BALD AND FREE — HOW CAN THAT BE? (subtitle: The Bald And The Beautiful)

Nothing makes a woman feel as old as watching the bald spot increase on the top of her husband’s head. –Helen Rowland

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oct. 7 is BALD AND FREE DAY, but personally, I’m not sure what one has to do with the other. I’m mostly bald, all right, but how free is a married man like me? Of course, I’m just kidding — my wife lets me out of my cage for an hour a week, even though I keep getting balder….and making her feel older. Maybe I shouldn’t be using that hour to get a haircut.

HEADLONG RETREAT

As the years go by, my barber
Takes less and less time with my hair
Which only serves to remind me
That there’s less and less of it there.

To be sure, I’m not the only one whose predicament may become a hair-raising experience:

That gave me a headache just watching it. If only I could trust the dubious ads that involve spending my moo-lah to get to the root of the problem, I might risk springing for mo-hair….but snake oil aside, there must be a less painful way to restore a Lost Hairy zone:

Hmm. I wonder whether that great humanit-hairian, Donald Trump, would mind parting with some of his spare hair if I could dig up some skullduggery by his political opponents? For example, much corruption has been reported in the Caribbean nation of Hairti — and it’s surely a lock that all of the Democratic Presidential contenders are involved. All I’d have to do is send my nosey friend, Fruity Giuliani, there on behalf of our Pres with a quid pro-boscis that the Pres of Hairti can’t ignore.

On second thought, if Agent Orange went to my head, my wife might think I’m losing it along with my hair. I might as well keep to my cage, skip my weekly trip to the clip joint, and try to console myself that, after all is said and done….

Now, if I can only convince my wife.

SONG SMITHS

By all accounts, SMITH has long been the most common surname in America. On the other hand, SMITH has been one of the least common surnames among popular songwriters. Take the example of when, in 1939, Mr. Jimmy Stewart Smith goes to Washington and becomes a sen-sation, rather than going to Tin Pan Alley to become a song-sation. We can surmise why mistermuse goes to Word Press in 2009 but doesn’t become a pun-sation; misterstewartsmith could’ve had A Wonderful Life acting like a songwriter in Hollywood musicals.

During the period with which I am most musically in tune (1920s-1950s), I can count on one hand the number of songsmiths named Smith whose compositions achieved contemporary hit status (much less, lasting status as standards). Compared to the percentage of Smiths in the overall (or, for that matter, the underwear) population, there were fewer Smiths of note in music than in the Hollywood Senate — which, for better or verse, leads us to the first of our handful of Smiths, Chris Smith, composer of….

Next, time to rise and shine with Billy Dawn Smith, composer of….

Next next, we turn to lyricist Harry Bache Smith for the words to this somber classic:

Speaking of serious stuff, Stuff Smith composed this wonderful ballad. It may not be your cup of tea, but I can say without fear of contradiction that It’s Wonderful:

We close with a song written by Dick Smith. Yes, THAT Dick Smith. If you don’t believe me, look him up and ask him.

 

 

I WANT TO BE ALONE

“Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone. –Paul Tillich, philosopher/theologian

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sept. 18 (1905) is the birthday of famed “I want to be alone” actress (and real-life recluse) Greta Garbo, who (unlike many movie stars) valued solitude over the celebrity spotlight:

Now, dear reader, you may not have a problem with “I want to be alone” — but, as Joel McCrae asked Veronica Lake (40 seconds into this film clip)….

So, when you stop and drink about it (unless you take Joel McCrea’s question literally), there’s no reason why you can’t be….

After all, even the Lone Ranger wasn’t really a Lone Ranger (heaven forbid that his faithful Indian companion Tonto was just along for the ride)….

That’s all for now, boys and girls. Hi ho Silver, away!

 

 

NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS

No news is good news, except in a newspaper. –Evan Esar

Sept. 11 is NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS DAY. This blog is not a newspaper, so today I will go with all the NO NEWS I know because I know NO NEWS is GOOD NEWS so far as NO NEWS being GOOD NEWS goes. Assuming you are with me so far, let’s see where in the world NO NEWS takes us:

1. No noticias

2. Icksnay ewsnay

3. Nao noticias

4. Nessuna notizia

5. Keine nachrichten

6. Pas de nouvelles

7. Brak wiadomosci

8. Habersiz kalmak

9. Nihil nuntium

How many of those “No news” languages do you think you recognized? Take a fun-guess. Remember, this is not a test, so….

Just to prove I’m not going to hog all the answers, here’s a clue to #2:

So much No News for now; let us revel in the Good News.

Modo vincis, modo vinceris.

“IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE, PLAY ON”

No doubt, the above words are familiar to you, but do you remember who penned them? If not, may I suggest that you….

Friends, Romans, countrymen: now that your Shakespeare is refreshed, are you in the mood for some food music? If so, let’s meat our next song:

No potatoes? That will never do, especially if you’re short of moolah and longing for love….

That’s all for now. If you didn’t dig the chow, don’t have a cow. I love you anyhow.

MAC

No, this isn’t a post about the Apple of your eye(s), computer-wise — nor is this a post about a Mac big enough to contribute to a heart attack (calories/cholesterol-wise). This is about a guy who’s the apple of my eye, versatile actor-wise:

Today being MacMurray‘s birthday (August 30, 1908), I thought I’d honor the memory of perhaps the most underrated movie star of Hollywood’s Golden Era, starting with the above clip and continuing with the trailer for one of the most underrated films of his era:

Next, when it comes to film noir, it doesn’t get any better than this all-time classic with a powerhouse cast (including MacMurray, who was reluctant to play the role), director (Billy Wilder), and screenwriter (Raymond Chandler), from the James M. Cain novel:

Speaking of “Double” and classic films, how about two Macs (including Shirley MacLaine) in one of my all-time favorites….

We end with this from near the start of Fred’s career (before becoming an actor):

 

JUST BECAUSE

Four days after RIDE THE WIND DAY comes JUST BECAUSE DAY. Because Aug. 27 is JUST BECAUSE DAY — and because some solid* would-be-gone-with-the wind songs didn’t make my RIDE THE WIND DAY post — today conveniently provides an excuse to rewind and take up where I left off. As it happens, I have just the appropriate song:

Of all the wind songs I failed to include in my last post, perhaps I blew it the most with….

If you’re feeling a bit low from on high,
don’t end up on the downside like this guy….

Be like Ella. Tell a fella….

*Swing era slang for great, wonderful, sensational, far-out