Mr. Wow Blog
Mr. Wow’s Most Memorable Thanksgiving–And Other Things (Fasten Your Seatbelts!)
12:51 pm | November 27, 2014

Author: Mr. Wow | Category: Point of View | Comments: 71

 

Honest, I'm having more than this for Thanksgiving dinner!

Honest, I’m having more than this for Thanksgiving dinner!

Mr. Wow’s Most Memorable Thanksgiving.  And other things. (Fasten Your SeatBelts!)

 

 

First off, and as usual—apologies for the long silence.  I am in good health, still married and doing my best to avoid over-indulging in my favorite over-indulgence.

   The latter is not easy despite a scrupulously dry house, and no desire to drink unless I am on the East Side of Manhattan, performing certain duties that I laughingly refer to as “work.”  By the time the day is over, I am like Susan Hayward in “I’ll Cry Tomorrow.”  (But without the fabulous red hair and the snarl.) 

 

If any of you keep up with a certain column, you have a pretty good idea what I am reading, watching and obsessing over.  I always hope you are keeping up with that, so as to know that I am alive and thinking.  More or less.

    Recent events in the news have been maddening in every way. Soul-numbing, terribly depressing and wildly agitating.  I try to avoid newspapers and (especially!) cable TV news, but like tequila, it just keeps pulling me back in. 

 

All I know is this—Hillary will never be president.  I’ll vote for her if she runs, because the Democrats have been too stupid to cultivate anybody else. Her self-sense of inevitability is hubris in the extreme. All politicians are egomaniacs, but Mrs. Clinton has taken it to a Mt. Everest level.  Frankly, all politicians revolt me.  And scare me.

 

I know this, too—policemen should be taught not only to “shoot to kill” but “shoot to wound and THEN kill–if you absolutely must.”  Anybody out there with a knee issue?  Know how painful that is?  Think of a bullet in your knee. I think that would stop most people.   But many policemen are as damaged as the criminals and so-called criminals they apprehend.  I don’t think most start out that way, but when your job requires dealing with the worst in people, all people become  one threatening person.

    My last encounter with men with badges occurred a couple of years ago. I was on my way home from an event.  I’d had a couple of glasses of white wine.  Definitely not drunk.  Or even slightly stoned.  But I couldn’t hold my pee.  I darted into a dark Hoboken alley and relieved myself.  Just as I was zipping up, a cop car appeared.  I was embarrassed, of course.  Then I was more than embarrassed.  These two big guys get out of the car, tugging at their guns.  I am five foot seven, 150 pounds.  They question me, and then call for backup.  It was slow night, I guess. 

   I did everything right, called them “sir” and kept my eyes lowered reverently.  They were super-intimidating. Thank God I wasn’t drunk.  One sloppy gesture might have gotten me killed, or at least roughed up.  Guns at the ready, and backup.  And I’m white.  (I had to go to court and pay a fine. Hoboken has a lot of this–drunken college kids pissing and causing trouble.  So, even though I was clearly a few years past college age, I got it. One shouldn’t piss in an alley. Or, tragically, steal cigars. )

 

Anyway—aside from all that Mrs. Lincoln (and Ebola and ISIS and a totally irresponsible press corps, who were hot for U.S. epidemics, terror attacks and Ferguson riots) the play that is my life is reasonably enjoyable.  

 

B. will prepare a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner.

    Now, I still scramble or fry eggs, make gigantic sloppy sandwiches (I use English muffins) open cans of soup, often throwing in leftovers to bulk it up, scoop ice cream into my own mouth.  But my cooking days are in the past.  I was never especially skillful, except for a good pasta sauce and some crazy rice medley—the rice thing I still do the day or day after Thanksgiving.

   But B. is so much better; inventive and patient.  In cooking and in all other ways.

 

Thanksgiving is just me and B.  We both prefer it that way.  B. was never terribly outgoing—except in his young dating years. (After hooking up with me he clearly had to make a choice: “Have fun or deal with this nutcase.”)  I was once much more given to going out but after a couple of decades of on and off depression, not to mention being…over 35, I am more comfortable not being so social.  Truth be told, even at the height of my sociability, I was always tense and concerned underneath, always worried about how I looked, if I was smart enough for my friends, what did people really think of me?   The answers were—I looked fine, I was more than smart enough, people really liked me.  Mostly.   And strangers or people I meet or know casually, adore me. (B. was ever amazed at how smoothly I engaged total strangers.)  The more one gets to know me, the less charming my insecurities and quirks are. 

 

As a child and young adolescent (till about 14) Thanksgiving was a big deal.  So were all holidays.

