Monday, June 23, 2008

No More "Howdy Dody"

All right, I'm starting to get seriously annoyed. Losing George Carlin was bad enough, and in fact, it was beyond bad, because George, through his art and his courage, made Freedom of Speech more of a reality. We've never had true Freedom of Speech in this country, only the Freedom to say what doesn't piss too many people off. Lenny Bruce pushed the boundaries towards Freedom of Speech, and George took up the push when Lenny fell off the toilet with a needle in his arm, and pushed them still farther. They ain't there yet, but we're still pushing. So anyway, George was irreplaceable.

So here I sit, still reeling from the loss of George, and what do I see on my TV? Delightful, daffy Dody Goodman has died today also! No! Unacceptable! We can not lose so much laughter within 24 hours! The least The Universe could do is balance it out by taking away someone horrible as well, like say Dick Cheney. No one would miss him. (All right. There are people who would miss Dick Cheney, but those people are Evil also. And Dick wouldn't miss them. That's the whole point of a shotgun. It's hard to miss your friends's faces.)

Dody Goodman should never have died. Not ever. She was a woman who was just zany, sweet, and full of irrepressible high spirits. She was gentle and fun, and never hurt anyone. All she brought into the world was joy and laughter. It was impossible to be other than gleeful when you were with her. I never spent a second in her vicinity that wasn't utterly happy. She was like walking, talking Vodka. You could get high on Dody. The only bad thing she ever did was leave.

All right, she was 91. But that's no excuse for her death. I'm 20 years her senior, and you don't see me dying do you? When is science going to do something about Natural Causes anyway? Did you know that Natural Causes is the number one killer of old people? Stop the slaughter!

Dody's show business career began on Broadway (Start at the top; it saves time. And people thought she was a scatterbrain.), getting noticed in musical shows like Call Me Madam (I mean it. Call me! I haven't had a call from Madam since Wayland Flowers died. I guess she just misses his fist too much. I know just how she feels.), Wonderful Town (Any town with Dody in it was a wonderful town!), and High Button Shoes.

But it was Jack Paar who introduced her to America, by making her a regular guest on the old, post-Steve Allen, pre-Johnny Carson Tonight Show. Jack Paar said of her: "She was, it soon became apparent, indeed real, and the more she talked the more obvious it became that no one could have made up Dody Goodman. She came on the show my second night, and soon millions of TV viewers were asking each other whether this seemingly dumb blond was actually real. Her hesitant delivery gave the impression that her picture tube was on but her sound wasn't. Dody never seemed to try to be funny; she just stumbled into it." Speaking as someone world famous for her stumbling (Actually, I stagger.), I know a genius stumbler when I see one.

Eventually Jack noticed that people were noticing that she was funnier than he was, and in a long-honored show business tradition, he fired her. Well, he didn't last much longer either, did he?

Around this time Dody met and became friends with Edward Everett Tanner III, who was better known to the world at large as Patrick Dennis, the first novelist ever to have three books on the New York Times Best Seller List at the same time, the author of Auntie Mame, and a hero of Little Dougie's. He cast Dody as fictional movie star Helen Highwater in his great comic photo-novel Little Me, a book often (too often) inexplicably compared with my own humble and always abject autobiography, My Lush Life. (Really, I don't understand it. Little Me is a novel. It's fiction! My book is non-fiction. It's my life! I mean honestly; if I weren't real, how could I be dictating this to Little Dougie? I rest my case. That said, Little Me, is one of the funniest books ever written. If you've never read it, do so.)

Pat Dennis decided to illustrate his book with faked photos, using his enormous circle of friends in New York Theater to play his huge cast of characters. Look how gorgeous Dody was back then.

The talented actor/photographer Cris Alexander took all the pictures. In the movie of Dennis's Auntie Mame, Cris played the Macy's toy department manager who fires Mame on Christmas Eve. Cris is still alive. Universe, we want to keep him that way!

Here's a very funny picture from Little Me, with the versatile Dody playing both Helen Highwater and her stand-in, and Jeri Archer playing Belle Poitrine ("Belle Poitrine" basically translates as "Nice tits."), at the christening of Belle's baby. In this picture Dody must have been excited, because she is beside herself!

And what does this picture of Kurt Bieber as Letch Feely playing Adam in the Garden of Eden, also from Little Me, have to do with Dody Goodman? Well, nothing, but I love the picture, and couldn't resist including it. Kurt is also still alive, but I imagine his poitrine isn't quite so spectacularly belle now as it was back then.

The best selling Little Me prompted a follow-up, First Lady, which, though hilarious, wasn't as successful. However, Dody had a larger role this time, as Countess Clytie Dinwiddie, the First Sister-in-Law. Here she is with the book's star, Peggy Cass, admiring a large work of art in Italy in First Lady.

In First Lady, Clytie marries a shady count, and dies on the Titanic. Here's another of Cris Alexander's hilarious illustrations.

Of course, most of the people who used to enjoy Dody on The Jack Paar Tonight Show are dead. Folks who remember Dody vividly now do so from the 1970s Norman Lear parody soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, in which Dody played Martha Shumway, Mary Hartman's lovable, scatterbrained mother, who, in the show's revised version, Forever Fernwood, was married to Tab Hunter! Lucky Dody, and lucky Tab too, even if he'd have preferred marrying Kurt Bieber. (Who knows? Maybe Tab's had Kurt. Kurt is quite openly gay. And if you'd like a glimpse under Kurt's fig leaf, there are some photos from Colt of some nude gay porn work Kurt did that are well worth tracking down online. I'd show you them myself, but this is a Famly Flog, as anyone who read my George Carlin memorial piece just below, Gorgeous George, knows. My motto is "The family who flogs together, snogs together.")

And who was one of the world's biggest Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman fans? You got it. Little Dougie. He was fascinated by, and devoted to it. He even visited the set. (The show was shot on the same stage where Little Dougie's very first-ever produced TV script, for Seymour Presents, was shot.) Here is Little Dougie in the Shumway kitchen set, the same set in the cast picture above, and in the shot of Dody-as-Martha that ends this column.

Yikes! Ever seen anything uglier and tackier than the blue, polyester leisure suit Dougie is wearing in that picture? The 1970s were humanity's fashion low point.

Little Dougie spent some time in the early 1980s working in a bank in Hollywood, a sort of pre-purgatory, time served for his sins while still alive, so that when he dies, he can tell St. Peter, "I worked in banks for two years." and St. Peter will reply, "You've done purgatory. You get to go right to Heaven, which in your case, is sort of an eternal gay porn movie with comedy interludes." (The fact that Dougie played Peter in a ghastly children's religious TV special called Magic Boy's Easter for the Lutheran Church won't hurt - he hopes.)

