Thursday, November 27, 2014

Butlers affect some people that way

Beach had been an aloof, supercilious figure who had paralysed him with his majesty. He was paralysing him now. It is a very intrepid young man who can see an English butler steadily and see him whole without feeling a worm-like humility, and all Jerry's previous encounters with Beach - in corridors, in the hall, at lunch and at dinner - had left him with the impression that his feet were too large, his ears too red and his social status something in between that of a Dead End kid and a badly dressed leper. There were cats on the premises of Blandings Castle, and those gooseberry eyes had always made him feel that he might have been some unsavoury object dragged in by one of these cats, one of the less fastidious ones.

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

If you have a hot pig, he's your man!

Gally might have his defects - his sister Constance, his sister Dora, his sister Julia, and all his other sisters could have named you hundreds - but he was sure to be a mine of information on what to do when you discovered a stolen pig in your kitchen one jump ahead of the police.

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

The gullible type

The world may be roughly divided into two classes - men who, when you tell them a story difficult to credit, will not believe you, and men who will. It was to this latter and far more likeable section of the community that, judging by his fatuous expressions, George Cyril Wellbeloved belonged. He had the air, which Jerry found charming, of being a man who would accept without question whatever anybody cared to tell him. His whole aspect was that of one who believed everything he read in the Sunday papers.

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Of pigs and kitchens

Authors are like that. No reticence. No reserve. You or I, Beach, finding a pig in the kitchen of a furnished villa in which we had jut hung up our hats, would keep calm and wait till the clouds rolled by. But not an author. The first thing this blighted Vail will do, unless nipped in the bud, will be to rush out and grab the nearest passer-by and say, "Pardon me for addressing you, sir, but there appears to be a pig in my kitchen. Have you any suggestions?" And then what? I'll tell you what. Doom, desolation and despair. In next to no time the news will have reached Parsloe, stirring him up like a dose of salts and bringing him round to Sunnybrae with a whoop and a holler. We must hurry, Beach. Not an instant to lose.

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)


If you are not overstaffed

then you are not adequately staffed, unless you can guarantee that none of your employees will ever take vacation, get sick, have family members die, or have any personal emergencies. Being merely "adequately staffed" is a prime strategy in the Ostrich School of Management, in which the higher-ups stick their head in the sand, so to speak, and hope that dedicated employees will bail them out of their short-sightedness.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Girl From Rio (1939)

Movita is a singer who brother (Alan Baldwin) has been arrested. She resolves to go to New York to go to help him. She contacts Pamela Blake, who says Baldwin is innocent, but it being held in prison on an arson charge. Blake tells her that she is married to Baldwin. Her boyfriend (Warren Hull) later comes to New York to try to find her and traces her to a cheap saloon where she is having to work. He persuades a prominent lawyer to take Baldwin's case. Molita gets a job in the bad guy's night club to get evidence to help Baldwin.



Empress of Blandings and Pride of Matchingham

Who, having an ounce of agricultural interest, does not know of these two titans of the porcine world? Annually they battle it out in the Fat Pigs category at the Shropshire Agricultural Show. To date (we say with satisfaction), the Empress has bested her arch-rival from Matchingham Hall. However, given the seemingly perpetual connivery that seems to occur between the two teams (usually fomented by either Lord Ickenham or The Hon. Galahad Threepwood), it is a wonder that either of the hogs gets enough rest to gain any weight.



As we age we must deal with being increasingly irrelevant to this world; which is just as well, since this world should be increasingly irrelevant to us.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Norman Rockwell and the drunk cat

On the 14 July 1938 episode of the Royal Gelatin Hour with Rudy Vallee, he had Norman Rockwell as a special guest. In the interview, Rockwell recalled one occasion he was doing a painting of a cat, and had borrowed one from a neighbor as a model. However, he could not get the cat to cooperate, so he got it drunk, and everything went fine. However, he never did try to explain to the neighbors about the cat's hangover.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

A slam on a noble bird

          "You're as tight as an owl."
          This was a wholly unjustified slur on a most respectable breed of bird, for owls are as abstemious as the most bigoted temperance advocate could wish, and at another time George Cyril Wellbeloved might have been tempted to take up the cudgel on their behalf. But his employer's charge had cut him to the quick, and he sank into a chair and brushed a tear from his eye.

(from Pigs Have Wings. by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

More HERE about owls.


Not one of Galahad's bosom buddies

          "A person has called, asking to see you, sir. The man Wellbeloved, Mr. Galahad."
          "Wellbeloved?" Gally stiffened formidably. "You mean that this renegade pig man, this latter-day Benedict Arnold, this degraded specimen of pond life, is here?"

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Recksaul Drugs

That is how the company was spelled by that scholarly paragon, Frankie Remley, on the Alice Faye and Phil Harris radio show. Remley's character was played by actor Elliott Lewis.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

A discouraging and frightening assessment

"Establishment Democrats and Republicans actually agree on lots of other things that don’t get debated in public: neoliberal economic policies, the rule of the financial oligarchy, a foreign policy based on permanent war, the entrenched power of the national-security 'deep state.'" (from an article by Andrew O'Hehir for Salon)

Most of the things (not all) that I dislike and fear most in America today, the two major parties are agreed upon. Not good.

Gally Threepwood's story about the Arkwright wedding

          "The Arkwrights lived out Bridgnorth way, and their daughter Amelia was getting married, so Clarence tied a knot in his handkerchief to remind him to send the bride's mother a telegram on the happy day."
          "And he forgot?"
          "Oh, no, he sent it. 'My heartfelt congratulations to you on this joyous occasion,' he said."
          "Well, wasn't that all right?"
          "It was fine, Couldn't have been improved on. Only the trouble was that in one of his distrait moments he sent it, not to Mrs. Arkwright but to another friend of his, a Mrs. Cartwright, and her husband had happened to die that morning. Diabetes. Very sad. We were all very sorry about it, but no doubt the telegram cheered her up."

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)


Lord Emsworth's mental condition

"He's absent-minded, isn't he?"

"Yes, I think one could fairly call him that. If he has a mind, it is very seldom there."

(from Pigs Have Wings, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sleep is overrated?

One of my colleagues at work is fond of saying, "Sleep is overrated." I gather that he does not sleep so very much. This past week or so, however, his wife had some medical issues that were drastically cutting into whatever sleep he had been getting; so at work he commented, "I say that sleep is overrated, but I think I need a little of it now."


Friday, November 21, 2014

Charlie Chan at the Circus (1936)

Warner Oland is Charlie. The movie begins with Charlie and his large family going to the midget dancing team of Tim and Tiny (George and Olive Brasno). There Charlie meets Paul Stanton, who had asked him to help with a problem. He has been getting unsigned threatening letters. There are undertones of conflict all through the circus performers. Then Caesar the gorilla gets loose and things start hopping. Charlie's #1 son Lee (Keye Luke) is dashing around trying to be a detective, too. He gets locked in a cage by the Chinese contortionist that he is trying to romance. A large snake is released into Charlie's car on the circus train.

A trapeze lady is wounded by a gunshot. While a medical team is brought in to operate, Caesar is released again. As he tried to break into the medical tent, he is shot, but the operation had been an attempt to trap the murderer. It turns out the murderer was in a gorilla costume when shot.


Oland with the Brasnos

Nuncupatory - word of the day

1. Nominal; existing in name only
2. Publicly or solemnly declaratory
3. Verbal, not written

From Webster's 1828 Dictionary