   

The family was big—my mother had six siblings, just for starters.  And most everybody was Italian.  My Aunt Jeannie married a strapping Nordic guy named Eric, they had two gorgeous sons, both of whom I lusted after even as a six and seven year old.  But Aunt Jeannie was crazy.  They were all crazy.  My Aunt Margot (genteel, pretentious crazy), Aunt Bertie (sloppy, crude Roseanne Barr crazy), Aunt Gloria (certifiably crazy), Uncle Bobby (he was just gay, but moody), Uncle Richard (basically an outcast and eventually a suicide.)  My mother struggled mightily to handle her neurosis and be what her family thought she should be—as if any of them were role models. (She was always being “accused” of being a lesbian, which was a riot because all her sisters had had female lovers at one point or another, and my poor mother suppressed herself tragically.)

    The genetic issue of my aunts–my cousins–were all fucked up one way or another. It was only a matter of time before this one or that one would end up dead or in jail or a junkie slut (my cousin Margo—lots of fun until she wasn’t.)   Only my cousin Stephen, though he had his issues, was close to sane and eventually escaped the lunacy and criminality (yes!) of his aunts, uncles and cousins.   He died young and I still think of him often. 

 

All this dysfunction had to spring from somewhere, right?  You bet.  My grandmother and grandfather, off the boat from the old country.  He was a miserable bastard who gave my grandmother as many children as possible—not counting the miscarriages—and was never faithful. 

    My grandmother was a very great beauty, and not dumb by any means, but to say she was constricted by her times would be a tragically un-funny understatement.

   In time, my grandmother lost her mind.  And she abandoned all her children.  Her husband could not, would not, care for them.  They were shipped off to a Catholic orphanage.  Brutal doesn’t begin to describe it.  Although all the aunts could tell tales full of horror but with a gallows humor only those who are survivors can manage.  (When my mother was compelled to leave me at a Catholic orphanage, as her mental issues overtook her, the worst for her was believing she was doing to me what her own parents had done to her. My experience was not pleasant—and surely set in place many future problems–but it was not brutal.)

    My grandmother became something of a phantom, popping up at this or that daughter’s home in wretched condition.  She would promise to behave, but havoc was her real name.  In time, only my mother would take her in.  Always to disastrous results. Of all the siblings, my mother seemed most desperate for love and approbation from both her parents. (She was the second oldest and had tremendous responsibility caring for and protecting the younger ones.)   

 

My grandmother rarely appeared at family gatherings—who knew where she was most of the time anyway?  But these get-togethers were always rife with vicious gossip (not even the children were exempt from being dissected by the so-called adults.) Arguments erupted out of festering ancient wounds. Inevitably somebody would end up weeping or storming out.  As Ava Gardner said:  “It’s not a party until there’s a drunken bitch crying on the floor.” 

 

For us kids—even if we knew our affectionate aunts were secretly referring to us as latent homosexuals or retards—it was all good dirty fun.  Sometimes the old photo albums would come out and it was great to see our aunts before their nose jobs or before they got so fat or too skinny.  And it was cool (for some of us) to see our sexy Uncle Bobby in swim trunks in endless beach shots.  (Last time I saw Bobby, many years ago, he was still smokin’!)

 

Sometimes we’d have to read between the lines of the veiled insults or salacious jokes.  Not me so much—I read a lot of Harold Robbins.  I knew from sleaze.  So, despite the incredible tension—or perhaps because of it—family gatherings were something to look forward to. 

 

And then came THE Thanksgiving.  The one that went down in family legend.  I’m sure if any of my aunts are still alive that evening is sometimes referred to. My cousins—even the ones in jail—I’m sure they remember.

 

Right away we knew we were in for something extra special.  My grandfather was there—not too unusual.  The icing on the crazy arrived with the appearance of my grandmother.  She looked reasonably crisp and well-groomed.  Wherever she’d been, her illness was in temporary pall.

 

Dinner was big, natch.  It was a huge crowd.  My grandparents stayed away from each other prior to sitting down.  This was okay, obviously.  Dinner was served.  My grandmother was rather amusing—for her.  My mother told many tales of her days working at the Paramount Theater and the Biltmore and Plaza hotels; all the stars she met, all the glamorous adventures.  She had a marvelous gift for storytelling and writing (and painting and sketching.)  

 

So far, so good.  Then my grandfather, with more than a few glasses of red wine in him, began to wax affectionate about his children.  “Your children? You fucking hypocrite” my granny muttered soto voce.   It was soto enough that my well-liquored grandpa didn’t notice.  They were at the opposite ends of the table—each at the head.  Fantastic, considering the history. 

