Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Rainy Day Salute

Began a cloudy, gloomy Veteran's Day with breakfast and more Looney Tunes wartime shorts. My two favorites out of this batch were the duo spoofing how rural and suburban Americans on the Homefront dealt with the war. "Wacky Blackout" gives us what happens during a blackout on a farm; "Weakly Reporter" covers how life in the city and suburbs changed during wartime (including a woman fixing an entire factory with her one bobby pin). "Meet Johnny Doughboy" gave us a look at life in the barracks. "The Duckinators" and "Fifth Colum Mouse" are allegories on how the war began and how the US intended to end it. "Hollywood Canine Canteen" spoofs the real celebrity-filled canteens that sprung up on either coast with dog caricatures of popular celebrities of the day, like Laurel and Hardy, Bing Crosby, and Carmen Miranda. 

After breakfast, I finally got around to calling my mother, which I've been meaning to do since Halloween. Mom's fine. She's taking leave of her job as a ticket-taker for the Cape May-Lewes Ferry after the New Year. She's tired of dealing with anxious or panicky people and all their anxieties over everything. My brother Keefe is insisting on coming up from Virginia for Thanksgiving too, despite having been diagnosed with the virus and quarantined. At least she had a nice, quiet Halloween. Her little house is on the end of a street and doesn't get many trick-or-treaters at normal times, but my sister's kids apparently had a good haul in the busier neighborhoods of suburban North Cape May. 

Next up was getting the laundry done. Along with doing the regular clothes, I wanted to wash my curtains and get to at least some of the blankets. Started with the clothes and curtains first. It took me longer to get the curtains down than it did to take them in the basement and throw then in the washer and dryer, especially since some of the rods really aren't the right size, but I did get them there. Threw the clothes in first, then put the curtains in while the clothes were in the drier.

Ran the Donald Duck In the Army cartoons while I went back and forth. From 1942 to 1944, Disney made a series of shorts revolving around Donald joining the Army, his desire to become a pilot, and dealing with nasty Sargent Pete. "Donald Gets Drafted" and "Sky Trooper" explores what happens when Donald enters the army, and what Pete does when he gets fed up with Donald begging to fly. "Der Fuhrer's Face" is a surreal trip into the heart of Nazi Germany as Donald has a nightmare about being a worker in Germany. "Fall Out, Fall In" has him attempting to put up a tent, then ignore the snores of his fellow soldiers around him. He's sent to Japan in "Commando Duck" and proceeds to, wash...out the enemy.

My favorite by far of the Donald wartime shorts is "The Vanishing Private." It's the only time Donald ever got the best of Sergeant Pete. When Pete tells camouflage painter Donald to make a cannon "hard to see," he covers it in an invisibility paint he found in a lab. After Donald lands in the paint too, Pete ends up chasing "the little man you can't see" all over the base.

Called Uber for a ride to Cherry Hill just as "Commando Duck" ended. The ride appeared around 12:40. I was at Cooper Orthopedics by 12:55. The nurse asked me to come back after about ten minutes, and then it was another five minutes to briefly talk to another nurse. Dr. Ramerez and an even younger doctor checked out my arm and made sure it wasn't too stiff. Frankly, my arm feels fine now. It's bending normally, and I can even carry heavier loads at work again. They declared me healed and said this would be my last appointment. I checked out, called Uber again, was home by 1:52, and went nowhere else.

(I couldn't have gone anywhere else today, even if I wanted to. It started raining minutes after I climbed into the first Uber car, and has continued showering steadily for the rest of the day.)

Made a tropical green smoothie (bananas and mandarin oranges in coconut yogurt with spinach and honey) while watching Superman shorts. Given the tenor of the comics of the time, it was likely inevitable that Superman would fight the Axis on the big screen, too. "Japoteurs" has him saving an experimental plane - and a stowaway Lois Lane - from Japanese spies. "The Eleventh Hour" has marvelously shadowy animation gracing its mature story of Superman sabotaging Tokyo and saving Lois from a firing squad. "Jungle Drums" moves to South America as he rescues Lois from Nazis and hostile (and stereotypical) natives. He has to rescue a female "Secret Agent" from falling into the hands of Nazi sypathizers.

