Sunday, May 31, 2009

A gal with a gallon

My wife led me to this article from a London newspaper about a woman obsessed with breast enhancement:

THIS is Sheyla Hershey, the proud owner of the biggest boob job on the planet. Her bra-size is 38KKK.

Yes, that was three K's.

The 28-year-old American has paid £40,000 for nine painful boob operations to look like this. Sheyla, whose breasts now contain a GALLON of silicone, says she is delighted with her impressive assets.

Now doctors have warned Sheyla Hershey that her breasts are in danger of exploding. Surgeons in Texas refused to operate when Sheyla reached 34FFF, so she returned to her native Brazil where there is no limit on implant size.

She said: "I don't think I have anything to worry about. To me big is beautiful."

Hershey's mission to be the proud owner of the biggest breasts in the world started when her British boyfriend paid for her first boob job. But when she became addicted to possessing huge breasts and obsessed with boob job procedures he walked out on her.

She said: "I loved him very much but I had to leave him to follow my dream."

Copyright © 2009

OK, "follow my dream." Hmmm. So having boobs bigger than your head is your dream? Wow, you need to take some better sleep aids.

I have met women who are more obsessed than men with boobs. Guys like boobs, but if other men are the same as me they accept them for their different sizes and shapes. What we usually see are breasts propped up by underwiring and push-ups. When set loose they present a different picture. Err, check that. That is unless they're full of a gallon of silicone.

When I looked around I found all sorts of pictures of women with fakes, proud of their boobs that are rock solid, that don't move when taken from the protective and shaping cover of a bra. That's probably what bothers me the most, the unreality of enhanced breasts. I'd rather see a woman with small natural breasts than one with fake Double D's.

I think the enhancements should be done if a woman has had a mastectomy or has a deformity. Like the tattoos that some young women sport, this sort of freakish breast enhancement is a vanity that escapes my logical mind.


Friday, May 29, 2009

The old neighborhood

From age 12 to 19 I lived in a part of Salt Lake County called East Millcreek. We had a junior high school just across the street, and a high school three blocks east of us. We were able to look out our window and see beautiful Mt. Olympus.

The street directly east of me had some really different types. Mrs. Alvin, for instance, lived with her son, Gary. We never saw Mrs. Alvin. There didn't appear to be a Mr. Alvin, and Gary was her lifeline to the outside. In retrospect she might have been agoraphobic, wouldn't leave the house. She was totally paranoid, that's for sure. She called the cops nearly every day. She turned in the neighbors across her fence for having nude swimming parties. They were a Mormon family with 10 kids; the dad wore a bowtie even when he was mowing the lawn. The cops got to the point where they wouldn't respond to her calls. Lord knows what would have come of it if something really bad happened to her. I walked my dog every day, in the summer twice a day. I was walking Kim and went by the Alvin house, which was all shut up as usual. A hot summer day and she had all her windows closed, drapes drawn. It got up to 100 degrees sometimes and I don't know how anyone stood it in those days without air conditioning. I saw a playing card on the ground in the gutter in front of her house, so I picked it up, noticed it was the ten of diamonds and stuck it in my pocket. I was 13 years old, and 13 year old kids do stuff like that. I was halfway up the street by the high school when a motorbike pulled up alongside me. "Hey, kid," said Gary Alvin, "what did you pick up in front of my house?" I reached in my pocket and pulled out the playing card. He studied it for a few seconds and without saying anything threw it on the street and took off on his motorbike. When I had looked at the house I saw the drapes drawn, but apparently Mrs. Alvin had some sort of way of looking out so you couldn't see her. I guess it was too much for her and she had to send her boy to see what I'd found in her gutter.

Directly behind me lived a family, the Checkmans, who had three kids of varying degrees of homeliness and a mom and dad who didn't drive. To live in suburban Salt Lake in the early 1960s and not drive a car was thought to be completely strange. Everyone had a car. Everyone had two cars! Only total oddballs didn't have a car. The father, Victor, walked several blocks to a bus stop to go to his job. The mom worked as a school secretary and the principal would pick her up for work and deliver her home. When they went shopping they had a shopping cart in their otherwise unused carport and they would push it up a steep hill and walk several blocks to a grocery store. Later in life what I once thought odd I realized was probably the healthiest thing anyone could do. They walked a lot and they both lived to be very old. When the youngest child got driving age she got a driver's license and bought a car. She became the designated driver for the family.

