In this household, we recognize the importance of preventative medicine. With that in mind, we betook ourselves to the doctor to get our annual flu shots. And came home with the flu.

me sicko

We didn’t get it from the shot. That’s a myth. No, we got it from the nice lady who was coughing and refusing to wear a mask because she said it was “just allergies.” Finally, they made her put one on. By then, she had spread the love and I’m betting every person in the waiting room that day is sick now.

You know you are feeling really lousy when the list of things you want to do reads like this:

  1. Nothing.
  2. Be unconscious.
  3. Take enough drugs to make me not care,
  4. Nothing.

My back isn’t good with the idea of spending a day in bed. It lodges a strong objection. The rest of me takes issue with Spine, which always  seems to have the final word. It doesn’t matter if the other body parts would prefer a few days of unconsciousness huddled under the down comforter.

“Why,” ask the Gasping Lungs, “Is it always your call? What makes you so special?”

Spine causes one of the trapezoid muscles to seize, forcing little shrieks of pain from Throat, which is sore.

“Okay, fine, I get it,” say the remainder of the body parts. There’s not going to be a happy compromise here.

As of this writing, no part of me feels good. Most of me feels terrible. I can’t think. My brain is jumbled. My stomach is heaving, probably from the decongestants and other stuff I’ve swallowed in an attempt to get some relief. My head hurts and I have a fever. How high? I don’t know. I lost the thermometer last year.

Is this really the flu? Maybe it’s just a really nasty cold. Whatever it is, I don’t like it.


The Raven (1935 film)

It’s that time of year again. When every television station digs into its archives and hauls out the hoariest old horror flicks they can find. They don’t have to be good or even scary. If they feature one of the “classic” horror movie actors — Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi (you can sing along because I’m sure you know the usual suspects) — it’s good to go.

After avoiding the movie for 50 years, I sat through an entire showing of The Raven. It stars the usual suspects: Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre. It features some very serious curtain-chewing by Vincent Price who can barely keep a straight face.Given the dialogue, I can well understand why. Boris Karloff is very Boris Karloff. And surprise! There’s a major role for a very youthful Jack Nicholson. Directed by (who else?) Roger Corman.

Jack Nicholson? In a B horror movie? Yesiree. I didn’t recognize him until Garry pointed him out. Then he made a Jack Nicholson face and I said, “OH yeah, that’s Jack.” He did a couple of films with Roger before Easy Rider catapulted him to fame and fortune.

Vincent’s recitation of Edgar Allen Poe‘s at the beginning of the film is (sorry about the pun) priceless. It’s an unintentionally funny poem anyhow, but Price’s recitation  is so camp I realized the movie was never intended to be taken seriously. This was being played for laughs.

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Sure enough, the movie is a comedy. So much so  I felt as if I were watching “Young Frankenstein.” It wasn’t belly laugh or guffaw funny, but it was funny. Kitsch, camp and way over-the-top.

If you haven’t seen it — on purpose or by omission — take a look. I assume it’s playing on more than one cable channel. Consult your guide. It is bound to be playing somewhere. It’s funny and no, it isn’t scary unless you are 3-years-old and extremely easily frightened.

I will not burden you with the plot. It’s irrelevant. Not to worry. It’s just a bunch of old horror movie stars doing their thing, playing parodies of themselves. And a historically interesting performance by a very early Jack Nicholson, long before he found his way to superstardom.

This is a movie that’s fun to watch and surprisingly entertaining.

For extra credit, try reciting “The Raven.” No laughing allowed. Ham it up as much as you can. I’d be surprised if you can come anywhere near Vincent Price’s classic performance. He was The Ham of Hams. I don’t believe anyone before or since can match his lugubrious tones.



Old Number 2 was, once upon a time, the pride and primary workhorse of the Uxbridge Fire Department. For decades, whenever the call went out, Number 2 led the response. But the years passed and the time came to replace Number 2 with a newer engine.

Old Number 2 -1

There was no room to keep the old engine in the firehouse, but there are a few advantages to living in the country and one of the big one is lots of empty land.

Old Number 2 was moved to his retirement home, a lovely, sunny lot across from the post office. Wildflowers grow all around and there are a couple of folding chairs and a little table nearby where the fire crew eats their lunch when the weather is warm.

Retired he may be, but Old Number 2 lives on in fond memory. You can visit too. He’s just across from the new post office on Route 122, just past the courthouse.