That’s a wrap.

How far will you go to win an argument with your spouse? Below, behold the old plastic wrap, and the new plastic wrap. Alan does not believe what I told him Saturday, that the original two-pack of 750-square-foot wrap was purchased at Costco in 2005, and therefore we have gone five years between plastic-wrap purchases. He doesn’t see how this is possible, even allowing that I am not given to Marabel Morgan-type stunts with the stuff. We agreed to write “November 2010” on the ends of both boxes of the new stuff, and see if it lasts until Kate’s freshman year in college.

Who is Marabel Morgan? some of you are wondering. Boy, am I dating myself. OK, for you young’uns: Morgan was an early squall in the culture wars, a retrograde Anita Bryant type who peddled a series of extremely successful books for women, advising them how to put the zip back in their marriages, “zip” being defined as sex, mainly, although she did write a cookbook along the way, too. Probably her most famous advice was for wives to wrap themselves in nothing but Saran Wrap and greet their husbands at the door with an icy martini. I guess the martini was a consolation prize for seeing his wife’s sweaty, mashed privates encased in plastic, but whatever blows your hair back. Morgan followed the Biblical formula of wives submitting to their husbands. What’s the flip side of that one, Bible people? I guess the Promise Keepers model, which also requires submission from our side of the aisle, alas. I’m not much of a submitter, all things considered. I guess that’s why I didn’t get married until I was 35. I guess that’s why I fight with my husband over plastic wrap instead of dressing in it.

One final note: Martin Cruz Smith’s new novel features a torture-execution featuring plastic wrap. I’ll spare you the details.

So how was everyone’s weekend? I went to Costco. Got some plastic wrap. I also went to the opera — “La Boheme” — and saw “The Kids Are All Right.” Enjoyed both very much, but it was the film that left me grinning. I love movies where you can luxuriate in the writing, and this was one of them. The story of a lesbian couple and family under stress when their sperm donor enters the picture gets so much right, I don’t care about the little things it gets wrong, and now that I think about it, I can’t really recall any. Highly recommended for Thanksgiving weekend DVDing, as long as there are no kiddies in the room. (There are several brief-but-explicit scenes of boinkage.)

Busy Monday, as always. So let’s get to the bloggage:

I know that sometimes I beat up on the Free Press, but they actually do have a few writers worth their generous paychecks, and one of them is columnist Brian Dickerson, who shares my curiosity about that line in all the Cialis, Viagra and related ED medicine ads: See your doctor if you have an erection lasting more than four hours. I always chuckle over that, and frequently remark to my long-suffering husband, “Someday I’d like to see a scene in a movie where a guy walks into an ER and announces he’s had an erection for four hours.” (He never laughs. I think we’re headed for divorce court.) Anyway, here’s Dickerson’s excellent Sunday offering: It’s been four hours. Now what? It answers the question everybody wants to know: Why four hours? And what happens afterward:

Q: So it’s like a heart attack in your penis?

A: Yes, I guess it would be sort of like that.

Now that’s service journalism.

Have you ever seen an Oprah’s Favorite Things show? I have, once. I found it equal parts compelling and repulsive. For those who haven’t, this is the giveaway show the big O does around the holidays, in which an unsuspecting lucky audience — it’s never revealed until it’s in progress — finds themselves gifted with a truckload, literally, of free stuff, thanks to Oprah. (Along with, I’m compelled to add, a huge tax receipt for the IRS.) You can’t imagine the audience reaction when they learn they’re the lucky ones. Really. It has to be seen to be believed.

Kenneth Jay Lane is selling knockoffs of Kate Middleton’s engagement ring. How did the company turn them around so fast? I’ll tell you how: They’re leftovers from the Diana-ring knockoffs. That’s one advantage to being old enough to remember Marabel Morgan. You remember other stuff, too.

Paul Krugman says: There will be blood. Oh, I don’t doubt it.

Off to the police stations. Let’s see what fresh hell our leafy Edens endured over the past week. My guess is: Not very much.

Posted at 9:43 am in Current events, Movies, Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |

48 responses to “That’s a wrap.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

    You have redeemed the phrase “service journalism” for me.

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  2. Julie Robinson said on November 22, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Jeff, I was thinking the same thing! Also, that I wish we had a Costco here instead of the execrable Sam’s Club.

