I think I told you that I spent Thanksgiving at a friend’s house. After we ate, we made coffee and played Trivial Pursuit. Two teams. Our team, through the usual strategy of getting lucky rolls and easy questions, was way ahead after about 20 minutes, so when it was my turn to ask a question, I decided to make it easy for them.
The question was something about the other name for Mt. McKinley. You west-coast people know it; most people who have been around a while probably know it, but for some reason, they didn’t know it. The answer was Denali, and my hint was, “It’s a model of SUV.” I thought that was pretty good, as clues go, but they still couldn’t get it. After I told them the answer, a player on the other side said, “Well, that wasn’t a good clue. Denali is the GMC deluxe trim package, not the model.”
These are the kinds of things you learn at Detroit parties. Honestly, I had no idea.
Last night Alan decided to start watching “The Irishman,” which now that it is on Netflix is likely being watched by some viewers the way you eat a horse — one bite at a time. About 10 minutes in, there’s a flashback to when the DeNiro and Pesci characters met, in an era that looks like sometime in the 1940s. DeNiro is driving a truck that’s broken down, and has the hood up, trying to figure out what’s wrong. Pesci ambles over, looks inside and tells him the problem is the timing chain. Just tighten that up, and it’ll run fine, he says.
Alan barked from his seat, “That makes no sense. A vehicle like that would have had a camshaft.”
Such is life in a company town. What’s your town? What’s its company? And how does it affect your Trivial Pursuit games?
So. Today is the 39th anniversary of John Lennon’s death by gunfire. I guess, for some, it’s one of those things where you remember what you were doing and all that. I shudder to think of the information drought I lived through, then. Don’t think I owned a TV. I heard about it from a morning DJ, didn’t believe it, and confirmed with my friend Kirk, who was clearing the wires at the Dispatch that morning. Another friend, however, was way ahead of us both. He’d been doing something called “chatting” on a newfangled computer thingamajig called CompuServe. One of the people he was chatting with could see the Dakota from where he lived in New York, and was reporting live to everyone else in the chat. And finally, a former colleague got a call from a very bitter ex-girlfriend, who woke him up in the middle of the night to inform him, “John Lennon was shot four times tonight. Someone was waiting for him. That’s gonna happen to you some day.” Then she hung up, leaving him listening to a dial tone.
You ask me, we lost a lot when we lost the dial tone. Such an effective punctuation, such a great way to say “fuck off forever.” You can keep the busy signal, but bring back the dial tone.
My sister sold telephone systems. She was the first to point out how, early in the cellular era, Hollywood sound editors would sometimes insert a dial tone to indicate a hang-up or dropped cellular call in a movie, because otherwise how would the audience know the other party had left the call? (Answer: By using the No Signal trope.)
That was her company-town expertise.
Quiet weekend here. Got the tree, put up the tree, decorated the tree. Now I’m doing food prep for the week ahead, because my waistbands are edging toward tourniquet-land and it’s time to get that shit under control. Operation Better Body starts the day you decide to start, holidays be damned. If I can just put sugar away for a while, I’ll be fine.
Not much bloggage, although there was a great deal of good reading over the weekend. Go looking for it yourself; between paywalls and the history of this blog, I feel like there’s nothing more to say about links many of you can’t even look at. The big joke was, of course, the president of the United States bitching about low-flow toilets, which we hashed over in this space a couple years back. For the record, my house now has two, and I love them both. They have never failed to handle a depth charge, and they don’t refill for five minutes, which can disturb your sleep when you get up to pee at 3 a.m.
Also, you know bugs me the most about that stupid toilet rant? The way he says, “We’re looking very strongly at” something. He’s always looking strongly at something. Fucking speak correct English, you moron.
But there’s this: Linda Ronstadt, shit-talking Mike Pompeo right in his stupid lying face. They should give her a fucking medal on top of the Kennedy Center necklace.
The week ahead awaits us all. Make it a good one.