There was a house with a couple whose names I didn't know. The man looked like he tipped the scales at 250 pounds. He was very fat. He drove a small Ford Falcon and sometimes he struggled to get in and out of the car. His wife, on the other hand, was a beautiful woman, tall and shapely. Those were the days of tight skirts, high heels, garters and nylons. What seems exotic now was once everyday wear. When the lady came home from work one day my buddy Paul and I were riding our bicycles in circles, a couple of horny teenagers waiting to catch a glimpse of her.

She got out of her car and her skirt rode up to her thighs, exposing her stocking tops and garters. Paul let out a loud wolf whistle. She got out of the car, pulling down her skirt. "Well, I guess," she laughed.

A few doors down from her was the lady who was the biggest scandal of the neighborhood. She was a beautiful woman who looked to be about 30, and she lived with her mother. The daughter, Linda, drove a brand new 1962 Thunderbird, aqua in color, with a white top. She didn't appear to work and the buzz on the block was she was a high-priced hooker. Sometimes Paul and I would ride our bikes by her place and she'd wave at us as she got into her car. Wherever she went, it was always after dinner time.

Sometimes we'd see cop cars; police officers on shift would stop at her house. Once we saw her greeting a cop in a friendly fashion while he stepped through her front door. The rumor was that she was entertaining the cops, that they were dropping in to get a piece, probably what she paid to stay out of jail. There was all sorts of talk about her but no one had any proof of anything. In 1970 a friend of mine came to town and stayed in an upscale downtown hotel. My wife and I visited him. We were talking at 1:00 in the morning when there was a knock on the door. He opened it and I saw Linda standing in the doorway. "Did you call for a girl?" she said. Tom was flabbergasted and stood with his mouth open. Linda looked over and saw me with Sally, sitting on the bed. Linda instantly recognized me. "My mistake," she said, and walked off. I told Tom, "Well, that solves a mystery for me," and explained it to him. "Gee," he said. "I don't know what I would have done if you and Sally hadn't been here. I might have invited her in."

Nowadays a friend of mine lives on that street, and I often wonder if anyone half as interesting as my old neighbors live there now.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, good white people go to heaven..."

Sleestak, at Lady, That's My Skull, a blog not unlike this one but more comics oriented, has a grouping of fascinating illustrations from a book called Bible Readings For the Home. It's one of those mass-produced books from the 1950s, attempting to show the Bible's relevance to "modern" society.

In the 1950s we weren't used to seeing pictures of other races on TV, in textbooks or most other literature, for that matter. Only Northern Europeans need apply for heaven, according to the not-so-subtle message of Bible Readings. It must've been popular in Ku Klux Klan homes.

The question I ask is, what did Jesus look like? We have these sort of sanitized Caucasian versions of a man who would have had origins in the middle East, and probably looked a lot like the people around him, not like someone out of Central Casting.

So if you get to heaven and you want to look up Jesus (if he's available, that is, and not presiding over his posse of all-white angels) then he better be wearing a name tag, because if you're looking for the popular version you might not recognize him.

I've written about this a couple of times. a crass attempt to commercialize some peoples' idea of Jesus, and other references to the popular image of Jesus.

Heaven seems to be a place that has different meaning for different people. The version in Bible Readings For the Home seems to be the popular version. Beautiful, placid, white buildings, white people in white robes. Everything sparkling in its whiteness! No global warming, no bad weather--so where'd that rainbow come from?--no crabgrass in the lawn. That'd be heaven to some.

Me, I'd have to have a library with every book I've ever wanted to read. It'd have every movie I've ever wanted to see, or at least all my old favorites, on DVD, which means I'd have to have a DVD player. What about transportation? Are you we stuck in that white city with its gleaming buildings without a bus system, subway, or taxis? And how do we pay for such conveyances, or will we need to have a (gag, choke) job?

Are there homeless people in heaven, or do we all get an apartment?

