people who knew vodka, and they said ‘Mr. Trump, it should use French potatoes.’ Now this is a time when everyone else is using Polish wheat, as you may know. But I went to France, met the mayor – lovely man, a little too nice to his unions if you know what I mean, I would have sat them down and said these strikes, they gotta stop, you know? They’re killing us. But that’s his city and that’s fine. I negotiated a deal for French potatoes that everyone said was impossible. They said, they’ll never sell you potatoes. But we got the deal made. I know a man in the potato business, smart guy, one of the best, and he said he couldn’t have made that deal. What can I say? It’s what I do. It’s what I do. Jesus could have done that too – Jesus wine, Jesus bread, Jesus foot-oil, Jesus rides – you got donkeys, it’s like UBER, with donkeys. But to be honest he dropped the ball on a lot of things and got caught in a squeeze at the end. I’ve been in the room with guys like Pontoon Pilot, and they’re no dummies. You gotta know how the game is played, okay?I would have come out of that with a pardon and it would’ve been Barnabas up on the cross, I’m sorry, okay, but from what I’ve read he was guilty, and we’re too soft on people who do terrible things. Terrible. So Jesus, Jesus is a tremendous guy, very inspirational. But I like my Messiahs not to be crucified, okay? From what I hear they sold his clothes, and he didn’t even get a piece of that.

When I got home on Friday the workmen were installing the tile in the bathroom floor. Light at the tunnel's end. We should have a bathroom in two weeks, maybe less. This was the tile we chose; a sample had been sitting on the floor for a week, and I couldn't wait. It was gorgeous - a hexagonal pattern like the classic bathroom floor, but bigger, with slight variations in color.

"How do you like it?" he asked.

"I love it," I said.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Lou Grant. He hired Rhoda to redesign his living room.


That was precisely how I felt. It doesn't work. Some things you don't know until you get it in; some things they will never tell you because hey, you're the client; it's your bathroom. But it has to go and we have to find another tile and that's another week and more money.

All because the original contractors did a crappy, crappy job of installing the bathtub 17 years ago, because hey the owner was going to sell after the remodel was done and whoever bought it would probably sell again in ten years and it'll hold for a while.



Messages for absent friends and requests for new ones in far-flung places.

Here's a father's worst nightmare.

I'm sure I can write you interesteing letters that will make you want to write to me again. We can exchange snapshots. Gosh it'll be fun!


There's a Jeff Davis street today, but it's short and doesn't have a 106 address.

Small country town? Well, here's Main Street . . .

. . . But maybe he would have gotten more responses if he said he lived on an island, which is what Chicoteague is.






We're zipping through "The Ghost of Zorro," aka Grandpa was Zorro Even Though I'm Not Remotely Spanish.

Last week in the serial we don't care about at all: The bad guys shot Zorro III as he was coming down the mine shaft; we saw Zorro III fall over because he'd been shot. Of course this did not happen; thanks to judicious substitution of choice footage, he wasn't falling over dead but athletically jumping off to the side.

The only thing that matters is the next cliffhanger, right? We don't care what happens, because Western serials are dull. But will it be something over the cliff, a barn burning, what? It can't be gunpowder, because we've already done that.


Oh, the dreaded ACID FIRE. That was Spunky Cowgirl laid out there unconscious; now she's scarred for life by the burning shower of airborne acid droplets.

Obviously Zorro III, aka the Ghost of Zorro, aka the white guy who for some reason is Zorro now, picks her up before things blow up. Let's cut ahead to the next episode, and see how Spunky Cowgirl is doing in the battle with the anti-telegraph forces:

In fine form and fettle, it seems. What's the issue?

Well, what's the hangeur de clife in this one? The sound cuts out, which makes it even more engaging.


Any idea how Zorro escaped from electrocution? By now you ought to be able to figure this out.

We'll conclude next week and then it's on to something that wasn't filmed at night through a bucket of murky mucky water.

Oh, er, ahem:


The 40s update: part one of an exciting look at the future - as seen by whiskey drinkers of 1944.



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