 

Another glass of red, and then my grandfather made his almost fatal mistake.   “Oh, my daughters.  All my beautiful daughters.  If only Gloria was here.” 

 

Wrong.  My grandmother’s face became very Linda Blair-ish in the worst of “The Exorist.”    “Your daughters?  Your daughter?!  Gloria?!  Gloria isn’t here because of you, you filthy bastard!   You rapist.  You raped her just the way you raped me all those years.  You raped your own daughter!!!!!!”   And then she  grabbed the carving knife from what was left of the turkey and lunged for the old man.  And when I say lunged, she didn’t rush around the table to get at him.  She propelled herself onto the table, amongst the dishes and serving plates and glasses of wine and cups of coffee.  She bashed her knees into the stuffing and cranberry sauce.  Aunt Margot’s delicate plates were strewn and broken. Her lovely lace tablecloth was rent.  And it was only the strength of two of my grandmother’s son-in-laws that prevented her from plunging that knife into her ex-husband’s heart. Or other, more offensive parts of his anatomy. 

 

The day was over.  One of my uncles drove my grandmother back to…wherever.  My grandfather screamed that she was always a crazy bitch and if only he’d had enough courage he would have killed her years ago.

 

We kids were agog.  Thrilled.  It was so much better than a drive-in movie.

 

Later that night, my mother said, “Let me explain…”

 

“Mom, I know what rape is!” 

 

“Well…, you see…”

 

“So it’s true?”

 

“Yes.” 

 

“But how can you have anything to do with him?” 

 

“He’s my father. I can’t explain.  But, that’s why I always take your grandmother in.  You have no idea what her life was like.  I can’t abandon her, either. He drove her crazy.”

 

“And him?’

 

“He’s my father.  Don’t ask to me to make sense. I love them both.  I need my parents!”

 

“What about Gloria?”

 

“She’s gone.”

 

    We never spoke of it again.  But it was one more nod to what my mother’s life had been.  One more reason not to hate her; and not to find her issues beyond my understanding.   Understanding didn’t make life with her better for me.  But, I had been formed by my own trauma, and I was my own no-longer-innocent person by the time my mom and I finally lived together.  She was forever agonized by what she saw as her abandonment of me.  I was forever wondering why I was abandoned—and so often! (There were many temporary situations.)  Yet as each aspect of her experience was revealed to me, what could I say or think?  I was too smart to blame her.  Not smart enough to overcome it, however.  Life has been an endless effort to be loved and accepted—without giving much back.  Because I don’t really know how. 

 

You might think this is a terrible Thanksgiving memory.  And it is.  But it served me well in many ways.  Mostly in putting together another vital piece of the puzzle of my mother’s life.  She felt compelled to love a father who’d raped her sister. Because she needed love so much.

 

Later, I thought on it in regard to child abuse and rape how often women (and men) can’t face it, or report it, or confuse it with some perverted aspect of love and affection.  Or endure it, as, clearly, my grandmother did, until she couldn’t.  (I also wondered why the daughters seemed so much more hostile to their mother, rather than their father?  I suppose they felt if only she hadn’t disappeared…)

 

It was turkey with all the trimmings. 

 

 

NOW—here is my Thanksgiving today.  I am so thankful for my ongoing strange but interesting life…my good health…my beautiful, wonderful boyfriend (never gonna do the “husband” thing)…my few good friends who love me and are so patient with me…and all of you!  

 

And the cats. 

 

Love,

Mr. Wow

 

 

 

Comments:
  • Claudia

    Happy Thanksgiving, missed you, glad you’re back!

    1:03 pm | November 27, 2014
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Claudia–thank you.  Now, back to what you were doing.  Can’t be reading silly things today!

      1:19 pm | November 27, 2014
  • Susan

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mr W! 
    Dude, when are you going to write a book or a screen play?  You’ve got the talent and the material.  

    3:21 pm | November 27, 2014
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Susan–and the same to you.  As for anything else–eh, we’ve all got a story and I book in us, I think.  Motivationally, I just don’t see myself getting there.  Really, what I’m waiting for are comments from some of you:  “You think that was a bad family gathering? Here’s mine!” 

      5:16 pm | November 27, 2014
      • Susan

        Well I can’t touch your story (can’t imagine that anyone would be able to!) but my worst Thanksgiving was the time I woke up with a migraine on the day, had to cook everything whilst wearing an ice bag wrapped around my head, then spent the evening throwing up while everyone else was eating my food. Beyond the call of duty, I’d say.