Anyway, Dody was a regular customer at his branch, and Little Dougie got to know her a bit then. He says she was a breath of zany delight whenever she'd come in. No one could be less bankish than Dody, who was just plain wacky. Most of the people working at the bank had no idea who she was. Bankers. All they know is money and numbers and greed, but Dougie worshipped Dody and always welcomed the crazy subversion of order that floated about her like an aura of nuttiness, and made otherwise dreary banking days a delight.

Dody never stopped working. Even at 90, she was still recording voices for cartoons. I'm told a lot of children knew her later from some John Travolta move she was in about Greece. I've never seen it, as I try to avoid anything with Mr. Revolta in it. I love Dody, and Ray Walston too for that matter, and even Greece, or at least Greek-style sex, but not enough to suffer through that scientologist's preening, or Olivia Newton-John.

Speaking of nutball religions, Dody, like me, was a Christian Scientist, which makes her living to be 91 a miracle! (Devout Christian Scientists are known for many things, but longevity isn't one of them.) Unlike me however, Dody took Mary Baker Eddy's inanities seriously. I was never foolish enough to actually pay attention to anything that mad woman wrote or said, or ever attend services, or ever practice her brand of insanity. I mean honestly, the stupid woman told her followers not to drink alcohol! What a ratbag!

Well Dody was always kind of nuts too, but in a good way - no, in a great way. And so Little Dougie finds himself, as he did when his mother died (another of Mary Baker Eddy's thought-slaves), again mourning the departure of a Christian Scientist. Dody was one of a kind. One of a great kind. Mrs. Eddy always told her followers to "Know the Truth." (although she didn't mean it. She meant "Believe my rambling irrationality.") Well I do know the Truth, and the Truth is, Dody Goodman was fabulous! Goodbye Goodman.

Cheers darlings.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Gorgeous George

George Burns used to end his shows by saying to his wonderful, funny, funny wife, "Say goodnight, Gracie." But comic genius Gracie Allen never said "Say goodnight George." However, sadly tonight we must "Say goodnight George." for George Carlin, arguably the greatest stand-up comic of the second half of the 20th Century, after his friend, mentor, and fellow arrestee Lenny Bruce (They were arrested together. Isn't that touching?), has left the planet permanently.

George was it! An original. A brilliant wordsmith. An iconoclastic thinker. And just damn funny. I know a hell of a lot of comedians. I don't know one who doesn't revere George.

No point in holding religious services. George was a famous and loud atheist. He was just too smart to fall for The God Lie. In fact, he was just too damn smart, period. Although best known for hard-hitting satirical jibes that skewered mankind's illogic, he could be just plain silly, as in his famous Hippy-Dippy Weatherman character, which carried the unmistakable traces of his days as a disc jockey. Here's one of my favorite silly jokes of his, which he told on The Ed Sullivan Show: "The Beatles' latest record, when played backwards at slow speed, says 'Dummy! You're playing it backwards at slow speed!"

His most famous routine was The Seven Dirty Words You Can Never Say on Television. The words were: Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits. Later he added: Fart, Turd, and Twat. I guess Asshole just wasn't filthy enough.

Of course, Motherfucker is just a long version of Fuck, but George said he needed it for the rhythm. Besides, if he'd cut it (For, say, Jism.), his mother would have felt left-out.

These days, you can say Tits, Piss, Fart and Turd on TV if they are essential to the plot. And Balls, in it's anatomical meaning, is said on TV roughly a hundred times a day. Progress is our most-important product. We're catching up with you, George. If you'd lived, you'd need to revise the piece.

George was a World-Class Bullshit detector. He spotted it, identified it, and made you laugh about it.

Goodbye George. Thanks for all the laughs. This cocksucking old cunt, with her low-swinging tits, will miss the fuck out of you. You were one funny motherfucker. I'm getting shit-faced in your honor. T'wat's that all about, anyway?

Since you knew no God created you, may I just say, you were one hell of an accidental confluence of chemicals. You were one of Randomness's best works.

Cheers darlings.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

11 is 1 Better.

Having no one better to do, last night I watched the AFI's Ten Top 10. It was a peculiar grouping. They were counting down by genré, yet several major genrés were omitted altogether: no horror movies, no thrillers, no non-romantic comedies, no slapstick comedies, no satires nor parodies, no action films, no war movies, no musicals, and of all the 100 movies discussed, not one movie starring ME! Cretins!

Not that there was no entertainment. Jessica Alba was good for a laugh when she said how she related to Shrek because it was about not judging people by their looks, and overcoming your ugly exterior. I am so glad Jessica Alba has been able to triumph over being judged by her hideous looks. She's deep, every bit as deep as Shrek. I was reminded of the movie Magic with Anthony Hopkins and Ann Margaret. Ann Margaret's character in that picture carried emotional scars from being thought of as homely as a little girl. Oh yes, I wept for days over poor, repulsive Ann Margaret having to overcome her incredible deformities. She managed though, as has Miss Alba.

We also got a good, if that's the right term, look at Leslie Ann Warren's new face, although the edges and chin appear to be still under construction.

Fans of This is Spinal Tap may recall when Nigel Tufnel, played by the always amusing Christopher Leigh-Curtis a.k.a. Lord Haden-Guest, introduced an amplifier that went to 11, because 11 was 1 better than 10, an assertion that can not be refuted in this dimension. Taking a leaf from his book (Oh look, it's maple. How lovely.), I am going to improve each of their Top 10 lists, by going to 11, through the inclusion of a film from my own resumé from each genré.

So genré #1 was Animation. (And just right off, isn't that a medium rather than a genré?) Their 10 were:

10. Finding Nemo
9. Cinderella (Really? Over, say, The Incredibles? Or The Corpse Bride? Or Fantasia 2000? Or 101 Dalmatians? Or The Nightmare Before Christmas? Or Bambi Meets Godzilla? Or Gumby? Or ANYTHING ELSE? It's really a mediocre entry in Disney's canon.)
8. Shrek
7. Beauty & the Beast
6. Toy Story
5. Fantasia
4. The Lion King (Again, why are the animals so glad to have more lions?)
3. Bambi
2. Pinocchio
1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

In 1939, I appeared in the sequel to Snow White, titled 7 Brides for 7 Dwarfs. I played the Wicked Queen, who survived her fall from the cliff, and has regained her throne and her - well my - legendary beauty. With Snow White now beyond my power, I decide to revenge myself upon the dwarfs who crossed me. I disguise myself as another beautiful lost waif, albeit one with my maturity and sophistication, and take "Refuge" at the dwarfs cottage, taking over Snowy's functions in the dwarfs' lives.

Of course, I can't cook worth gin. My Queen character has never set foot in a kitchen. What are servants for, after all? Cleaning isn't my strong suit either, but that's what woodland animals are for, to provide a maid service. I must try and see if I can get my cat and dog, Snatches and Baskerville, to clean up this place, because it's a mess. My talents were at their best at the wet bar, preparing the dwarfs' cocktails when they come home from their Bling Mine, greeting me with their familiar musical salutation, "Hi, ho!", even though I'm not charging them for my other services, the ones performed upstairs, on their seven little beds. I sing the lovely songs
Whistle While You Drink, I'm Swishing, With a Smile and a Thong, and my big hit from the film, Some Day This Queen Will Cum, which I sing while the boys swarm all over me, indulging their tiny lusts.