    When Oprah had the Sound of Music cast on, I watched an entire episode of her show for the first time. How have I avoided this cultural icon for so many years? Oprah is very full of herself, isn’t she? And very shallow. And very fond of yellllling. I didn’t get it.

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  3. Deborah said on November 22, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Oprah is a neighbor of mine, well one of her dwellings anyway is on the next block over. We see a rooftop over there and whoever it is that lives there has parties all the time. We like to pretend it’s Oprah’s place we are seeing, but we really have no idea. Since she will be leaving Chicago to live in LA she’ll probably be selling this place. We heard she put $8 million into the renovation when she bought it.

    OT – I’m almost finished with the Keith Richard’s book and good lord that man took a lot of drugs. Probably still takes a lot but claims to be clean of heroin now.

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  4. Peter said on November 22, 2010 at 10:36 am

    The Viagra ads have had a subtle change : early ads said to tell your doctor if your erection lasts more than four hours; when we saw that ad my brother in law said “Tell my doctor? I’m telling everybody!”

    Our plastic wrap lasts ages. It’s really annoying to the other members of our house, because the little plastic guides at the end of the roll have fallen off, so using the wrap sounds like you’re pulling up a square yard of Velcro.

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  5. LAMary said on November 22, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Did you ever see SNL’s take on Oprah’s favorite things? It’s wonderful.

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  6. LAMary said on November 22, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I am with you on the plastic wrap usage. Those costco rolls last a long time and I don’t use much plastic wrap. I’m a big fan of lexan containers from the restaurant supply store.

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  7. Randy said on November 22, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Do you go into Costco with a set spending amount, only to walk out with a much higher bill than you planned for? We are getting better at sticking to our plan, primarily to protect our pocketbooks, but also to avoid having a gallon-sized jar of dill pickles in the fridge for eight months.

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  8. adrianne said on November 22, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Nancy, remember this spousal fight? “Always start the bacon in a cold skillet! Always!” Hell, I would have dated the plastic wrap, too! Anything to get one over on long-suffering hubs.

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  9. Suzanne said on November 22, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Great memory of my pre-teen nephew who, after seeing one of those commercials, proclaimed “Why in the h**l would anyone want an erection that lasted that long?!?!?” Why indeed!

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  10. coozledad said on November 22, 2010 at 11:27 am

    The worst thing about Marabel was her encouragement to fundies to speak openly about sex. I saw the results of this the one time I watched Jerry Falwell’s broadcast. He was taking a moment before the sermon to celebrate the successful sexual union of one of the deacons and the deacon’s spouse. The camera flashed on the deacon with his horn rims and shit-eating grin and I had to cut the television off.
    I preferred thinking they reproduced by budding, or with a blow gun or turkey baster.
    Didn’t Marabel write “A Reverence For Wood”?

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  11. Sue said on November 22, 2010 at 11:31 am

    ‘We agreed to write “November 2010″ on the ends of both boxes of the new stuff’
    Amateur. You write it on the tube itself to prevent spousal sabotage, and have your handy ink carbon dating kit ready for the ink aging test that will be demanded.
    No, actually, I get along just fine with my husband. Why do you ask?

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  12. prospero said on November 22, 2010 at 11:46 am

    When I went to bed last night, I would have met half my IRA that Laurie Bembenek would have shown up as a topic today. This woman was so obviously framed by her husbands crooked cop cronies, it was disgusting. Wherever you are, Run Bambi, Run.

    Marabel was satirized adroitly by James Garner and the Rockford wirters in her heyday, but I imagine she took it as some sort of mildly embarrassing homage. She always seemed to have Aunt Clara’s wits about her.(The episode is from the 4th season and is currently free watch instantly on Netflix.)

    Cathy Bates’ character did the Saran trick to no success in Fried Green Tomatoes. Evelyn’s husband was overwhelmingly repulsive, but according to Marabel, that was immaterial.The Fugs had a more productive about alternative usage. (DO NOT play this in an office setting unless it’s a cool office.)

    My ex-wife belonged to a book club in the early 70s that insisted on discussing The Total Woman. She fumed andbit her tongue for a while, and then pitched in. Held up the author’s picture on the dust jacket and asked, innocently: “Wouldn’t this all be about necrophilia?” I found out about this when I asked a friend why D. wasn’t attending the the meetings anymore and learned she’d been disinvited.