        5:26 pm | November 27, 2014
        • Mr. Wow
          Mr. Wow

          Okay–working with a migraine is pretty bad.  Frankly, I’d have taken to bed and sent out for KFC. 

          As for family stories–mine was pretty epic, but I know of others that come close–even surpass (everybody brawling–not just one unhinged relative!)   And almost every holiday was entertainingly marred by arguing. It was intense but all I knew.   I suppose for all the issues between myself and my mom, it was something of a blessing that I was an only child and we lived alone (tho there was a sad, unsuccessful attempt at marriage along the way–I briefly had two step-brothers.) 

          Still, my mother’s hair-trigger temper, shared by almost all the rest of the family, played a big part in my distaste for raised voices and confrontations.  I sometimes wished I’d been a bit more “fiery”–but I never got it right. Or for the right reason.  And then I’d cry and apologize after.

          5:42 pm | November 27, 2014
          • BabySnooks

            I just love you sharing your reality which mirrors so many of ours. Some of us got lucky and grew up on the set of Ozzie and Harriet. The rest of us got George and Martha. 

            Happy belated gobble, gobble!

            9:18 am | December 12, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    The really tragic thing about that story is that there were no photos of sexy uncle Bobby.

    5:47 pm | November 27, 2014
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Oh, doctor–just as you cut that other terrible story from my brain, I knew you’d get to the heart of this one!

      Happy Thanksgiving and yes, since you asked–I would have. 




      5:51 pm | November 27, 2014
      • rick gould

        Was Uncle Bobby’s swimsuit as sexy as Cousin Sebastian’s?Inquiring minds want to know…or see!Happy Thanksgiving, Mr. W. Been enjoying your contributions to “the column.”Rick

        9:59 pm | November 27, 2014
        • Mr. Wow
          Mr. Wow

          Dear Rick–Uncle Bobby was much sexier than what we saw of cousin Sebastian. A “scandal to the jaybirds,” in fact.  I do wish I’d pilfered a couple of those beach pix.   The last time I saw him he drove me from Brooklyn, where one of my aunts lived, back into Manhattan. He was all tight tee-shirt and jeans and, well…what?  I mean I’d already learned that sort of thing ran in the family anyway!

          And a very Happy Thanksgiving.

          10:15 pm | November 27, 2014
  • maryburdt

    Something else to be thankful for, a Thanksgiving  story from Mr. Wow.  I am so happy you are back with us and all is well—relatively.Your story beats any one I ever experienced, although I do remember lots of arguing..Love to you and B., Mary

    10:13 pm | November 27, 2014
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Thank you, honey!  I hope this day was good.  At least I hope nobody was brandishing the carving knife!

      10:18 pm | November 27, 2014
  • Deirdre Cerasa

    Happy Thanksgiving and yikes, what a story. Makes me live you more. You are absolutely a survivor.

    10:47 pm | November 27, 2014
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Deirdre–Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.  Actually, it is my mother and her siblings–as neurotic as they all turned out–who were the real survivors. Maybe the way they survived wasn’t necessarily good for them, or for others, but with the hand they were dealt, they all did their best.  (Except for Richard, whom I’d met only a few times as a child–barely a shadow on my memory.)  After my mother’s death, I had to make the very painful decision that I  couldn’t keep in touch with my  surviving aunts and most of my cousins.  None of them meant to be toxic or bad influences, but they were.  And by that time, my own life was changing and it seemed I might actually do something with that life and the opportunities presented.  I knew “staying in touch” always meant something much more.  And I couldn’t give more.  My emotional resources were limited and I was always open to the distraction of seeking approval, not always wisely.

      I think of them all quite often.   There were good times, even during bad times.  It was family. 

      11:14 pm | November 27, 2014
  • Ann

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all from Australia (where we don’t actually celebrate the holiday but can appreciate the overeating and drinking),  I hope you have had a lovely day and enjoy a lazy weekend of leftovers and snoozing.

    Mr Wow, no matter how long an absence I always enjoy when you come back and give us a bit of love, you are never far from our thoughts, and there is always the other column where we can keep an eye on you. Take care and enjoy the holiday.

    5:05 am | November 28, 2014
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Ann–I am doing the leftovers tomorrow.  Two days running of turkey, etc, is a bit much.  I’m reading and sleeping late.  Bliss!   Hope you had a good T Day.

      11:01 am | November 28, 2014
  • Rho

    Glad you are back, Mr. Wow.

    8:50 am | November 28, 2014
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Thank you, Rho.  I hope you have been well?  Now we’re getting into the “let’s all be happy season.”  That can be a strain.

