This week’s AI banners: abandoned Diners. An odd choice for a time when the Diner has been revived, I suppose. If you're interested, the center of this picture was generated by DALL-E, then the left and right portions filled in by Photoshop's "making stuff up" function.

Good weekend. Everything proceeded as everything should. As it MUST. The weekday things were avoided and the weekend things taken up.

Weekday thing: a podcast, an audiobook, something heard in the shower or car.

Weekend thing: working in silence, which allows me to concentrate on the fact I am accomplishing very little

Weekday thing: lunch

Weekendd thing: no lunch. Make thineself a void into which the meat shall be fed in all its glory

Weekday thing: regular strenuous exercise to perfect my corporal self and stave off the inevitable decline

Weekend thing: lol, sloth

Weekday thing: leaving home

Weekend thing: it’ll take a crowbar and a fire

Really, I don’t want to leave. The world out there is full of people doing weekend things. Only Madmen and Englishpersons go to Target on Saturday. What do I need at Target, anyway? Why the devil would I drive there to get Bounty towels when I can set up a recurring delivery from Amazon?

Why, to get out in the world, be amongst the people, see what’s new on the shelves! Eh. There are no surprises at Target any more. I used to think there was an opening for someone to take them on, run with a classic vintage vibe that conjured an illusion of a more solid and happier time, but that’s probably just my misplaced faith in typefaces. I think we’re stuck with Target and Wal-Mart for the rest of our days.

People no doubt thought the same thing about Woolworths and Kresge and the rest of the variety stores, and they’re all gone. Perhaps they were right, inasmuch as they didn’t live to see that retail paradigm expire. But if they lived long enough to see K-Mart and Woolco, they saw where it was going.

Do we know where it’s going? Sure! Online! Delivery! Really? Totally? I don't think so. People like to go to the store. I wish to chose my own jalapeño pepper, thank you.

Weekday thing: one egg, jalapeños, small sausage

Weekend thing: two eggs, French toast, bacon

“It’s French toast tomorrow,” I reminded my wife on Saturday night.

“Is there bread?”

“But of course.” I gestured to the Masters English Muffin loaf, which comes pre-stale for your convenience, and hence makes good French toast.

“Oh but we have the blueberries,” she said. “For blueberry pancakes. I love blueberry pancakes.”

I froze. Yes yes of course, but that was last weekend. Last weekend was pancakes, and you put blueberries in them. This weekend, according to the Great Order of Things, is - awww, never mind.

“Then blueberry pancakes it is!” I said. And that would be fine! The unexpected things in life are the things that keep it interesting. One day you’re buying a certain kind of bread, thinking about those golden slices on a Sunday morn, laden with butter, sprinkled with cinnamon, dipped in pure maple syrup, and then suddenly everything is tossed into a hat, a hat that has been cocked. Proceed with care.

Sure enough, she got up earlier and made the pancake mix - the good stuff from Lundsenbyerlys - and as I made my eggs I asked her how it was. She said it was disappointing. The blueberries weren’t good anymore.

Don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it

"Oh, I’m sorry! I know how you were looking forward to that."

Don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it

"Well, I ate it anyway. It was okay."

Don’t say it don’t say it don’t say it

"So we could’ve had French Toast." IDIOT! WHY DID YOU HAVE TO SAY -

"Yeah, we should’ve. That would've been better."

At this point I popped a slice of jalapeno in my mouth so I would shut up and not push my luck any more.

Our new Monday feature! The Gazettes provide a look at the commercial vernacular from 90 years ago. Sometimes they look forward, and just as often as not they reach back decades for a familiar look.

Are any of these brands still around? We'll find out.

Slenderman's sister, perhaps:

I found a 1964 Daily News ad that sells Slendorita, and says "Comp. National Brands." The thing you say when you're cheaper and want to make it sound as if you're equal to the big boys. A box of 50 cost $1.99. I found an ad in a North Carolina newspaper that said they were made exclusively for the Charles department store chain by a "nationally famous maker."

Yes, well, about that nationally famous maker. Ready for a journey with an unexpected destination? Note who took out the trademark.

United Cigar Stores became part of United Cigar-Whelan Stores Corp., then United Whelan Corp.

Whelan was a big drug store chain. In fact, United was formed by two Whelan brothers.

In 1962, it and three other companies merged to form Perfect Film & Chemical Corp., a film-processing and mail-order seller of drugs and vitamins.

A natural step, from cheroots and lunch counters to film developing.

In 1968, it bought out publisher Martin Goodman, founder and owner of Magazine Management Company, the parent of Marvel Comics and other ventures.


The Company renamed itself Cadence Industries Corporation in 1970, and was liquidated in 1986, selling its Marvel Entertainment Group to New World Pictures

If only they'd held on.

Anyway, the last mention of Slendorita in the newspapers comes in 1966.

Ration of live brands to dead brands so far: 3:5




It's serial time! It's back, and grainier than ever!

Back to Dick the T, cop extraordinaire. He’s more of a standard action hero here - not a lot of gadgetry.

So what’s the story so far?

Didn’t work out, as we saw at the end - the tidal wave was already in progress, and Dick rammed his plane into Lucifer’s sky jalopy! We didn’t see him bail out! He must have died!



He washes up on a beach, and guess who’s knocked out on the beach? Lucifer! Great news!


LUCIFER AGENT OF GHOST is absolutely something they said in the paper in a serial. To remind you, the Ghost needs Lucifer to activate his invisibility medallion, because . . . well, he just does. And Tracy knows Lucifer from some previous caper involving the Ghost’s brother. None of that’s really necessary.

So we’re just waiting for the spring job. Tracy sends a shrink to visit Lucifer, see if he can make him regain his memory or see if he’s faking confusion. This gets complicated, so let’s just say Tracy goes to the shrink’s house and finds the situation has been Ghost-complicated, ending in a big fistfight with a henchman. Because we haven’t had one yet.

It goes on forever. Up the stairs and down.


The Ghost springs Lucifer and does his invisible thing. Tracy gives chase. Pretty soon we’re out in the wide-open area where these chases always end up. The suspension really gets a workout:

Some desultory gunplay - say, I think I’ll put my head where his last shot was - then “Turn on the oil.”


You know, I think we actually saw him start to jump out.


Oh . . . one more thing!




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