Went to pick up the regular laundry and switch over the blankets and curtains...and was surprised to see Jodie in the kitchen. I hadn't heard from her since she left two Fridays ago and had no idea when she'd be home. She even mentioned she had appointments and parties on Saturday she wanted to attend. I did wash the curtains and the blankets already in the machine, but skipped the other blankets in deference to her. 

Ran the last of the wartime shorts as I cleaned up from lunch. Bugs Bunny becomes a "Super Rabbit" when he eats a specially-enhanced carrot. He heads out west to stop a crazy cowboy from killing rabbits, but when push comes to shove, he dons the uniform of a real hero...a marines officer. The last thing Daffy wants to be is "Draftee Daffy" and does everything he can to avoid The Little Man From the Draft Board. "Falling Hare" is by far my favorite of the Looney Tunes war-related shorts. For once, Bugs goes up against an antagonist who gives as good as they get when he tries to stop a determined little gremlin from sabotaging planes.

Mickey Mouse didn't really figure into most of the World War II shorts, but he did take on Hun cats in 1929 during "The Barnyard Battle." Pink Panther finds himself in Vietnam without a clue in "G.I Pink." He ends up dodging cranky drill sergeants, angry company mascots, land mines, and super-hard obstacle courses.

Jodie was gone by the time I went back for the curtains - she must have gone out to lunch. I did my best to put the curtains up again while returning to Buzzr. The only couple I recognized on today's Tattletales were wacky Patty Duke and the original Gomez Addams himself, John Astin. Not only were they today's big winners, but they got the show's biggest haul ever, getting every answer right when the other couples missed. Whammies abounded on Press Your Luck today. One lady Whammied out, leaving the other woman and the sole young man to battle it out. He hit a Whammy on his last turn, allowing her to win a sailboat and become the new champ.

Worked on writing for a while after the shows ended. Gene invites Richard to dinner with him, Charles, and Brett to make him feel better. He has to help the men with the wine they stole from the Stardom Squares anyway, and he has excellent tea for himself and Gene (who don't drink). Gene's looking forward to it, but Richard looks more worried than he should about a mere dinner...

Broke for dinner at 6:30. Made Southwestern Sweet Potato Hash while watching Match Game '74. The contestant takes a "Leap ___" of faith choosing Brett for the Head-to-Head, leaving the others to get very into their celebratory hugs and kisses. Big Jim Staal of Mork & Mindy gets to help a gentleman win 20,000 on Match Game PM

The contestants on Sale of the Century were a little closer today than they have been the last couple of days. Even so, the woman champ still bought both Instant Bargains, won the Instant Cash money, managed to win the Speed Round, and once again picked up the Bonus Round money with time to spare.

(Oh, and it looks like Buzzr's doing their Black Friday Frenzy theme again this year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Good. I really enjoyed last year's. Along with getting Supermarket Sweep and Sale of the Century again, Let's Make a Deal will replace the lesser-known Temptation.)

Finished the night after a shower with a mini-MASH marathon on Hulu in honor of Veteran's Day. Started with "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet" from the first season. Hawkeye is devastated when he can't save a friend who was going to write a book about his experiences in the war (James Callahan)  from dying. He has more luck convincing an underage soldier (Ron Howard) to go home.

The doctors learn "There Is Nothing Like a Nurse" during the third season when the battle draws closer and all the nurses are sent elsewhere. Lieutenant Calvin Spalding (Loudon Wainright III) writes lousy blues songs on his guitar while the guys try to drink their loneliness away. Enlisting Father Mulcahy (William Christopher) and Radar O'Reilly (Gary Burghoff) to help out only leaves them short elsewhere. 

Meanwhile, the 4077th is turned upside down by a visit from "Big Mac," General MacArthur himself. Henry has to rehearse the group on proper greeting protocol and figure out what to do with Corporal Klinger (Jamie Farr), who wears dresses to try to get himself discharged.

Moved on to Season 4 and one of the many episodes revolving around a character writing a letter to someone, "Dear Mildred." New base commander General Potter (Harry Morgan) writes to his wife about all the lunacy around him on their 27th anniversary. Hot Lips (Loretta Swit) and Frank buy a special anniversary gift for him, while Radar convinces Hawkeye and newcomer B.J Hunnicut (Mike Farrell) to save a sick horse and nurse him back to health. 

And I salute all of our veterans on what I hope was a far drier Veteran's Day than I had!

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