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  13. Julie Robinson said on November 22, 2010 at 11:47 am

    Mary, thanks! Parody? It looked like a straight-up copy.

    The spousal unit “discussion” in our house, for about the last year, is purchase of a new glowing box. One of us wants a big flat screen kind and one of us would sorta like to shoot the thing. Can we survive Black Friday?

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  14. LAMary said on November 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Same discussion in my house, Julie. I have no interest in a big flat screen and I fear if we have one some household member(s) will never leave the couch, largely because the XBox will likely get hooked up to it. I will be in exile.

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  15. prospero said on November 22, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Krugman says:

    The fact is that one of our two great political parties has made it clear that it has no interest in making America governable, unless it’s doing the governing.

    I suppose, if he means by governing “autocratically running everything into the ground, continuing geometric expansion of the economic gap between American haves and have-nots, and finally rendering any real semblance of the middle class extinct, well, sure. If he means governing in any real sense of the word, Republicans stopped even claiming that a long time ago.

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  16. Judybusy said on November 22, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Sue, your guy just doesn’t have a chance, does he?

    Prospero, I had a similar thought when I read that sentence. Your ex also sounds like my kinda gal!

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  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 22, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Eric Sloane.

    Irony aside, I liked being reminded of this book; there’s a copy somewhere on my shelves at home.

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  18. prospero said on November 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    William Sydney Porter’s laughing in his grave, and it wouldn’t be surprising if William Gibson is nearly finished with another brilliant, foreboding mystery about this seriously peculiar commodification. Russian hair cartels shooting at each other?

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  19. Sue said on November 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Judybusy, I follow Marabel Morgan’s “Submit = Control” methods because it’s so liberating and also so devious! But ladies, I suggest you use bubble wrap instead of saran wrap the next time you do the ‘meet him at the door’ thing. He’ll get so involved with popping the bubble wrap that you won’t actually have to do anything messy and your bouffant will hardly need to be lacquered back into place when he’s done.
    Those men, so easy to manipulate. That was the whole point of those books, right?

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  20. Dorothy said on November 22, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I’ve been hanging around here long enough I probably told this joke already. So forgive me, but I’ll repeat it just in case. My friend Bob Anderson told a bunch of us at rehearsal one night that his brother had just heard about Viagra. (This was probably 10 years ago). His brother said he’d probably never use it because “Why put lead in the pencil unless you have someone to write to?!”

    I’m a little surprised no one here has mentioned this, considering our discussions recently about Barbara Bush and $P:

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  21. Peter said on November 22, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Cooz – I think Marabel wrote “My Reverence For Ed Wood” Pull the string!

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  22. Sue said on November 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    You folks are going to like this:

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  23. Dexter said on November 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    A teacher from the 1960s told some kids he used plastic wrap when Trojans weren’t available. I think his students, all of us 60 or so now, still remember that more than anything he taught us. I wasn’t in the group he told, but I do remember how he sat the good looking girls in the front row of his classrooms; this was the era when girls had to wear skirts or dresses to school. That guy would just leer at those exposed legs.

    We watched Winter’s Bone. Holy shit!

    A co-worker told of a friend who had an erection that was locked, if not loaded.
    The patient was scared to death when rushed for surgery that was a great relief.

    Thanksgiving is over for us, yes…in Columbus this past weekend. Damn, too many people, lots of harsh words, arguing, yelling…never had all that before. It is summarized here: go to kitchen to offer to help in any way, told to go sit down and leave the kitchen work to others, then later criticized for “not helping at all”. And I just tell you, go figure. It was just eight people, five dogs, and three cats. We’ll see how Christmas goes .

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  24. coozledad said on November 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Or “My dinner with Edward’s Woodward.” Not for the squeamish. Like “Wicker Man” but with more Cool Whip.

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  25. LAMary said on November 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I’ve got that Eric Sloane book too. Was it a best seller or something? Why do we all know it?
    I knew he had one about tools too, but it wasn’t a reverence for them. Otherwise it could be another Marabel Morgan co-author project.
    The Paul Krugman column was depressing.

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  26. Jolene said on November 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I got a kick out of the Barbara Bush quip, too, Dorothy. Would that she had a bigger platform and spoke on that theme more frequently. I have no doubt that she would wipe the floor w/ Sassy Sarah.

    Her TV show got a snarky review in The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol’s magazine, so maybe there’s hope.