      10:59 am | November 28, 2014
      • Rho

        All is well, yes it’s happy season for all, mine begins first with Chanukah.

        2:34 pm | November 28, 2014
  • arcadiayarddog
    Jean

    Wow, Mr. Wow, I’m glad you and B found each other. We all need a refuge. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    8:52 am | November 28, 2014
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Jean.  And yes–I certainly would not be here now–on earth!–if not for B.

    10:57 am | November 28, 2014
  • lulu

    Another reason why we all wait with bated breath for a new post from our Mr. Wow!!! Holidays do bring out the best and worst in friends and family, however yours tops any I can think of. Regardless of what you think you have more than one book waiting to be written down. You have short stories, plays, screenplays and novels that deserve being shared not only here but with the world.

    My mind has raced envisioning your Thanksgiving with Grandfather and Grandmother. I even tried to cast all the ‘player’s with current actors and actresses. It would be a blockbuster that would become a yearly tradition for all to watch and be thankful for.

    Hugs to you and Mr. B – Tis the season to be jolly and grateful for your blog

    11:15 am | November 28, 2014
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Lulu–Happy Thanksgiving!  To be honest, I was reminded of that wild Thanksgiving after watching the overwrought “August: Osage County” the other night.

      I thought–oh, I bet many people think things like this never really happen!  And it was on my mind to post another Mr. W after such a long silence.   I want Zac Efron to play me–even tho he is older than 14, which was my age at the time.  I can write something in about being peculiarly mature-looking.  And  so hot!   

      12:47 pm | November 28, 2014
  • Mimi

    Well, your Thanksgiving sure beats any of mine. I’ve always spent the day with my parents and siblings (leaving my sons to the in-laws), but this year I went to the in-laws with the oldest! Yikes!!! 45 people watching football and stuffing faces was more than I could take. Never again, she says, knowing better. 

    1:54 pm | November 28, 2014
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Dear Mimi–Well, that sounds pretty traditional.  Although I have never been a football fan.  I prefer soccer–as much as I “prefer” any sport. 

    Happy Day After.


    3:02 pm | November 28, 2014
  • Haunted Lady
    Haunted Lady

    It’s so good to hear from you and I’m glad you and B have established your own Thanksgiving traditions. I’ve had some holidays that would never make a Norman Rockwell cover but nothing quite this dramatic. You’re lucky I don’t live closer or I’d adopt both of you and try to make the future better than the past. Now, after a nice dinner and visit with family and a nap, it’s time to bring out some movies to soothe the overfed soul. Arsenic and Old Lace appeals.

    4:20 pm | November 28, 2014
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Dear Haunted One…thanks! 

      I just watched “The Birds” on TCM–wow, lots of sexual tension in those scenes with Tippi and Suzanne Pleshette!    Later, I think I’ll pop “L’Avventura” in the DVD player.  Love Monica Viti!   And sometime before Monday I’ll watch “Gypsy” again.   Can never get enough of the last forty minutes, with the strippers and the Natalie/Roz Russell big show-down.  (And I don’t care if it’s not ALL Roz’s voice, she was terrif.  Much better than Midler in that TV abomination some years back.)

    8:41 pm | November 28, 2014
  • Haunted Lady
    Haunted Lady

    Dang, I wish I had Gypsy. I love that movie. I’m temporarily overwhelmed with holiday stuff and want to hide in a couple movies. I have an urge to watch Bringing Up Baby again, too.

    9:53 pm | November 28, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Rick,
    Thanks for the info – I watched “Boom!” and “Ash Wednesday” yesterday. Enjoyed them both.
    D.

    2:25 pm | November 30, 2014
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Doctor…

      Please, don’t tell me that until this year of our Lord 2014, you  had somehow avoided “Boom!” and “Ash Wednesday?”    Both have many pleasures, as you now know.  In the former I especially enjoy Madam’s five-minute coughing jag, punctuated by furious commands. (“Monkey off balcony!”) An incredible display of her latter-day style and an almost superhuman endurance.  

       As for “Ash Wednesday” I consider it essentially, the ravishing end of her real and formal feature film career.   Not that there aren’t enjoyable aspects of “The Driver’s Seat” “The Bluebird” “The Mirror Crack’d” “A Little Night Music” and “Young Toscanini”  but “AW” is a total throwback to the MGM soapers she often disdained–she’s slim, beautiful and when she rasies her voice above a conversational level, there’s a reason to do so (“Look, Mark, look at these breasts.  Aren’t they beautiful? What more do you neeed?!”)

