Saturday, September 10, 2016

Dallas has a number of worthwhile bright spots to see. Remember the School Book Depository?

There’s big news today at Howdygram headquarters ... DAVID IS COMING FOR A VISIT! I’m referring, of course, to Sam’s younger brother, the one who lives in Scottsdale with his really sweet wife and an intensely talented dancing teenage daughter named Anna. David is visiting alone, however, which gives him some excellent time to hang out with Sam — almost four whole days, actually! — and enjoy all the bright spots of Dallas. And we really have a number of worthwhile bright spots to see! Sam and David will check out the Mesquite Championship Rodeo tonight, the JFK Museum, School Book Depository and essential dead president’s gift shop tomorrow, followed by Monday at the Fort Worth Stockyards to eat barbecue sandwiches on Texas toast and listen to mooing. Mooing is good. Trust me.

In the meantime we’re making things ready for our first official houseguest since David visited a year ago, such as a brand new bar of soap for the hall bathroom, fresh sheets on the bed in the guest room, David’s favorite lemonade in the fridge, and I think Sam remembered to buy bagels and cream cheese at Wal-Mart. We’re ready!

Know what? I’ve got five more swell free fonts for you tonight! Four are extremely pleasant and useful casual scripts, and I love “Hysteria Sans” for greeting cards because it’s nicely condensed so you can type HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNCLE PETE or I’M SORRY YOUR ASS IS IN INTENSIVE CARE in a large point size. I’ll include download links after the graphic in case you want to add any of these to your private collection. (You can thank me later.)

It’s not often that I get to recommend a movie that’s as weird as this one. It’s 1979’s Agatha, a mystery starring Vanessa Redgrave as Agatha Christie before she got old and Dustin Hoffman as American newspaper columnist Wally Stanton, her love interest. (Oy.)

This is probably the most idiotic, zero-chemistry screen pairing in cinema history ... not counting Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn in The Iron Petticoat from 1956. (Hope and Hepburn were so unwatchable that they forbid the studio from releasing the film until they were dead. True story.) The problem with Agatha, though, isn’t the performances, because Redgrave and Hoffman are always so damn good at what they do, but it’s how REALLY STUPID they look as a couple. Vanessa Redgrave is 5'11" without shoes; Dustin Hoffman is about 5'3". (He’s probably as tall as your typical 12-year-old boy.)
Anyhow, Agatha is a fictional account of mystery writer Agatha Christie’s real-life, never-explained 11-day disappearance in 1926 ... and the American reporter who tries to find her. You can watch it Sunday on TCM at 11 a.m. Central time. Be prepared to laugh in all the wrong places. (A lot of popcorn might help.)

And finally ... I’ve got a dead celebrity for you! Hugh O’Brian, the star of TV’s “The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp,” died Monday at 91.
“Wyatt Earp” was a top 10-rated series from 1955 to 1961 and was basically O’Brian’s only substantial claim to fame. Little-known fact: He spent hundreds of hours mastering the quick-draw. Thank God he didn’t play a proctologist on TV.

O’Brian also did a typical amount of acting aside from his weekly series, including “Playhouse 90” and “Desilu Playhouse,” teeny roles in movies like “Come Fly with Me,” “Paradise” and “The Shootist,” and guest spots on annoying shows like “Fantasy Island,” “The Love Boat” and “Murder, She Wrote,” in which obsolete actors are given one last shot to prove they’re still alive.

O’Brian got married for the first time in 2006 — at age 81 — to his long-time girlfriend Virginia Barber at Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills. Now THAT’S a genuine “what the fuck” moment. They couldn’t rent a church?

Thank you for reading this.

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