Saturday, October 31, 2009

Old Home Week -- Part Two

Howard Enz was pacing nervously around the perimeter of the small pumpkin patch on his cousin's property. He had originally thought this would be a great place to hold his interview with the costumed nut who claimed to have super-powers of one sort or another. Now, after having waited for nearly half an hour past the agreed-upon meeting time of four-thirty p.m., all he could think about was that they might miss his deadline for broadcast entirely.

Well, that, and It's freaking cold out here!

Although he had originally been promised an exclusive, Howard had reconsidered several hours ago and called his friend Karen Magarian, a popular and "seasoned" reporter now working at a Boston television station. Howard, graciously repaying one of the many favors he'd come to owe her since he'd started in this business almost twenty years earlier, had invited her to interview this "masked man" as well.

Howard had insisted, however, that his interview be taped for the early evening news on his own small TV station, while Karen's interview was supposed to be held until her channel's eleven p.m. broadcast. She'd given him her word, so he knew that he and he alone would be breaking the story.

It was with great consternation that Howard suddenly realized that Karen and her mobile crew were half an hour late as well. Not like her, he thought, not like her at all.

"This is bad," Howard said aloud to his cameraman, Pat. "This is very, very bad."

From somewhere in the darkness, a somber voice rang out. "Don't worry, Mr. Enz... She's fine. Minor car trouble only ten or twelve miles away."

Howard turned his head from side to side, quickly searching for a look at the man who had spoken. Finally, Mark Arthur, wearing a form-fitting black jumpsuit and a plastic Halloween mask which had been painted gold, emerged from a wooded area not twenty feet from where Howard was standing. A paunchy man with a VanDyke beard and a shaved head followed a few steps behind Mark.

Howard looked at the two men appraisingly. He spoke to Mark first. "I'll go out on a limb here and say that you're the soon-to-be-famous 'Golden Mask' dude." Mark nodded, unnecessarily. Howard turned to Jack, and said "So that makes you the guy I spoke with on the phone, the one who insists on calling himself 'Jack Mac,' right?"

Jack also nodded. "Anyone ever tell you, you look like Oliver Platt?"

"Lots of times. But he's got better hair. And no mustache, usually. Anyone ever tell you that you look like a tubby Steve Austin?"

"Lee Majors, or Stone Cold?"

"Oh, gee, take a wild guess," said Howard, scowling slightly. Jack laughed politely.

"Excuse me, Mr. Enz," said Mark. "What did you mean by 'soon-to-be-famous?' "

Howard tapped his own chest twice with the index finger of his left hand. "Thanks to me. You're welcome. Now, first question, before we roll tape: What did you mean by 'She's fine, minor car trouble?' "

"Your friend, or girlfriend," Mark replied. Howard's face was impassive, and unreadable. "Umm... sister?" he added, suddenly less sure of himself.

Howard pressed on, still staring at the oddly-dressed man. "Never mind that." He paused. "So, Mr. Mask, mind if I ask you your real name?"

Jack Mac broke in. "You ain't really expectin' us to tell you that, are ya?"

Howard turned to face him. "Frankly, I don't know what to expect from this..." Howard was about to say "clown," but finished with "...gent."

Mark spoke again. "And you don't have to call me 'Mr. Mask,' just call me..." He hesitated. He hadn't given any thought to what people should call him when speaking to him conversationally, whenever he was wearing his superhero suit. "Mr. Mask" was just... wrong. And shortening it to "Golden" sounded just as bad, or even worse.

Howard smirked slightly at Mark's quandary, which was obvious although Mark was wearing that face-obscuring, gold-colored mask.

Several hundred feet away, the headlights of a large van cut through the night as it drove onto Howard's cousin's property. Howard breathed a loud sigh of relief. Karen had arrived. "Don't worry about it, Goldie. When we do the interviews, we'll just use the full name."

We? Interviews, plural? thought both Mark and Jack. Mark was slightly concerned. Jack grinned; this would be good for business.

* * * * *

One day earlier:

The short Jewish man in his early sixties was standing at a sink in the men's room of the seedy (but crowded) bar, examining the contents of a wallet, when the taller, younger, suited man walked in on him.