      The one drawback to watching it now, on VHS or DVD is that Ray Charles’ version of “Ruby” was cut and replaced with something innocuous during ET’s make-out session with Helmut Berger.   I suppose it was a copyright matter.  But it’s a pity.  It fit the scene, and Taylor’s character so well (“They say, Ruby you’re like dream/Not always what you seem…”)
      “Night Watch” which was released shortly before “AsH” is also highly entertaining and fun in that old-fashioned big-studio mode. Taylor looks very good, tho her hair is epic in volume and her character is supposed to be neurotic, so we get all the pauses and stutters and odd emphasis on the random word.
        

      3:51 pm | November 30, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    I know. 
    It’s a scandal.
    (Please keep it to yourself.)

    4:04 pm | November 30, 2014
    • rick gould

      Glad you liked them, Daniel ; )  Hey there, Mr. W!

      I think there’s a lot of intentional humor in “Boom!” which shows Liz’ comedic flair. As when Burton starts reeling off that poem “Kubla Khan” and right in the middle you hear Taylor’s Phyllis Diller-esque “Whaaaaat?” Or ET putting on airs as “Sissy” dictating her memoirs to her secretary, but sounding like a Jersey trucker when barking out orders or insults!
      I also like the softer side of Liz in “Ash Wednesday.” Taylor is very appealing and maternal when dealing with her stick in the mud husband by phone and dippy daughter in person. And at 40, “Ash Wednesday” is proof that an understated, healthy, and disciplined Elizabeth Taylor would have aged beautifully. But the ET that we got was quite an entertaining ride!

      5:39 pm | November 30, 2014
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Rick–Taylor, if her life depended on it, could not have sustained the simplicity of “Ash Wednesday.”   When I saw it in 1973, I knew for sure I’d go see it again ten times because, as I said to a similarly obsessed friend, “This won’t last!”  (In era before VCR’s and such, what was a crazed fan to do but pay to see the damn thing over and over?)

    And of course she went straight from “Ash” to the psychotic looniness of “The Driver’s Seat.”  One of the reasons the movie fails is that her character’s choice of hairstyle and clothes and makeup are supposed to indicate her slipping into insanity.  But it just looks like another day with Liz–that’s how she got herself up on an average luncheon date.  Still, great fun: “When I diet, I diet.  When orgasm, I orgasm.  I never mix the cultures.”

    It was always a thrill when ET lost weight, stopped ratting her hair and left off the “Cleopatra” eye-extensions.   But plump, big-haired, heavily painted Liz was so much fun.  (When she was Mrs. Warner all her Halston evening gowns were cut so low and slit so high you could see all the way to Virginia. There was a great deal of exhibitionism in her nature, and not even getting fat stopped her wanting to show off the goods.  How could we not love her?)

    6:05 pm | November 30, 2014
    • BabySnooks

      And she was fat. To the point you had to do a double-take because you couldn’t believe it was her. But at times with the right hair and the right caftan, well, still stunning.

      9:22 am | December 12, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Just watched “Notorious”. 
    When it Claude Rains, it pours.

    10:31 am | December 1, 2014
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      “Notorious”–Ingrid at her sexy peak. 

      6:01 pm | December 1, 2014
    • rick gould

      Well, look what just popped up on YouTube recently… “The Driver’s Seat.”It’s not the most stellar copy, but then this isn’t the most stellar movie of Ms. Taylor’s career… But it is fascinating… just the scene of Lise/ET applying her eye makeup and popping those huge cat eyes makes this worth watching!Enjoy!Rickhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm2vOq7ydz8

      9:47 pm | December 4, 2014
  • rick gould

    Mr. W–Admiring your fine hand in the Liz Smith column today regarding Angie Dickinson. I always felt a lot of those late 50s/early 60s starlets didn’t become movie stars mainly because there were so few films being made anymore and they naturally migrated to television. 

    Angie has always sounded like a good egg and a class act. Nice to see an older star age naturally, too! And like Joan, I thought Angie became a better actress with age, also displaying her humorous side. 

    I do have to say my sister and I would smirk every week when Angie’s “Policewoman” would always go undercover as a go-go dancer, stripper, or hooker–how convenient for putting “Pepper” in some pretty sleazy get-ups! Ah the sexy ’70s!
    Rick

    11:35 am | December 1, 2014
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Rick–thank you.  Miss D. is one of the nicest people I have ever met in a shitty business.


