Araby

’The new maid will dust off your guitar and the old clavichord.’


 

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Out east

— Say, Lou, ya seen Lenny recently?

— Whaddya mean? Why would I see Lenny?

— Just askin’, Lou. He usually comes in here a lot, but I ain’t seen him since that shindig over on the East side.

— Whaddya tryin’ to say, Frankie? Come on, spit it out! Ya sayin’ I shot Lenny in the head with a .22 and dumped his body in the East River under cover of darkness? Is that what you’re sayin’?

— No, Lou, no! Jeez — relax, will ya!

— Oh, eh, sorry Frankie. I’m just a bit tense is all. Been under a lotta pressure.

— You sure are tense, Lou. Come on, lemme get ya a drink. Sit down, relax.

— Thanks, Frankie.

— Here ya go. Jeez, Lou, you’re very uptight… how about if I give ya a lil’ rub….. just about here… is that any better, Lou?

— Yea, that helps…. Oh yea…. that’s good…. bit lower down…

— Just leave it to old Frankie. Feel the tension slippin’ away?

— Oh yea!

— How about if I use a unguent, Lou? You’re gonna love this, I promise.

— Smells lousy….

— It’s ‘a secret blend of essential oils from the exotic East, specially formulated… ‘

— There ya go with the East again, Frankie. Is this some kinda shake-down?

— No, it’s a rub-down, Lou. Now sit back and let me finish, will ya? You’ll get unguent all over your spats.

— Aw, I’m sorry, Frankie… maybe I just need a few days off… get outta town for a while.

— That’s it, Lou — a vacation! Somewhere out East… see the palm trees?

— Frankie!


Nostalgia

You remember that time we went to Rome?

— Yes, dear.

And you didn’t like the food?

— Yes, dear.

And you couldn’t stand the heat?

— Yes, dear.

And you thought the Coliseum was boring?

— Yes, dear.

And you said the Trevi Fountain was an eyesore?

— Yes, dear.

And you said the hotel porter was gay?

— Yes, dear.

You were always a miserable bastard, weren’t you?

— Yes, dear.

You remember that time we nearly went to Paris?

— Yes, dear. I really enjoyed that.


In the beginning…

…the earth was a helluva mess and it was pitch dark everywhere. And God knew it, only too well.

— I really must sort this place out. First thing We need is some light on the subject.

So He rigged up a light and was quite pleased with the result.

— Not bad at all, if I say so Myself. The chiaroscuro effect is pretty good. I’ll call this bit Day and the other bit Night.

Next day, He looks at it again.

— I know what it needs — a roof. A domed roof over the whole thing. Worth a try.

So He borrowed a ladder, built a roof over it, and said:

— Looks sturdy enough. I’ll call that the Sky.

Next day, He comes out for another look.

— Too damp.  It needs a bit of dry land — Earth — as well as the water — Seas. I’m getting good at this naming game.

Then He thought the earth looked a bit bare:

—Maybe a few plants and trees, just to take the raw look off it. Maybe even some fruit trees, if they’re not too expensive.

Next day, He’s still not happy.

— Still too dark, especially at night. Can’t have people bumping into each other. (Did I say ‘people’? — Hold that thought!)

So He rigged up two big lights, a massive one for the day and a smaller one for the night. While He was up there, He got a bit carried away and installed millions of tiny lights as well.

—Those stars too theatrical? Nah, they might turn out to be useful.

Next day, He’s up early and at it again:

—Something’s missing….. I got it! Living creatures, sea monsters, and birds! Yay, I’m on a roll!

Next day, He’s up with the lark and this time He wants even more creatures — cattle and creepy crawlies. He tells them to shag like rabbits.

— It’s starting to come together, but it needs something a bit more personal, like a signature of some kind. I’ll have a think about it.

So over coffee and a danish, He makes a momentous decision:

— How about……..in My own image? And I could give them dominion over the whole place!…. Nah! Would never work!


Son & Lumiere


Lois Lumiere rose to stardom when she played teenage tease Conchita in The Lonely Trail (1931), and went on to further box-office success in Came the Dawn (1932), Zombies in Tinseltown (1936), and A Tale of Two Cuties (1938).

But behind the glamour lies a tale of heartbreak.

Lois’s first love, Dash Cheese, was thrown from a camel in the Sudan while filming the romantic comedy Kiss of the Serpent (1939). He landed on the director, Ed Cutts, and both died instantly.

For many years afterwards, Lois could not bring herself to love again, but eventually bring herself to love again she did, this time in the hunky form of Lon Romero, heart-throb and smouldering star of Kitty, what’s your Kaper? (1944), and Destination Rio (1946). They met in 1947 and had a son, Lon Jnr.

But their happiness was fleeting as the dawn. After three short years together, tragedy struck again: aged just 32, Lon was impaled while filming a love scene for Farewell my Porcupine (1951). A schmoozer to the end, his last words were said to be: ‘Lois, my lumiere!’ (though others heard ‘There’s no room in here’ or ‘Where’s my lucky hare?’).

Since that fateful day, Lois has shunned publicity and never gives interviews. A semi-recluse, she appears in public only very occasionally, always wearing her trademark camel and porcupine shoes.

In 1957, she made headlines when she punched a photographer in an LA street, reprising her unforgettable line from A Tale of Two Cuties: ‘Say, fancypants? Want some more?’

Her autobiography, So Lon, Dash, was an instant best-seller.

In 1959, Lois appeared briefly alongside Audrey Heartburn and Ginger Snap in Who juiced the Mangoes?, directed by Alfred Pitchfork, but it was not a critical success.

Lois now lives in New York with her son, who is rumoured to be dating Gore Vidal.