Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Cat and Mouse and Magic Games

Spent most of a hot, humid, sunny morning working on my story. Betty awakens the next morning to find Scott gone and herself upstairs, Scott having carried her to her bed after she passed out. Mr. Eldridge is making breakfast. Scott went to find news about Gertie and the raid in Pittsburgh Village. Mr. Eldridge and Betty discuss Gertie, bookmaking, and magic. He wants to train Betty in healing magic. She's not sure if she wants to. Her father always told her magic was a myth. Mr. Eldridge explains about the Guardians of Magic to try to prove otherwise.

We were on-and-off busy, though not as overwhelming as we could have been. Unfortunately, no one had been expecting any crowds after last month, and we didn't really have enough help. The managers kept letting the extra cashier do something else, only to call him back up two minutes later when the line got long. I was also scolded for being too slow when the lines were long. I tried my hardest to go fast! The customers never complain. I was glad when my relief was on time and I was able to get out quickly.

Spent the rest of the evening eating leftovers for dinner and watching Tom & Jerry shorts. Probably the most famous from this batch are two Academy Award winners and a nominee. "The Two Mousekteers" introduces Jerry the Musketeer and his little gray sidekick, who try to get the best parts of a banquet before Cardinal's Guard Tom can chase them out. This short was so popular (it won an Oscar), it lead to three-follow-ups. The final one, "Touche, Pussycat!" was Oscar-nominated. This is a bit of a prequel, as it shows how Jerry's French-speaking gray sidekick came to join the Musketeers.

"Johann Mouse" also won an Oscar. Here, Tom and Jerry live in the home of Johann Strauss, the Waltz King. Jerry dances out of his hole whenever Strauss plays his waltzes. Tom teaches himself to play the waltz so he can catch Jerry...and the two end up the talk of Vienna instead.

The remaining shorts were all modern-day cat-and-mouse games. "Designs On Jerry" was one of the most unique. Even Tom's blueprint to build a better mousetrap conspires against him when the stick-figure cat and mouse chase each other, and Jerry helps the mouse.

"Baby Butch" is an alley cat who wants to get at the ham in Tom's owner's kitchen. (And having Jerry for an appetizer wouldn't hurt, either.) He dresses as a baby to gain entry. Somehow, the ruse works...and for once, the usual antagonists find themselves working together to get rid of this ham-obsessed annoyance.

Jerry and his little gray friend create their own ice-skating rink in "Mice Follies." Tom gets on skates to go after them, constantly disrupting their attempt to skate to "The Sleeping Beauty Waltz."

"Pecos Pest" and "The Flying Cat" are both variations on "Jerry's Cousin," where another character comes in to help Jerry with Tom. The helper in the former is a country-western TV singer who keeps grabbing Tom's whiskers for his guitar strings. Tom takes to the skies in the latter via home-made "wings" when a canary whisks Jerry into a bird house.

Tom gets a near-solo outing in "The Flying Sorceress." Tired of having to clean up after his and Jerry's antics, he moves out to find another home. He unknowingly chooses the home of a witch who wants him as a companion while she rides her broomstick. When she goes out, Tom tries to ride the broomstick himself...with some very scary results!

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