I return to my evil castle where, with the aid of my Magic Mirror, I find five female dwarfs to marry and thus make miserable Doc, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, and Bashful, a male dwarf for Rumpy, and a gay dwarf for Dopey. The dwarfs I find are the beloved Seven More Dwarfs: Slutty, Skanky, Smelly, Tipsy, Horny, Swishy, and Poontang. My revenge backfires in a positive way, as the dwarfs are all happy in their match-ups, and they live happily ever after. As for me, well, it's a Disney film, so I get a happy ending too, finally falling for my One True Great Love, namely, exactly what every wicked Queen I've ever known has only truly loved, the mirror. Yes, the Magic Mirror and I live happily ever after. I discuss this beloved film at greater length in my earlier posting Feeling Grumpy.

Next Fantasy, which at least is a genré.

10. Big (Everyman's fantasy. "Yes darling, 4 inches is huge!")
Thief of Baghdad (One of only two silent films on the show, this is the Douglas Fairbanks version. Pinhead Leonard Maltin said on the show that audiences in 1924 had never seen a live man actually fight a dragon before. Well, the ones who had seen Fritz Lang's 1924, 5-hour Fantasy epic Die Nibelungen, one of the greatest of all silent films, had seen Siegfried defeat a 17-foot mechanical dragon, but mentioning that would require "expert" Leonard Maltin to actually know what he's talking about, and that's hardly likely.)
Groundhog Day (Bill Murray matures. Yup, that's a fantasy.)
7. Harvey (Is it a fantasy, or is Elwood P. Dowd simply insane?)
6. Field of Dreams (Is it a fantasy, or is Kevin Costner simply an idiot?) (Take your time answering.)
5. Miracle on 34th Street (Is it a fantasy, or is Little Natalie Wood simply dead?)
4. King Kong (Fantasy? He was my boyfriend! See my recent posting just below: NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh and, just to be clear, technically, King Kong is science fiction, which is the next genré.)
3. It’s a Wonderful Life
2. The Lord of the Rings
1. The Wizard of Oz

And for #11: my 1964 Disney classic live-action children's musical, Mary Poppers. I played a magical nanny who takes a whiff and goes flying. I sailed into the lives of a proper English sexually dysfunctional family, and use my musical magical poppers to straighten out their screwed up sex lives. It was sort of a change of pace for Disney. I sang Just a Spoonful of Vodka, Feed the Bats, and Go Fly a Kite.

Next came Science Fiction, which AFI sees as different than Fantasy. No fantasy in Planet of the Apes, or Star Wars. This was the the first of only two categories where Little Dougie had seen all 10 films.

10. Back to the Future (Really? More than Close Encounters of the Third Kind? More than Metropolis? More than Dr Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb? More than The Time Machine? More than Plan 9 From Outer Space? All right. They can have that last one.)
9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (This would be the first one, from 1956.)
8. The Terminator 2
7. Alien
6. Blade Runner
5. The Day the Earth stood Still
4. A Clockwork Orange
3. ET
2. Star Wars, Episode VI: A New Hope (During the show, this movie added a couple more words to it's ever-grownig title. When it opened in 1977, it was just plainold Star Wars.)
1. 2001 A Space Odyssey

Well here's another silent film to add to the list. In 1927, I made a film which is revered today by all connoisseurs of fantasy motion pictures, the brilliant science-fiction masterpiece Beyond Belief!

The movie was set in the far-off, futuristic year of 1980, when interplanetary travel is commonplace. Sherman Oakley plays a human male and I play a Martian woman. In the story a plague on Mars has wiped out all the Martian men and so the women of Mars have gone to the other planets in search of men to repopulate our planet. Venus is a matriarchy, so the Venusian men are the most docile, while Jupiterian men are the biggest if you take my meaning, therefore Jupiter and Venus have attracted most of the Martian females, but I’m a rebel with a taste for earthmen. Typecast again.

I come to earth disguised as a human female (My make-up was amazing! I looked
exactly like a human!) searching for a mate and meet Sherman, the hunkiest man in the solar system. Unfortunately, there are barriers to our love; he’s a Catholic and I’m a Martian, so our love is forbidden! We become fugitives, pursued by the interplanetary sex police. Finally Sherman and I escape from earth and live happily ever after together on the planet Mercury, where people will leave us alone.

The most remarkable aspect of this incredible picture is it’s portrayal of life on earth in 1980. At the movies for instance, you not only saw the films in three-D, but you could smell, taste and feel the movies as well, though, of course, films were still silent and in back and white, after all, we didn’t want to go overboard and have the film look
ridiculous! Everybody has in-home entertainment with big, spectacular 13-inch radios, who get their signals from cables wired right into each home. Further, everyone has machines that allow them to record their favorite radio shows on wax cylinders.

In the movie, by 1980 people have "Atomic" Ovens that can bake a potato in
just half an hour! Everybody drives flying cars. Books have been eliminated entirely and replaced by home wax cylinders that read the stories to you.. Civilization has also completely eliminated war, crime, disease, poverty, homosexuality, rain forests, live theatre and black people. It is a veritable utopia!

Beyond Belief! stunned audiences of it’s day with it’s unparalleled honesty and graphic frankness in dealing with the delicate and controversial subject of human/alien sexual relations, as well as astounding scientists with it’s spot-on and completely accurate forecast of humanity’s future. It's just been released in a completely restored DVD edition, with a commentary track by me, by Kino. Buy it. You won't believe your eyes.

Sensing the need in a three-hour TV show for a prolonged break, the next genré was Sports Movies, thus giving everyone some free time to go to the bathroom or the kitchen, or take a nap, or just hit themselves in the head with hammers; anything rather than watch this boring genré. This was Little Dougie's least-seen genré, as he'd only seen 4 of the ten turkeys on this list.

Sports movies have usually one of only two basic plots, either the underdog person or team that wins against all odds, or else the great athlete who gets a fatal disease, ala Pride of the Yankees, Million Dollar Baby, or Brian's Song. If you managed to avoid doing either of these two standard sports plots, you automatically made the list, but there weren't ten that did, so plots 1 and 2 still were included.

10. Jerry Maguire (No plot)
9. National Velvet (Plot #1)
8. Breaking Away (Plot #1)
7. Caddyshack (Plot #1)
6. The Hustler (Plot #1)
5. Bull Durham (Plot #2, if you count aging as a fatal disease, and it is.)
4. Hoosiers (Plot #1)
3. Pride of the Yankees (Plot #2)
2. Rocky (Plot #1, except there's a twist: against all odds, he loses!)
1. Raging Bull
(It's a simple character study: A guy who beats people up for a living turns out to be a jerk.)

