Burt and Tracy Ward visited my neighborhood a while ago. They were here to give a speech about ‘Batman’ and ‘The Green Hornet’.
Burt explained that Bruce Lee died in 1975, followed by Van Williams in 2016, and Adam West last year. That leaves only him to keep things going.
“It’s tough being the last super hero”, he explained. “Every day I have to see the Black Beauty and the Batmobile. Of course I’m 73 years old so I have to make sure I reconcile all of this with an eight o’clock p.m. bedtime. Now I know how Aunt Harriet and Alfred felt.”
Welcome back yet again to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers where, this week, J. Hardy Carroll provides the photo prompt.
‘The View’ is a thoroughly one~sided, radical show that does nothing but add to the alienation, bitterness, and resentment that currently divide people in this country. There’s absolutely no place whatsoever for this kind of blatant brainwashing in people’s lives.
“I really like the way my rose is now,” Brenda told Cheryl.
“I call that a Molly Dodd moment.”
“Huh?!” her friend gasped.
“I grew up,” Brenda explained, “watching shows like ‘My Mother the Car,’ ‘Mr. Ed,’ and ‘Seinfeld.’
“Molly, for me, is the epitome of normal. In the typical episode, Molly reads her mail, says hello to a neighbor, blows her nose. You know, plain stuff.”
“I can understand that,” Cheryl opined. At the same time though, each of us often needs Gunther Toody and Ed Norton in his life too. Contrast and balance are the answer to everything.”
Moocho thank you to Rochelle Wisoff~Fields for being our Fearless Leader in Friday Fictioneers, a weekly attempt at a hundred~page story based upon a photo prompt. This week’s prompt was supplied by Marie Gail Stratford.
I should like to think that a train station, airport terminal, subway stop, or anyplace else where passengers gather, is somehow an eclectic combination of both a soulless space occupied by distracted, stressed zombies and a magical set for fleeting, interlocking stories within the population of mankind. Since most of the people who pass through these kinds of places are always going to remain absolute strangers to each other, and since they won’t ever end up having any significant contact with one another, in that sense they will always, unfortunately, appear as if they’re a randomly thrown together combination of nameless, lifeless non entities, who are only in the same location for an extremely short time frame, on their way to a common destination. They have the kind of connection to each other that’s somewhat similar to that of people who are connected only on Facebook, Myspace or Twitter. They all merely fit into the same category to serve a fleeting purpose. At the same time, however, there can be potentially quite a lot of drama available in such a setting. Very many people with common interests may find themselves in each other’s company. If, occasionally, someone would presume to strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger in such a setting, they might even end up igniting quite a significant romance, reminiscent of the kinds that happened on shows like “Hotel” and “The Love Boat” (I’m very sorry but I don’t watch very many recent shows). People are the same all over the world. Up to a certain point it’s not such a very smart idea for anyone to trust someone he’s just met in that kind of environment. Although good people can be found everywhere places like that can be populated by all kinds of nasty characters. Denizens of subway stations are well known for being rather lazy and careless about sanitary habits and social skills in general. Once one gets past all the morons, troublemakers and otherwise lost souls, though, it’s a truly hep place. If someone were merely to hang around and to listen to the conversations people have in these kinds of places, he would be able to amass, after a short while, quite a significant collection of interesting anecdotes. Exactly because so many people from so many different environments can be found there, it must be quite a veritable bottomless pit of story telling. All those otherwise soulless non entities then become store houses of folklore and adventure. Whether by way of simple observation as a disinterested third party, or even by getting actively engaged with the occasional character in a lobby, restaurant or gift shop, anyone at any given time can at least turn an otherwise unbearably boring stressful situation into a reasonably interesting experience. Besides everything else one never knows whom he may meet in this kind of environment. Once, in the early 1980’s, I even flew to Buffalo on the same plane as jazz musician Cab Calloway.
Throughout my adult lifetime, I’ve always been, to varying degrees, inordinately anxious, especially under stressful circumstances. The very best thing I can possibly do on the eve of a big moment of truth-a significant trip, a job interview, or some other milestone-is simply to relax and to go to bed even earlier than my accustomed bedtime. Besides that I enjoy reading, playing my guitar or any other simple relaxing activity. I also occasionally watch television, but that’s not a habit of mine anymore. I’ve always quite bitterly despised the telephone so it helps if I can scrupulously avoid that particular thing. I absolutely never even think of taking any risks whatsoever with food. If I know I am going to be subjected to pressure, my diet the day before is inevitably simple with absolutely no spices whatsoever. Any risk of stomach trouble would be terrifying. I always put whatever materials I may be obligated to have in my possession-a number two pencil, identification, money or anything else of any importance-in a very safe, easily accessible place the night before I need them. For the past quite a long time my anxiety hasn’t been overwhelming, but it’s still sufficiently significant that I can’t play games with it.
“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness,” is a line from twentieth century poet and radical Allen Ginsberg, a major figure in both the 1950’s Beat Generation and the 1960’s counterculture. Having read quite a significant amount of Ginsberg’s work I can honestly say that I’m not interested in doing things his way. Although I understand that it can be nice, and even constructive, for someone to tap into his somewhat less than perfectly well behaved side, I don’t trust my darker impulses. Having found out the hard way, over the course of my lifetime, just exactly what kinds of things I’m capable of, I don’t especially like to tamper with forces that are so easily capable of getting out of control. In my writing I often enjoy exploring dark themes. Television shows from the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, such as “One Step Beyond”, “The Twilight Zone”, “The Outer Limits”, and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” have always interested me. A conveniently detached observation of all the inexplicably strange offbeat things that go on in life, that are beyond the normal, is as much as I can be expected to try to deal with. To get personally involved with it, though, would provoke irrevocable trouble.