Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Keep the family name clean

Through a sort of mist I seemed to have a vision of Aunt Agatha hearing that the head of the Mannering-Phippses was about to appear on the vaudeville stage. Aunt Agatha's worship of the family name amounts to an obsession. The Mannering-Phippses were an old, established clan when William the Conqueror was a small boy going round with bare legs and a catapult. For centuries they have called kings by their first names and helped dukes with their weekly rent; and there's practically nothing a Mannering-Phipps can do that doesn't blot his escutcheon

(from "Extricating Young Gussie," by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Musical comedy

Musical comedy is the Irish stew of the drama. Anything may be put into it, with the certainty that it will improve the general effect.

(from "Bill the Bloodhound," by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Looking ahead to Mr. Chicken

The bad guy in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken was played by Philip Ober. His lawyer was played by Charles Lane. Both of them rarely played good guys. However, in the episode of Whirlybirds entitled "Bankrupt Alibi," Lane plays the good guy sheriff. Ober remains the bad guy.

See the source image

Image result for charles lane

At least he left well

"Ah," he said, and left quickly, with the feeling that, however poorly he had shown up during the actual interview, his exit had been good. He might have been a failure in the matter of disguise, but nobody could have put more quiet sinisterness into that "Ah!" It did much to soothe him and ensure a peaceful night's rest.

(from 'Bill the Bloodhound," by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

No matter how smelly

He lit his cigar. Among his friends at the Green-Room Club it was unanimously held that Walter Jelliffe's cigars brought him within the scope of the law forbidding the ferrying of concealed weapons; but Henry would have smoked the gift of such a man if it had been a cabbage leaf.

(from "Bill the Bloodhound," by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, November 24, 2017


"It affords me, if I may say so, the greatest satisfaction," continued the noble lord, "that in a collaboration like ours all the uninteresting and disagreeable routine work is done by you."
(from Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers)

Amateur detectives, especially those of the nobility, did not have to dirty their hands with routine, and could get the official police to do those things.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Unrealistic memories

"The thing I object to in detective stories," said Mr. Piggott, is the way fellows remember every bloomin' thing that's happened to 'em within the last six months. They're always ready with their rime of day and was it rainin' or not, and what were they doin' on such an' such a day. Reel it all off like a page of poetry." (from Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers)

I'm right there with you, Mr. P. Normal people do not remember things like they do in these stories. I have commented before about how the characters in the Philip Marlowe radio show can remember the address of all their friends? Can you do that?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ann Baker - why didn't she make it big?

Ann Baker's only major role was the title slot in the television series Meet Corliss Archer. She was not a great actress, but certainly adequate. She was not dazzlingly beautiful, but sort of summed up "cute." But most notably she did have a really dazzling smile - really attractive.

Image result for ann baker actress

So stupid it hurts

As previously mentioned, the Meet Corliss Archer television program was enjoyable and fun. However, it has one of those characters who is so stupid that it just hurts to watch him. Dexter, the boyfriend of the title character, is one of those really, really dumb individuals who cannot be trusted to be in the same room with anyone or anything. He sort of reminds me of Gilligan of the Island fame.

See the source image

Bunter fit the part

"He had a truly terrible man-servant - the sort you read about in books - who froze the marrow in your bones with silent criticism." (from Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers).

It appears the butlers of Sayers' acquaintance were the same as in the circle of P. G. Wodehouse.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Morality and freedom

The moral degeneration of a people almost always will lead to a loss of civil liberties. People who are self-disciplined do not need totalitarianism to keep the peace. Plus, a moral people is more likely to be a watchful people, and a watchful people is more likely to be a free people.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Interesting description of a piece of furniture

"An elderly but affectionate armchair." From Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers, which is one of the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Not hard to find motives

          "You'd have to begin by the usual things, I suppose - finding out what the person had been doing, and who'd been to call, and looking for a motive, wouldn't you?"
          "Oh, yes," said Lord Peter, "but most of us have such dozens of motives for murderin' all sorts of inoffensive people. There's lots of people I'd like to murder, wouldn't you?"

(from Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Real love

"We're really in love. Lots of times in the school lunchroom we just look into each other's eyes and forget to eat. That's really love when two people just look at each other and lose their appetite."

(from Meet Corliss Archer TV show)

A meal he intends to miss

          "Lady Swaffham rang up, my lord, and said she hoped your lordship had not forgotten you were lunching with her."
          "I have forgotten, Bunter, and I mean to forget. I trust you told her I had succumbed to lethargic encephalitis suddenly, no flowers by request."

