Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Waiting for the Birdie

I first heard Ogden Nash's "Waiting for
the Birdie" in Drama class at the
BOB. We did it as readers theater
along with Sandburg's "Jazz Fantasia"
and Benets "Stage Directions." What
a blast!

My son called and needed a poem for
rhetoric class. I know this is a
good one, but couldn't find it linked
on the web. So, I'll put it up.


Waiting for the Birdie
Ogden Nash

Some hate broccoli, some hate bacon,
I hate having my picture taken.
How can your family claim to love you
And then demand a picture of you?
The electric chair is a comfortless chair,
But I know an equally comfortless pair;
One is the dentist’s, my good sirs,
And the other is the photographer’s.
Oh, the fly in all domestic ointments
Is affectionate people who make appointments
To have your teeth filled left and right.
Or you face reproduced in black and white.
You open the door and you enter the studio,
And you feel less cheerio than nudio.
The hard light shines like seventy suns,
And you know your features are foolish ones.
The photographer says, Natural, please,
And you cross your knees and uncross your knees.
Like a duke in a high society chronicle
The camera glares at you through its monocle
And you feel ashamed of your best attire,
Your nose itches, your palms perspire,
Your muscles stiffen, and all the while
You smile and smile and smile and smile.
It’s over; you weakly grope for the door;
It’s not; the photographer wants one more.
And if this experience you survive,
Wait, just wait till the proofs arrive.
You look like a drawing by Thurber or Bab,
Or a gangster stretched on a marble slab.
And all your dear ones, including your wife,
Say There he is, that’s him to the life!
Some hate broccoli, some hate bacon,
But I hate having my picture taken.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rescue Dawn

Watched this in an old, cramped movie theater.
It was a great and spiffy place when it
was first built, but that was when I was
a boy. Now it is a bit worn and run down.
At one point the projector shifted and we
were only watching the top 1/3 of the picture.
Somebody must have complained to the manager,
because it got fixed.

The movie itself tells a fascinating story
of a navy pilot, Dieter Dengler, shot down
over Laos during the Vietnam War. He is
captured by the Pathet Lao and kept prisoner
for 5 or 6 months before he and other prisoners
stage a break and escape. After 20 some days
on the run, he is found by rescue choppers and
airlifted to safety.

The movie presents Dieter as a little goofy.
It's hard to picture him as a navy pilot
or a serious escape artist. Also, he doesn't
seem to have a real driving force in him
that led him to champion the prison break
against the supposed opposition of his
fellow POWs. About the only thing that
is pictured is his drive to fly, but that
won't carry the weight of the premise.
He does pray at one point while he is in
the jungle, but the plot point doesn't lead
any particular direction. I wondered why
his prayer was punctuated by pictures of
flowing, sunlit grain (rice?).

Good movie. Worth seeing. Not playing
the big theaters.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Moscow or Bust

Boy number 2 and I are heading to Moscow, Id
tomorrow. We're attending Trinity Fest
and the next week he starts classes at
New Saint Andrews College. Given the
demands of this school, his life will
be miserable. I envy him. He'll be
getting the education I wish I had
gotten. Please let him make the most
of it.