Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Mr. Buckley, He Go Bye-Bye

William F. BuckleyBrilliant world observer William F. Buckley has died. I was saddened to learn of his passing, but there is good news here since I can now fire a bunch of payroll.

I employ a team of translators to distill Buckley's intellectual pronouncements into single syllables (the shorter the better) and non-threatening pictures of barnyard animals (the less beaky the better), so I can follow along.

Although Buckley did not pull the wool over our eyes, I could never understand his oratory -- plus, he spoke in an elongated manner with a heavy accent.

For what it is worth, I do not talk that way, however that is how I type....

Three words per hour. And I have to go back to correct the thousands of repeated key strokes and remove the incessant italics and bolding.

Here's a sheep:



Credits: ArtFavor sketch, Creative Commons / William F. Buckley photo via Wikipedia

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

The Making of 'Where's Morty?' #08-004

A lot of hard work and rehearsal go into every episode of "Where's Morty?" We're happy to share an exclusive look behind the scenes of the actual production of the latest escapade. Originally scheduled several days ago, the photography had to be postponed until more socks could be soiled and washed. Some people only have two feet.


Morty arrives early. He checks his marks and hopes for moths.


Morty, like most media personalities, hates the waiting between shots. He threatens to walk.


Morty gets a wild fur that this photo shoot is somehow affiliated with the Socks Clinton Museum, a charity he emphatically does not endorse. Morty will be negotiating a promotional deal with Socks Huckabee, if there is such a kitty and he ever gets a presidential cat shrine. Morty enjoys watching bees, which reminds him to make a beeline for some Meow Mix. Actors need to maintain their energy.


Morty is happy to hear the director call, "That's a wrap," after the completion of another successful "Where's Morty?" travelogue. Our star heads for his trailer, because, like the man said, "that's a nap!"

Morty has a bit of a hearing disability.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

The Missing Link

The other day, I was handling several chores simultaneously. One of them involved opening a sealed carton of meatless sausage for my breakfast. I fumbled the package, but managed to place two of the links on a plate and proceed.

When my wife arrived home that evening, Morty the Cat and I met her in the kitchen.

Donna stopped in her tracks, kneeling down to peek at the floorboard underneath a cabinet, beyond my line of sight. Without saying a word, she stood up. There was a dark brown sausage link pinched daintily between the tips of her index finger and thumb. The look on her face was quizzical and priceless, as she held out the aged, largely unrecognizable item for us to see and comment.

"Oh," I chuckled, "somebody dropped one." I grabbed Morty and disappeared.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Doo Not Drop In


The Isle of Palms, proud home of edible Seagull Poop, is a lovely place to laze, but we brown bag it -- and wear oversized beach umbrella hats.

In deference to the apparent abundance of Shrimp Poop, we don't stroll in the surf either, unless our hip waders are waterproofed, shellacked, and Bactined, and have never been dunked in cocktail sauce.

Seagull Poop and Shrimp Poop are two reasons I am glad I am a vegetarian. I would not be a big fan of the seapoop, excepting, of course, those Johnny Depp pirate movies.

To date, I have found nothing to hint there are delectibles such as Chickpea Poop, Raisin Poop, Tofu Poop, Arugula Poop, or Pistachio Poop, which I consider to be a big plus on my dietary buffet.

I did, as a safety precaution, give up kidney beans, because indeed I am suspect of whatever they're juicing.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Rear Window

It's not the sharpest photograph, but emblazoned across the top of the tank: "AL'S OUTHOUSES."


Al, from a friend, two words:

Weight Watchers.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Boys Will Be Boys


100 Things About Me #137
Reentering the Boys Room at Fernbank School after 42 years was exhilarating. Forty-two years is a long time to go between pees.

The headaches stopped and my nervous leg twitch may wind down by autumn.

Look at those tiny urinals for the youngest lads. Cute, huh? I remember that spot in first grade, rolling around, bumping into the wall and porcelains. Darn training wheels.

Oh, because you wonder, during the recent visit, I did check the stalls for messages. I had none. It felt like Valentine's Day again.

Justin, Class of '86, you're to "have a gnarly summer."