      6:08 pm | December 1, 2014
  • Susan

    OMG Mr WOW. I laughed and I cried at your Thanksgiving story. I pass the ‘dysfunction crown’ to you. You beat the hell out of my story. My Tgiving story involved my younger brother who earlier in the month did not appear in court for stealing some Wonderbread products out of the back of a truck while it parked in a store parking lots. He never told my mother about it. Since things were apparently slow at the police station that Thanksgiving morning, the cops decided to carry out the arrest warrant. My brother was smoking pot in his room when the cops came a knockin’ at the door. They told him to come downstairs where they slapped the hand cuffs on him then placed him in the police car. I can still see my mother stop basting the turkey, take iff her apron and yell back to the remaining sibling to ‘watch the turkey, we will be back’.  ALWAYS THAT ELEPHANT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM!

    3:52 pm | December 1, 2014
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Dear Susan–to be honest, anything that involves cops, tops my story.  I like yours a lot!


    And don’t the police seem to have WAY too much time on their hands?   

    6:04 pm | December 1, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Hitchcock’s daughter said of “Notorious”, “What a perfect little movie.” (She was right.)

    6:46 pm | December 1, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    So great that when the TV announcer said, “Angie Dickinson, this is your life!” She said, “Oh no it’s not!” and walked out.
    So classy.

    6:51 pm | December 1, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Just read today’s column and discovered you’d also mentioned the great “This Is Your Life” moment. (Well, it’s so great, it can’t be mentioned enough.)
    And let’s not forget that other sexy TV detective: Anne Francis as “Honey West”. (What a looker!)

    6:58 pm | December 1, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Honey West (1965) Poster

    7:00 pm | December 1, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Anne Francis

    11:33 pm | December 1, 2014
  • Mr. Wow
    Mr. Wow

    Anne Francis–a goddess!!

    6:11 pm | December 2, 2014
  • Good God.  That would make a fantastic scene in a play.  William Faulkner has NOTHING on you.

    9:33 pm | December 4, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Elizabeth TaylorAt Risk from Bar Drunks …Ex-Bar Mgr Sues For Art12/9/2014 12:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFFExclusive Details

    1208-jesse-davis-elizabeth-taylor-the-abbey-youtube-01

    Elizabeth Taylor is headed to court — even though she’s very dead — because a famous gay club and its former employee are fighting over her iconic portrait.

    TMZ broke the story … The Abbey‘s former VIP manager Jesse Davis has been fighting the club to get back his painting of the late actress. He claims it was a personal gift from Taylor.

    Now Davis is suing The Abbey because he says it refuses to hand over the Liz portrait. In the docs, Davis says at least one wasted barfly took the piece off the wall and danced with it. He’s concerned the portrait — which he says is worth $75K — will be damaged.

    Davis does NOT mention wanting the portrait. Instead, his lawsuit only seeks financial compensation — including the value of the painting and then some.

    The Abbey had no comment about the lawsuit. 

    Like Liz said, “It’s not the having, it’s the getting.”

    10:06 am | December 9, 2014
  • rick gould

    Hi Mr Wow and company,Here’s a little Christmas treat: “All That Heaven Allows” has been posted on YouTube from its Criterion print, so it’s better than most YT posts!
    I love this subversive Douglas Sirk soap about small town social mores when widow Jane Wyman falls in love with her hunky young gardener, Rock Hudson. The two leads are quite subtle, especially for this era of movie acting. The color is beautiful and hard to believe they filmed this on the Universal backlot. Not many 50s flicks brought up Thoreau and opting out of the rat race!
    Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sPqBZmBy5I
    Rick

    8:56 am | December 10, 2014
    • rick gould

      And what a beautiful speaking voice Rock Hudson had! Him and William Holden, I could listen to them all day…though looking at them in their 1950s glory is frosting on the beefcake!Rick

      9:00 am | December 10, 2014
      • TheRudeDog

        Oooooffff.  I’ve had “Picnic” on heavy rotation for the past week.  Don’t care that Holden was far too old; don’t care that Novak was too old (gorgeous is gorgeous, after all); don’t care that Robertson was oddly-cast as a frat-boy puppy; DO care that everything about Russell and O’Connell was perfect and AM thankful that Holden got liquor written into his contract and that Henry Mancini provided the musical accompaniment to just about the sexiest 2-3 minutes I’ve ever seen on-screen!  That and “The Virgin Suicides” are my 2 favorite movies of all time.  {Sigh}

        9:51 am | December 10, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Thanks, Rick.
    I just watched “All That Heaven Allows”. Really enjoyed it.
    Please keep the great suggestions coming.
    D.

    10:35 pm | December 11, 2014
  • BabySnooks

    I await the annual Christmas photos. Hopefully I will remember to check in…

    9:25 am | December 12, 2014
  • Mimi

    I am also ready for the Christmas photos. Soon, please? I’ve had a fabulous and frustrating year and ‘Need ALittle Christmas, right this very minute’ NOW!!!!

