Pg. 17, #13

His room was high-ceilinged and ornately furnished. He noticed a television set built into the wall in such a way that it could be viewed from the bed and he smiled tiredly on seeing it — he would have to watch it sometime, to see how their reception compared to that on Anthea. And it would be amusing to see some of the shows again. He had always liked the Westerns, even though the quiz programmes and the Sunday ‘educational’ shows had provided his staff at home with most of the information that he had memorized. He had not seen a television show in . . . how long had the trip taken? . . . four months. And he had been on earth two months, getting money, studying the disease germs, studying the food and water, perfecting his accent, reading the newspapers, preparing himself for the critical interview with Farnsworth.

*

‘Jesus,’ Don said, rattling the paper. ‘At the Tropical Drive-in they’re showing five John Wayne movies! Who in hell could sit through five John Waynes, for Christ sake?’

*

If I have, I’ve turned it off. Not out of bitterness. I do that with any picture I’ve ever worked on. When they’re over, they’re done. I’m not interested in them any longer.

*

‘Time to be getting back to the studio,’ Chatsworth announced, rising and stretching himself. ‘Dr. Bergmann’s coming along with us, Sandy, Have that Rosemary Lee picture run for him, will you? What the hell’s it called?”

*

‘Even if I described it to you, I doubt if you’d understand what it is.’

*

“We can’t go on calling the child number seven behind his back. It’s most improper and injurious.”

*

After the Three Stooges the curtains came to, but then when they put the next picture on they stuck halfway. We all cheered and then The Bull got this long pole and pulled back the curtains with it. Not that it mattered much because this that they put on now was a travel thing about Paris or something, and this kid in front of me started flicking little silver paper pellets into the light to make it sparkle. The Bull saw him and clonked him on the nut with this long curtain pole and gave him his first warning. Good job for us The Bull was after these seats and Chinese Charlie was up at the front else we’d’ve been out three week since.

*

You know the drill. Seven bits of seven page seventeens.

The Man Who Fell to Earth, by Walter Tevis; The Shark Infested Custard, by Charles Willeford; Backstory 4, edited by Patrick McGilligan; interview with Robert Benton by Christian Keithley; Prater Violet, by Christopher Isherwood; A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole; Darkness Visible by William Golding; The Tuppenny Rush, by Norman Smithson, from the collection Best Movie Stories, edited by Guy Slater

4 Responses to “Pg. 17, #13”

  1. Grant Skene Says:

    Not sure why, but I have tried to “like” several of your posts lately, but WordPress won’t let me. Editorial interference?

    5 John Waynes I’d happily sit through:
    Stagecoach
    Red River
    The Searchers (even though there’s lots in that movie that makes me cringe)
    Rio Bravo
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (although everybody is way too old)

    I’m still waiting to see El Dorado. Robert Mitchum with John Wayne. Gotta know what that’s like.

  2. Wayne and Mitchum and Caan are fine together, but the film is a bit thin.

    I guess we could say with Liberty Valance, Ford is only doing what Spike Lee has done in Da 5 Bloods, keeping the actors the same age in flashbacks. See also The Spider’s Stratagem.

    I think WordPress is experiencing some glitches at the moment. Do you use Chrome?

  3. Grant Skene Says:

    Yes, I usually use Chrome to view the blog. On my smartphone.

  4. As the blog’s owner I have a little bell symbol I can click on to see recent comments: that’s stopped working. And today I had some trouble saving posts. I hope the thing’s not collapsing under me.

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