Tuesday, April 20, 2010

“It’s making me wait/It’s keeping me wai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ting…”

There’s no way I’m going to be able to fool anybody—I’m trying to be nonchalant because today is the day that I have to call in (around 2-4pm) to learn what time I’m expected at the hospital tomorrow. And the suspense is going to kill me…if the operation doesn’t.

A few people have asked me how long I’ll be in the hospital and I wish I had a definite answer for that but my stay will depend a lot on what the doc finds once he opens me up. When I glanced at a copy of my medical chart to see just exactly what he was planning to do there were a lot of big medical words that I couldn’t even begin to pronounce so I jokingly told the lady that was conducting the pre-op instructions that he was basically going to remove anything that isn’t nailed down. I picture this scenario:

DOCTOR: What’s that big organ-like thingy, pumping blood?

NURSE: That’s his heart, Doctor…

DOCTOR: Does he need that?

TIN MAN: Oh, if I only had a heart…

DOCTOR: Get that metal individual out of the operating theater!

Yes, I hear you snickering out there (“I’m surprised he has a heart…”). So help me, if any more of this foolishness continues I’ll turn this blog around and we’ll go right straight home… One positive note: when I do show up at the hospital to register I'm to do so at the "Pre-Op: Short Stay" cubicle so I've got my fingers crossed that it's truth in advertising.

In non-depressing non-medical news, Mom and I watched Thieves' Highway (1949) last night, continuing our unofficial Richard Conte festival. She gave it a big thumbs-up…except she became a bit frustrated a few times because Conte’s Nick Garcos seemed to be thick as a plank. (I reviewed Highway back in my halcyon Salon Blog days here.) We could probably spend a few more nights with The Best of Conte; she’s already seen The Blue Gardenia (1953) and I have Call Northside 777 (1948), Cry of the City (1948), Whirlpool (1949), The Big Combo (1955) and The Brothers Rico (1957) all on DVD (the last one I recorded off TCM) but those may have to wait until my return. (I wish The Sleeping City [1950] was available on disc—not to mention Under the Gun [1951].)

We had also wanted to squeeze in a viewing of All Through the Night (1941), which TCM ran last night beginning at 6pm…but of course, 11Alive’s “Happy Time” newscast was on opposite the Bogie flick, followed by The Brian Williams Show—so we deferred to my father’s insatiable jones for news. I told Mom not to worry; that I had Night on DVD—it would just take me a little time to find it. (I also reminded her that she’s already seen it, but she swears she doesn’t remember.) She also wants to see Larceny, Inc. (1942) since it was on yesterday but I told her I have that on disc, too. (That one’s a little easier to locate.)

In TV-on-DVD news, TVShowsOnDVD.com announces that The Lucy Show: The Official Second Season will be winging its way to stores on July 13th courtesy of CBS DVD-Paramount. These twenty-eight episodes from the famous redhead’s sophomore season feature the arrival of longtime co-star Gale Gordon as the irascible bank president Theodore J. Mooney. Sounds like a collection I’m going to have to start clipping coupons for…though in all honesty, I haven’t had an opportunity to look at Season One yet.

Okay, I have something to keep me occupied until 2pm—I’m working on a pair of essays that will appear at Edward Copeland on Film in May—so I’ll post an update later this afternoon once I get the word.

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Pam said...

As long as the doc isn't The Scarecrow in search of a brain.

Stacia said...

The "short stay" cubicle sounds very promising. Looks like you have less than 2 hours until you can call, so that's just enough time to get another movie in!

Scott said...

Few films have had the same effect on me as Thieves Highway. It was one of the first noirs I ever saw as a kid, and I probably watched it only because my dad owned a small trucking company, but it perfectly captured the feel of the business, from the long, dull, exhausting night hauls to the lot lizards and smooth-talking lowlifes who hang around truck stops, to the constant, jittery sense that you're a target from the moment you set the brakes, and you can't turn your back for an instant. And you can almost smell that pre-dawn produce market, with the mingled stench of diesel exhaust and overripe vegetables, big potholes filled with stagnant water, tiny rainbows reflecting from their oil slicked surfaces, and the big, humming overhead lights that threw everything into harsh contrast and made even the real world look black and white.

Thieves Highway was one of the first things I looked for once the home video revolution got rolling, and I was bitterly disappointed that I could never find it, although multiple copies of Bachelor Party were always available. Finally, I found a blurry, beaten-up VHS at Eddie Brandt's. Since it wasn't an official release you couldn't rent it, but if you paid a few bucks and joined a special club, you could "borrow" from his long list of gray market titles. Even in a soft, second- or third-generation dupe, the film still packed a wallop.

Anyway...I hope the operation goes quickly and smoothly, Ivan, and that you're home and back absorbing media in a trice or a nonce, whichever comes first (I've misplaced my conversion chart).