Sunday, April 14, 2013

Take my ladyship - please!

Not long ago I came across a book called "The Quotable A**hole: More than 1,200 Bitter Barbs, Cutting Comments, and Caustic Comebacks for Aspiring and Armchair A**holes Alike," compiled by Eric Gryzymowski.

It's an enjoyable book with a number of quotes I hadn't seen before, including one by a hero of mine, Fred Allen:

"I like long walks, especially when they're taken by people who annoy me."

But there's one thing about the book that puzzles me.

Page 132, for example, includes a quote by Yogi Berra, who is accurately described as an "American baseball manager and former player."

Also featured on that page is Dorothy Parker, who is quite properly (if incompletely) called an "American poet."

At the bottom of the page is a quote from Bob Hope, who is not given any description at all. This seems reasonable, considering he was the type of guy who in life was apt to be described as "somebody who needs no instruction."

But right above him is a line from another of my favorites, Henny Youngman.

Henny is described as a "British comedian."


I did some checking on the Internet and found that Henny was indeed born in England, and his family moved to the U.S. with his family when he was young. I can't seem to find out exactly how young, though the Internet Movie Database says he was a baby at the time.

But I'd hardly call him a "British comedian." "British-American comedian," maybe.

Meanwhile, below him is a guy who was born Leslie Townes Hope in England and came to the U.S. with his family when he was maybe 4 or 5. So why isn't he described as a "British comedian"?

I suppose that if I had the time and cared that much, I could track down Mr. Gryzymowski’s e-mail address and ask him about this.

But I don't want to be an a**hole.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I DO believe in Danny! I DO believe in Danny!

If you're a regular customer here, you might recall that some weeks ago one of my posts dealt in part with what I referred to as "the death of Danny Dollar."

Danny Dollar was the number you could call here in town to get the time and temperature. He got that name when he was introduced about 50 years ago by the local bank that originally sponsored the service, and that's how my family has always referred to him.

But when I tried calling him recently, I kept getting the voice mail of the plumbing company that had been sponsoring Danny, which led me to believe that Danny was no more, a victim of the Internet/smartphone age.

But the other day someone I know called the number and found out that Danny -- Praise be! -- is not quite dead yet.

I just tried the number myself and was told that Danny "is expected to be restored in a week."

Although this gives me hope -- and of course I'd like to thank all you loyal readers, who obviously have been pulling for Danny just as earnestly as hundreds of audiences over the years have pushed for the survival of Tinker Bell -- I find myself feeling a sense of (totally unreasonable, I'm sure) foreboding.

I think it's that word "restored" that bothers me.

It makes me think that somewhere a modern Dr. Frankenstein is trying to resuscitate Danny with the help of the doctor's faithful servant, Igor.

Kind of like a previous project the two of them were involved in.

And we all remember how well that worked out.

But maybe I'm worrying too much.

Let's all just keep our fingers crossed.

And don't stop believing!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Coming yet again to a theater near you

This week I saw a TV commercial for a new movie.

It's a comedy about a big wedding that involves a dysfunctional family -- a big wedding where things might not go ... hmm, what's that phrase? Oh, yes -- "exactly as planned."

I get this idea (I'm going solely on the basis of the commercial) because the snippets from the film make it clear that certain members of the family are (humorously, of course) at odds. Perhaps even violently (though in a humorous way, of course) at odds.

The cast of this movie includes Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon and Katherine Heigl.

The title of this movie is very clever.

It is "The Big Wedding."

And somehow I can't escape the thought that if, by some unheard-of fluke of nature, the script for this movie is deemed worthy of an Academy Award nomination, it will be in the category of Best Screenplay Based on a Moldy But Still Smelly Sheet of Mimeograph Paper That Was Found on Top of a 1973 Xerox Machine.