Wednesday, April 01, 2015

What's Springtime, Doc?

I laughed my way into a gorgeous first day of April with two TV episodes that discussed the importance of humor. It's "No Laughing Matter" for the U.S Acres gang in a first season Garfield and Friends show when a group of aliens appear right in front of Orson and the others. They claim they want to drain the Earth of its humor to power their weapons. Orson, Wade, and the chicks try to make them laugh with all the jokes they know. Roy finally discovers that slapstick is the most potent weapon of all.

Even typical fairy tale royalty needs a few laughs every now and then. Henrietta (Ellen Barkin) is "The Princess Who Never Laughed," a bored young lady who has been trained to be serious all her life by her father (Howard Hesseman) after her mother's death. When she finally gets fed up of dull palace life and asks for someone who can make her laugh, the king holds a royal laugh-off to find the funniest man in the kingdom. If he can make Henrietta laugh, he'll get her hand in marriage. Neither the king nor Henrietta were counting on Wienerhead Waldo, a goofy farmer who calls his pig his gag writer, to be the most hilarious guy around. Nor were they expecting to learn a lesson from him - we often derive the greatest humor when the laughs are on us.

Headed out to run errands after "The Princess Who Never Laughed" ended. I decided to give the bike a rest and do what I had to do this afternoon on foot. It was a gorgeous day for it. The sun was shining. The robins were jumping around newly-green grass. Daffodils are just starting to bud. Though the wind was a little chilly, the sun was wonderfully warm. It had to be in the mid to upper 50's.

My first stop was the Oaklyn Library. I had two bags of books, DVD's, CD's, and cassettes I wanted to donate for their book sale in June. While two of the older women working on the computers went through the donation bags, I organized the DVD's. They were a mess, especially the adult titles. I should have gone through them more thoroughly after they were moved last week. A lot of them still have parts of the top stickers left on them, too. I had to pry a lot of that off. (I really wish the librarians would start being a little more professional and pull the entirety of the stickers off of new material.)

It was past 12:30 before I headed out to Studio LuLoo. There wasn't much going on over there, either. I just did dishes again. While there weren't quite as many as there have been in previous weeks, quite a few of them were covered in the remains of another birthday party. Two knives that had cut cake and a cupcake container still had tons of cake and icing clumped on them. The knives were so bad, I let them soak for a while and did them last.

Had lunch at Phillies Phatties next door. Given it was 1:30, it was just me, the college guys who run the place, and one other man watching ESPN sports talk shows on the Final Four. The guy behind the counter must have been busy paying attention to the show, because my cheese and mushroom slices were a little burnt. They were still edible, though the crusts were a bit charred.

I saw a sign at Leo's Yum-Yums on my way to Studio LuLoo and asked the young man behind the counter about it. The sign said "Phillies Yummies" in pastel colors. The kid enthusiastically explained that Phillies Phatties bought the Leo's location and planned to open it with longer, earlier hours and an expanded menu as soon as they possibly could. I'm delighted! I love Leo's (especially the Yum Yums - creamier water ice), but they've been opening later and later and closing earlier and earlier over the last few years. They didn't open until May last year (in previous years, they'd been open as early as late April-early May) and closed in late August, even before the kids went back to school. (Before last year, they'd be open as late as mid-October.)

I thought of going to WaWa and Family Dollar for eggs and more drain cleaner, but I'm really not a fan of the Oaklyn Family Dollar. I went in the opposite direction to CVS instead. Their large eggs turned out to be $2.49, the same price as WaWa's. In addition to the drain cleaner and eggs, I picked up hair clips in the dollar bin. Some of mine are getting old. These are cheap and I don't know how long they'll last, but they'll do for now.

Cleaned the bathroom after I got in. It needed to be done. It was really, really grungy. I'll do the floor sometime later this week or next week. For now, I scrubbed everything else I could and washed the mirrored doors of the medicine cabinet.

When I finished in the bathroom, I rested my feet for an hour writing my final project for class and doing research. I think I want my essay to be on travel. I enjoy traveling. It's in my blood. My fathers are both sailors. My brother's in the Navy, and several of Mom's uncles were Navy veterans. Just because I don't want to drive doesn't mean I don't like going places. To paraphrase Greyhound, I'd rather leave the driving to others.

I would love to take a long train trip somewhere. There's so many places I've never been that I'd love to visit - Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Santa Fe. I dream of returning to the green mountains of Vermont or the rugged splendor of Montana. I haven't been to Disney World or the Ft. Lauderdale/Miami area where I was born since the early 90's. The disasters on 9/11 soured me on plane travel, but I really enjoyed the trip I made to and from Albany by train in 2009 to visit Lauren.

That sunny day beckoned me, but I didn't feel like more hiking. I opted to sweep the porch and take out the trash and recycling instead. I haven't swept the porch in ages. It's either been too cold, too wet, too windy, or the porch was covered with snow. It was still a little windy today, but I was tired of putting it off. I also got rid of one of the plants Andrew gave me that used to belong to Miss Ellie. Alas, it finally expired a few weeks or so ago. I tossed the dead plant and added the broken plastic containers to the trash can.

The other reason I've put off sweeping is it's a little harder now, with the wooden slats blocking the sides. While the removal of the gutters running along the bottom of the porch means I can sweep debris anywhere, the slats make it more difficult to get it all off. Not to mention, I can only clean half the porch. The other half is still blocked off. I did the best I could, getting rid of most of the remaining winter sticks and sticker balls, along with the dirt from the plant.

I ran some comedies or comedy-related material all afternoon. Who knows more about the importance of laughter in our lives than the Looney Tunes and their creators? Bugs Bunny describes the work of one of his bosses, Chuck Jones, and how much the great comic chase means to them in The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie. Along with Daffy Duck's Quackbusters, this is widely considered to be the best of the Tunes compilation movies of the 70's and 80's. While it contains no full new shorts, it does have excerpts from some of Jones' most famous creations, including "Robin Hood Daffy," "Duck Amuck," "Ali Baba Bunny," "Bully For Bugs," "Long-Haired Hare," "What's Opera, Doc?" and a cornucopia of Wile E. Coyote/Road Runner shorts.

Moved on to another comic group while making flounder in lemon wine sauce with sauteed spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms for dinner. The Bowery Boys are News Hounds when Slip, an ambitious copy boy, sniffs out a big story about gangsters fixing fights. Trouble is, Sach lost the photos proving their evidence. Worse yet, Gabe, angry over losing face with the gangsters, turned in Slip's story without the photos. Now the paper is being sued, and the guys might be in major trouble....unless then can find that camera and produce the evidence in time!

I hope you had an equally sunny and wacky April Fool's Day!

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