Sunday, November 29, 2020
So we were watching Alfred Hitchcock's SABOTEUR today, and I noted that Robert Cummings held a match under a sprinkler to set off an alarm so he could escape from a building. Now, there is an entire section of my cigarette lighter book about just that plot device, and whether or not it would truly work. I very much regret not including the example from SABOTEUR in my cigarette lighter book, as it is doubtlessly one of the earliest on record. Is it? I have no idea. The funny part (?) is that no explanation is offered. The filmmakers appear to believe that the audience will get what Robert Cummings is up to right away. If so, to what great, collective precedent was the mind expected to leap? To find out more would require research, an activity to which I am entirely disinclined, seeing as how the book came out so very long ago. Now! I feel we should talk about something else besides my lamentable cigarette lighter book. I owe you that much! So. Before we watched the movie, we heated up some leftovers, and I fetched a container of sour cream with which to gently daub them. I may have sung a little song about it. "Sour cream/ It's everybody's dream." The song may have gone something like that. Well, Dr. Theresa and I have been married for 25 years now, so I could tell right away that maybe she wasn't too crazy about me standing around singing the praises of sour cream in a loud, dramatic baritone. What do you want from her? We've been in lockdown since March! So! Then we watched the movie. At one point, Robert Cummings stumbles into the home of a benevolent stranger, who proclaims that he dabbles in musical composition. As if to prove his point, the guy sits down at the piano and tickles the ivories. So I started singing, pretending to be the guy, "Sour cream! Sour cream!" Anyway, it got a laugh. Wouldn't that have been something? If he had begun singing about sour cream? It certainly was a jolly time. In another part of the movie there's this baby that's like two years old, and it keeps throwing a ball to people. I was like, wow, this little baby is throwing the ball with more accuracy than I would display, were I to attempt the same. Then I thought up funny stories to myself about Alfred Hitchcock training this baby to throw a ball like that... perhaps with the aid of a string tied to its arm! That would be horrible, of course, but it was all a part of my wonderful imagination that makes every day a joy.