"Nice-looking wallet, Lefcowicz," said the cop -- Of course he was a cop. Who else would dress like that in a place like this? -- as the older man whirled to face him. "Mind if I look at the I.D.? I'm betting that it's not yours!"

The man that the detective -- okay, okay, he was a detective, not just any beat cop -- had referred to as "Lefcowicz" let out a string of expletives, some of them in Yiddish. The detective calmly took the wallet from him and opened it.

He saw the face of "Allen Lefcowicz" staring back at him from an expired driver's license. "What the hell...? I could have sworn I saw you lift this from the pocket of a guy at the bar."

"Sorry, schmendrick, you lose."

"Mind if I ask you why you came in here to look through the contents of your own wallet?"

"Yeah, I do mind, but I'll answer y'anyway. I wuz checkin' t'make sure I had a rubber on me, case I get lucky tonight."

Grimacing with distaste at the thought of Allen "Lefty" Lefcowicz in bed -- or anywhere else -- with anyone, Detective Peter Streimekis grunted in frustration as he turned abruptly and left the men's room... and, moments later, the bar itself.

Lefty chuckled softly as he removed a second wallet -- the stolen one, naturally -- and said aloud, "Yeah, like I didn't smell you th'moment y'sneaked inta th'place. Putz."

The smiled faded as Lefty started thinking more seriously. Streimekis had been breathing down his neck for months, determined to catch the habitual criminal doing something he could arrest him for. Maybe a change of scene was in order.

Suddenly -- very suddenly -- Lefty thought of a few towns in southern Massachusetts which he was familiar with, although he hadn't been on that side of the country for almost ten years.

He looked in the stolen wallet to see if he had busfare. If not, it was going to be a long night.

* * * * *

And speaking of Massachusetts, on Halloween once again...

In their own bar -- well, not their bar, but a bar they both frequented -- the two regulars known as Don and Phil were watching in amusement as the annoying piano player in the corner was being verbally accosted by his wife, a pretty, skinny woman with curly blonde hair.

* * * * *

Finally...

Approximately a twenty minute drive south of Worcester, Massachusetts -- Do all roads lead to Massachusetts? -- a middle-aged, bearded man with whitish hair did the final edits before posting his latest blog.

* * * * *

To Be Continued...

(If you want more background on Jack Mac, Mark Arthur, and "Golden Mask," click here.

And for more info on "Lefty" Lefcowiz and Detective Streimekis, click here!)

Thanks for your time

"Son of Frankenstein": You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!



This post originally appeared on my now-deleted blog, You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!


Wow. Today's post is a "twofor," fellow babies!

While researching yesterday's post, I found a quote on Wikipedia that...

Well, let me explain.

When I was a kid in the 1960s and early 1970s, watching old movies late at night was a passion. (Hey, at that age, there's only a few things about which you can have any "passion.")

I watched a lot of 1930s and 1940s horror films, many of them from Universal Studios. One of my all-time favorites (still is!) was Son of Frankenstein. The first time I saw that film, I watched as several objects, including Frankenstein's Monster himself, were thrown into a bubbling sulphur pit. Each time an object hit the surface of the sulphur, there was a bright blue flash.

Only problem was, Son of Frankenstein was filmed in black & white!

I told my friends about this curious occurrence, and they said I was nuts.

Some time later, I got to watch the movie again, on another station.

No blue flash.

Puzzling, that...

At least until tonight, when I was reading about how early TV broadcasts of The Wizard of Oz showed the sepia-toned beginning and ending segments in black & white instead. The article continued, stating the following:

It was also very common (and even an FCC requirement for early color broadcasters) for TV stations to turn off the color portion of their transmission when broadcasting a black & white show or movie. This was because unusual colors or "color noise" could be seen during the showing of black-and-white programming under some conditions.

Well! There's the explanation. In the case of Son of Frankenstein, that so-called "color noise" translated to my blue flash. The first time I watched the film, the station had not turned off their transmission's color portion; the second time I saw it, that station had.