And "For a good time, watch 'ALF' on NBC."

I don't recall anything out of the ordinary ever happening in the Boys Room, except a seventh grade teacher questioned my zipper etiquette while we were standing elbow-to-elbow, urinal-to-urinal. I had unbuttoned and lowered my husky Haggar slacks, rather than access via the fly. He seemed puzzled by my method, but it worked for me. And isn't that the best society can hope for in a young person?

Teach and I had a very proper, instructive conversation and, frankly, it was a welcomed change from the usual straightforward "nice cinderblocks we're having."

Today, he would have been incarcerated -- and I'd be dropping trou' "On the Record With Greta Van Susteren."


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This Entry Continued From: "100 Things About Me #131," part of the "Back to School" sequence.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Getting It Outta My System

Two days ago in this opus, I posted "when nature calls" photographs, including a frontier potty.

Then, I found a related snapshot to share, so somehow yesterday seemed to be the perfect time to answer the immortal question, "Does a deer wee in the woods?"

And now I face a dilemma. What to do? What to do?

I had hatched no plans for dropping a long stream of this ick on you, yet there remain other bodily nuggets to publish from where those flowed. I'm sitting on a big fat stash. I've got piles. I'm backed up. I need to wipe my outbox clean, or it's bound to go to waste. I hate to make a stink, but I'm pushing forward. The crap runs.

For starters, here's a picture I clicked when we toured my old classroom at Fernbank Elementary School.


"Field Trips to Redundancy"


More to come, 1 or 2...

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Hey, You Kids, Get Outta My Yard!!

Does a deer poop in the woods?
Oh, great. Now we'll have to rip it out and buy a completely new replacement yard.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Strangers in Paradise

Living in a forest means uninvited visitors. Last spring and summer, I captured these scenes within 100 yards of our house, when nature called.





Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Meanwhile...

Cat photos: Where's Morty?

Morty is right here and wants to assure everyone he did not drag in Val Kilmer.

Thank you.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

And the Winner Is ... Me!

Select theatres are presenting the nominees for this year's top Academy Award in an all-day "Best Pictures Showcase" (formerly "No Continence for Old Men Whiz-bang").

  • "Michael Clayton" - 11:00 a.m.
  • "There Will Be Blood" - 1:20 p.m.
  • "Atonement" - 4:20 p.m.
  • "Juno" - 7:00 p.m.
  • "No Country for Old Men" - 9:00 p.m.

The admission price of the event is $30, which includes bottomless popcorn refills. All five films will be shown back-to-back in the same auditorium. Annoying patrons are urged to pace themselves, spreading that vital chitchat and ringtones regalia throughout the morn-to-midnight features.


Enduring five motion pictures in one session is fun. I've done it numerous times, but the closest venue presenting this package is approximately 75 miles from my flat screen TV and snack bar, now serving broccoli.

I didn't say it was a popular snack bar.

I don't mind the broccoli, really, because by not eating it, I save paying those exorbitant movie snack prices to myself, thieving highway robber that I am. That'll teach me.

Frankly, I'd rather watch these movies in my living room for less money, better *projection*, fewer distractions, warmer toes, and the exclusive portable kitty space heater on my lap.

Plus, there's far less salt. That unlimited popcorn deal at the multiplex would kill me. I have no resistance. My body would be cured like pork by the end of "There Will Be Blood Pressure."

I think we'll wait for the DVDs.

Besides, at home, the gum under our chairs is chewier.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Subject: 'Computer Milestone'

Mike's Mailbag
I received an Internet letter from my fine friend Scott Hardin, who is a go-to guy for everything technical. He's up-to-the-nanosecond on all about electricity, motion picture equipment, stage machinery, theatre acoustics design, musical instruments, flying cars, and Blimpie banana peppers.

So, when Scott enlightens mankind with his computer wisdom, I take notice, standing at attention alongside a moonlighting court stenographer wielding a precision Sharpie pen over a paw of Post-It pads.

Here's what Nadine transcribed for me from Scott's email. (He's gonna learn us how to copy-and-paste one day. I am counting on it! Nadine's non-committal, being around so-called "reformed" felons too much and having them break her heart and "#1 Eavesdropping Grandma" mug.)

