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May 13, 2008:

HARD RUBBER WITH TARTAR SAUCE

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I have nothing to say and little time to say it in. Say what? I, BK, have nothing to say? How can that be? And how can one say nothing in little time or a lot of time? And what is little time? A small clock? A tiny wristwatch? Apparently I was correct in the first sentence – I have nothing to say. And yet, I must fill up these here notes with letters that lead to words and words that lead to sentences and sentences that lead to paragraphs and paragraphs that lead to the end of today’s notes. Of course, it’s always fun to write when you have nothing to say. Frequently, that is when the best things happen, writing-wise, although these here notes would seem to belie that, oh, yes, these here notes would seem to belie that. Oh, let’s just get on with it, shall we? Speaking of getting on with it, yesterday was quite a long day in which things happened at various times. For example, I got up. That happened. I then had to package up many orders and then I went to the postal office and shipped them. After that, I came home and did quite a bit of work on the computer and at the piano, had several important telephonic conversations, and then did some errands. By that time, it was time to get ready to go to the LACC memorial for the late Winston Butler, who attended the Theater Department with me, then ended up teaching there, then ended up as the head of the department for several years, and who ultimately ended up as the Dean of San Diego City College. Winston was a very lovely fellow – smart, funny, with an infectious laugh. I didn’t see him all that much after we left school, but when I did see him we always laughed and had a good time. It was a lovely evening, with tributes being read, people speaking (myself included), a couple of songs being sung, and then people in the auditorium finally getting up and offering their reminiscences. Even though they were asked to keep their speeches to two minutes, most didn’t, so it ended up being a fairly long evening. Still, people spoke from their hearts, and Winston touched people in very special ways. Afterwards, there was a reception and food, and I spoke to several nice folks I hadn’t seen in a while, and finally I headed home, first stopping at MacDonald’s to get a Filet o’ Fish and a Big Mac (I was quite hungry).

I took two bites of the Filet o’ Fish, unfortunately swallowing them. I knew after the first bite something was wrong with it, but I thought, well, maybe it’s my imagination. It wasn’t my imagination. Maybe it wasn’t cooked right or maybe it was just bad, but it was like eating hard rubber with tartar sauce and it was definitely rancid. I kept it in the box and I shall be returning it this morning in protest. I must say, that’s a first in all my years of eating at MacDonald’s and because of it it will probably be my last visit for quite some time to come. The Big Mac, however, was very tasty. Just the thought of that rubber with tartar sauce is nauseating me right now, and I do hope it doesn’t cause me grief later.

I then began watching a motion picture on VHS tape entitled Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama’s Hung You In The Closet And I’m Feeling So Sad. I think I went to see it when it came out, and I think I really hated it, which was very unusual since I’m a fan of its director, Richard Quine and, more importantly, a fan of the play by Arthur Kopit. Those who’ve read Kritzer Time know that I was very enamored of this play as a youngster. I thought it was hilarious and the production I saw here at the Biltmore Theater was spectacularly well done, with direction by Jerome Robbins, and starring Hermione Gingold as Madame Rosepettle – I thought she was the funniest woman alive, and I still think so. Also in the cast were a very young Sam Waterston and an actress named Alix Elias (in the Barbara Harris-created role), who I thought was absolutely brilliant. I probably blocked the film version from my mind, because I could remember absolutely nothing about it. So, I procured a VHS tape so I could see it again. From frame one the problem is blatantly on view – it’s funny I had no memory of what they’d done, but as soon as I saw the little prologue and then the credits, I knew I was in for a tough go. Here is what I believe happened: Mr. Quine shot the movie version of the play – obviously it was opened up and had differences, but Miss Harris was in the film, and also Mr. Robert Morse and Miss Rosalind Russell. None of these people are in the prologue, however. Why? Because Paramount probably took one look at Mr. Quine’s film and thought, “Holy moley on rye, we can’t release this picture, what do we do? No one will understand a word of it.” So, what they did was to add Jonathan Winters as “Dad”, starting in heaven, telling us what the film is about. Then he pops up in little circles from time to time to comment on the action in a derogatory way, spout bad jokes, and make sure we’re all following the plot. In other words, they desperately tried to “fix” the film and in so doing, completely made something unspeakable out of it. As I sallied forth, I tried to imagine the film without Mr. Winters and his Pat McCormick-written asides, and it seems to me that Mr. Quine was attempting to be faithful to the play – but you’d never know it, because of Paramount’s meddling. That said, Miss Russell gives one of her worst performances in the film, not even approaching the hilarity of Miss Gingold. And Mr. Morse plays her son Jonathan so weirdly that anyone who’s in a scene with him simply has no chance, and that includes the marvelous Barbara Harris, who it the only thing worth watching in the film. I haven’t finished it yet, but will soldier on.

Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because for someone who had nothing to say, I’ve just spewed forth more notes than usual. I think I ned to go out and get something to take this foul taste of hard rubber with tartar sauce out of my mouth. Blechhh.

Today, I must ship more packages (including some big ones), I must do a few errands and make a few telephonic calls, but other than that I’m going to try to relax – the evening hours are mine all mine and I, for one, say hoo and ray.

Tomorrow, I hope to have my second proofer’s fixes back, so that I can begin entering them. I also have to attend an early-evening meeting for the charity event I’m helping with.

Have I mentioned the word blechhh yet? That is how I’m currently feeling. Blechhh.

Quick, let’s all put on our pointy party hats and our colored tights and pantaloons, let’s all break out the cheese slices and the ham chunks, let’s all dance the Hora and the Black Bottom, for today is the birthday of occasional dear reader and wife of Mr. Charles Pogue, Miss Julieanne Pogue aka La Jolie Femme. So, let’s give a big haineshisway.com birthday cheer to La Jolie Femme. On the count of three: One, two, three – A BIG HAINESHISWAY.COM BIRTHDAY CHEER TO LA JOLIE FEMME!!!

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, package up orders, ship orders, do some whatnot, and do some errands. Today’s topic of discussion: What is the single worst food experience you’ve ever had? Where was it, what was it that made it horrifying, and what, if anything, did you do about it? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I attempt to get this taste of hard rubber with tartar sauce out of my gaping maw.

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