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  27. coozledad said on November 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    LA Mary: I always think about Eric Sloane porn this time of year. It’s got that tenuous link with the usual fall holiday sentiment, and there’s no fighting. I’d have to haul out the Dover books catalog, but I think it’s “A museum of early American Tools”.

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  28. Jolene said on November 22, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Deborah, when you finish the Keith Richards book, you might be interested in an essay by Bill Wyman, a journalist who wrote a review of Richards’s book from the perspective of Mick Jagger. In fact, when the essay was published, people thought it was by the Bill Wyman who was part of the Rolling Stones. The Post has a piece explaining the whole thing, w/ links to Wyman’s essay and an additional piece by Wyman re how he came to write the essay. Both very interesting.

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  29. LAMary said on November 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    I understand, cooz. I think I go for food porn this time of year.
    Your mention of Edward Woodward made me think of something the in house brit said. He quoted some comedian as saying it’s good we have the letter D or Edward Woodward would be Ewar Woowar.

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  30. Julie Robinson said on November 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Dexter, our family prefers a lot of quiet seething to out and out yelling.

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  31. coozledad said on November 22, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    LA Mary: I think John Gielgud was reading a script, and he asked who’d be playing opposite him. “Edward Woodward”.
    “Rather sounds like a fart in a bath, doesn’t it?”

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  32. Kim said on November 22, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    You guys are so funny. For real.
    A guy from these parts was invited to be on Oprah’s madcrazy giveaway show, ostensibly as a “hometown hero.” He’s not an Oprah follower – he’s a college student working on getting Haitian college students displaced from their studies by the earthquake back into schools, the thinking being if you let a generation of educated folks lapse the whole country suffers. He described the experience as “when you see the show I will be one of a couple of white guys who aren’t jumping up and down.”
    Still, he got the loot and while O. didn’t really talk about his project (the reason he said “sure” to the show) he’s now auctioning all the favorite stuff to benefit his favorite thing. Check it out here.

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  33. prospero said on November 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Good grief. Could Edward Woodward get a break. He made a riveting TV show that was better than any of the treacle and drivel Gielgud ever made for TV (The Equalzer). He made an absolutel brillian movie, Breaker Morant, which is probably somewhat better than Arthur and Chariots of fire combined. And nobody that took money to appear in Caligula should make even the vaguest derogatory comment about another actor.

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  34. Deborah said on November 22, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Had a very odd thing happen. I was researching something for work and came across a book about Eric Sloane, camouflage artist (among other things). I had never heard of Eric Sloan before until Jeff (tmmo), LA Mary and Coozledad mentioned him above. I wasn’t looking for information about the guy, this just came up today, as I said, while I was researching something else. This is what I learned about him:

    [Sloane’s] name at birth was Everard Jean Hinrichs. In 1919, his family moved to Long Island, where he became friends with his neighbor, the typographer Frederic Goudy, who taught him hand-lettering. He then studied briefly at the Art Students League (where he was influenced by John Sloan, whose name he would adopt c.1934, while adding an e at the end), and at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art, where he was enrolled as a “graphic advertising major.” Due to poor attendance and failure to submit his work, he never completed his courses, yet he decided soon after to enroll at Yale University, where he lasted only several months.

    Sounds like a bit of weirdo. But the kind of person I wish I’d known.

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  35. LAMary said on November 22, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    propero, think of it this way, now we know John Gielgud farted in the bathtub. And I really like Breaker Morant as well. Great movie.

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  36. LAMary said on November 22, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Kim, I’m jealous of your local guy who got hear Oprah yelling, “cashmere SWEATERZZZZZ!” in person.

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  37. beb said on November 22, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    A number of lefty bloggers over this weekend was arguing that the Republicans plan to oppose any and everything Obana proposes amounts to treason. I can see that.

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  38. LAMary said on November 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Darryl Issa is saying he wants investigation hearings about Obama’s citizenship and related craziness seven days a week. The stated number one goal of the Republicans is to guarantee Obama is a one term president. How either of those things is going to generate more jobs for anyone other than some DC attorneys and political pendejos eludes me.

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  39. coozledad said on November 22, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I’ve always been troubled by the Republicans’ tacit endorsement of the policies of Slobodon Milosevic, and now I know why. It really looks like they would be willing to burn everything down to make one final property grab and roll the dice for neofeudalism. What their motorized shopping cart constituents will never understand is they’ll be eating handfuls of dirt if it comes to pass.
    Issa and his ilk? Ceausescus in waiting. Vampires.

