Friday, August 22, 2014

The Fighting Pandas and Baritones

Once again, I started a gloomy, chilly, and slightly humid morning with work. It was on-and-off busy, a little busier than yesterday, but not too bad. Despite the weather, a lot of people are probably coming from or going to vacation. I shelved candy during the down times. There were no major problems, and this time, my relief was a high school student who showed up when she was supposed to.

Which was a very good thing. I didn't have a huge grocery order, but I did want to do some restocking. There were good sales on a lot of pantry items this week - olive oil, peanut butter, the Smuckers Preserves in the small, round jar (I got cherry), Jello, canned chicken, Acme generic Multi-Grain Cheerios, Scott's tissues, and Arm & Hammer Deodorant. Also grabbed low-sodium canned black beans to replace the ones I used for dip a while back and blueberries while they're still relatively cheap.

I'm mostly pretty happy with this week's schedule. After weeks of very early shifts, I'm back to late morning and early afternoon work. (It helps that there were only two people on vacation this week, and they were both college students.) In good news, I have Friday and Saturday off, and nothing earlier than 10 or later than 6. I'm not as thrilled about having to wait 10 days until my next day off, but at least most of my shifts are pretty short.

When I got home, I finished Kung Fu Panda while changing, getting organized, and making brownies. Those pig brothers turn up again in "Secret Admirer." Po and Monkey are running an ongoing prank war when Shifu orders them to go looking for the bureaucrat from "Shifu's Back" and his daughter. His daughter is just as obnoxious as he is, but she's also pretty...and Monkey falls for her. Po doesn't realize he likes her and sends a letter setting him up for a non-existent date. Monkey's not happy when he's stood up by his dream girl. Things get even worse when it turns out she has the hots for Po!

"The Midnight Stranger" is a cute spoof of Lone Ranger/Scarlet Pimpernel-style heroics. Banned from using kung fu by stuffy officials, Po nevertheless finds a way to help the community in the guise of "The Midnight Stranger," a local legend. As he turns up more and more, the Midnight Stranger becomes the talk of the town. His father admires him; Tigress has a crush on him. When his father finds out what's going on, he realizes that things have gone too far...just as a group of alligator bandits attack the town.

Po is far from the only big guy to make use of a secret identity to help others. The 1939 western operetta Let Freedom Ring is cowboy variation on the tale. Nelson Eddy plays a lawyer who has come home to a small western town to find that the railroad has come through, complete with a crooked boss (Edward Arnold) and huge lugs (lead by Victor MacLaghlin) who are putting it together. He pretends to go along with the railroad men, much to the horror of his father (Lionel Barrymore) and sweetheart (Virginia Bruce), but in reality poses as "The Wasp" in order to fight the corrupt tycoons. He first steals the town's printing press, then turns bandit. Matters come to a head at the town's Election Day party. If he can't convince the railroad workers that they have as much right to land and life as anyone in America, they'll stop his presses for good!

No comments: