Posts filed under “Popular Entertainment”
Today is Mr. Orson Welles’ hundredth birthday, and you really ought to celebrate by watching Citizen Kane, or by hiding in the basement from Martian invaders—whichever is more appealing to you. If you are in Pittsburgh, you might head for the Hollywood Theater in Dormont, where you can celebrate by hearing retired Post-Gazette critic Bob Hoover, eating birthday cake, and then watching Citizen Kane on the big screen in one of the few undivided neighborhood movie palaces left in North America.
ANNOUNCER. And now the Bureau of Public Safety, providing fine police services since 1893, presents…
(Music: Theme, in and under for…)
ANNOUNCER. The Adventures of Scraggles, the Dog Detective! With senses keener than those possessed by any living human, Scraggles sniffs out crime and fetches the perpetrators back to justice!
ANNOUNCER. Today we find Scraggles interviewing Roger W. Suspect, a person of interest in the murder of yogurt magnate Irving Wolfe.
SUSPECT. Well, I must say, when my secretary told me that someone from the police wanted to see me, I sort of expected someone a little more—you know—tall. But anyway, what can I help you with?
SUSPECT. Yes, I heard about the murder of Irving Wolfe. Ghastly, isn’t it? I mean, to think that a murderer walks among us. I mean, of course it couldn’t be me, because everyone knows what I was doing at the time of the murder. I was busy in the office, putting the final touches on a deal that will merge Suspect Yogurt, Inc., with our biggest competitor.
SUSPECT. Yes, exactly—the Wolfe Dairy Products Corporation. But of course Irving Wolfe retired from the day-to-day management of the company years ago. It was a particularly tricky deal, but I’d finally managed to smooth out all the bumps in the road, so to speak, except one.
SUSPECT. You’re very perceptive. Yes, it was Wolfe himself. He still controlled enough shares to block the deal, and out of sheer pigheaded obstinacy— I mean, I loved him like a brother, of course, but let’s just say he was not willing to see reason in this particular matter. So I decided to see whether I could find some alternate route, so to speak.
SUSPECT. Yes, his daughter, Uvularia Wolfe. She could see the potential in the deal—potential to make her family rich, if only her father could give up his stubborn insistence on maintaining the independence of the company. I met with her, and she agreed to try to persuade her father to see the reality of the situation. But then later that day I got a note hand-delivered to my office. I opened it up…
SUSPECT. Good lord, you fellows don’t miss a beat, do you? Yes, it was from Irving Wolfe. He said he was furious that I had gone around his back and suborned his daughter, and the next day he was going to meet with his lawyer to change his will, cutting her out completely, and making sure that all his shares went to someone who agreed with him about the fundamental importance of keeping Wolfe Dairy independent. So, you see, that was why I was so busy, trying to work out a way to make the deal go through. In fact, you can check with my secretary: I was in a meeting at the very time of the murder.
SUSPECT. What? No, of course it wasn’t with Wolfe. Why would you say that? It was with Jeannette Hart, my business manager. You can check it out with her. In fact, my secretary remarked on how much the office smelled like Jeannette’s perfume after the meeting.
SUSPECT. No! I tell you, it wasn’t with Wolfe! What, did Jeannette sell me out? That disgusting lowlife schemer! She promised! Yes, blast you, I did go out and meet Irv Wolfe! And I killed him, you hear? I killed him! But it was an accident. It was self-defense. I mean, he had it coming to him.
SUSPECT. All right! It was premeditated! I told my secretary I’d be in a meeting with Jeannette, and I locked the door, and I poured a bottle of that stinking cheap Metro Mart perfume she always wears into the aspidistra, and then I slid down the drainpipe and went over to Wolfe’s house and killed him and came back here and climbed up the trellis and no one was the wiser! It was the perfect murder, and I would have got away with it if the stupid Bureau of Public Safety hadn’t sent its very best detective!
SUSPECT. So, um, did you bring somebody along to cuff me, or do I have to do that myself?
SCRAGGLES: Woof woof.
(Music: Theme, fade in and under for…)
ANNOUNCER. And so once again Scraggles uses his keen senses and awe-inspiring deductive powers to thwart another murderer! Tune in next week for more of Scraggles, the Dog Detective, when pretty much the same thing will happen. Meanwhile, remember, friends, when you’re a victim of crime, don’t try to scrape by with any old off-brand cut-rate police force. Insist on genuine City Police brand police from the Bureau of Public Safety. Only City Police brand police offer the famous Bureau of Public Safety Money-Back Guarantee. Why settle for anything less? Don’t be a victim without the number for City Police brand police in your pocket.
(Music: Theme, in full then out.)
Dear Dr. Boli: For months now I have been attempting to develop superpowers without success. Nothing has happened, not even when I goaded a radioactive wallaby into biting me. What can I do? —Sincerely, A Man Who Has the Costume and Everything, but No Superpowers.
Dear Sir: Perhaps you ought to concentrate on your own robust mental health. You could be Normal Psychological Development Man. Given the current fashions in superheroes, your lack of paralyzing moral ambiguity, soul-sapping angst, and crippling depression would give you such an advantage against the competition as to constitute a superpower in itself.
What the world needs most today is order.
When I am in charge, I will stop this senseless discrimination against the differently sane.
Though I control a vast nuclear arsenal, I trust in my henchmen’s martial-arts skills to defend me.
What others call my “monstrous egotism” is merely a reasonable and informed self-esteem.
My character judgment is infallible, and my underlings are unswervingly loyal.
Although the United Nations could never agree on a protocol for ordering pizza, they will nevertheless accede to my demands unanimously within twenty-four hours.
A self-destruct countdown that cannot be stopped is a feature, not a bug.
The fact that my extravagantly gorgeous daughter has an eye for square-jawed hero types will in no way impede my ultimate victory.
Anger clarifies my judgment.
Reason alone will persuade the hero’s plucky girlfriend that I am a more suitable mate.
You say “psychotic”; I say “perceptive.”