Whew. So many questions, so few answers.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dad and Aunt Jemima

My father died in 1967 at age 47. Over time memories tend to dissipate like the smoke from his ever-present cigarettes. I've spent the last couple of days thinking of him, reconstituting some memories.

From 1949 to 1956 Dad was a salesman for the Quaker Oats Company, which at the time also owned the brands Ken-L Ration dog food and Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix. Dad's territory included all of the Intermountain states, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, a huge area but sparsely populated.

And it was also racially homogeneous. Not a lot of African-Americans lived in this area, maybe 1/10 of 1% of the population. So it was a surprise when the company hooked Dad up with a black lady who portrayed Aunt Jemima. I never learned her real name. She wore the Mammy dress and the kerchief on top, just like in the Aunt Jemima picture on the package. One day I went to my second grade class and we had a special assembly. Dad had set up a performance for us kids. Aunt Jemima sang to us. She had a clear voice, and she sang a cappella. The song I can remember her singing is, "When the red-red robin goes bob-bob-bobbin' along..."

Dad took Aunt Jemima to various functions, like the Fourth of July breakfast in a nearby park, where they made pancakes for anyone who showed up. It was always a big deal. It probably killed him to be seen with a black person. Dad was as racist as any white guy in the 1950s. Utah had hardly any black population, but it didn't make people less prejudiced. Maybe more so. Dad was as much a bigot as the times afforded, a product of that era. In the 1960s he was puzzled by the Civil Rights movement. "What do those people want?" he used to ask, rhetorically, because he didn't care what they wanted. I wish I'd had the presence of mind or enough knowledge of the situation to tell him, "They want what you want."

Dad in front of his own office, circa 1966 or 1967.

Dad died in a bad year for Civil Rights, 1967, with riots in several cities. It might have fed his bigotry, but I've always thought that had he lived another 30 years or more he would have seen that his prejudices no longer fit. His racism, like the image of Aunt Jemima in the 1950s, was no longer viable in a diverse and changing population.

Monday, May 25, 2009

More hubba-hubba

In yesterday's post I said that "hubba-hubba" wasn't being used any more. A guy would give a wolf whistle when a pretty chick walked by, or he'd say, "Hubba-hubba!" Man, sexual harassment laws sure took care of that sort of male behavior! But I don't care. Here are some females I believe deserve a "hubba-hubba!"

Hubba-hubba to delightful Debbie Reynolds, who'll have you swinging through trees...

Hubba-hubba to the blonde with the bullet and the bag of tricks...

Hubba-hubba to the Harlem Table Eater's girlfriend...

Hubba-hubba to Miss Exotica 1962...

Hubba-hubba to Miss Eyeful, the high-heeled honey...

Hubba-hubba to the girl with the shiny nose who wants to be flattered...

Hubba-hubba to the flower girls whose mom disapproves of coarse masculine displays, like guys yelling "Hubba-hubba!" at her daughters...

Hubba-hubba to the sexy girl in the next apartment...

Hubba-hubba to Heidi Klum and her painted swimsuit...

More hubba-hubbas some other time.


Sunday, May 24, 2009


I found this ad for a Hubba-Hubba Wallet in a 1948 comic.

Does anyone use the term "hubba-hubba" anymore? As a kid on occasion I'd hear a guy say "hubba-hubba!" when he saw a good looking girl, but I don't remember ever saying it. It sounds like an antique expression now. That's precisely why I think it should be preserved. I believe I'll start saying "hubba-hubba!" when confronted with a fine-looking woman. To that end I'll show you some of my current hubba-hubba moments:

A hubba-hubba to the lithesome, lovely Audrey...

A hubba-hubba to those who wait for the fleet to sail in...

A hubba-hubba to the long-stemmed girls...

A hubba-hubba to big eyed girls who do their own sewing...

Blow me down, Blondie! A hubba-hubba to nautically naughty Debbie Harry...

A hubba-hubba to charming women in shorts and sandals...

A hubba-hubba to the sophisticated Cosmo girl...

A hubba-hubba to cowgirls and their horses...

I'll have more hubba-hubbas next time.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My one night stand with a dog

Sally just came back from 10 days in Pennsylvania visiting our son and his family. She helped him by taking care of his two children while he went for his class at nearby Slippery Rock University. The plan was that Sally would fly in Thursday night; I'd pick her up at 10:30 p.m.