I never made a sports movie. Why on earth would I? However, my World War II service musical, Privates on Display, has a famous sequence where I play a game of touch foot-balls with the privates. Anytime I touched a private's balls, I scored. If their feet touched my privates, they scored. The winning team got to spend the war stateside, diddling me. The losers had to storm the Normandy Beach on D-Day. Now those are some high stakes!

In case the sports movie section wasn't enough of a break, they followed it with Westerns! They had sports movies and westerns, but no monster movies or musicals; whoever compiled these lists was straight. Dougie did a little better here, having seen 5 out of the 10, although 3 of those 5 he'd seen once only , so long ago he couldn't actually remember seeing them, only that he had seen them.

10. Cat Ballou (Wait a minute! What's this doing here? I like this movie!)
9. Stagecoach (The early one with John Wayne, not the remake with Bing Crosby.)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (It turned out Butch Cassidy was not Hopalong's lesbian sister. Go figure.)
6. The Wild Bunch
5. Red River (Wasn't that one of the plagues of Egypt?)
3. Shane (Little Dougie's dad dragged him to this when he was fairly young, sort of an anti-bonding experience. Ah Little Brandon DeWilde.)
2. High Noon (I always am.)
1. The Searchers (I'd be searching all right, for the exit!)

My first picture for Universal, back in 1954, was a western called Johnny Horndog. I played a tough-talking, straight-shooting cattle rancher named Tombstone Tess, who battles rustlers, Indians and suitors. In that film I was the first to make Iron Eyes Cody cry. (Let’s face it, the man was a waterworks. And now the Headless Indian Brave tells me he wasn’t even a real Indian!) At the end I give up the outlaw Johnny Horndog, who has saved the ranch by killing all the bad guys and eradicating an entire tribe of Indians, and marry the sheriff who hangs him.

I spent most of the movie in the saddle, and often on horseback as well. The director later accused me of giving all the men in the cast saddle sores, or something like that. So silly. Easily half the men in that cast rode side saddle, if you catch my drift.

The next 10 were Gangster Movies. [SPOILER ALERT] The Godfather was number 1. Anyone not see that coming?

10. Scarface (The remake with Al Pacino. And a polite person wouldn't call him that.)
Little Caesar (Not, as it turns out, a movie about Rome.)
The Public Enemy (Not, as it turns out, a movie about President Bush,)
Pulp Fiction (Little Dougie used to live in the building where they shot the scenes of obtaining the briefcase full of glowsticks. On the AFI special they ran a clip of John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson riding in it's elevator, standing on a spot where Dougie had actually performed oral sex. Great memories, that's what the movies are all about.)
6. Scarface (The original, but it's still rude.)
Bonnie & Clyde
4. White Heat (I love at the end, when Jimmy Cagney excitedly tells his mother that, at long, long last, he's a top! And then, buy does he cum!)
Godfather Part II
2. Goodfellas
1. The Godfather

It was in 1953 that I made the low-budget crime film, Scofflaw. I played a no-nonsense career criminal who goes on a wild cross-country crime spree, jay-walking, running stop signs, passing stopped school buses, ripping tags off of mattresses, going through the nine-items-or-less checkout station with twelve items and committing other anti-social activities until finally brought to justice by a crusading District Attorney who happens to be my husband. During the touching final scene, when I bid goodbye to my husband who has sent me up, and leave for my ninety days in the hoosegow, without the possibility of early parole, and beg him to wait for me, the audience reaction could hardly be contained. The honking and blaring of car horns usually completely drowned out my co-star, Kent Clark, as he spoke the final line, "Speed it up, jailbird. I’ve got a date."

They called the next genré Mystery, but you'll notice a few non-mystery suspense films on the list. This is called "Fudging" or "Cheating". I'm sorry, Dial M For Murder is not a mystery! Pinhead Leonard Maltin said that it was difficult for it to have suspense, because you knew who did it all the way through the film.

As usual, Maltin is a moron. Hitch, with whom I made two films, one being my contribution to expanding this list to 11, said that Mystery requires concealing information from the audience. You can surprise or shock them, but Suspense requires the audience have information. They have to know what can happen to be in suspense, so Mystery and Suspense are actually opposites. Mysteries are intellectual puzzles. Suspense films are emotional thrillers. And Leonard Maltin is an idiot. Dial M For Murder is a suspense film. Dougie was up to speed here, as he's seen all the films in this 10.

10. The Usual Suspects (Kayser Sousé is the sled!)
Dial M For Murder (Not a mystery. See above.)
8. Blue Velvet (Not so much a whodunit, as a What-the-fuck-is-going-on-here.)
North By Northwest (NOT a mystery!)
The Maltese Falcon (How'd this get on the list? This IS a mystery.)
The Third Man
Rear Window (Barely a mystery. Did or didn't Perry Mason kill Della Street? Except if he didn't, then the whole entertprise would be pointless!)
2. Chinatown
Vertigo (Ever notice that in Vertigo, Hitchcock never even tells us if the murderer gets caught or not? Yet, it's one of the greatest films ever made.)

In 1943, I made the second of my two films with Alfred Hitchcock, Amnesia. I played a woman with no memory who doesn’t know if she’s murdered her husband or not. Gregory Peck played my doctor, who believes I’m innocent and is trying to unlock my memories. Jimmy Stewart is the detective who thinks I’m guilty and doesn’t care if I remember or not, just so I fry for the crime.

Of course, it turns out that all three of us have amnesia; I’ve forgotten that I’m innocent. Jimmy Stewart has forgotten that he’s in love with me and Gregory Peck has forgotten that he is my husband and hasn’t been murdered at all. Peck then thinks that he’s the murderer, even though there is no murderer because he hasn’t been murdered, so he becomes afraid that when I get my memory back I’ll accuse him of murdering him, so he tries to murder me, and Jimmy has forgotten to try and save me. At the climax there’s a big chase all over Washington DC, and I end up dangling from the top of the Washington Monument until everybody remembers that no crime was ever committed and that we’re all just being silly.

The critics, who normally loved Hitch, weren’t all that crazy about
Amnesia. "Gives new meaning to ‘Pointless’" wrote Variety. "Amnesia is unforgettably forgettable." wrote The Hollywood Reporter, while the Los Angeles Times wrote: "A murder mystery with no murder and too much plot, Amnesia shows that even the great Alfred Hitchcock can go a little psycho sometimes. Watching the notorious Tallulah Morehead get so spellbound in her role as a woman who can’t remember that there isn’t anything to remember that it drives her into a frenzy, left me with vertigo. Audiences should give this turkey the birds."

Rom-Coms were next. AFI really embarassed themselves this time. A list of the top ten Romantic Comedies of all-time, and there's not one single film by Preston Sturges! You might as well omit Coppola from gangster films, or leave out Hitchcock from suspense movies. IDIOTS!!!!