Case solved... and it only took about 45 years!

Now, I mentioned that today was a "twofor," meaning two for the price of one, so to speak. Here's why:

The gentleman pictured above is an actor named Donnie Dunagan. As a curly-haired little moppet, he played young Peter Frankenstein -- Wolf Frankenstein's son -- in Son of Frankenstein, which would make Peter the grandson of Frankenstein, if you're keeping track!

Well, as I surfed the web for Son of Frankenstein-related posts, I was happy to learn that Mr. Dunagan is still alive. And I learned that he has two major credits to boast of, one being the role of Peter Frankenstein...

And the other being the voice of Disney's Bambi!

Thanks for your time.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gale Sondergaard: You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!



This post originally appeared on my now-deleted blog, You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!

Almost everyone in the civilized world is probably aware of MGM's "The Wizard of Oz." And Margaret Hamilton made one heck of a great Wicked Witch of the West.

I know a lot of Oz trivia, but it wasn't until tonight that I learned that Margaret Hamilton was not the first actress cast as Ol' WWW.

The first was Gale Sondergaard. MGM was trying to ride on the coattails of Disney's beautiful witch in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," apparently.



Ms. Sondergaard looked too good in the initial costume. (It's hard to see here, but the card they're holding in front of her misspells her name as "Sondergard.")

They re-designed the make-up, in an attempt to make her look less attractive -- although she still outshines one or two women whom I've dated -- and it is reportedly at this point that Gale refused the role!

Oddly enough, while I was researching this bit of trivia, I discovered something else -- something totally unrelated to "The Wizard of Oz" -- and as luck would have it, I learned it after midnight... So now I have Saturday's post as well! See you there!

Thanks for your time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Old Home Week -- Part One -- A "Theme Thursday" HALLOWEEN Post

"I see dead people," said Mark.

One really couldn't blame Jack for laughing at the cliché. He was still laughing when Mark continued, "I'm serious! The other night, I got a little visit from the ghost of a whiny, depressed guy in his mid-forties named Marty."

"Marty?"

"Or Matty. Something like that."

"It musta been a dream. Maybe somethin' you ate?"

"Stop being a jackass."

"It's Jack Mac, not Jack Ass."

"Why do I bother?" muttered Mark, walking away.

"Hey," Jack called after him, "How's the training coming?"

Mark stopped, and turned around. "Fine. I have to admit, you were right about my so-called 'talents' branching out with the proper..."

"Ta-daaaaa!" trumpeted a female voice. Jack and Mark both looked toward the doorway of Jack's study/library -- a room filled mostly with collectible comic books and magazines -- and saw Jack's daughter Shari, proudly displaying the home-made Halloween costume her daughter, Sierra, was wearing.

"Good Lord, honey, that's gruesome!" Jack said, enthusiastically... and approvingly.

"What is she?" asked Mark.

Jack shook his head disdainfully as Shari replied, "She's a zombie."

"She... She looks like a corpse!" said Mark.

Jack laughed. "No kidding. Zombies are dead, dummy!"

"Oh," said Mark. More dead people, he thought, making a mental note to revive the subject of his unnerving ghost sighting with Jack as soon as it was remotely convenient. Dealing with the matter at hand -- Sierra's costume -- Mark tried to conceal the fact that he thought the outfit was too macabre for a little girl who'd just turned three on October 20th. "Why is there fake blood all around her mouth... and on her chin... and on her dress?"

"Cuz zobbies eat peoples!" shouted Sierra gleefully.

"Okay, okay. Let's go trick-or-treating, baby!" Beaming with pride, Shari led her daughter away from the study.

"Speaking of costumes," said Jack, after closing the door, "Isn't it time you got into yours?"

"You didn't expect me to put it on here, did you? In front of your family?"

"Sure, why not? It's Halloween, ain't it?"

"Even so..."

"Look," Jack interrupted, "I gotta drive you to see Howard -- and his cameraman -- as soon as you're ready. So get ready. You sure as heck won't get to change once we're on the move."

Reluctantly, Mark nodded, carrying a large paper bag with him as he exited the study and headed toward Jack's bathroom.

