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brianmartin

Gurglings of a Putrid Stream

Thoughts on books and other assorted topics.

See also:  http://goppf.wikidot.com/swstart

My name:  Brian Martin

Spock Is a Murderer and Other Things

Columbo

I'm watching Columbo these days. Yesterday, I saw Season 2, Episode 6, "A Stitch in Crime." Spock (aka Leonard Nimoy) plays a surgeon who murders a couple of people. Almost outwits Columbo, too, who only figures out what happened because of the surgeon's powers of concentration and self-control.

I love Columbo. I love Monk, too. Until I started watching Columbo again, though, I didn't realize just how similar the two detectives are.

In one episode, Columbo tells a rich guy that he, Columbo, makes eleven thousand a year. This was in 1971 or '72. I don't know if the writer got that detail right, but I was curious. According to joinlapd.com, an LA cop in 2014 (just a cop, not an experienced homicide detective) makes about 50 grand straight out of high school or college. If they stay on the job long enough, they can make $85,000 a year.

(After determining the price of the rich man's house and the taxes owed, Columbo then did some quick mental math, announcing afterwards that it would take him 900 years to buy that house -- without eating.)

The End of the World

I also watched the very first episode of the original Twilight Zone, from 1959. Charles Beaumont, already a noted author of science fiction and horror short stories, and who would later write several TZ episodes himself, said at the time,

"I read Serling's first script. It was, or seemed to be, an end-of-the-world story. Resisting the impulse to throw the wretched thing across the room, I read on. A man is alone in a town which shows every sign of having been recently occupied. He finds cigarettes burning in ash trays. Stoves are still warm. Chimneys are smoking. But no one is there, only this one frightened man who can't even remember his name ... Old stuff? Of course."

Now, he also says he liked it, but what I find funny is that, in 1959, "end of the world" stories were already old hat.

Blue Bunny

Anyone like Blue Bunny ice cream? If so...no offense, but I can't stand the stuff. I bought some a few years ago, and after tasting it, I was absolutely convinced it was a Walmart house brand. That is, until yesterday, when I watched the original Children of the Corn  from 1984. The opening scene takes place in a soda fountain that is plastered with advertisements for Blue Bunny. So I looked it up. And sure enough, the stuff has been around since 1935 or somesuch. With food products, I generally think that if I could go back in time, I'd be very happy. Now I wonder.