That's a view from the 333 Building lobby, which lights the LEDs purple the day after a Vikings victory. Or rather used to.

That's okay. We went out with a certain amout of dignity, our flaws and virtues on display in equal measure. Well, maybe not entirely equal. But it was fun, and it was a grand season, and Maximus' question was answered: I was, in fact, entertained.

Finally got the Christmas tree down. Should I rephrase that? Sounds as if the tree was fighting us, and needed to be wrestled to the floor and forcibly disassembled over its pitiful protests. Or it was hiding. This would be hard. In order to move it would have to crab walk on the four legs of the stand, and that would make noise on the bare floor. There’s really nowhere inside it could hide. Outside, yes, but then it risks getting snitched by a woodpecker, since it’s fake.

The challenge: geting everything back in the bins. The configuration is never the same. If there’s something new added to the decorations, something must go, and of course nothing can go. Tradition! Yet we managed. The only hitch came when I took a decoration off the tree, studied it, read the engraved stanza by Edna St. Vincent Melee (the most violent poetess of the English language) and could not recall where it came from.I don’t recall seeing it when we trimmed the tree last December. I couldn’t remember ever seeing it before.

Asked Wife, who said maybe it was a gift from a friend - someone she hadn’t seen in at least 15 years. I said that was impossible. We haven’t had this for 15 years. We’ve never had it before today. It’s generating some sort of distortion / concealment field that makes us think we’ve always had it. Your friend was the one who suddenly was allll about the spirulina, right? We went over for dinner and it turned into a green algae sales session? And we never went back?

As it happens, I shouldn’t talk. I’ve recently gone to a place I did not expect that contradicts a lot of my deeply-held beliefs about myself. I’m doing supplements.

Okay okay let me explain. I did some podcast ads for a nutritional supplement company. The great thing about the product was that it makes absolutely no SPECIFIC CLAIMS. As in, your eyes will be better, you will lose weight, you will have greater mental acuity, you will be three inches taller, and so on. It’s just basically HERE IS ALL THE STUFF. I mean, 75 vitamins and minerals and . . . I don't know, things.

They sent me a huge amount of product, and now I’m taking it on the regular, as they say. (We don't say "regularly" anymore, as the language gets dumber and slangier.) Interesting : it starts out like a good smoothy with a healthy, and turns into a glass of fresh-mowed grass by the end. And by "fresh-mowed" I mean, faint note of gasoline. I take it every morning and I can detect absolutely no difference in anything. But I feel better about myself because now I am full of 75 vitamins and minerals. And things.

  Perhaps it has made a different, thought. This last week I lifted the Dreaded Thirties.

The objective in this whole process is to work the 30lb weights for bicep curls. When I was in my gym phase in my late 20s, the 30 was the hard one. I could do a set, but it was hard, and there wasn’t the sense I could master it. This was the wall. So I’ve been eyeing those 30s with the idea that I might, possibly, incorporate a rep into the routine.

Isn’t this all silly? Isn’t this . . . absurd? What’s the point?

First and foremost: structure. The day has structure now. I bang out more work before noon than I ever did. The comfort with the gym - with the locker room! - is a complete and total victory over fat-kid childhood. And, as we'll learn tomorrow, it's an opportunity to study one of the more interesting pieces of accidental cultural anthropology you may have overlooked. But that's tomorrow.


MY GAWD how gauche

The gall

The nerve

It's just not done






Charlie Wild, Private Detective. A TV show. The theme is the ever-available “Street Scene,” used over and over and over again in this period.

We know he’s a gumshoe because his office is dark and he’s wearing the standard garb and there are Venetian Blinds. The conventions of the genre, taken from radio, required the story to be framed in retrospect. Marlowe began his radio shows by outlining the basics in a highly descriptive matter - it started with a fevered parrot, got mixed up with a red ruby the size of a swollen turnip, and ended in murder! Sam Spade would flounce into the office and relate the story to his secretary, Effie, with whom he was probably sleeping, although it meant more to her. He called her Sweetheart, all the time.

Here Charlie Wild is making a report on his dictagraph. He does an odd double-morning.

Brought to you by the biggest wine of its kind:

My grandfather drank Mogen David. It was, shall we say, too sweet.

At the end, Charlie goes back to the dictagraph, and does another double-morning, and it’s almost as if the actor forgot his lines then improvises, poorly.


From what I can gather, his secretary must have appeared in the show, because there’s only one woman who appeared in 57 episodes.

The secretary was played by Cloris Leachman.

And her name was Effie.

Hold on, you say. Wait up. Effie was Sam Spade’s secretary.

It gets better: the character’s full name was Effie Perrine. Which was Spade’s secretary in The Maltese Falcon. What the what?

Charlie Wild was the radio show that replaced The Adventures of Sam Spade, after lead actor Howard Duff got into Red trouble. (Supposedly. The other explanation was that the sponsor wanted a lower-budget show.)

To recap: Charlie Wild was one of those parasites that burrows into a host and replaces it. The character left no mark and is completely forgotten.

Now two ways to chip in!

That'll do! Some matchbooks await your perusal.



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