* * * * *

Two towns away, local TV commentator and features reporter Howard Enz waits for his colleague-of-sorts, Karen Magarian, to arrive with the mobile TV crew from her own station, based about an hour's drive away in Boston, Massachusetts. Howard's wondering whether he should have given up his agreed-upon "exclusive," even for a friend.

* * * * *

In a far-away state, an inmate in a psychiatric hospital ambles toward the Community Room, never suspecting that the TV program he's about to view will literally change his life.

* * * * *

On the western coast of California, one day earlier, two Jews are in a bar... (And that's not the beginning of an ethnic joke!)

* * * * *

Finally, on Halloween, in yet another bar, much closer to Jack Mac and his friend Mark, a pair of casual acquaintances with the unlikely names of "Don" and "Phil" are watching a syndicated sitcom on a wide-screen TV... although both are wishing they didn't have to put up with the drunk in the far corner of the bar, playing the damned piano...

* * * * *

To Be Continued... This little teaser intro -- incredibly brief by my standards -- is the beginning of the first multi-part story I've done in quite a while. And if you've been reading this blog for a considerable length of time, most of the above characters will be more than familiar as this story progresses.

(To learn more about Jack Mac and Mark Arthur, click here, fellow babies!)

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron: You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!

This post originally appeared on my now-deleted blog, You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!


I'm assuming you've heard the old 1960s classic "Snoopy's Christmas," by a group called the Royal Guardsmen. (Sounds British. They weren't.) And if so, you're probably aware that the group had a prior hit with a similarly-themed song called "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron."

But did you know that in between those two hits, there was a second song -- "Snoopy's Christmas" being their third, naturally -- "The Return of the Red Baron?" Another minor hit featuring Snoopy. When I was in grammar school, those songs were all on the Top 40 at one time or another, so I remember them well. And I've enjoyed telling people about "Return" just to see the surprise on their faces.

Now, it's my turn to be surprised. I learned today that the Royal Guardsmen recorded even more Snoopy songs back in their heyday, including "Snoopy for President!" They even did one a few short years ago, entitled "Snoopy vs. Osama!"


Thanks for your time.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Why, I Oughtta...!


I just checked out "Skip's Stuff," the blog of my writing partner and so-called "friend," Skip Simpson, where he seems to be turning the blog into "Sgt. Skipster's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

I found a supposed "conversation" between Skip and myself!

I'm referred to as "SF676756." Here's some of "my" dialogue (and for the full post, click here):

SF676756: Stop calling me [Foxster]!!! What gives you the right to call yourself a gentleman??? LOL!!! ROFL!!!
Skipster1951: The same right you have to run around in a Zorro outfit, I guess... :P
SF676756: I'll ignore that! I'd advise you to stop misrepresenting yourself to your female viewers, otherwise I'll be forced to post the pictures I've kept since 1983!!!

DA NOIVE!

I didn't write any of that! How dare he even suggest I'd use "LOL" or "ROFL?" In a word: Ewwww!

(Although I really do hate it when he calls me "Foxster!")

Well, I'm not gonna take this lying down. In fact, his own post gave me the idea as far as how to "get even"with him. Heh, heh, heh.

The following pictures are from the early 1980s, fellow babies!

None of the guys in this photo are gay or anything. Just sayin'.

This is the "romantic at heart" who's looking for a date, ladies!

Hm. He's "looking for someone to share some time"
with him? Or do some time with him?

How do you like those apples, "Skipster?" That oughtta teach you to mess with the Foxst- I mean, The Silver Fox!

Whose freakin' idea was it to revive this razzer-frazzer partnership, anyway?!?

Thanks for your time.

Roots: You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!

This post originally appeared on my now-deleted blog, You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!


1976 saw the publication of Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley. Biiiiiig hit, especially after being turned into two TV mini-series.

But I just learned that there was a lot of controversy over this allegedly-true story's veracity. Haley was even sued -- successfully -- for plagiarism over certain segments of it.

Huh! Nobody bothered to tell me any of that! Who'da thunk it?