    3:16 pm | December 14, 2014
  • Rho

    Happy Chanukah to all who celebrate.  First candle tonight.

    9:17 am | December 16, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Happy Chanukah, Rho!
    Best From,
    Danny

    3:02 pm | December 16, 2014
    • Rho

      Thank you.

      3:28 pm | December 16, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Best Lawsuit of the YearSell an OscarGo Directly to Court

    1216-robert-surtees-mptvimages
    And the Oscar goes to … some dude on eBay, and now the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is going after the relative of an actual winner.

    A guy named Robert Surtees won an Oscar in 1953 for cinematography for the “The Bad and the Beautiful.” Robert is now dead, and his daughter-in-law, Carol, apparently needs some cash, because she put the statue up on eBay and there was indeed a market … she sold it for $40,500.

    Here’s the problem … there are strings attached to winning an Oscar, one of them being that if the winner wants to sell it the Academy can step in and buy it for the very reasonable price of $10.

    So the Academy is pissed, and they’ve filed a lawsuit, not only asking for the sale price but they want a judge to give them the statue … of course, after the Academy ponies up the $10.

    7:22 pm | December 16, 2014
  • rick gould

    Did someone here say “We Need a Little Christmas”…right this very minute? Sorry it took a few weeks for my inspiration!Here’s Lucille Ball as Mame, sounding like Broderick Crawford gargling Scotch!Enjoy! Rickhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8eCAhAo12o

    10:48 am | December 19, 2014
  • rick gould

    Here’s another one for ya!If I am my family’s classic movie buff, my brother Tom is our classic TV buff! Tom watched an episode of The Twilight Zone starring Carol Burnett. I had NO idea Carol ever was in the zone! “Cavender is Coming” is definitely a riff/ripoff of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but it’s still fun to watch Burnett in the beginning of her great career. And it was driving me crazy as to who was playing her guardian angel, actor Jesse White…then it hit me…The Maytag Repairman! Also in bit parts are Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched and Ellie Mae from The Beverly Hillbillies. Enjoy ; ) Rick 
    http://www.hulu.com/watch/440840

    12:21 pm | December 19, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Once again I’d like to wish Mr. Wow, B. and all the Wow-ettes Happy Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanza and a very Happy Rockefeller.
    P.S. Merry Steenburgen!

    2:26 pm | December 23, 2014
  • Haunted Lady
    Haunted Lady

    Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukka and happy all other holidays. I hope you will all be healthy and well in the New Year.

    2:40 pm | December 23, 2014
  • lulu

    Listening to Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ – very apropos as is 80 here in the land where palm trees sway. Wishing Mr. Wow, B and all the Wowites the Merriest of Holidays including Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza or just merriment if you are a Bah Humbug. May the New Year bring us civility, common sense and compassion for all mankind. After all we are all related to one another whether we like it or not. Hugs

    4:58 pm | December 23, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Rick,
    I will now return the favour – I’ve just discovered that some comic masterpieces are living on youtube: “Malcolm”, “Reuben Reuben”, “Truly, Madly, Deeply” and “Montenegro”.
    Enjoy!
    D.

    8:49 pm | December 23, 2014
    • rick gould

      Thanks, Daniel– Check out this prolific poster on Daily Motion:  http://www.dailymotion.com/heapsoflovehide

      Over 900 flicks, including some 60s treasures like “Portrait in Black” with Lana Turner and “All the Fine Young Cannibals” with RJ and Natalie during round 1 of their togetherness!
      Cheers, Rick 

      1:53 pm | December 24, 2014
  • Rho

    Happy Holidays to all.

    9:02 am | December 24, 2014
  • TheRudeDog

    Wishing everyone all the best this season has to offer — family, friends, food and many other “f”s, too.  (Mr. W…why the animus from Liz regarding “happy holidays?”)  With all the crap going on in other parts of the world and the ether, too, I’m so glad we all have this place to which to flee when things get too rough.  We’re a bunch of terrific people and I thank our favorite Wow-zer for introducing us all and providing us a place to party!  My very warmest wishes to you all for a healthy and happy holiday season.  :-)

    1:04 pm | December 24, 2014
  • Daniel Sugar

    Thanks, Rick.

    5:59 pm | December 24, 2014
  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <br> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <dd> <dl> <dt> <em> <i> <img alt="" align="" border="" class="" height="" hspace="" longdesc="" vspace="" src="" style="" width=""> <ins datetime="" cite=""> <li> <ol> <p> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> <sub> <sup> <u> <ul>