10. Sleepless in Seattle
9. Harold & Maude (Nice to know that I am not the only person in the world who sees a man in his 20s and a woman 80 years his senior as a perfectly acceptable romantic couple. Jason Timberlake, AFI says I am not too old for you! Are you going to argue with them the way you did with me, while chewing your way through that rope? By the way, you still owe me $20 for the rope you ruined.)
Moonstruck (Cher ends up with Nicholas Cage. That's not romance; that's horror!)
7. Adam’s Rib
When Harry Met Sally (Over any Preston Sturges movie? They're insane.)
5. The Philadelphia Story (I vastly prefer The Palm Beach Story.)
Roman Holiday
3. It Happened One Night
2. Annie Hall
City Lights (The last silent film on here. Yes, it's a great comedy, possibly one of the top 5 movies of all-time, but a "Romantic Comedy"? At no time is the blind girl in love with Chaplin. She isn't that blind! And her sense of smell is unimpaired.)

It was 1932 when I made my romantic, transvestite farce The Lady Steve. So convincing was my male drag in this picture, that it began the rumors that persist to this day that I am actually a man. Darlings, if I had a penis, I'd have better things to do with my hands than type!

Courtroom Dramas came next. This was another catch-as-catch-can category, including dramas and mysteries, and other stuff also. They were pretty lenient with their standards. In Cold Blood is on the list. That movie is 2 hours and 14 minutes long. Of that 134 minutes, about 5 minutes are spent on the trial. It's a True-Life Police Procedural.

10. Judgement at Nuremberg (I saw this. What a let-down! Judy Garland and Marlene Dietrich together in one movie, and they never sing together! Just a lot of blah, blah, blah! Boring!)
9. A Cry in the Dark (The movie that popularized the phrase, "Hey baby, eat my dingo!")
In Cold Blood (See above.)
Anatomy of a Murder
Witness for the Prosecution (It was written by Agatha Christie, but couldn't make the Mystery list.)
A Few Good Men (Too few if you ask me.)
4. The Verdict
Kramer vs Kramer ([SPOILER ALERT] Kramer wins.)
2. 12 Angry Men (I apologised to them again and again. Sometimes I pass out and miss a date or 12.)
To Kill a Mockingbird
(Who killed the Mockingbird? "Not I!" said Henny Penny. "Not I.!" said Chicken Little. "Not I!" said the butler. Who dun it?)

In the spirit of including In Cold Blood, I am including my 1937 musical Babes Behind Bars. The movie starts on a close-up of me in a courtroom, and we hear a judge say, "Guilty!" I scream, and then am dragged out of the courtroom, still shrieking. The courtroom scene is 9 seconds long, and the rest of the movie is set in a women's prison, where I fall in love with the executioner who has to fry me, until I am pardoned in the last scene, and we live happily ever after. This was the first movie Rod Towers and I made together after he became my fifth husband. It's mostly a musical comedy, not unlike the more recent Chicago, but the 9 seconds in the courtroom are very dramatic, so it's a Courtroom Drama if In Cold Blood is.

Finally, when AFI was running out of time, if not genrés, came Epics. And here the joke is on Cecil Blunt DeMille. He's supposedly the master of the form, and he only had one film on the list, and it was #10.

10. The Ten Commandments (The sound one with Cheston, not the good one with Theodore Roberts.)
Reds (There's a whiff of communism about this film, if you ask me. If this were 1950, just seeing this movie would get you hauled before HUAC.)
Saving Private Ryan (Excuse me? This is a war movie.)
All Quiet on the Western Front (So is this.)
Titanic (The James Cameron romance, not the Clifton Webb fantasy. Yes a fantasy. Clifton Webb is married to Barbara Stanwyck in it, and they have two kids together. That's a bigger fantasy than The Lord of the Rings.)
Spartacus (Wait a minute. Titanic just yelled "I'm Spartacus!" Now Reds is yelling "I'm Spartacus!" Now all 100 films are yelling "I'm Spartacus!", all except Kirk Douglas, who just said with quiet dignity, "My name is Mrs. Norman Maine.")
Gone With the Wind (It's too painful a memory to recount here. Buy my award-dodging autobiography My Lush Life, and read the chapter titled "1939" for the full, bloody tale of why I didn't play Scarlett O'Hara. This movie could have been good.)
Schindler’s List (The top 100 Jews in Germany? I can't believe Izzy Moskowitz didn't make the list. He's much more Jewish than Fred Marx.)
Ben-Hur (Done him.)
Lawrence of Arabia

I am synonymous with Epics. Everyone loves my Civil War epic of 1939, East Versus West. My Biblical epic with Steve Reeves as Moses, Torah, Torah, Torah, is a favorite, but I've decided that my tenth #11 should be my Egyptian masterwork The Revenge of Cleopatra, made in 1934, when the life and death of Cleopatra was still fresh in everyone's memory.

Paramount had had a huge success that year with Cecil Blunt DeMille’s Cleopatra, starring Claudette Colbert. Everyone expected them to turn out a sequel but DeMille instead chose other projects, announcing that there could be no sequel to Cleopatra. How wrong he was.
Our legal department at PMS had discovered that Cleopatra, Marc Antony, Egypt and the Roman Empire were actual historical personages and places and thus in the public domain. Paramount didn’t own them. Anybody could make a movie about them. Thus Louie B. Thalberg, who never saw a bandwagon he couldn’t jump on, decided that if DeMille wouldn’t make a sequel, Von Millstone would. And so I came to play the title role in PMS most expensive movie ever,
The Revenge Of Cleopatra!

I played Cleopatra, of course, and Rod Towers played Caesar Augustus. Despite being a natural Platinum blonde, I played Cleopatra as a brunette, thus demonstrating the broad range of my legendary versatility.

The film begins at the very moment that DeMille’s picture ended. Cleopatra lies dying of snake bite beside the body of Marc Antony. My faithful friend Polidorus, played by Harry Rumpole, sucks the snake venom from my wound. Over Antony’s body I vow revenge on Octavius who killed him and has become Emperor Caesar Augustus of Rome. With Polidorus’ help I travel to Rome, disguised as a Greek Princess, intending to make Augustus fall in love with me so I can then kill him and take over his empire.

When I get to Rome all goes according to plan. I find Caesar Augustus is under the influence of his evil wife Livia, played to perfection by Delores Delgado, and her cruel son Tiberius, played by the always amusing Vincent Lovecraft. I seduce Augustus and he falls for me hard. I’m about to kill him when we meet Jesus Christ (Spencer Hooks), when he comes to Rome with his disciples. I realize that I’m now in love with Augustus and we both convert to Christianity. With the help of Jesus and the disciples we foil the evil plans of Tiberius and Livia and kill them. Then the Roman Empire converts to Christianity and Augustus becomes the first Pope. Jesus himself gives the Pope special permission to marry me and we live happily ever after in the newly built Vatican.

