Friday, January 31, 2020

Dreary life in a health food home

     Mrs. McCall herself was eating a slice of Health Bread and nut butter. For she practiced as well as preached the doctrines which she had striven for so many years to inculcate in an unthinking populace. Her day always began with a light but nutritious breakfast, at which a peculiarly uninviting cereal, which looked and tasted like an old straw hat that had been run through a meat chopper, competed for first place in the dislike of her husband and son with a more than usually offensive brand of imitation coffee.
     Mr. McCall was inclined to think that he loathed the imitation cofree rather more than the cereal, but Washington (the son) held strong views on the latter's superior ghastliness. Both Washington and his father, however, would have been fair-minded enough to admit that it was a close thing.

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Thursday, January 30, 2020

That is real eating

Archie was not a man with a wide visiting-list among people with families, and it was so long since he had seen a growing boy in action at the table that he had forgotten what sixteen is capable of doing with a knife and fork, when it really squares its elbows, takes a deep breath, and gets going. The spectacle which he witnessed was consequently at first a little unnerving. The long boy's idea of trifling with a meal appeared to be to swallow it whole and reach out for more. He ate like a starving Eskimo. Archie, in the time he had spent in the trenches making the world safe for the working-man to strike in, had occasionally been quite peckish, but he sat dazed before this majestic hunger. This was real eating.

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Unwieldy names

     "It couldn't really be that, could it?"
     Archie looked grave. He hated to give pain, but felt he must be honest. "It might" he said. "People give their children all sorts of rummy names. My second name's Tracy. And I have a pal in England who was christened Cuthbert de la Hay Horace. Fortunately everybody calls him Stinker."

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

He inspired the worst in them

     Lucille sighed wearily. "Archie, darling, do you know any really good swear-words?"
     "Well," said Archie, reflectively, "let me see. I did pick up a few tolerably ripe and breezy expressions out in France. All through my military career there was something about me - some subtle magnetism, don't you know, and that sort of thing - that seemed to make colonels and blighters of that order rather inventive. I sort of inspired them, don't you know. I remember one brass-hat addressing me for quite ten minutes, saying something new all the time. And even then he seemed to think he had only touched the fringe of the subject. As a matter of fact, he said straight out in the most frank and confiding way that mere words couldn't do justice to me."

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, January 27, 2020

Mike Mazurki trivia

Mazurki's face was one of those familiar ones that you saw all the time, but never could connect with a name.

His birth name was Markiyan Mazurkevych, born to a ethnic Ukranian family, in what is now Ukraine, but was then part of Austria-Hungary. His family emigrated to the US in 1913.

He played football and basketball at Manhattan University.

He graduated from Fordham law school and became an attorney, but took up professional wrestling because he could make a lot more money.

His slurred speech was reportedly because of an injury to his throat while wrestling.

He was co-founder and first president of the Cauliflower Alley Club, a professional wrestling association. A photo of his ear is the logo of the organization.

Contrary to his film roles, in real life he was an intelligent and well-read conversationalist.

He played minor league football for the Wessington Passaic Red Devils.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

That is a suit?

     "This," said the proprietor, tranquilly, borrowing his way to where Archie stood and exhibiting a saffron-coloured outrage, which appeared to be a poor relation of the flannel family, "would put you back fifty dollars. And cheap!"
     "Fifty dollars!"
     "Sixty, I said. I don't speak always distinct."
     Archie regarded the distressing garment with a shuddering horror. A young man with an educated taste in clothes, it got right in among his nerve centers.
     "But, honestly, old soul, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but that isn't a suit, it just a regrettable incident."

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Useless press agent

"I just needed something like that. I've got a press agent, and I will say for him that he eats well and sleeps well and has just enough intelligence to cash his monthly cheque without forgetting what he went into the bank for, but outside of that you can take it from me he's not one of the world's workers! He's about as much solid use to a girl with aspirations as a pain in the lower ribs. It's three weeks since he got me into print at all, and then the brightest thing he could think up was that my favourite breakfast fruit was an apple."

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Friday, January 24, 2020

Concerning bad backs

I remember when I was young and full of vinegar scoffing at older men who would excuse their lack of activity because of "a bad back." I would get a chuckle out of it.