I am very close to porting over all the emails I wanted to save from the old computer to the newer old computer. My email inbox alone had about 4300 messages before starting. After much deleting, moving, and organizing it is now down to ZERO messages. ... That's a Z followed by an ERO. I didn't think it was possible to ever have an inbox with ZERO messages. I can't recall seeing one before.

Maybe the early westward settlers would have the occasional zero emails, since there were much fewer people to correspond with back then and you could go for days without seeing a typing cowpoke. I'm sure the locals at the Monument Valley gift shop would offer to carry your email by horse for you though, if you bought one of their cheap bracelets ... some things never change.

We'll see what happens when I change over to DSL. I hope it doesn't just fill up faster. I hear there's a software patch you can install to Outlook Express that will tilt your inbox ever so slightly so that all the email if left alone will eventually wind up on your floor. If your floor looks like mine you'll never notice it. Here's hoping.

-Scott

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

100 Things About Me #136

Talk the Walk
The writers strike reminds me of a 1976 incident, when I participated in a picket line. My projectionists' union was on strike against a movie theatre, north of Atlanta. It was a labor dispute, of course, and there may have been demands for an end to the flat Cokes.

Following my co-workers' footsteps, I walked laps in front of the building with my trendy picket sign propped against my shoulder. 'Twas the summer day when "Ode to Billy Joe," a Robby Benson epic based on the monster hit record by Bobbie Gentry, opened there.

The big lure of the picture was the mystery of why "Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge," a point never explained in the tune's lyrics.

"What the song didn't tell you, the movie will," promised the "Ode to Billy Joe" posters and, for that matter, the entire advertising campaign. [Spoiler alert!]

Every patron had to cross the picket line to reach the box office. Ideally, customers would honor our plight and go elsewhere, but some would continue on into the theatre to watch the show. We accepted their decisions gracefully.

It was the unprovoked jerks who made snide comments that irritated me, as they stormed by to purchase tickets.

With a pleasing, winning smile, I'd say to them, "Enjoy the surprise. Billy Joe's gay!"

Well, that went over like thumbtacks in a thumb. The twits would emit blue cumulus clouds of curses and often U-turn back to their vehicles.

The theatre went out of business not too long thereafter, which was doubly good because the picketing also ended and none of us had to go run films in that dump again.

Now, the location is a nice restaurant. My projectionist buddies gather inside for reunion lunches. They sit at a table where the movie screen used to hang, laughing and sipping the effervescent beverages.

And me, I spend a lot of time pickin' flowers up on Choctaw Ridge.

And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge.


100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next

(With apologies to Bobbie Gentry)

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Power to the Michael

I see there's progress in the writers strike. Good for them. I support the Writers Guild in its efforts.

I am not a member of Writers Guild of America. I'm a much more demanding writer than they are.

For instance, I insist on a coffee break after every 'L.'

Be back in 10 minutes. I wonder if there's any cream....

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

100 Things About Me #135

Cocktails for Chew
I'm exercising and eating healthier. I run the pizzas through a juicer.


100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Why the Dollar Store Hates Me


I insisted they sell me this stack of shelves for one dollar, priced as marked.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Sniffing Around the Jesus Air Freshener

This product has me puzzled ("Gifts Senior Moment Santa Forgot to Bring Me: Jesus Air Freshener").

I have trouble believing Jesus would license His name as a truck fragrance spokesLord.

C'mon, surely He could get on with Halo Shampoo -- or Chock Full O' Nuts, the heavenly coffee.

And, besides, all of the A-listers only do voice-overs.

This brand, Funky Fresh, is that an oxymoron?

"American Heritage Dictionary" defines "funky" as:

"Having a moldy or musty smell: funky cheese; funky cellars."


To be honest, I have qualms with a funky Son of God. I put no faith in such irrationality. I pray He used Dial. Don't you wish every savior did?

Now that I've pondered some more, Jesus would be Ivory fresh. The soap's nearly as pure as Him and He floats, too.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Slackjaw Dumbstruck: 'Toking' With Lawrence Welk

From "The Lawrence Welk Show," circa 1970, man.

