Monday, November 09, 2015

Getting the Laundry Done

I wanted to finish my copy of the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back today and didn't really get moving until around quarter of 10. I've had my copies of the novelizations of the original Star Wars Trilogy movies for a long time. I got the novelization of Return of the Jedi from Cape May Elementary School's library around 1989 after I took it out about eighty times. It was falling apart even then. Found Star Wars at a book sale at a fair in West Cape May around 1991; picked up Empire Strikes Back from a used book store in Ft. Lauderdale when we were visiting Dad-Bruce in the early 90's.

I really should replace them. I have regular scotch tape holding on part of the Star Wars cover. Jedi is currently being held together with masking tape. I just can't bring myself to get rid of them. I have too many memories associated with them. In fact, they're some of the few books I do still have from my childhood (along with Charlotte's Web, which is also in bad shape, The Wizard of Oz, and my hardback Anne of Green Gables novel collection). Jedi was one of the first adult-oriented novels I ever read.

I didn't get to the laundromat until quarter after 11. It was fairly busy there, with at least two families and two older folks. Thankfully, I was able to get a washer and drier without much trouble. I had a big load this week, including towels. I listened to The Price Is Right and the local news and worked on notes for my story.

When I got in, I put my laundry away, then had a quick lunch while finishing out the Looney Tunes wartime shorts disc I started during breakfast. Termite Terrace threw themselves hard into propaganda shorts, mainly of three varieties. The first was a typical comic story centered around either one of the regular Toons gang, like Bugs ("Herr Meets Hare") or Daffy ("Daffy the Commando") or a one-off ("The Draft Horse"). The second variety was a series of sketches spoofing life on the homefront - on the farm ("Wacky Blackout"), in the barracks ("Meet John Doughboy"), at the Hollywood Canteen ("Hollywood Canine Canteen"). The third discussed how we got into the war and how we planned on winning it ("Fifth Column Mouse").

Some of the sketches are funnier than others. "The Ducktators," a take on Adolf Hitler's rise to power featuring geese, ducks, and doves, is my favorite of the allegories. "Weakly Reporter," on life in the city and suburbs during wartime, was the funniest of the revues. (Love the woman who fixes a whole factory with her one bobby pin.) "Russian Rhapsody" depicted "Gremlins from the Kremlin" attacking a plane piloted by Hitler himself.

Switched to the Paramount Superman shorts while getting ready for work. Given the tenor of the comic books of the time, it was probably inevitable that Superman would fight the Axis on the big screen as well. Of the war-oriented Superman shorts, my favorite is by far "The Eleventh Hour." A mature story about Superman sabotaging the Japanese and some marvelous, shadowy animation makes up somewhat for the heavy-handed Japanese stereotypes. "Jungle Drums" is also marred by stereotypes, in this case African-American natives. Otherwise, it's rather like a short version of the Shadow "White God" episode, with Superman instead of The Shadow and Nazis instead of scientists. "Secret Agent" has Superman rescuing a beautiful female spy from the Nazis chasing her and is the last short, and the only one to not feature Lois Lane.

Work was quiet when I came in, steady when I left. Rush hour was a mess, though. In addition to the last of the beginning of the month people, people are still trying to buy those turkeys but forgetting the coupon. It's been a real pain. (Now I just have to cross my fingers we don't run out of them.)

Did two war-oriented Three Stooges shorts when I got home and threw together vegetables, canned chicken, and the remaining tomato sauce and home-made chicken stock for Chicken-Winter Vegetable Soup. "Back to the Front" has them as Navy sailors who survive an explosion on their ship, only to be picked up by a Nazi boat. They find themselves rounding up the officers, including their former officer from the destroyed ship. They're "Higher Than a Kite" when they're chased by an officer who isn't happy with how they (didn't) fix his car, only to end up hiding in a bomb. When they land, they disguise themselves as Nazi officers and a lady to get the goods on the enemy.

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