Thanks for your time.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Kansas: You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!

This post originally appeared on my now-deleted blog, You Learn Something New Every Day (Almost)!


Ever hear the song "Portrait (He Knew)" by the group Kansas? It was released in 1977.

Here are the copyrighted lyrics:

He had a thousand ideas, you might have heard his name

He lived alone with his vision
Not looking for fortune or fame
Never said too much to speak of
He was off on another plane
The words that he said were a mystery
Nobody's sure he was sane

But he knew, he knew more than me or you
No one could see his view, Oh where was he going to

He was in search of an answer
The nature of what we are
He was trying to do it a new way
He was bright as a star
But nobody understood him
"His numbers are not the way"
He's lost in the deepest enigma
Which no one's unraveled today

But he knew, he knew more than me or you
No one could see his view, Oh where was he going to
And he tried, but before he could tell us he died
When he left us the people cried,
Oh where was he going to?

He had a different idea
A glimpse of the master plan
He could see into the future
A true visionary man
But there's something he never told us
It died when he went away
If only he could have been with us
No telling what he might say

But he knew, he knew more than me or you
No one could see his view
Oh, where was he going to
But he knew, you could tell by the picture he drew
It was totally something new,
Oh where was he going to?

In over thirty years, I vaguely wondered whom the song was about, assuming it was a real-life person.

It was.

After hearing the song for the zillionth time on the playlist I've embedded on my The Lair of the Silver Fox blog, I decided to look it up.

It's about Albert Einstein.

I was disappointed, somehow. Not sure why.

Oh, well.

Thanks for your time.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Traffic -- A (Hopefully) Different Slant on "Theme Thursday"

Every winter, when "Super Bowl Sunday" arrives, I drive to the home of my good friend John -- probably the only guy I know personally who's even more indifferent to sports than I generally am -- to watch the commercials that premiere that evening. We rarely pay attention to the game itself. "The ad's the thing," as Shakespeare -- or maybe John Madden -- once said.

(Nowadays, I'm told, a lot of people gather for just this reason, as opposed to viewing the game itself. But John and I have been doing it since the early 1990s, if not before!)

Anyway, I have to admit that the 2004 Super Bowl -- designated as Roman numeral MCXXIIIVIIXD*, or some damned thing -- was of slightly greater-than-normal interest because one of the opposing teams was the New England Patriots, and John and I both live in Southern Massachusetts.

However...

It was during that Super Bowl that I was shocked and outraged by one of the most audacious and profane affronts to my sensibilities that I had ever suffered!

That was, of course, the year that Janet Jackson and Justin Timberwolf (or whatever the f**k his name is) performed during the halftime show, and right after Justin uttered the line "I'm gonna have you naked by the end of this song," he tore off part of Janet's breakaway costume and exposed one of her breasts for a full nine-sixteenths of a second.

What's that? Oh, you thought that was what I referred to when I wrote "one of the most audacious and profane affronts to my sensibilities that I had ever suffered?"

Oh, get real!

No, no, no. By the time that scandalous "wardrobe malfunction" had occurred, John and I had already sat through commercials discussing erectile dysfunction, an ad containing a dog biting a man square in the crotch (and hanging on), and a really objectionable advertisement wherein a horse released an explosive, wet fart in the faces of a pair of young sweethearts.

The incredibly brief flash of what, to me, seemed like a pastie-covered hooter was relatively tame by that point.

So what did I find to be obscene?

During the broadcast, they showed a commercial for -- of all things -- the NFL Network, where the producers of the commercial had dared to use one of my all-time favorite rock'n'roll songs from the early psychedelic era in its soundtrack!

That song was the classic "Dear Mr. Fantasy."

And the version of "Dear Mr. Fantasy" which they used, fellow babies and Theme Thursday fans, was the original version, a version all but sacred to me...

Originally performed by a group called...

Traffic.

Gotcha.

And now, without further ado...


Thanks for your time.

P.S. ~~ Among my labels for this post, I've included the phrase "Janet Jackson's boob." The fact that I've mentioned that here oughtta drive some new readers to this blog! Ya think?

