We woke to snow. By noon it was gone. By five the sun was out, and it felt as if Spring, and all it contains, had sent us a messenger: help is on the way.

When I got in the car this morn to get to the store early for flour, the radio was playing The Couple Next Door.

   
If you're a bit down, listen to this quick music cue. It's a fine cheerful tonic.
   

 

The different approaches in this household towards The Duration can be summed up thus:

1. Sunda, Wife took dog to get his nails clipped at the pet store, because they’re long, and he won’t let us do them, and if there’s a lockdown we’ll wish we did it.

2. I drove to get supplies, discovered I had not brought my hand sanitizer, and drove back home to get it.

Wife is well aware of the situation, and did all the distancing and sanitizing. The pet store is huge; everyone’s gloved. Nothing I can say to dissuade her. I’m reading this as “atomic plague is rolling towards us, but I’ve time for a mani-pedi.”

Whenever I leave - and I do so with jaw clenched to the point of giving me a headache later - I am always surprised at the sight of normal life on the streets. People walking their dogs, kids on bikes. No one seems to make eye contact, as if no one really has the energy to fake bonhomie.

Obligatory store of great bounty:

People post pictures like this on twitter, and the ghouls immediately swarm to ask: YEAH BUT WHAT’S IT LIKE ON THE OTHER SHELVES or some other piercing riposte, as if we all don’t know. The canned stuff will be back tomorrow, y’know? Maybe eat an apple? Maybe really, really enjoy an apple? If you think "I should go on Twitter and make a long thread about how bad everything really really is and everyone is going to be wounded or dead or scarred or dinimished," how about you just eat a fargin' apple?

I've had a distinct lack of appetite lately, through the day - possibly because I'm always working on a Hall's cough drop or Altoids, just to give my head something to do. Then supper comes and I'm ravenous. After I finished off a huge hamburger I ate an entire bowl of shreddd lettuce set aside for a topping.

I also have an insatiable appetite for ice cream, licorice, cookies, and the like. It's difficult to tell yourself that you should abstain and deny yourself something that provides a moment of delight.

 

   

   
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been listening to a podcast about "the Dating Game Killer." The title is slightly misleading; you’d think he was stalking Dating Game contestants, or stood in for Jim Lange one day and machine-gunned all the cast and crew. No. He was on the show once - and he won! The bachelorette promptly said Big Nopes On That Guy as soon as the cameras were off, because she found the guy incredibly creepy.

It’s standard true-crime stuff, with a few twists. The actor Stephen Lang narrates the parts about the crime; Tracy Pattin talks about the search. (Lang I will always revere from “Crime Story.”) The most interesting part for me was the appearance of a detective named Steve Hodel, who made a name for himself many years ago when he made a compelling case that his father was the Black Dahlia killer. (George Hodel was actually questioned in the murder, as well as another.) He weakened his case somewhat in a subsequent book when he insisted he was also the Zodiac killer. At that point you think “okay, maybe this is about something else.”

Anyway. A few notes.

   

 

 

Either they couldn't license the Dating Game typeface, or thought it would confuse people.

The comments are, well . . . comments.

   
 

I hear it from time to time as well; it's unnerving.

WHICH IS THE POINT.

   
  Because the flowers wanted to form an economic compact?
   

And so on. People complain that there are three eps posted out of six - WHERE ARE THE OTHERS?!?!

They're behind a paywall, but you will get them one a week for free if you wish.

Bruh, what?

Yes. A lot of time and money went into this absolutely free product. If you would like to listen to it all right now, you can give us some money.

LOL yr podcast sucks anyway

Let us take a look, or listen to something that struck me as a really bad idea. It's a podcast about the "I, Claudius" show, which is a fantastic piece of TV. I remembered watching it while doing my seed-salesman job in the South; I'd get a six-pack, put it in the sink under ice, then scour the TV channels to see if they had PBS here. The theme would come on: delicious shivers. It is a theme of danger and madness and cruelty, without a hint of nobility or grandeur - yet it isn’t small and personal, but somehow manages to sum up an entire frame of mind of a poisonous era.

So of course I was keen to listen to a podcast about “I, Claudius.” Two fans, perhaps scholars of the era, eager to enjoy what the show presented as well as correct the historical record.

   

 

 
II do not think I’ve heard anything as grating and annoying as this in the history of podcasts.
   

 

 

It's 1933.

I’ve said it before, the idea of clothes detergent in Chip Form is odd. I imagine they were a bit slippery and would dissolve into clumps.

That’s . . . not the most ingenious visualization of the situation.

I’m halfway through the absolutely massive 1950s magazine ad section (I swear, there will be 700 pages when it’s done) and the amount of cellophane ads were enormous. They spent millions telling people about the stuff. Everyone knew. What was the point?

WHO SPILLED COFFEE ALL OVER MY SLIP

They’re flakes, which are different than chips.

Such a beautiful, civilized ad.

The Hidden Name Test! Meaning, they didn’t let people know it was Sunbrite. And Sunbrite won, which is all the evidence you need.

It was made by Swift, the meatpackers, so God knows what was in it.

“Women know flavors,” so “naturally” they can tell good tobacco from mediocre:

Of course, hitting those Camels 20 times a day will diminish your ability to tell what grade of milk you’re drinking, but who cares. Make that 21 times a day.

Is the glass bubbling? There’s your answer

If your mouth is infected and fermenting, this is the stuff for you. Why did it take so long to invent the minty brand? Did people assume that the awful flavor guaranteed efficacy?

I cannot remember or even begin to conceive of the last time anyone was told to smell the gelatin.

Sounds like 30s slang: wake up and smell the Jell-0, pal

I think the word you want here is OUCH

Note: 9 out of 10 dentists who are also advertising executives recommend against using pliers in a dental ad.

 

That'll do; see you here tomorrow with Wednesday's Unexpected Site Release to entertain you during The Duration.

 

 

 

 

 
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