Well, I am not chuckling any more. Bad backs are very real and very debilitating. And I humbly apologize to those concerned for my disrespectful thoughts.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Needless jealousy

He had an idea that there were words which would have straightened everything out, but he was not an eloquent young man and could not find them. He felt aggrieved. Lucille, he considered, ought to have known that he was immune as regarded females with flashing eyes and experimentally-coloured hair. Why, dash it, he could have extracted flies from the eyes of Cleopatra with one hand and Helen of Troy with the other, simultaneously, without giving them a second thought.

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Stars become slaves

It is interesting that decent people willingly watch, whether in movies, sports, or music, people who we probably would not allow into our homes because of their conduct. We trot them out to entertain us, and then we tell them, "Get lost." In effect, they become (highly-paid) slaves whom we bring out for our entertainment, and then send away. I wonder if they realize that. Probably not, because they are constantly surrounded by toadies and sycophants who treat them as royalty.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Ol' Dad agrees

She came in view at this moment, a trim little figure in a white skirt and a pale blue sweater. She waved to Archie; and Archie, as always at the sight of her, was conscious of that jumpy, fluttering sensation about the heart, which, translated into words, would have formed the question, "What on earth could have made a girl like that fall in love with a chump like me?"

It was a question which he was continually asking himself, and one which was perpetually in the mind also of Mr. Brewster, his father-in-law. The matter of Archie's unworthiness to be the husband of Lucille was practically the only one on which the two men saw eye to eye.

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, January 20, 2020

Not the life of the party

     "Who's this man Seacliff?" he demanded, without preamble. "I heard he's a friend of yours."
     "Oh, you've met him, what?" said Archie. "Had a nice little chat together, yes? Talked of this and that, no!"
     "We have not said a word to each other."
     "Really? Oh, well, dear old Squiffy is one of those strong, silent fellers you know. You mustn't mind if he's a bit dumb. He never says much, but it's whispered round the clubs that he thinks a lot. It was rumoured in the spring of nineteen-thirteen that Squiffy was on the point of making a bright remark, but it never came to anything."

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sunday, January 19, 2020

In-store model

Sometimes, although it might be eleven in the morning, she wore evening dress; sometimes, although it might be August, she wore furs; often she wore suits and street dresses, but always it was possible to tell that she was not merely a customer, but a dream provided by the management.

Women who had rather more than Joyce Wentworth's figure, although not always so judiciously arranged, sometimes identified themselves with the dream and purchased the evening dresses, the furs, the coats and suits and street dresses, which she made resplendent. And often they wondered, afterward, what it was that had gone wrong between dream and realization.

(from Murder Within Murder, by Richard and Frances Lockridge)

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Too much of a good thing

When she had got home she had said suddenly that what she was hungry for was doughnuts, and why not make some? They had made some and they were fine, but Pam had somehow mis-estimated, because there were more doughnuts than, from the ingredients involved, seemed conceivable. They made doughnuts until after two in the morning, taking turns frying them, and by that time everything in the house was full of doughnuts and so were the Norths. They were full of doughnuts for several days and after that they were not much interested in doughnuts for a long time, and never again in making them.

(from Murder Within Murder, by Frances and Richard Lockridge)

Friday, January 17, 2020

Strange, even for a writer

One has, of course, to make allowances for writers, all of them being more or less loony. Look at Shakespeare, for instance. Very unbalanced. Used to go about stealing ducks. Nevertheless, I couldn't help feeling that in springing Joke Goods on the guardian of the girl he loved Boko had carried an author's natural goofiness too far. Even Shakespeare might have hesitated to go to such lengths.

(from Jeeves In the Morning, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Too close for comfort

I was conscious o a growing embarrassment. A little more of this, I felt, and he would elicit the fact that his betrothed had once been very near to Bertram - a dashed sight nearer, as we have seen, than Bertram had liked: and no recently engaged bimbo cares to discover that he as not the little woman's first choice. It sort of rubs the bloom off the thing. What he wants to feel is that she spent her time gazing out of the turret window in a yearning spirit till he came galloping up on the white horse.

(from Jeeves In the Morning, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Just say something about it!

A rather odd look came into his map, and he fixed me with a cold and challenging eye, as if daring me to tart something. I remembered having seen the same defiant glitter behind the spectacles of a man I met in a country hotel once, just before he told me his name was Snodgrass.