P.P.S. ~~ *And please don't bother telling me that "MCXXIIIVIIXD" is not a real Roman numeral. I know that already. It was a freakin' joke!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

92 and Counting...

My mother, Anita Lynch, when she was --
gasp! -- slightly younger than I am now!

Short, sweet, and to the point, fellow babies:

Today my mother turns 92 years old. It's been a rough, hectic year or so... but we all made it.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

George Tuska, 1916-2009, R.I.P.


As usual, there's not much time for me to write, but I couldn't let the passing of long-time comic -- comic book and comic strip, that is -- artist George Tuska go without notice. The guy had started in the early days, working in Will Eisner's studio, and... well, if you want a better bio than what I have time to churn out here, go to this entry.

Thanks for your time.



Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Weather" Or Not You Believe It... (Another "Theme Thursday" Post, Recycled from When I Actually Had Time to Write My Blogs!)

Today's "Theme Thursday" post is another "recycled" piece, just to keep my hand in, as it were. But it's recycled from my David'Z RantZ blog, and dates all the way back to March 15 of this year, long before most of my readers were following this site.

* * * * *

Some people call it "global warming." Some call it "climate change." (I prefer the latter. The former term confuses people.)

Maybe you believe in it. Maybe you don't. Maybe you're one of the fence-straddlers who say, "Yes, it's happening, but it's happened throughout the history of the planet, and it'll happen regardless of what the human race does or doesn't do."

You know what? I don't really care which of the three above-mentioned choices you subscribe to. You believe what you want, and I'll believe what I want. After all, as Harlan Ellison says, "Everyone is entitled to their informed opinion."

But I do know this:

In a perfect world (meaning, one where I'm in charge), people would stop doing the following two things:

1. People would stop saying things like, "If the planet's getting hotter, then how come it snowed last night?" or "Then why was the temperature below zero last night? Huh? Huh? So much for global warming." If you ask things like that, you don't understand the concept.

2. People would stop saying that the whole idea of climate change is something that Al Gore dreamed up. Please. Have a look at this:


That was filmed in 1958. Al Gore was ten. If climate change is indeed "his idea," he must have been a very precocious kid.

Having said all that, the following is in the interests of "equal time" [The original video from this blog post is no longer on YouTube, so I'm offering a substitute.]:


Thanks for your time.

P.S. ~~ Oh, crap. I must have leaned the wrong way while I was typing this post; all the damned jokes fell off the screen.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Z" for "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!" (or, "After the Ball")


Oh, what a night... (yawn)!

Thanks for... your... Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What I Did on My Day Off (or, "Willow's Got the Biggest Balls of Them All!")

Greetings from the Second Annual Willow Manor Ball!

But first, here's a brief run-down of the last few days:

I must admit, when I first learned of the Willow Manor Ball, I was so glad my dancing skills had improved since my awkward high school days...

video

Before Skip Simpson (a/k/a "The Skipster") picked me up in the Skipster One on Sunday night -- along with Cameron Diaz (a/k/a "Cammie"), his date -- I decided to try on my outfit to make sure it still fit. As I was admiring... I mean, judging my "look" in the mirror, there was a knock on my door.

Imagine my surprise at the sight of the lovely Catherine Zeta-Jones. It seems that she is an avid blog reader, and naturally was aware of the impending event of the internet year! Unfortunately, she was confused by my photos in costume, and thought that I was her co-star in two Zorro films, Antonio Banderas! (I'm not sure how she tracked me down... Perhaps Blogger and T-Mobile have some sort of agreement...)

Catherine "admitted" that she'd long had a crush on me (Antonio, that is), and wanted to be my date to the ball. What to do, what to do... I quickly decided that one bird in the hand was not worth several dozen in the bush, shall we say, so although I ordinarily would have jumped at the chance -- and her -- I begged off reluctantly.

I told her about this unfortunate case of mistaken identity, and unmasked. She didn't care! She still wanted me! "Just one date!" she pleaded, but I held firm. (No wisecracks, please, fellow babies.)

I searched for excuses. "I'm old enough to be your... err... older brother!" I protested.