As this brisk summary of what is, after all, a four hour movie, shows, unlike DeMille’s pagan orgy of gratuitous sex and violence, our film was a moving and deeply religious epic about the power of Faith to change history.

Critics were stunned by this massive film, and their reviews reflected their bewilderment:
The Times wrote: "In The Revenge Of Cleopatra Miss Tallulah Morehead makes a spectacle of herself." Variety wrote: "In his Egyptian/Roman epic Cyril Von Millstone is unfettered by historical fact" The Christian Science Monitor, never my fan since I cancelled my subscription, gushed: "Miss Morehead’s performance as Cleopatra is every bit as believable as the screenplay." The London Times wrote: "Watching a movie in which Cleopatra, Caesar Augustus and Jesus Christ creep about a palace at night and stab Livia and Tiberius to death in their beds, is to understand how far civilization can sink."

Though popular, the film was simply too expensive to turn a profit and plans for a second sequel,
Cleopatra Saves Atlantis, were scrapped despite the most powerful screenplay I’d ever had summarized for me.

Little Dougie's final tally was: he'd seen 79 out of the 100 films. As you can see, 11 is indeed, 1 better than 10.

Cheers darlings.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tony Jerkins

Wow. How dead is Tony Award viewing? I glanced at the TV ratings for last night. Now I know The Tonys are always a ratings loser, but darlings, this year it was soundly beaten in the ratings by a golf game! GOLF!!!! The most boring sport of all, Mark Twain's famous "A good walk spoiled," and it beat out The Tonys! Was the Watching Paint Dry Channel having a pledge drive? How does golf even outrate "OFF"?

I was enjoying The Tony Awards, where people sang, danced, and dressed as animals, and where folks who even I, after a century in the theater and the movies, had never heard of, thanked other people I'd never heard of, for roles in plays I haven't seen.

So is this August: Osage County "Straight play" some sort of August Wilson show, only done with a white cast, like a reverse on Debbie Allen's production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which she set on the only black-owned southern plantation on earth? (It's like a version of The Ten Commandments where the Hebrews keep the Egyptians as slaves.)

Notice how, when Whoopi Goldberg is announced as an award show host (How does she keep getting these gigs? She's never good in them.) people never say "Whoopi!"; they always say "Whoopi? Really?"

I finally realized that the joke in Whoopi's running gag of popping up in plays she hadn't been in was "Wouldn't this show have been ruined if Whoopi had been in it?" (Yes.) So maybe her whole hosting gig was just a gag on the audience. The best thing I can say about Whoopi on The Tonys is that she could have been worse - but I dread to think how.

I too was wondering "What the fu...?" when The Lion King opened the show. Just as I'd said aloud, "Is this the Tony broadcast from 10 years ago?" they said it was celebrating ten years of The Lion King. That's reason to celebrate? How about noting that a much better show that opened 10 years ago, Ragtime, didn't run anywhere near that long, apparently because it wasn't an acted-out cartoon, and the title terrified husbands.

Then they
thanked The Lion King for "Bringing families back into the theater." even though this is what has populated Broadway with acted-out cartoons, and fluff like Legally Blonde, while killing "Straight" plays. You know why there were so many plays in that straight plays montage? (Like anyone straight goes to Broadway Theater.) Because most of them ran a week. Thank you The Lion King.

By the way (For you children who "Text", that means "BTW"),
why are the animals all so happy that another lion has been born? Wouldn't most animals in the area prefer fewer lions, rather than more? Does the Lion King ever say "Thank you my loyal subjects and future meals." or "Hey you, Lunch, c'mere"?

When did Best Book of a Musical become a category too minor to be on the show? At least when they did the first hour on PBS, you saw all the awards.

To me, the
Rent tribute was "Remember when this show didn't seem tired and dated? No? Me neither."

I did
not like Lin-Manuel Miranda's rapped acceptance speech. I know he had a lot to overcome, what with two out of his three names being girl names and all, but by the end of his unendurable cacophony - I mean speech - I knew I would never see In The Heights or ever subject myself to it's cast album. And I was struck that, while holding a Tony for Best Music and Lyrics in his hand, which is supposed to represent the highest standards of lyric-writing, he "rapped" this bit:

"Vanessa, who still leaves me breathless.
Thanks for lovin' me when I was broke
And still makin' breakfast."

Lin darling, "Breathless" and "Breakfast" do NOT rhyme! Not even close! It's not even assonance. It's just lousy lyric writing. Sondheim this guy ain't.

I am not a Patti LuPone fan at all, (She can be a trifle unpleasant, but only to people who are breathing
her air.) but I have to say that hers was the most electrifying perfomance of Everything's Coming Up Roses I have ever seen. (I made a movie with that title, although in our film, where I played Rose, there was also an apostrophe in "Rose's".) Musically it was shrieking, howling, and ugly, but dramatically, Arthur Laurents finally got it the way he's wanted it for 50 years, terrifying. You could immediately see how deeply insane Mama Rose is, and how terrified Louise and Herbie are of her focusing her evil eye on Louise. Finally the sunny optimism of those lyrics shone with their true irony, that this is a moment of horror. It was like my own mother was standing there, singing again. I ran from the room, screaming.

I was thrilled by it, and I can certainly see why she won her Tony tonight.

How depressing to see John Waters delivering boring banter, when he, unscripted, is a thousand times more engaging.

Megan Mulally's "I've just been fucked, refucked, and uberfucked" look while singing
Deep Love from Young Frankenstein was very funny, and very true to life, and I speak as the former Bride of Frankenstein. (Well, Boris Karloff. Same thing.)

Mark Rylance reading a completely-non-pertinent piece from what sounded like a tourist guide was hilarious. I was only disappointed when he vitiated it slightly by actually saying "Thank you" at the end. In 1983, Rylance became the second male to play
Peter Pan in England on stage. A man in his 30s playing the small boy usually played by a middle-aged woman. What an outrage! He's taking bread out of Jo Anne Worley's mouth! (Where there's plenty of room.)

Whoopi said: "Remember that Hitchcock movie with the spies?" Well that narrows it down to 30 movies. Remember that James Bond movie where he defeats the villain's plans?"

If only Mandy Patinkin (Is he playing Tevye?") had brushed his beard upwards, we wouldn't have had to see his face at all. (Thank heavens he didn't sing. That man overacts even when he's asleep.)

Sondheim has known about this tribute to him for months, and he couldn't clear his schedule? Boy, he must never have forgiven Whoopi for her gender-blind Pseudolus. Nor have the people who paid to see her.

Ah, Julie Chen. When the Great Names of Broadway Memory are spoken, she will say them. For a moment I thought she was going to announce a competition for a Tony, and we would then have seen Carol Channing, Dame Edna Everage, James Earl Jones, and Harvey Fierstein, all in Speedos, rolling about in spaghetti sauce, hitting each other with nerf bats.