(from Jeeves In the Morning, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sunday, January 12, 2020

The dog on Petticoat Junction

Remember the pooch on Petticoat Junction? Do you know what his name was? Well . . . on the show he was always called just Dog. In real life he was Higgins, and he went on to become a huge star in the movie Benji. Reportedly Higgins and actor Edgar Buchanan (Uncle Joe) were good buddies on the set.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Perry Como trivia

He was the seventh of ten children, and the first born in America. (One source says 13 children, so there may have been some that did not live to adulthood.)

He did not begin speaking English until he entered school, since the Comos spoke Italian at home.

He originally wanted to be a barber, and had his own shop at the age of 14.

He was threatened with dismissal from the Ted Weems band because he left them in Chicago to be with his wife at the birth of their first child.

He and his high school sweetheart were married for 65 years.

Bing Crosby once called him "the man who invented casual."

His birth given name was Pierino.

He was the seventh son of a seventh son.

His second and third children were adopted, because his wife could no longer have children after the birth of their first son.

"I've done nothing that I can call exciting. I was a barber. Since then I've been a singer. That's it."

Friday, January 10, 2020

Was Perry Como for real?

Perry Como just might have had the most relaxed voice of all the crooners.

We are so accustomed to immorality and infidelity among public figures that it is hard to know when things are for real. Even Bob Hope, who was married to Dolores for decades, was a notorious womanizer, so his marriage was not "real" from that standpoint.

Como was married to Roselle Belline in 1933, and they stayed married until her death in 1998 - for 65 years. They reportedly raised their three children with traditional, non-show business values. Como was supposed to have been very picky about what went into his performances: if it was of questionable taste, it would not be included. The IMDB site said this about him: "The private Como was exactly as he appeared to the public: a quiet, self-effacing man who considered his performing activities as strictly tertiary to his family and his faith."

But was all that real, or just a façade? Who knows, at this late date? At least he had the decency to want to appear to be decent.

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Just plain ugly

This was an individual who as far as thews and sinews went appeared to be the village blacksmith or his twin brother, but who in the matter of looks fell short of the standards of the lowest beauty contest. His was a face that could never have launched anything like a thousand ships, and something - possibly an elephant - appeared to have sat on it and squashed it. No one broad-minded will allow himself to be prejudiced against a fellow man because the latter has a squashed face, but this squashed face had in addition a grim and menacing look, such as is so often seen on the faces of actors playing bit parts in gangster films, and - possibly inadvertently - he gave the impression that it would take very little to give him offense.

(from Bachelors Anonymous, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Monday, January 06, 2020

A hideout for a blueblood

Daphne Dolby's first port of call before going on to her office was number 5 Murphy's Mews, which is situation in the seedier part of Chelsea and inhabited by some of the most dubious characters in London. A few may have hearts of gold but the best that can be said for most of the is that they are not at the moment actually wanted by the police, though it is always a matter for speculation as to when the police may not feel a yearning for their society. One of those was Daphne's betrothed, Sir Jaklyn Warner. He had been living there for some weeks and would continue to live there as long as the rent collector was prepared to accept charm of manner and glibness of speech as a substitute for cash.

(from Bachelors Anonymous, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)

Sunday, January 05, 2020

Algy the Dimwit

In the series of Bulldog Drummond movies, no matter what actor portrayed Algernon Longworth, he emerged as an intolerably halfwitted individual - so much so that it is almost painful. Why Drummond tolerates him is puzzling.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Tragedy in Heather Angel's life

Heather Angel was the doe-eyed actress who portrayed Bulldog Drummond's fiancée (and finally wife) in several movies. Tragedy struck twice in her life. Her father, Andrea Angel, was killed in the Silvertown explosion in 1917 at a plant that produced TNT. Fifty tons of the stuff exploded, killing 73 people and injuring 400 more. Angel's second husband, Robert Sinclair, was killed when protecting her from an intruder who broke into their home in 1970.

Thursday, January 02, 2020

Follow Elmer

A moment later Archie had the studio to himself. Two minutes later he was picking his way cautiously down the fire-escape after the manner of the recent Mr. Moon. Archie had not seen much of Mr. Moon, but he had seen enough to know that in certain crises his methods were sound and should be followed. Elmer was not a good man; his ethics were poor and his moral code shaky; but in the matter of legging it away from a situation of peril and discomfort he had no superior.

(from The Indiscretions of Archie, by Sir Pelham Wodehouse)