The other part of the plan was that I'd take her and her luggage to her chiropractor's house, where she'd do a pet sitting job over the Memorial Day weekend. Are you with me so far? This is where the plan came unraveled. When Sally got to the Pittsburgh airport her flight to Chicago was seriously delayed out of Tampa because of lightning. Sally wouldn't be able to make her connection to Salt Lake. The only alternative was to go back to David's house and stay another night, flying out the next morning. I got this in a phone call from her and I was nodding and thinking, "Yeah, one more night, sure. Yeah." Then she said, "You'll have to fill in for me at Dr. Cindy's house tonight."

Whuh-oh. Dr. Cindy has an old Sheltie, Haley. When Sally first started pet sitting Haley she was very shy, but she was a lot younger. Haley has had her health issues lately. I got cleared to pick up the house keys from Dr. Cindy's next door neighbor, Jeannie. She fed Haley earlier in the day. I walked in the house and Haley stood looking at me. Just looking. There was a definite look to her looking, too. It was, "Who are you and why are you in my house?" She didn't bark, just went out the dog door into the yard. I turned on the TV and in a little while she came in, probably because she associated TV with Dr. Cindy. Then she stood there looking at me as if to say, "Why are you watching Cindy's TV?"

That night I slept on the couch. I'd taken my own pillow, my own blanket. I've had to do this for Sally a couple of times and I do not like to sleep in someone else's bed, so if they have a good couch I'll take it. Cindy had covered the couch with an old sheet in case Haley decided to lie on it. At 2:30 a.m. I woke up to see Haley standing in the dark looking at me. "Hi, Haley," I said. I held out my hand so she could take a sniff, although she could have been up close smelling me while I was sleeping. Even in the dark I could tell from her stare she was thinking, "What are you doing on my couch?"

I went back to sleep. I woke up at 4:30 for a bathroom break, but didn't see Haley. As I approached the bedroom I saw she was standing by her doggie bed staring at me. "Why are you going in Cindy's bathroom?"

The above picture is of my own Sheltie, Kim, taken in 1966 when she was 10 years old. I've never owned a dog since. Kim was great, and she was extremely smart. The look she's giving whoever took the Polaroid of her is the same one Haley was giving me. "Why are you shooting off a bright light in my face?"

At 7:00 a.m., which is the time Cindy had indicated was Haley's feeding time, Haley was standing right in front of me looking at me. She was beaming telepathy at me. "Feed me. Feed me." I fed her, and left after a short while. I picked up Sally at the airport at 1:30 p.m., took her to Dr. Cindy's house, told her I'd be back at 5:00 so we could go to dinner. When I walked up Cindy's walk at 5:00 and Sally opened the door Haley rushed out at me barking ferociously. Whatever patience she had had with me while I was her roommate the night before was exhausted and suddenly I was a threat. She was probably thinking, "I've got Sally here now, so GO AWAY."

Later on Sally told me, "I guess you're my back up in case I have a problem getting to one of these jobs." I felt a cold shiver travel down my spine. "Yeah, sure." I said, hiding the terror that gripped me. Staying in other peoples' houses overnight, especially when the people have no food in their refrigerator and apparently live on vitamin supplements and herbs (oh yeah, and one jar of Spanish olives) is not my idea of a good night, but I'll be there for Sally if she needs me. I guess it's not so bad to be Plan B if it isn't more than a one night stand with a dog.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ginnifer goes naughtier

Ginnifer Goodwin is an attractive and talented young actress who plays Margene, the junior wife on HBO's Big Love. Apparently not content with her offbeat, yet wholesome, image from that show, she's decided to change her persona. Or at least for the purposes of this photo shoot for the June 2009 W Magazine, just out. Opening my mailbox to see this had my eyeballs bouncing all over the place. I was very surprised to see little Margene all tarted up!

Is it a female fantasy to sometimes be the bad girl, out with a couple of dangerous looking guys? In one of the pictures the guys are in each others' arms. Hmmm.

It's a fantasy for guys to be with sexy chicks like Ginnifer, but speaking only for myself, I usually don't include another guy in the dream, and if I did, I wouldn't be hugging him.