Liza was there, I assume trolling for gay husbands. Liza must have been tremendously unfazed by the legalization of Gay Marriage as, like me, she's had lots of gay marriages! Marrying Liza was how you came out back in the day. During the perfomance from South Pacific, she was throwing pre-written marriage proposals at the hunky, shirtless gay men unconvincingly singing There is Nothing Like a Dame. (A close examination of the private lives of some of the men singing that ditty would have quickly proved that there is something like a dame.)

Harry Potter is getting therapy from his nasty Uncle Vernon Dursley who hates him? Uncle Vernon is the reason why he needs therapy in the first place. No wonder he's become inappropriate with horses. (They
can be hard to resist. They're hung like centaurs!) But at least that casting will bring a lot of tween girls over from seeing Wicked and Legally Blonde 30 times each, to seeing Equuis 30 times. Well, pubescent girls do love horses.

No one has mentioned the
Good News at last night's Tonys: No ONE DIED!

There was no obituary montage. Apparently no one involved with Broadway theater died last year!

Of course, that may be news to the families of Kitty Carlisle Hart, Paul Scofield, Deborah Kerr, Robert Goulet, Michael Kidd, Gretchen Wyler, Alice Ghostley, Tom Poston and Charles Nelson Reilly.

(Next day update: Turns out they did run a Dead Folks montage, but during a commercial break for the audience in Radio City Music Hall only. I guess they needed the extra time for Whoopi to spoil anopther old show.)

But sadly a genius did die yesterday, Stan Winston, a true artist of special effects. The Tonys ignored him because, for some reason, CGI has not caught on in Broadway plays, which is why their special effects always look so fakey. Here is the last photograph ever taken of Stan, snapped just instants before his head was bitten off.

Stan began in make-up and segued into special effects. He was always up for a challenge. In fact, he did the special character make ups for The Wiz. Yes that's right, he was the man who had to make Diana Ross look 24 when she was 87. That he failed at that task we can only chalk up to it being his first movie.

He never failed after that. He won Oscars in both Special effects and make up categories. "The enderdainment indusdwy has wost a genius and I wost one of my best fwiends," Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement Monday. "Stan's wook and four Ahscars speak for demselves and will wive on fowever."

Ahnold should be grateful for Stan, who did his effects make up in the second Terminator movie. Check out how Ahnold looked with and without Stan's make ups.

A genius! 4 Oscars, Emmys too, yet no Tony. No wonder America was watching golf.

Cheers darlings.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Such has been my screams of misery the past few days since a tragedy beyond my imagination occurred!

Early Sunday morning, a fire broke out in the Universal backlot, the home of the classic monsters, Baron Frankenstein, Count Dracula, The Phantom of the Civic Light Opera, Deanna Durbin, The Wolfman, and The Mummy, and the place where I shot my immortal classic films, the western Johnny Horndog, and the fantasy-adventure-romance Abbott & Costello Meet She Who Must Be Obeyed.

Backlot sets were set ablaze. Soundstages were devastated. The Backdraft Fire Exhibit was severely upstaged. People on the tour thought it was just part of the show.

When the smoke cleared, this is all that was left of Castle Dracula, Frankenstein Village, and The Bates Motel. But when they inspected the damage, they discovered this unthinkable tragedy has transpired: the King Kong exhibit, in which tram tourists were brought face-to-face with the biggest star in Hollywood, King Kong himself, was destroyed! KING KONG IS DEAD!

No! No! It can NOT be true! Not my Kong! Noooooooooo!

I have been sobbing and keening and drinking all week. You haven't heard keening until you've heard me keen. I keen every bit as well as I drink, and I've drunk my way through all of my birthday vodka trying to take the pain of this loss away.

For over 70 years, through career highs and lows, through marriages and murders, through hits, bombs, and comebacks, he was my boyfriend! Kong was the BIGGEST Love of My Life, and by far, my most generously-endowed lover. My God; it was a big as ME!

Kong and I first met in 1933, at RKO. He had just shot his film debut, King Kong, and it hadn't come out yet, so he was still humble and just grateful for the break Merian C. Cooper had given the enormous unknown ape. Fay Wray used to give him the cold shoulder away from the set. I was on the lot playing the title role in HER! also for Cooper. One day Willis O'Brien, Kong's trainer, introduced us. One glance upward at the gigantic Rod of Eros dangling 15 feet in the air above me and I was in LOVE!

Here we are engaged in a sexual three-way with Terry Dactyl, a bird-brained friend of Kong's who could make me feel like I was flying! Judge us as you will, when we got together, we were animals!

Alas, we were never able to wed. Kong's religion forbade him from marrying outside his species; just another of the cruel deprivations visited on man-and/or-ape-kind by ignorant superstition. But though I married again and again, and Kong's career went through highs and lows (Jessica Lange), we never lost touch, and never stopped being together whenever we could steal away to our tiny love nest on Skull Island.

Although big in the 1930s, Kong's star faded fast. Here he is in 1942, in an army training film shown to our troops, demonstrating proper oral hygiene, by showing this tyrannosaur how to brush his razor-sharp teeth, while I watch and enjoy a libation.

By the 1960s, Kong was considered a washed-up old has-been. A new monster on the block, Godzilla, was the reigning king of Smash-and-Roll movies. Kong was working the summer stock and county fair circuit, appearing in Charley's Ape with Martha Raye (She was all-lips backstage!), when the offer came for Kong to travel to Japan and face-off with Godzilla in a big comeback venture, King Kong vs Godzilla.

I happened to be in Tokyo in 1962, while King Kong vs Godzilla was in production. I was shooting my never-released-in-the-United-States Japanese musical A World of Woozy Song in the same studio, and it was a relief and a joy to hook-up with the supersized Kong while I was stranded for several months in a country full of men who were all hung like Japanese men.

You can see from this shot of Kong conferring with the director, Inoshiro Honda, and Godzilla, while I wnjoy a social beverage, Kong was no longer as big a star as he had been, and was now really no larger a star than I. You can also see how, in person, Godzilla looks much shorter than he does in the movies. When he's eating Tokyo, he's standing on a box. He's like an Asian Alan Ladd, or even Tom Cruise, though certainly better looking than Tom.

Deeper depths were to come, with the ghastly 1976 King Kong with Jessica Lange, as well as the, believe it or not, even worse sequel King Kong Lives!, a title that seems all the more bitterly ironic now. It was the worst trash he ever appeared in. Even Godzilla had shown more chemistry with Kong than Linda Hamilton managed.

But Kong and I remained Friends-With-Benefits. Here we are out together for just a fun afternoon in the Magic Kingdom around 1978. By this time, the period of his stardom was so far in the past that in public like this, we drew no second glances, and neither of us were bothered for autographs.