"Dude!" she exclaimed loudly. "Have you seen the guy I'm married to?!?"

She called me "dude?" Didn't expect that... certainly not a word I'd ever use... But I digress...

Her reference to Michael Douglas gave me an inspiration. I told her I wouldn't think of consorting with a married woman. Thinking of the guests at the Willow Manor Ball, of course, I realized what a bald-faced lie that was... But again, I digress.

She left, crestfallen.

On Sunday night, Skip arrived at Worcester Airport in Massachusetts in the Skipster One. Cameron Diaz and I were waiting, along with hopeful gate-crasher Tom Cruise.

In keeping with my outfit, I decided to bring my faithful steed, Toronado.

However, I also brought my precious 1963 Corvette Stingray, purchased a few years ago from some gent named "Roland." After all, I was hoping that one or more of the guests would agree to some "private time" with The Silver Fox... and not everyone likes to ride on horseback!

Good thing the Skipster One is such a huge plane!

The flight to Willow Manor was uneventful, except when Tom -- obviously confusing himself with his "Top Gun" character -- insisted on piloting the plane. He recklessly sent us into a barrel roll, which in turn sent Ms. Diaz (Okay, okay, Skip, "Cammie!") into my arms. She thanked me for cushioning her fall, but when she made an off-color remark about a "sheath for [my] sword," I turned her down politely. After all, she was Skip's date.

And Skip was on the plane...

After Skip regained control of the plane, Tom calmed down quite a bit, apologizing to us all, etc. He asked if there were any chance that we could swing a last-minute invite to the ball, and we said we'd try... But when I asked him to promise not to bring up Scientology to any of the other guests, he freaked out again, necessitating he be taken away for a brief "rest" when the plane had landed.

Having been warned of our early arrival, our gracious and elegant hostess, Willow, let the three of us stay in her spacious guest wing for two nights and a day. Wanting to spare her large liquor supply, Skip and I occasionally retired to the bar on the Skipster One for cocktails and conversation, where I regaled him with my brand-new Catherine Zeta-Jones anecdote. (Parts of this conversation are repeated elsewhere.) Skip showed me a poem he had written for Cameron Diaz. Not up to his usual standards, unfortunately, although he was quite proud of it.

At one point, I even allowed Skip's precious "Cammie" to borrow the keys to my Corvette, for a drive into town. Strange, I don't recall her returning the keys... But I digress.

Now, as for the ball itself...

As the old song says, "I could have danced all night!" (I even sneaked in a few dances sans costume, just to see if anyone would recognize me. Apparently, Willow did!) Such lovely ladies at the ball, and it seems that so many wanted a chance to take to the floor with Ye Olde Fox... some of them more than once. I blush! I'm so glad I decided to arrive "stag," without a date. And as for any... *ahem*... extra-curricular activities, shall we say... Well, there are some things a gentleman never discusses.

I suppose the highlight of the evening was when I took to the floor with one young lady in particular. It's kind of difficult to make out who she is in the following video, but... Well, she knows who she is!

video

I was quite honored that during this dance, the other partygoers let myself and my lady-of-the-moment have the floor to ourselves... except for a brief moment when this unlikely-looking couple took to the floor:

Ah, so many memories! I cannot thank Willow enough for her hospitality, and the other guests were all so refined, and for certain other activities, I'd especially like to thank... Well, you know who you are...

(Both of you.)

I haven't seen Skip and Cammie for a while now. I assume things are going along swimmingly.

And there's so much more to see reading the other sites! What an adventure!

As always, ladies and gentlemen, The Silver Fox thanks you for your time.

P.S. ~~ Oh, and now? Now, having washed the Zorro-ish black dye from my hair -- I am the Silver Fox, don't forget! -- and having ridden Toronado to where the valet has parked my...

...my...

...

Dude!!! Where's my car?!?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Clothes Make the Man...

And the man makes the... Oh, never mind.

To nobody's surprise, I'll be wearing the outfit that so many others have copied from me worn throughout the years...

After all, fellow babies, "Zorro" does mean "Fox" (as in "Silver..."), n'est-ce-pas?

