Monday, June 22, 2020

Important New Project

You know, in these crazy times of isolation we need something to keep our brains working. So, I was watching CACTUS FLOWER and - no offense to this gentleman (above, left) - I thought the actor playing Goldie Hawn's neighbor simply wasn't of the caliber of the rest of the cast. Even the smallest parts were filled by great character actors like Vito Scotti. So I set myself the task of figuring out who should have played Goldie Hawn's neighbor. My thoughts went immediately, as they do, to Jim Hutton, but he's about five years too old, and way too tall. Next, Rip Torn entered my mind... an unusual choice, you will say, but I recalled him as Bob Hope's romantic rival in CRITIC'S CHOICE. He's even older than Jim Hutton, though! And they're both sadly deceased, which is beside the point. Well, I've got McNeil, Jimmy, Bill, Megan, and Ace working on this. I'll let you know what happens.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Two Things

If you know anything about me, you know that 1) Megan Abbott and I have read about 60 celebrity biographies together and 2) years ago I wrote a book about cigarette lighters, and occasionally I learn something about a cigarette lighter that would have fit neatly into that book, but it's too late, and anyway, the world is ending. So! I just read that during the original run of Stephen Sondheim's COMPANY, Elaine Stritch had a cigarette lighter onstage filled with booze, just in case she needed a snort. I don't know how big this cigarette lighter was, or, indeed, if its existence was anything more than a rumor, or how one might inconspicuously drink from a cigarette lighter onstage.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Wonderland of Weeds

I guess it was two months ago I was sitting around the house wondering what the hell a weed is, exactly. Then I remembered (two months ago) that I have a whole book about weeds. I could see it across the room from me at the very moment I asked the question out loud to Dr. Theresa: "What is a weed, anyway?" I think she had mentioned something about pulling weeds. Then I said, "Never mind! I have a whole book about weeds! I'll see if that book will tell me what a weed is." So anyway, I thought about it for two months and this morning I finally made the effort to pull that book off the shelf - WEEDS OF THE SOUTH by Charles T. Bryson and Michael S. DeFelice, with photographs by Arlyn W. Evans - and I opened to the introduction, and I'll be damned if it didn't say "Any plant can be a weed in one situation and unobtrusive or even desirable in another." WHAT! Are you trying to blow my mind, Charles T. Bryson and Michael S. DeFelice? Because mission accomplished! Are you telling me some dude could look at a full-grown pumpkin and say "Yep, that's a weed," and you'd be cool with it? Okay! I believe you. I flipped through a couple of pages, and the "toxic properties" of each weed, if any, are listed, and damned if I didn't come across two weeds in a row that can cause depression! And then I thought about Arlyn W. Evans, lovingly photographing each weed and breathing in its toxic properties.