Of course, inveterate would-be star fucker Little Dougie is such a huge Size Queen that when he found out Kong and I were "Friends," he insisted on my introducing him to Kong. What can I say? On jungle vines, Kong swung both ways, like so many of my men. Dougie retains fond memories of Kong, but after six weeks in the hospital recovering from their first date, he decided to limit himself to the One Perfect Encounter, and not risk sullying that memory with a less than perfect, or less-survivable, second date. Meanwhile, Kong and I stayed close.

As my long-time readers know from my posting last year, Tolkien Resistance, in the Peter Jackson movies of The Lord of the Rings, I played Gàlæƒêllåthéöñ, the Elvish-camp follower who travels with The Fellowship of the Rings to satisfy their manly needs and take their loads from them when they were weary, which they were a lot, especially Sean Astin. For no sensible reason, I was entirely cut from the theatrical-release version, even though what happened with Peter's son and I was completely consensual. I am in the ultra-long, mega-extended, 48-hour DVD edtion. During the shoot, I had a passionate love affair with the wildest of my all lovers, the indescribably sexy Gollum. He was truly My Precious.

After the shoot was over though, Gollum disappeared on me as completely as if he'd fallen into a volcano. Suddenly he was "Too busy" to take my calls. Meanwhile, an odd little British actor named Andy Sirkis, whom I had never even met before, tried to get familiar with me, and when I put him off, while pining for my Gollum, he began giving me the oddest looks.

Anyway, during the shoot, Peter Jackson, before The Cub Scouts Incident that is, mentioned to me that his next project was to be a remake of King Kong. Naturally, I recommended Kongy to play himself, and the result was one of the most amazing comebacks in show business history For several years, Kong had been working at Universal Studios, California, playing himself in the King Kong Exhibit. Jackson, a real fan, was delighted, and Kong was brought down to New Zealand for the shoot.

I traveled with Kong's co-stars to meet with Kong for the first day of the shoot, and give him a good-luck-shag. Kong himself snapped this shot of us all as we arrived.

I might add that Andy Sirkis was in this film too, playing Lumpy, Beaver Cleaver's brother Wally's friend, and he was still giving me these odd looks.

After the shoot, Kong had semi-retired back to Universal, where his terrible end came this past weekend. The biggest stud I have ever had is dead forever.

But I like to think that, in an Enchanted Place at the top of The Empire State Building, a girl and her giant, mega-hung ape will always be laying.

Cheers darlings.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

LOST and Found

So we were having a lovely party here at Morehead Heights back on Thursday evening, celibating my eleventy-first birthday (and Little Dougie's birthday as well, though not as much). I had a small libation, or eleventy-one, (The Headless Indian Brave was mixing his own special home-brewed firewater in with the vodka. It makes for a potent beverage.) and then I found I was napping. But when I woke up this morning (When I catnap after a particularly social party - I am strictly a social drinker - I sometimes snooze for a day or two. As long as no one panics and buries me, it's not a problem.) and glanced out my window at The Befuddlement, my ultra-mega-gigantic hedge labyrinth, I saw a very odd sight. There was some sort of mountainous land mass right smack dab in the center. Here's the view which met my blurry eyes this morning. (And by "Morning" I mean 2 PM.)

I needed an aerial view to see just what was in there, so I went up to my peaked, clark-gabled rooftop for a gander. I wanted to get as high as possible, and also to achieve an elevation sufficient to peer down into my infamous labyrinth, and here's what I saw.

Out of nowhere, in the middle of the night, a great big island had materialized smack dab in the middle of The Befuddlement! How had that happened? For one thing, The Befuddlement, like my house Morehead Heights, is on top of Tumescent Tor, a promontory extending some 1000 feet above sea level! Yet here was an island, surrounded by sea water, in the middle of my hedge labyrinth, 1000 feet above the ocean. It made less sense than the final season of Roseanne. I staggered down to The Befuddlement, and as soon as I stepped through the entrance, I found my self face-to-cloud with Smokey the Smoke Monster! Good Grief! The Island from LOST had moved from the South Pacific to my backyard!

Apparently, when Ben Linus and Locke moved The Island in the 4th season finale, to hide it from Charles Widmore, they didn't just displace it in time like those time-hopping bunnies (That's Hugh Hefner's dream: time-hopping bunnies!), but they also moved it into my rear quarters, knowing full well that The Befuddlement is so complex and bewildering (Of the more than 700 people who have wandered into it in the over-80-years I have lived here, only 17 have ever found their way out again. The number of Japanese hedge-trimmers misplaced in there alone could populate Kyoto.), that The Others felt perfectly confidant that, within The Befuddlement, The Island would still be utterly --- LOST!

What could I do? I went down and provided cocktails for all my LOST buddies, now wandering, still LOST, in my labyrinth, and then I shagged Sawyer. Look for my house all through season 5.

Then, I hurried off to my local movie simplex to see Raiders of the Lost AARP. Harrison Ford ages very slowly, and there's nothing quite like a refreshing dip down three waterfalls to moisturize and youthenize aging skin. (Several critics have suggested youthenizing Indiana Jones after this movie.) Along with a crystal skull, I think Harrison may have crystal balls. Certainly when I've gazed into them, I found him utterly magnetic. It was nice to learn that, when picnicking, one should bring along a crystal skull to keep the ants away. But please, if you're going to ride your motorcycle through a library, get a muffler. People are trying to read.

People are complaining that the new Indiana Jones film isn't credable. They say that if a 65 year old man were to hide in a refrigerator during a nuclear blast (An everyday occurrence.), and it gets thrown across the desert and bounces and rolls around before crashing to a halt, that the old man would roll out of it dead, with every single bone broken. They say if you ride a "Duck" (An aquatic land/water vehicle that quacks) over Niagara Falls three times (Or even just once), you will be crushed and torn apart before you have a chance to drown. That you can't fence on top of a moving jeep. In short, that the whole film is just too fantastic to swallow. Well darlings, if I've proved anything in my life, it's that I can, and will, swallow anything, especially Harrison Ford.

I'm sorry. Were Faces melting off of Nazis because they opened a mythical casket believable? You know what happens if you jump out of a plane over the Himalayas with an inflatable life raft instead of a parachute? You get pulverized down the side of a mountain in a long red smear. If you rip the beating heart out of a man's chest, he doesn't stay alive, looking at you with horror. If you shriek and scream as shrilly and unrelentingly as Kate Capshow, you better marry the director, because the leading man will be hiding from you. Nobody builds parallel roller coasters inside Indian mountains. Drinking water from an imaginary goblet won't heal a gunshot wound, and Sean Connery never sired any sons when he was 12 years old. Yet NOW they think Indiana Jones is unbelievable? Darlings, the credibility ship sailed away from the Indiana Jones movies 8 minutes into the first film, when Indiana ran past hundreds of shooting poisoned darts without even one hitting him, and then outran a giant boulder. It's a little late to start complaining that they are too fantastic now.

Get a grip. Besides, a country that believed what Dubya told us to get the country to support the invasion of Iraq is in no position to call Indiana Jones unbelievable.

Cheers darlings.