Pointless 1

Posted by on July 4th, 2010 at 9:00 AM

This is a favorite story of mine. It’s all true except the fellow’s name.

One night I was visiting my friend Henri and he started getting on the Jews. This stuff comes out out now and then, not often, and he has to be even more drunk than he usually is.

“My carrots are cooked,” he announced on this particular night. The phrase is Quebecois and it means being so shit-faced there’s no point to remaining conscious: you might as well shut up and go to bed. But Henri kept on talking, of course.

He philosophized about money and how you need it and what you have to do to get it. He said that back when he was a boy and doing chores and errands around the neighborhood, that back then he used to be “money shy.” He’d been too timid or proud to come right out and say it was time to pay him. But he learned better.

“Oh, you have to be like a Jew,” he told me. “Just grab the money and put it in your pocket and you don’t make change unless you have to.” He reflected some more. “That’s what started the second war,” he said. As he saw it, the Jews took everything they could get in Germany and the Germans were “reduced to servitude,” a phrase he returned to like a Republican with a talking point.

“They bought up Germany and now they buy up the United States,” Henri said. “Oh, but they’re more discreet now. ” This introduced a spate of bird-calling and whistling to signal the Jews’ discretion. “Oh yes, they’re more discreet now,” he resumed. “Not like in Germany, when people were reduced to servitude.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” I told him.

“Oh, this is history. You have to know history.”

“I know history and you’re full of shit. You are completely ignorant.”

“This is what happened. This –”

“You don’t know anything.”

“I don’t hate you,” Henri said, since I’m half-Jewish. “I don’t hate any Jew.” Then he got statesmanlike. “What was done to humanity, the crimes against humanity, on both sides –”

“No! Not on both sides.”

“On both sides. What was done . . . terrible.”

By this time I was popping my DVD out of the player and heading for the door. (I live upstairs from the dope.)

“The truth is hard to take,” Henri called after me. So, yes, he’s kind of a jerk. But at least he’s evenhanded.

Fred insults Ethel. William Frawley was 64 when I Love Lucy started, and Vivian Vance was 42. They played Fred and Ethel Mertz, the dumpy couple who palled around with Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. Vance didn’t like playing dowdy (“she saw herself a little differently,” a friend recalls) and hated playing the wife of an old man. She especially hated William Frawley, who made no effort to be agreeable.

Frawley: “Where did you find this bitch?” . . . “her singing — it’s like a shovel of shit on a baked Alaska!” . . . a figure “like a sack full of door knobs”

Vance: “Please God I won’t have to climb into bed this week with that square-headed little Irishman!”

An over-cheerful I Love Lucy director said: “Vivian and Bill became an extension of Ethel and Fred. . . . She’d call him a dirty old drunken slob, and he’d say, ‘That old cunt,’ but it was just an extension of those two characters.”

As it turns out, Vance refused $50,000 per show to do a “Fred and Ethel” spinoff. She just couldn’t stand the guy.

Ethel and Fred

Mall cop pietà. I reviewed Ultimate X #2 and hinted that the artist appeared to look for ways to stay interested. The example I pointed to was the extra tiles he drew for a bathroom scene. I could have made the same point about the cover, where Jean Grey is drawn to resemble a high-heel shoe. And below we have Jean’s mental-power crackle turned into a halo just so the artist can sneak in a pietà devoted to Dave the mall cop.

As far as I can tell, there’s no plot or theme reason for the story to have a pietà, not unless any poor schlub who gets killed is automatically Jesus. The artist was just bored and wanted a rooting interest in finishing the page.

©2010 Marvel Characters, Inc.

“Tik Tok” Star Trek. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the clip of classic ’60s Star Trek edited to “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha. Neat work, I thought.

The clip is by someone who calls herself Miss Sheenie. Her other works include a mashup of Harry Potter and “I Am the Walrus,” which is also funny but is helped a bit by warping the image for a druggy effect. Personally, I like it better when soundtrack and images match up thru straight editing.

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