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I Predicted This: How Hollywood Russell Predated The New Stonehenge Discovery

29 Sep

September 29, 2014

Did you see this headline last week? This story made news around the world.

henge

Turns out the Stonehenge is really huge, much bigger than we thought. Basically, researchers had been walking around, over, on top of, all kinds of crazy structures and objects, and not all of them were buried. A lot of the hills and mounds turned out to be hiding structures right in plain sight. Scientists were basically having picnics on top of those pretty hills and never realized what was going on right below.

This is why I should have been a Stonehenge researcher, because I would have discovered those mounds and buried objects ages ago. You see, I already had that theory 30 years back.

It was the late 80’s/early 90’s, somewhere in that area, and my friend and I were hanging out at Kings Plaza, Brooklyn’s version of a shopping center, working on various ideas for stories that we’d never write. Both of us were interested in Old Time Radio and most of our ideas tended to fit in the horror or detective genre. Sometimes both.

We had an idea for a show called The Corpse. It would be about a crime-solving corpse. (We put the emphasis on solving to differentiate it from all the other crime-committing corpses.) Basically, a bunch of Scooby Gang types would ride around with a dead man in the back of their car and they’d communicate with it by Ouija board.

JOE: Quick corpse, tell me, who’s behind the big bank robbery?
PETE: I’m getting something now. “B-I-G-B-R-U-C-E-F-R-E-E-D-K-I-N.” It’s Big Bruce Freedkin!
JOE: There’s something else coming through!
PETE: “D-U-C-K.” Duck? What’s that mean?
(SOUND OF A SHOTGUN BLAST)
JOE: They’re shooting at us! That’s what it means! Duck!

We also had an idea for a show called The Adventures of Seamus O’Reilly. Seamus was a sheep and his owner, Mother O’Reilly, was knitting him a sweater because he looked cold. She was knitting him a sweater out of his own wool. See why it never got made?

There was also someone called Stoop Nagle, but for the life of me I can’t remember if he did anything more than sit on a stoop.

All this brings me back to Stonehenge and the unlikely first adventure of Hollywood Russell.

In Hollywood’s first adventure, the plan was that he’d been tracking either smugglers or Nazi spies (or both) who were using a small plane to fly in and out of Coney Island unseen. Eventually the bad guys, fearing that Hollywood was getting too close, buried the plane under the Coney Island beach sand. From ground level you couldn’t see anything but some large dunes. Families would climb on them, kids would play on them, and no one could tell there was a plane below. Only when Hollywood went to the top of the parachute jump and got an aerial view could he see the outline of the plane buried below, kind of like the famous Nazca lines down in South America.

For some reason we found that idea farfetched (wonder what those Stonehenge guys would think?) and changed the story so that the plane was buried under the parachute jump during its construction. But that was even more ridiculous, especially considering that the boardwalk was between the beach and the attraction. Then things got worse from there.

And there you have seven degrees separation between Stonehenge and Hollywood Russell.

 

 

 

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Marcel Marceau, R.I.P. We Still Don’t Miss You

27 Sep

September 27, 2014

Marcel Marceau died seven years ago this week. He was 83 years old.

Marceau was the world’s most famous mime. While his face may not have been familiar, everyone knew his trademark striped shirt, bowler hat, and large flower. Frankly, he has not been missed.

He was a mime. And mimes are totally annoying. First of all, they don’t talk. Punch them in the nuts, they won’t groan. They are like the guards at Buckingham Palace, but less funny. Mimes walk around on nice summer days and pretend that they are struggling in the wind. Mimes laugh and cry at little flowers. Mimes get in your face and don’t get out until you give them money. Only pretentious PBS people like mimes. Supposedly they are practitioners of an art that goes back to ancient Greece. Big deal. The ancient Greeks had some funny ideas about young boys too.

Marcel Marceau’s funeral was a sight to see. A line of a dozen mimes strode side by side, pretending to be carrying an invisible coffin. The last in line pantomimed dropping it on his foot and limped the rest of the way. One in front pretended to pull the coffin with an imaginary rope. The eulogy was equally moving. Marcel was remembered by many of the mime community with these touching words:  “               .”

Before he was laid to rest, the assembled mimes first struggled to get out of an invisible phone booth, then laid their oversized flowers on the grave.

So Rest In Peace, funny man, let’s hope the art of mime ends here.

Topical Meme Thursday (2)

25 Sep

September 25, 2014

The new iPhone went on sale this week. What’s new about it? 1- It’s a little bigger. 2- It’s a little bigger.

So for weeks, lots of geeks and/or nerds (iGeeks? iNerds?) waited and waited on the street because, let’s be honest, if you’re the kind of person who’ll sleep in a pup tent on 42nd street just to buy a phone, you probably had nothing better to do.

meme2

 

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