Archive for August, 2014

Travel Guide to Washington DC (for my niece Maria)

 

Prehistoric DC. Virginia eventually reclaimed its unused gift. Early DC. Virginia eventually reclaimed its unused gift west of the Potomac.

Dear Maria,

Good evening and hello. We’ll just assume it’s evening. It reads better that way. It appears your next adventure in this journey we call “life” remands you to the District of Columbia (originally a 10 mile square tilted cube until 1846 when Virginia retroceded its portion back into the state leaving Maryland’s cession as the location of present day DC.). You are both fortunate and burdened to have your intellectual capacities exercised to the degreee they will be in DC (The extra e in degreee was intentional, although it serves no purpose, in much the same way long parenthetical entries are more confusing than enlightening – agreed? Agreed!). Yes Maria, your lot in life will soon revolve around DuPont Circle (formerly DuPont Square, but numerous revolutions have rounded its corners rendering it DuPont Circle). Read the rest of this entry »

Way Too Much about Phil Silvers (the abbreviated version)

Phil Silvers: A star before anyone even conceived of Jazz Hands. Phil Silvers: A star of the species Hamus Actorum.

Among the constellation of worthy subjects demanding to be illuminated, Phil Silvers is not one of them. Not that he’s unworthy. But Phil Silvers. Really? He’s a fossilized relic leftover from the Vaudevillian Era – a prehistoric time when tummlers, crooners and acrobats performed on poorly lit, unmicrophoned stages. As you may recall from your high school Celebrity Geology classes, the Vaudevillian Era was sandwiched between the Shakespearian Period – a period marked by proto-thespians in unmolted drag crawling out from under the curtain and soliloquizing anyone at the Globe who would listen, and the Television Epoch when shadowy 2-dimensional images ruled the airwaves and were at the apex of the entertainment food chain.

Phil Silvers barely registers with me and probably doesn’t move the needle with most of you either. Although justly beloved by many, he was the kind of entertainer I despised as a child (me being the child here, not Phil) for one reason – utterly predictable humor. Mr. Silvers strutted around ‘neath the proscenium arch like the well-trained pro that he was: hitting his marks and delivering his punchlines. He larded his performances with super-sized gestures and lusty dollops of feigned disbelief. His predictable repertoire of hammy attributes only served to harden my bias against the so-called other white meat. He was like a very uncool uncle who you hoped would just leave the pink box of goodies from Lyncourt Bakery on the kitchen table, then get back in his 9 mpg, 1973 Plymouth Gran Fury and drive his insincere persona back to Weedsport where his “scenery eating” talents weren’t much appreciated either. And to think that Phil Silvers is responsible for today’s microwave oven technology, just boggles the mind. He isn’t responsible for it. But to think he is – oy vey. Read the rest of this entry »