(from Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Chief Gates and Corliss Archer

The voice of Ken Christy became one of the most distinguishable in old radio history. He played a variety of roles, probably the most memorable of which was Chief Gates on the long-running series The Great Gildersleeve. As old movie fans, also, my wife and I have noted his appearance in quite a few flicks of that era. He was on television as well. On the Meet Corliss Archer show, he played the neighbor of the Archers and the father of Corliss' boyfriend Dexter.
Image result for ken christy actor

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Mary Brian - the transformation of different eras

The 1920s and early 1930s were a period in which women's grooming was (in my opinion) singularly unattractive. This is illustrated in the transformation that occurred in photographs of actress Mary Brian (see below) as she moved from that period into the 1940s.

Image result for mary brian actress

Image result for mary brian actress

Meet Corliss Archer

This was a cute sit-com from the early days of television. (It had also been a radio show and a comic book.) Ann Baker starred in the title role. She had a not-very-bright and extra-clumsy boyfriend who evidently almost lived at the Archer's house. The scope of the show was limited, but it is enjoyable and well worth the effort. Something the family could watch and enjoy.

See the source image

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Illogical conclusion

          "Well, it is not good jumping at conclusions."
          "Jump? You didn't even crawl distantly within sight of a conclusion. I believe if you caught the cat with her head in a cream-jug you'd say it was conceivable that the jug was empty when she got there."

(from Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Not accustomed to honesty

I always think that the franker you are with people, the more you're likely to deceive 'em; so unused is the modern world to the open hand and the guileless heart, what?

(from Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers)

A nice way of saying "going bald"

Mr. Alfred Thipps was a small, nervous man, whose flaxen hair was beginning to abandon the unequal struggle with destiny.

(from Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers)

Thursday, November 09, 2017

An experienced butler to a detective


"Yes, my lord."

"Her Grace tells me that a respectable Battersea architect has discovered a dead man in his bath."

"Indeed, my lord? That's very gratifying."

(From Whose Body? by Dorothy M. Sayers. This is a Lord Peter Wimsey novel. He is the son of a duke, and Bunter is his butler - obviously having the legendary imperturbability of the British butler, plus a keen interest in his lordship's cases.)

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Too much of that Taste

Back in my childhood - maybe even before my teenage years - one of the Fort Smith radio stations had a call-in request program. I would occasionally list to it for a while. About the only thing I remember was that they played A Taste of Honey by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (seemingly) every other time. In fact, it got so bad that once the host had to say that they were going to set it aside for a while and give some other songs a turn.


Monday, November 06, 2017


"She - the Gaunt Woman - is the bitch at whose dugs they must feed or starve."

This is an expression from Edmund Gilligan's novel, The Gaunt Woman. The Gaunt Woman was a translation of the Danish name of a sailing vessel masquerading as Danish, but actually a German sub tender. It carried the supplies for a pack of submarines off the eastern coast of Canada. I must admit that the term dug used as "the udder, teat, or nipple of a female animal" was a new one to me.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Interesting description of a good man

The kid held out his hand. He had plenty of good stuff in him. Cape Breton stuff. Patrick knew his kind and liked it well. Tough as halibut and faithful to the last kick of their hearts.

(from The Gaunt Woman, by Edmund Gilligan)

Saturday, November 04, 2017

The Gaunt Woman

This is a very nice novel by Edmund Gilligan. It was the basis for the screenplay of the movie Sealed Cargo (1951), which is how I became familiar with it. I recommend it highly. It concerns the captain of a sailing vessel who is involved in the identification and destruction of a German submarine tender during World War II. The tender was disguised as a Danish sailing vessel. Mystery, danger, even a touch of romance. Well worth the read.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

The perfect Grannies

Ellen Corby (The Waltons) and Irene Ryan (Beverly Hillbillies) were the two prototypical Grannies in television history - one serious and one comic.

Image result for ellen corby

Image result for irene ryan actress

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Ozzie Nelson's ridiculous baton

The director of a stage band is largely window dressing, but it still irks me to see those massive batons used by some of them in an entirely improper manner. Take Ozzie Nelson (of the Ozzie and Harriet TV show) for instance. Before he was a television star he was a band leader, and he used one of those ridiculously-large batons that he waved largely to no purpose. The way he used it, it would have been almost impossible to see the beat from his baton. Below is a link to a video of his band. And yes, that is Harriett singing midway through the clip.


Image result for ozzie nelson orchestra