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  40. brian stouder said on November 22, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Darryl Issa is saying he wants investigation hearings about Obama’s citizenship and related craziness seven days a week.

    You know, just this past weekend I read the following article, which was the first thing I’ve ever read about Rep Issa (and now that I look at it, I think I’ll always call that guy Rep Issa)

    Here are a few nuggets from that article:

    If you’ve owned a Viper car alarm, you might recognize his voice. The deep bass intoning “Please step away from the car” is Issa’s own, from his days heading up the company. After being charged twice with auto theft in his youth – he wasn’t convicted, though he did plead to a separate misdemeanor gun charge – Issa channeled his interest in autos into protecting them. The sale of his car-alarm company brought him an estimated $250 million.

    Amazing, isn’t it? We’re supposed to be worried about the origins of a community organizer who was born in Hawaii, but respect a kangeroo court run by a gun-toting car thief?

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 22, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    And, the guy who did some of the murals in the back lobby of the National Air and Space Museum — he was a wizard at painting clouds.

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  42. brian stouder said on November 22, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    The shrink wrap story is one that I suspect Alan was right about. Just because the wrap has been around since 2005, that doesn’t mean that other wrap containers haven’t come and gone. Just today, Pammy cleaned out the freezer (ahead of the holiday rush, but only just), and she found a package of chicken in there with an expiration date of 2005. (I’ve pitched out canned items that are beyond their use-by date, and those things usually start out with 5 years on the clock!)

    Total non-sequitur: what to think of this? Another November 22, has come and (mostly) gone by, 47 years since a singularly awful thing that occurred on a bright beautiful day in Dallas, and for the first time in my memory, no mention of that event at or near the top of the regular news.

    Instead, we have this story today, which includes a partial evacuation of the White House

    an excerpt:

    Two F-16 fighter jets briefly took to the sky over Washington on Monday after a small passenger aircraft violated the capital’s airspace restrictions, according to military officials. A portion of the White House grounds was briefly evacuated during the incident.


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  43. KLG said on November 22, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    “boinkage” What a word! And that’s why I love Nancy Nall and her peeps! And word on Edward Woodward. Breaker Morant was exquisite. And if there were anything like “The Equalizer” on teevee today, I might turn the thing on once in a while.

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  44. coozledad said on November 22, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I’m sorry, but I caught an episode of “The Equalizer” while I was on a stairmaster at the Y in Henderson,NC several years back, and the plot centered on an abduction and sequestration of “The Equalizer” himself and perhaps one or two others in a remote cabin. Their only hope, it seems, was for the EQ to make a “distraction bomb” by slicing the phosphorous tips from matchheads into a jar and making a firework that might bear the warning “Light fuse. Get Away. May emit shower of sparks!”
    While I know from painful personal experience that some of these “class C” devices could easily sever a drinkard’s hand or ignite a neighbor’s tobacco barn, they would be extremely unlikely to elicit more than a few second’s concern from a kidnapper who’d taken a few minutes to work out the details. And he’d be unlikely to let his victims have access to the treasure trove o’ matches, anyway.
    I Liked “Breaker Morant” but I also loved “Gallipolli” with Mel Gibson.
    I think Edward has drawn some shitty jobs, and it’s likely not his fault.

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  45. alex said on November 22, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I once saw a Boss Hog SUV in Chicago with bullhorns and visors and showy rims get stripped in seconds by guys on their backs on skateboards. The whole while a loud recording kept repeating “Please step away …” much to the snickering of passersby.

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  46. basset said on November 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    >>A teacher from the 1960s told some kids he used plastic wrap when Trojans weren’t available.

    Four words: The Fugs. “Saran Wrap.”

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  47. coozledad said on November 23, 2010 at 9:02 am

    For some reason, this thing reminds me of the place kicker from one of those old electric football games. I’d be afraid it would vibrate for awhile in an ellipse before pitching over:

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  48. coozledad said on November 23, 2010 at 11:53 am

    We used to compost all the kitchen scraps until we found there is nothing that some animal in the yard won’t eat- even the free jar of hot mango pickle the guy gave us at the Pakistani grocery. The only thing likely to sit around for a few days is the core of a cabbage, and the sheep will eventually gnaw that away.

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