And although -- as regular readers of this blog know -- I've been very busy lately...

...I've found time to attend the fabulous internet sensation known as the Second Annual Willow Manor Ball! (And I'll bring roses for the ladies!)

And don't complain about my attire. You should see the outfits I rejected!

Oh, and as far as that "now-you-see-it-now-you-don't" mustache of mine... Hey grant me some poetic license here, okay?

Thanks for your time!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What to Wear, What to Wear...

As I swiftly perused the blogiverse, I've learned that October 13th is the date of the Second Annual Willow Manor Ball. Looks like fun, and I certainly plan to try to attend!

If you follow the above link and decide you want to join in, click here to officially sign up for the festivities.

I just need to choose something appropriate to wear. This is Ye Olde Silver Fox's first formal gala in... well, a long time!

My first choice is an all-black tuxedo (and no, that's not me in the photo -- my hair's greyish-white, as befitting a true Silver Fox).

But I can't decide between a bow tie or less traditional tuxedo neckwear...

So I'll probably opt for my usual night attire:


And the flower is for...?

Either way, I'm brushing up on my dance steps!

And ladies, I'll be arriving unescorted... (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Thanks for your time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stereotyping


Jesse Jackson: "You know, Mr. President, I don't think I've ever seen a men's room this crowded, and... and... Oh, my God!!!"

Thanx and a tippo to Skip Simpson for unselfishly sending me the photo, instead of using it on his own blog, where I assume he would have delivered equally entertaining results!

And thanks for your time.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Theme Thursday -- "Flight" (or, "Recycling is good for the environment!")

Today's Theme Thursday post is really a cheat! Sorry, fellow babies... but in an effort to show y'all that I'm not dead -- just temporarily MIA -- I'm getting on today's bandwagon by recycling the following from last May. (If you read it when it originally appeared, you have my sincere apologies!) You don't think I'd let Skip Simpson get away with the only outstanding history lesson of the blogger day, do ya?

Otto Lilienthal

Something a bit different today.

In his hit song "Kodachrome," Paul Simon referred to "all the crap I learned in high school," but I learned my "crap" a few years earlier. The more I learn about history -- both the "World" and "U.S." varieties -- the more I realize that the so-called "history" lessons I was subjected to in grammar school were largely a waste of time. I hadn't even made my way through high school before I learned that the "truth" about Christopher Columbus and the "truth" about the Pilgrims that landed in my own state of Massachusetts was mostly b.s.

And in the thirty-five years since my high school graduation, I've learned a few other, equally disconcerting things, as well.

I was told about the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, and how they invented the airplane and conducted the first successful manned flights (not counting guys who'd "gone up" in hot-air balloons).

And whenever they talked about the Wright brothers, the teachers spoke of previous, unsuccessful flights made by others... notably, how some idiot named Otto Lilienthal leaped off a cliff and fell to his death, much like the urban legends of those kids who tied towels around their necks and leaped off roofs in emulation of Superman. He'd built some kind of glider, evidently... We never got the details. But somehow, this guy Lilienthal became famous just for that one jump of his which sent him unceremoniously to the ground? Poor sucker.

Personally, I always pictured some nut flying too close to the sun with his wax-coated wings, like the mythological Icarus.

Well, Otto, we hardly knew ye (to screw up an old expression).

If you want the tip of the proverbial iceberg in regards to the "real truth," you can start here. But if you don't want to learn any more than what I'm willing to impart personally, chew on this:

The reason Otto Lilienthal was mentioned in my history classes was that he'd received quite a bit of fame before he was mortally wounded in his famous glider crash. He was a true, respected aviation pioneer, having made roughly two thousand successful glider flights prior to his final attempt! In fact, the Wright brothers themselves learned a lot from his writings.

And needless to say, modern-day hang-gliding aficionados owe him a debt of thanks for his experiments, as well.

So thinking of him as some kind of "idiot" or "nut" would be tantamount to calling Dale Earnhardt the same simply because of how he met his end.

Lilienthal aloft.

"All the crap I learned," indeed!

Thanks for your time.

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