Friday, November 09, 2018

Rainy Day Toons

Began a dark, gloomy morning with breakfast, then a run to WaWa. I needed money from the ATM for laundry. Bought a pretzel to break the two tens I got. Thankfully, it wasn't terribly busy, especially for WaWa in the morning.

As soon as I got home, I grabbed my laundry and went back out again. I really couldn't put this off anymore. Between towels and work clothes, my laundry basket was overflowing. I picked the right time. The laundromat was empty when I arrived, and it never got really busy. I worked on story notes and half-listened to the news and The Young and the Restless.

Once again, I got home, put everything away, then went right back out. By this time, it had started showering, and would continue raining in some capacity for the rest of the day. I had no choice. I had DVDs and books that were overdue. I had to run errands, starting at the Oaklyn Library. The rain must have chased everyone away there. The only other person there besides me was the librarian. I organized DVDs and shelved children's picture books before heading on my way.

Since it's only a couple of blocks from the library anyway, I had lunch at Amato Bros on the White Horse Pike. They were a basic deli with a few chairs and tables...until they burned down about three years ago or so. They were rebuilt and reopened last year, but I never got there until now. While it does still have a deli area, they're now mainly a bar and restaurant. I ate in the dark-wood dining area. It was rather cozy, with the raining coming down outside.

I had "Cousin Angelo's Chicken Steak," chicken with sauteed bruchetta (tomato pieces), broccoli rabe, and sharp provolone on a seeded role. Oh, yum! It was amazing. The bold flavors worked beautifully with the well-seasoned chicken. The price wasn't bad, either. I'll have to eat there again sometime. I did miss them when they were under repair.

Next stop was the Haddon Township Library. They were just as quiet as the Oaklyn Library had been. The librarians had shelved almost everything earlier, but I did take a look at the DVDs and shelved the few kid titles. They finally had A Wrinkle In Time in. Took that out, along with Rampage, the film version of the video game from my childhood about monsters smashing a city. Having seen Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, I now felt I was able to check out the current PBS cartoon Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. They also had two new Scooby Doo three-episode collections in. I already had or had seen all of the episodes on Haunted House, but the ones on And the Skeletons were less familiar.

Made a quick stop at Target on my way home. I did check their shampoo section, but the Pantene Curl Formula wasn't any more or less expensive than the Acme's. That will wait for tomorrow. I did better with a new journal. Not only did they have notebooks, but they were 50 cents, unlike the $1.99 or more they cost at the Acme! Of course I had to have a red one.

By that point, the shower had picked up into a monsoon. It couldn't be helped. I had to get home. I just rode in the rain, dodged the traffic on Cuthbert and the White Horse Pike, and got drenched. I was so dripping when I got home, I had to change out of every single piece of clothing I wore and into something dry.

My computer gave me fits after I changed, but I did manage to get some writing done. Began my next story, A Star Wars Christmas Carol. Yeah, I know, it's too early, but I think I need it. Introduced Anakin Scrooge, who inherited his home and money lending business from Sheev Palpatine Marley, and his son and browbeaten clerk Luke. Luke's freezing in his cubicle, but his miser father won't unbend enough to allow him to warm himself by the stove.

I ran wartime-themed Looney Tunes shorts all day in honor of Veteran's Day Weekend. Termite Terrance's World War II propaganda output could mainly be separated into three categories. There were the sketch comedies on life in the barracks ("Meet John Doughboy") and on the home front ("The Weekly Reporter," "Wacky Blackout"). Both regular ("Herr Meets Hare," "Daffy the Commando") and one-off ("The Draft Horse," "Russian Rhapsody") characters starred in goofy shorts that allowed them to be thorns in the enemy's side. Two ("Fifth Column Mouse," "The Ducinators") were allegories on how the US had gotten into the War, and how they planned on winning it.

My favorite Looney Tunes shorts from World War II featured Bugs and Daffy. "Super Rabbit" spoofed Superman and other popular comics from the Golden Age of Superheroes. Bugs eats a super-charged carrot and becomes an ultra-strong rabbit. He has to deal with a cowboy and his horse who hates rabbits. When push comes to shove, he dons the costume of an even greater hero - a Marines officer. Daffy tries to out-run the Little Man from the Draft Board in "Draftee Daffy." "Falling Hare" has Bugs dealing with a clever gremlin who tries to force him out of a plane, then sends it into a free-fall.

Switched to Daffy Duck's Quackbusters while making Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies after dinner. I normally run this one in October, but given how crazy things got last month, I just never got around to it. Daffy inherits 20 million dollars from an eccentric industrialist who wants him to use it to start a business that will benefit society. He opens his own paranormal investigations office, hiring Porky, Sylvester, and Bugs to check out various supernatural phenomenon.

My only complaint is Mel Blanc's voice had changed so much by 1989 (this would be his last time voicing the Toons), it was hard for the later shorts to match up to the new ones. Other than that, the framing device is actually rather clever, and we do get a few new shorts. (And Mel Torme singing "Monsters Lead Such Interesting Lives" in the opening.)

Finished the night with Follow the Leader. This was one of the last movies made by the East Side Kids before they evolved into the Bowery Boys. Mugs (Leo Gorcey) is upset when he's discharged from the Army due to poor eyesight. He gets a chance to redeem himself when he and his friend Glimpy (Huntz Hall) uncover a spy ring after two of their members get in trouble with the authorities. Mugs sends his pretty older sister to find out more...but they may be in over their head when the spies catch on.

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