Friday, August 21, 2009

This just in (and pass the Maalox)

From The Associated Press:

"NEW YORK - Combine one part silver fox, one part distinguished actor and one part devoted husband of Barbra Streisand.

"Toss in the natural-born gravitas of a president or network news anchor, and what do you get?"

I get the impression that the AP has laid off all of its editors.

Monday, August 17, 2009

We'd like to think he's in even better hands

The insurance industry has certainly taken a public-relations beating within the last year, what with all the credit default swaps and bailouts and bonuses to executives.

I know less than beans about the intricacies of the insurance business, but I am rock-solid certain of one thing:

None of this would have happened if Ed Reimers were still in charge.

OK, so maybe he wasn't in charge. So maybe he was only a pitchman for an insurance company, namely Allstate.

But to those of us who grew up watching Allstate's commercials in the 1960s, Ed was more than a pitchman -- he was a rock himself.

I should explain for those of you who are much younger: The typical Allstate commercial back then showed a house burning down, its owners (always a family with kids) distraught and overwrought. Then (as I recall; unfortunately none of Ed's oeuvre has made it to YouTube), a guy with a suit would appear with a check that would allow the family to rebuild without any hassles.

Dissolve to Ed, who would wind up the pitch by invariably saying: "You're in good hands with Allstate." While saying this, he would cup his hands, and a little house would magically appear.

And we could all rest easy.

I'd figured that Ed had made his visit to the Great Adjuster in the Sky some years ago, but I am now informed that he died just the other day, at age 96.

It also turns out that he was an actor. He appeared in an episode of "Star Trek" (I seem to remember that) and also portrayed a minister in "The Loved One," the movie version of Evelyn Waugh's satire of the funeral business.

I wasn't aware of that, but I would like to think that at one point, Ed, in character, cupped his hands and a little mausoleum appeared....

The short, fast summer

Those of you who stop by this blog regularly (and I know there are a few of you, bless you) have probably figured out that it's been a while (July 20, to be exact) since my last post.


All I can say is that it's been a busy summer here at Murphy's Craw. In addition to my regular freelance editing gig that helps pay the bills here (that durned MacArthur Genius Foundation still isn't returning my calls), I took on a major project (about 500 pages) that took almost exactly one month, enriching my coffers but not giving me much time to do anything else.

Besides that, the local cinephile society has been on hiatus for the summer. (By the way, I notice that my post on the group's showing of a Sinbad movie has attracted an unusual number of hits. Who knew the guy had such a following?)

Anyway, now that I am between projects, I hope to catch up on a number of things, including this paltry effort to amuse you.

Please stay tuned.