This sort of slutty stuff started appearing in the '80s. I noticed it on MTV and the hard rock videos my son was watching. There was a time when this sort of photo layout wouldn't be seen except in specialty publications sold in Times Square or under the counter in the rest of America. It was seen as, if not pornography, something dangerously exotic, something kinky. Nowadays anything goes.

Well, Ginnifer's not really a slut, and this is just a fashion photo shoot for a trendy fashion magazine so Ginni, I forgive you. I still want to see you on Big Love, sweety, but not in pantyhose with a big run.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The unexpected houseguest

Monday I was working outside, and it was one of those days where I had to shuttle between what I was doing and the tool chest in my basement, looking for the right wrench.

I came in on one of those trips only to see a neighborhood cat, a gray tabby, strolling out of my bedroom. The open door to my back deck had been an irresistible invitation to this curious kitty. When he saw me he panicked. I was between him and the door so he dashed down the stairs and into my basement. I looked for him but didn't see him. I figured I'd just leave the back door open and he'd come up, see it was OK to go out and he'd leave.

I never saw him go out, so I wasn't sure he was clear of the house. I eventually got my project done and closed the sliding glass door. That night I conducted several searches of the basement. If you're like me you have a whole bunch of stuff in your basement, and hundreds of places for a cat to hide.

Here's what I learned about cats from a feline expert on National Public Radio. When a cat is scared or feels threatened it will head for the nearest safe-looking spot. It might be under a bush or under your house. His instinct is telling him he's in danger and the way he handles it is to become completely still and quiet so an enemy can't find him. You can walk up and down the street calling for Murgatroyd, when Murgatroyd is under the bush by your back door.

So late last night I was getting ready for bed when I walked into the upstairs hallway and there stood the tabby, who immediately took off again for the basement. This time I got smart. I figured he'd been in my house without food or water for over 24 hours. I took a dish of cat food downstairs. Sure enough, he had his head stuck out of a space, less than 12", from the roof of my downstairs bathroom to the basement ceiling. Aha. If I was a cat that's where I'd want to hide, all right. I held the dish up to his nose and as soon as he smelled it he was out of his hidey-hole, down the wall and following me to the door. I put the dish down and as soon as he stuck his muzzle in it I went back in and closed the door.

Now the problem is since he'd been in the house all those hours he's peed and pooped, and if it's in that 12" space where I can't get, well...I guess I'll find out when I start smelling something in my basement.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What I Saw and when I Saw it

A few months ago a couple of local boys, 14 and 15 years old, talked on the phone. The 14 year old's mom listened in on an extension as the boys discussed a plot to kidnap, torture and kill some people they knew. The mom was alarmed enough to notify police, and the boys were arrested.

The teens allegedly told police they wanted to emulate the Saw movies, make a name for themselves.

Not so long ago a judge released the 15 year old. The lawyer for the 14 year old said the conversation was just goofing off between friends, that they had no way to actually commit the crimes they were discussing, or to lure anyone to a spot in which to kill them.

The mom who turned in her son and his friend said her son is a troubled kid who has had problems before. Who'd know better than the kid's mom? No one seems to be taking any chances and he's still in juvie.

After this story broke I was curious about the Saw movies. I had never seen them but I'd heard some things about them...things that made me not want to see them. This past Sunday afternoon the Sci-Fi Channel showed Saw and Saw II. Fearnet has Saw III on the Comcast On Demand menu. I decided to satisfy my curiosity about their Columbine-style effect on the two teenage boys. I'd watch as much of the movies as I thought I could stand. I watched both Saw movies on Sci-Fi. I believe they were edited in the goriest spots ( a notice at the first of the movie said it was "edited for time and for content"). I turned off Fearnet's Saw III, which apparently was not edited for content, after 15 minutes. Too much sadism, too much gore.

Saw has a plot, outrageous though it is. There is a story, there is a mystery that kept me guessing. When it was over I didn't feel elevated in any way. Saw II is worse, and the third picture is even gorier. I understand from reviews that Saw IV is gorier still and that appears to be the fate of Saw V.