Fire up a spliff, as Gail and Dale groove on "a modern spiritual."


Amen and exhale.

Can't see the video? Try here. (Via "Boing Boing")

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

I Am Snitch

For a recent showing of "I Am Legend," I was anointed Auditorium Monitor at the multiplex and given a small electronic paging device. If I were to find something to be unsatisfactory during the movie, I possessed the supreme power to notify the management of the deficiency from the comfort of my seat.

The gadget displayed four buttons to be punched for negative issues with "Sound," "Picture," "Piracy," or "Other Disturbance." I was crestfallen that there was no Red Terror Alert button for "Matthew McConaughey Grossing Us Out Trying to Be Sexy" sightings.

I had no complaints regarding the projection and audio of the film, but I do hate it when the coming attractions previews reveal too much detail. Learning Hannah Montana is a singer -- well, her concert flick was ruined for me. I resisted poking a button.

The "Piracy" button implied I was to squeal on bootleggers taping the picture, therefore when Donna tried to sneak some of my popcorn, I did not alert the movie police.

Instead, I slapped her knuckles with a ruler and made her do The Walk of Shame to Cinema 12 to watch "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A Veggie Tales Movie."

Afterwards, I asked if she had enjoyed her punishment, but she was too busy gnashing down garden fajitas to say.

During "I Am Legend," a few rows behind me, an infant began crying incessantly. Go figure, a ruthless, action-packed horror thriller is not a lullaby?

Even after an hour?

No. Apparently, not. No.

As far as I am concerned, there is a special place in Hell and/or Wal-Mart check-out lines for arrogant social criminals who drag their volcanic spawn to an adult environment.

Unfortunately, there was no button on the pager for "Despicable Guardian Rubbish" or "Newborn Beast Still Wet Behind the Sperm."

I did not believe the management would decipher the hot tot problem if I engaged the "Other Disturbance" option. So, under the cover of darkness, I chucked the pager into Daddy's head and that corrected the etiquette nicely, once he and the baby crawled out of the theatre and the blood clotted -- and a grateful audience quit parading me around on their shoulders beneath Will Smith, still in focus.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Meanwhile...

Cat photos: Where's Morty?

Morty is peeved. That's where.

He missed "Puppy Bowl IV."


He likes the violence. He's an animal.


The game conflicted with his 10-hour nap, so he didn't see the "Kitty Half-Time Show" either.

I had reminded him to set his TiVo, but you can't tell kids anything.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Super and Bowled Over

I have to share the first Super Bowl commercial I've seen, "Coca-Cola: It's Mine." I'll be watching the others, but how could they be more satisfying?


Can't see the video? Try here

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

I Am Getting 'Drowsy,' Very 'Drowsy'


One of the rewards of subscribing to a Broadway play series is we are exposed to shows we probably would not see otherwise, which would have been the case with the national touring company of "The Drowsy Chaperone."

I'd been vaguely aware of the production, but in order to protect the full experience, my policy is I don't seek out details before I view plays or movies. For example, I didn't discover until show time that "The Drowsy Chaperone" is a musical, the winner of five Tony Awards.

Anyway, I embraced it from the first word. Scene after scene, I felt like I was in a dream state where all of the creative concepts were written specifically for my personal enjoyment. It was amazing to watch the endeavor unfold, a play devised just for Mikey.

Thank you very much.

Curtsy.

Who loves insanely shameless plot devices, synchronized tap dancing, spit takes, Murphy bed gags, and little Ronny Howard in "The Music Man" more than me?

Although the large audience was very enthusiastic for the material, I was the sole out-loud laugher at several bits. I had a great time.

In fact, I loved "The Drowsy Chaperone" so much, Donna and my elaborate network of Starbucks caffeine pushers have agreed to chaperone me several hundred miles to a distant theatre to see another performance before the tour leaves this side of the Milky Way.

And, I am the lead character, Man in Chair. I have that mindset. He is so me.

Well, except for several of his perversions and the sweater.

I'm a much better dresser and pervert.
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