Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Scary Tales for a Chilly Day

Ate breakfast quickly, then hurried out into a sunny, cold morning. Dodged traffic as the wind nearly blew me back across the White Horse Pike, then around the school as the kids headed to class. Just barely got to work on time.

I may as well been infinitely late. We were dead for most of the day. It did pick up during the evening rush hour, to the point where they needed to send in a boy from the deli so I could go home. Other than I'm still getting overwhelmed dealing with all these people in the register, there were really no major problems. 

Changed into a regular shirt, then picked up pumpkin muffins from the bakery clearance rack and a gift card for Lauren's birthday, which is today. By this point, the lines finally got busy. I had to wait a few minutes in the express line, but the cashier moved quickly.

Since I had no other plans for today, there were a few more stops I wanted to make. Spent nearly an hour looking over Halloween costumes and old clothes at Goodwill. I originally considered being a fairy, but the weather's been up and down so much lately, I thought I should go with something more practical. They had several decent "play" cowboy hats, so I decided to be a cowgirl instead. 

Went in to peek at Goodwill's next-door neighbor Five Below. I hoped to find more novelties for my Halloween mystery bags, but they only had candy and not much else. I'll make use of them when we get closer to Christmas instead, as they have a great toy selection.

Briefly stopped at Dunkin' Donuts next. I wanted to try the pumpkin-faced donut Matt Caracappa mentioned at his Dinosaur Dracula blog, but they didn't have them. I settled for an unsweetened iced tea and an orange glazed doughnut with chocolate drizzle. To my surprise, they gave me two. I only asked for one. I saved the other for dessert.

Rode across the street to Family Dollar next. Their selection of novelties wasn't as good as Dollar Tree's, but they did have a few things. Picked up more wooden ornaments kids can color, mini-Moon Pies, and felt stickers. I also grabbed the most recent Peanuts holiday DVD, a series of 26 shorts revolving around the Christmas season. 

Headed straight home after that. Got organized, then did some writing. Bill and Gene both appeared in the 1959 Doris Day comedy It Happened to Jane. Bill was in the segment where Day's character was a contestant on I've Got a Secret, while Gene played a blow-hard reporter who won't let Jane get a word in edgewise. Neither man was especially fond of the rigmarole of screen acting, and it would be the only screen appearances of both. (Although, in Gene's case, it's too bad. I did think he was genuinely funny.) 

Broke at 6:30 for dinner. Watched Match Game '74 while I ate. Jimmie Walker marked the last day of his first week on the show, joined by fellow sitcom stars Joyce Bulifant and Loretta Swit. Brett starts out doing her strange idea of an introductory tune for Gene. The others do their best to help break a series of ties (so many, they never had a Super Match in this episode). 

Had dessert during Match Game '77. In the first episode, everyone tries to figure out "Whipping __" in the Audience Match, while Richard has to deal with "__ Columbus" in the Audience Match. The second episode had a lot of jokes about Orson Bean's new earring, including Gene borrowing one of Brett's clip-on earrings and Charles attempting to make one of his own.

Moved online for Mystery Science Theater 3000 at Shout Factory TV. The Atomic Brain is one of the earlier Mike episodes. The robots start off making fun of a juvenile delinquency short that has a young man trying to decide which peer group he's better off with. The main attraction is a lot stranger. A rich and elderly woman (Marjorie Eaton) insists on having her brain transferred to a young and beautiful body. She hires three lovely women to work for her. Dr. Frank (Frank Gerstle) uses Anita (Lisa Lang) as an experiment, exchanging her mind with that of a cat. Her fellow servants Bea (Judy Bamber) and Nina (Erica Rhodes) try to save her when she's on the roof, then each other when the lady decides their bodies are perfect for her brain!

Originally released under the title Monstrosity, this is a weird one. It's too bad the story is cliches of the highest order, because they do manage a nicely spooky atmosphere despite the low-budget trappings, and Anita with a cat's brain is genuinely scary. While the movie itself has its fans who appreciate the camp, MS3K fans don't think highly of this one, seeing it as one mad scientist movie too many. 

Ended the night on a brighter note with "Jack O'Lantern" at YouTube. This episode of the Rankin-Bass series Festival of Family Classics is the closest they get to a Halloween special. A grandfather tells his grandchildren the story of how a magical leprechaun living inside a carved pumpkin helped him and his sister drive away two witches who were destroying their crops and trying to force them off their land. 

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