It’s the little things. Wife made a great dinner - a honey-mustard pork roll, which I spoonerized as Money Hustard and immediately coined a family term. Although it does sound like a particularly brazen prostitute, I’ll admit. Daughter made some banana-and-oat . . . .things? Lumps? Heaps? They were delicious. The Friday pizza was perfect, and most of my midnight popcorn popped out, leaving only a few Old Maids. Can I use that term without reproach? I don’t actually mean to castigate spinsters. Can I use that term without reproach? I don’t actually mean to suggest there’s anything wrong with someone who doesn’t marry. Perhaps we should applaud the kernels that don’t ignite. They don’t accede to the dominant paradigm.
REBEL NODULES, they shall hereafter be known.
Not to frame the weekend entirely in terms of food. Oh no. If anything dominated this weekend, it was the relentless sound of the scanner.
Friday night I was casting around for something to do - a site to fix? No, that’s weekday work. A site to add stuff to? Oh God where do I begin. Here’s the 2018 folder for additions:
An old site to reboot, perhaps. Yes. I’ve been meaning to redo the Lakes and U of M sites for the Mpls pages, but that required rescanning all the postcards. So I rescanned all the postcards. Since I was in the mood, I thought I should get to the pile of stuff I’ve bought and filed on a shelf in recesses of the desk.
Good Lord. So much stuff. And it’s only about a fifth of what I have yet to scan. Well, let’s get to it. Hours later, I had assembled material for five new sites and additions for six others. Came across a book called “Three Hundred Brain Teasers,” an ad pamphlet for Lydia Pinkham nostrum pills. Daughter wandered into the room, and we started quizzing each other. It’s a 1920 Cultural Literacy test.
These questions are still relevant.
Here’s what I loved: ad slogans.
#5 was later used for another product, the only example I know where an ad campaign borrowed a previously used slogan.
Oh, as for #1?
The famous ad phrase that was once on the lips of millions. But I've told you about that before.
Easy for you to say:
Latter-era noir, and damned fine:
It’s the worst set-up ever: bad cop takes a guy in an alley, plugs him in the back with a silencer, rifles through his pockets, gets his prints all over his wallet, then unscrews the silencer, shouts STOP POLICE and fires twice. No way that makes it past forensics.
Here’s our antag and protag:
Edmond O’Brien, and John Agar in a rare good movie.
He’s a bad cop. He’s got a dame, he doesn’t like her dressing like she's on the make. She had a stint as a cigarette girl until he put the strong-arm on the club owner. So we know he’s hot-headed, and bad.
Through most of the movie, though, he’s something else. Bad, and hot-headed. Sometimes he’s just bad. But he’s not irredeemable. He loves a dame, after all, so that has to mean he’s got a good side. The poster, however, had another idea. He looks like Ray Milland crossed with William Bendix:
Dame-crazed, eh? Not really. Not even after he goes to a bar to drink away his post rub-out jitters, and runs into this strange Veronica-Lake-type pixy.
Recognize her? Picture her dressed in black, with long black hair, snapping her fingers. She's just great here - tipsy and just strange.
He’s not crazy about her. He just wants someone to drink with. Later a couple of hoods come in, looking for him. See, he stole some money from the outfit. They know he has it. They made the mistake of harassing his girl friend over the matter, and he gets mad and pistol whips both hoods to unconsciousness while everyone screams. One man is horrified, but he can’t stop eating his spaghetti.
O'Brien's great, as ever; he gets sweatier, more desperate, and loses the few vestiges of cophood he ever had, until he's got a gun to his partner's head.
It all takes place in the eternal night of LA:
. . . with stops in the nighttime playgrounds high and low. There's a shootout at a municipal indoor pool. Round up the extras who can look scared:
The model house where he’s stashed the dough is in Castle Heights. We see a black-and-white patrolling the area:
Exposition Boulevard, 9800. Well:
And here’s the site.
There’s a certain kind of movie crazy that makes a character believe he can shoot it out with the police at the house where he stashed the money, and then he’ll get away and go to Venezuela. You always knew the movie would end up here, because anti-hero noir guys you kinda like but don’t mind getting their comeuppance are always climbing things to get to the place where they need to be, and then they die.
This is someone’s home, today. I wonder if anyone who lived there ever saw the movie.
At the end, an interesting note:
He did okay.
Off we go again; see you around. This will be a short week, with fewer things. But they'll be fine, fun things. I hope.