It's the way of Hollywood to take something successful, even something abhorrent like Saw, and then remake it endlessly in its search for profits, pandering to the lowest common denominator of customers. Just think: they made so many Friday the 13th movies they stopped numbering them, just remade the first one as Friday the 13th, proof that there aren't any new ideas.*

So back to the boys on the phone. In the Saw movies the murder plots were completely contrived and unrealistic. They looked expensive to produce and if it were real life there'd be no guarantee any of them would work. The killer knows a lot about his victims and where does he get his information? We're left with an almost supernatural sense of evil power, but the killer in the first movies, played by Tobin Bell, is dying of a brain tumor. His murders are so overproduced you have to wonder how he--even with a female accomplice--has the time, money or strength to get them ready. How in the hell would the boys have gotten away with even the most rudimentary plot against their classmates? But that's not what law enforcement thinks. The boys think, therefore they are.

As hard as it is to think of kids plotting murder, they hadn't done anything. They had watched a movie that fired their morbid imaginations. They were two kids talking on a telephone, two immature minds regurgitating the tortures and plots of horror movies they're actually too young to see without adult accompaniment, fantasizing.

We're been taken over by brain police, who not only punish us for deeds but for thoughts and, despite the right of free speech, for what we say.

In good conscience I can't recommend that anyone without the maturity to handle them watch the Saw movies. And if you're mature enough to handle the movies you probably aren't interested anyway.

*CBS TV's Harper's Island is a Friday the !3th styled story, also an Agatha Christie ...And Then There Were None mystery, but at least they don't dwell morbidly on the murders and the sadism, which propels the Saw movies.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Abbott and Costello Meet the Monsters!

My friend Steve told me his five-year-old son has discovered Abbott and Costello. His favorite is Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein. It reminded me that my dad introduced me to A&C during a re-release of that movie in the early 1950s.

The more things change the more they stay the same. That a five-year-old could still enjoy Abbott and Costello so many years after they were popular shows that they had staying power. The team parlayed their 1930's vaudeville schtick into movies, then television, and were some of the most popular and highest paid entertainers of their era. According to some accounts they were making a million dollars a year during World War II, an incredible figure for the time.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, from 1948, works both as a comedy and as a movie with the Universal Monsters, Dracula, Wolfman, and Frankenstein's Monster. There really isn't much difference in the treatment of the material from one of Universal's classic monster movies; there are just more laughs. You get the idea it's a comedy when you see the animated titles.

Bela Lugosi played Dracula for only the second time in his career; Lon Chaney Jr. was, as always, Larry Talbot the Wolfman, and 6'6" character actor Glenn Strange was on his second go-round as the Monster. The Abbott and Costello bits that had their origins in early movies (particularly Hold That Ghost from 1942), are the sliding candle gag, and Lou's breathy fear scenes. In Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Lou's familiar yell, "Hey, Abbotttttttttttt," is replaced by, "Chick! Oh Chick!"

I watched the movie yesterday on DVD; it has great black and white cinematography. It evokes a noir atmosphere, which was all the thing in the late '40s.

It also has low budget effects. This sequence of Dracula appearing in crude animation takes about 2 seconds on screen, and you can see that it is animated over a still shot of the characters.

The castle where some of the action takes place is a painting with cut-outs for windows so the light can shine through.

The sets are backlot, from other movies, but used in a very creative way. I especially like the dock set, even if the burning of Frankenstein's Monster is obviously a dummy. In these days of CGI animation audiences expect more and they'd boo an effect like that, but I think it adds to the charm.

The movie ends with a joke about the Invisible Man, voiced by Vincent Price.

Watching the movie was both nostalgic and a lesson in how to make a comedy. In its time it was very popular. According to the documentary accompanying the movie, it was the second cheapest film Universal made that year, and the second highest grossing movie. It spawned a series of Abbott and Costello monster films, "...Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff," "...Meet the Invisible Man," "...Meet the Mummy," etc. that took to the end of their Universal contract in the 1950s.

There's a thin line between scares and laughs. For my friend, Steve I recommend he get his son The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, with Don Knotts, who takes Lou Costello's scared schtick to a new level. Can any actor nowadays even do the things that Abbott and Costello or Don Knotts could do in movies?

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is one of my all-time favorite movies, cheap sets, bad special effects notwithstanding, it's a classic.