Monday, May 26, 2014

Hot Memorial Day

First of all, I salute all of our fighting men and women on this Memorial Day! Especially my late Uncle Ken (World War II), my biological dad Bruce (Vietnam), and two who are serving in the Navy now, my friend Jen Waters and my brother Keefe Jackman.

It was hot and sunny when I finally climbed out of bed this morning, much hotter than it has been, probably in the 80s. Thankfully, it was also dry. I was able to leave my air conditioner off as I had cereal and a grapefruit for breakfast. There was a stiff wind that kept it from feeling worse.

I ran some of my random remaining wartime shorts as I got ready for work and frosted the Pineapple Cupcakes. While Mickey Mouse was largely dormant during World War II, one of his late 20s shorts did throw him behind the lines. "The Barnyard Battle" has Mickey getting humiliated during his physical, only to prove his prowess on the battlefield when he kicks the rears of every Hun cat around.

Given the patriotic tone of most superhero comics in the early and mid 40s, it was only natural that Superman would fight the Axis in the Paramount cartoons, too. Alas, like the Popeye wartime shorts from Paramount, most of these haven't worn well. "The Eleventh Hour" has some marvelous, shadowy animation and a really interesting plot about Superman sabotaging the Japanese, but is marred by some nasty racial caricatures. "Jungle Drums," on Superman rescuing Lois Lane from a Nazi plot to stir up a jungle tribe, also has racial problems, this time with very stereotypical natives. "Secret Agent," the only short in which Lois Lane is absent, has Superman rescuing a gorgeous counter-spy from an Axis spy ring that wants the papers she filched from them.

The controversy surrounding the Vietnam War, coupled with the younger audience for animation and memories of the flood of patriotic shorts during the 40s, made most studios shy away from war as a subject for shorts. The Pink Panther cartoon "G.I Pink" was an exception. Donald was swayed by the glamour of the recruiting posters; Pink was swayed by the power. He gets neither when he finds himself bumbling around Vietnam and getting in trouble with his sergeant, who would rather blow him up with land mines or send the company mascot after him!

Work was down-the-aisles busy when I came in at 12:30. It gradually slowed as more and more people went to barbecues, but it never really died down. There were still so many people when I was done at 4:30, I barely got out on time.

Rose called me when I was on my way home. I stopped on the Black Horse Pike to tell her I was on my way. When I got home, I changed into regular clothes, grabbed the cupcakes, and headed to Dad's house.

Surprisingly, the party wasn't that busy when I arrived. It was Rose, Craig, Khai, Mark and Vanessa, Dad and Jodie, and a couple of neighbors, including one with a little girl who happily played with Khai. I guess a lot of people had to work or went to the Shore. There was tons of food. Jodie and Dad grilled hot dogs, sausage, and cheeseburgers, and provided green salad, baked beans, and macaroni salad. Vanessa brought heavenly grilled chicken that literally fell off the bone. Everyone and their grandmother brought cupcakes. There were three containers of store-bought cupcakes along with mine and a huge chocolate chip cookie pizza. Rose put together two of her favorite flavors and made delicious "Key Lime Magic Bars" - Key Lime Pie cut into bars and topped with coconut. Rich and sweet and gooey goodness.

Most everyone was eating dinner when I got in, but when the kids returned to the pool, everyone else went with them. The kids were the only ones in the pool by 6:30. I stuck my feet in, and while it wasn't that bad when you got used to it, the initial shock was very cold! Poor Khai was in the pool for so long, he was shaking by the time his mother finally dragged him out. (Although that didn't stop the goofy boy from squirting me with water at one point. Maybe I should have worn my bathing suit after all.) The party finally broke up around quarter of 7. Dad and Jodie sent me home with chicken, macaroni salad, and the remaining cupcakes.

I ran a couple of Three Stooges war shorts while I got organized and settled down after I got home. They're "Boobs In Arms" when they join the Army to dodge a jealous husband...only to discover he's now their commanding officer! "They Stooge To Conga" gets violent even for these guys when they try to fix a doorbell and end up discovering a Nazi spy ring. They also get involved with the Nazis in "Back to the Front." After their boat is sunk, they're rescued by what turns out to be a Nazi war ship and have to work together to bring down the ship's crew. "Higher Than a Kite" takes them airborne when they hide in a bomb to avoid an angry general and get literally dropped into enemy territory. They also take to the air in "Dizzy Pilots." If they can't get their revolutionary Buzzard plane to work, they're going to end up on the draft list!

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