Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Michaellaneous

More Confessions and Revelations
My recent postings on Twitter, where everything must be said in 140 characters or less.

Caller on "The Dennis Miller Show" ... Rev. Jeremiah Wright is "egotesticle -- that's a noun for an overconfident nut."

Speed Bump cartoon: The Grim Reaper talking to dejected son, The Grim Reaper, Jr.: "No, you can't kill a pony."

Returned home, asked Morty the Cat, "How's the napping today?" He rolled over. I'm up for some down myself...

Doctor's office went well. I read about fresh kick, Betty Boopy Cindy Lauper who only wants to have fun with Lou Albano. Safe hammerlocks!

Yipe. The Aryan Doggie Nazis Have Won. Should we surrender or flea?

I've been doing well on my diet, losing 10 lbs. since January. I see my doctor tomorrow. I just ate an entire big bag of potato chips. Oops.

My brother writes he views MSNBC mornings, after CNBC. My cable doesn't offer it, opting for the more popular All Farts Channel & Cysts HD.

Winding up the big day. I watched "Charlie Wilson's War, Juno," and "God Is Great and I'm Not" today. "Juno" tops. "Chuck" next. "God" is so-so.

I'm setting up my Twitter. Soon, I hope to be all atwit.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

What the Heck Was I Thinking?

Actual Messages I Wrote, Forgot, Then Found While Cleaning Out My Email Folders

06/17/07

I do believe Sgt. Bilko was our greatest military genius. I mean, I seem to remember him getting Pvt. Doberman a girl.

I would have liked to have seen you in that septic tank movie, but I'm not so sure about the love interest.

06/16/07

Maybe you should put on a James Stewart "Cheyenne Autumn" hat.

12/21/07

Yes, I saw Joe's picture. My Waffle House egg and cheese wrap bubbled up.

His place is where hayseeds go to abscess gums and covet otters.

 

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Hooey for Hollywood

I saw the Al Pacino thriller "88 Minutes" and, while I was willing to suspend disbelief with much of the script, there was one plot point that made me howl.

Trying to prevent Pacino's murder, assistant Amy Brennerman places an emergency phone call to him, saying, "You'd better turn on MSNBC."

Pacino grabs his television remote control. He punches the power button and up pops MSNBC!

Aw, c'mon! Foul! There is no way in the world his TV was pre-tuned to MSNBC. No way!

NOBODY has their TV on MSNBC!

The guys in the control room at MSNBC don't even watch MSNBC!

Get real.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

At This Stage in My Life

My old hammering-my-thumbs grounds.
I received a surprise in the snail mail.

There was a heart-warming mention of me in the "May Birthdays" announcements of the monthly newsletter for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada, AFL-CIO, CLC, Local 927, Atlanta. It was Friday. My name's Durrett. I carry a card.

A grand friend and co-worker of many years, Scott, had sent the circled and highlighted missive, adding, there's some good "doughnut-eating" going on in the glittery show business I had long ago limped away from.

I hadn't seen the special item while perusing my copy of the newsletter earlier, so I owed Scott boundless gratitude and the courtesy of a reply. I sent them email and pocketed the postage.

Sir or Madam:

Thank you for alerting me to the birthday blurb from the latest Stagehand Local's newsletter. Because of your keen consideration and properly addressed and licked envelope, I am informed. I don't often read the newsletter because I am a bad member. Bad member!

I am, however, paid up in full in advance to the end of the year. Good member! Patron Saint!

Don't ask me why I continue to send in my dues. It's been years since my last show. You may have heard of the night on "Jesus Christ Superstar" when I somehow mistook Carrot Top's Wacky Props Trunk for the cross. The sight of Jesus strapped to Whitney Houston's microphone with bong and assorted wig hats didn't go over so well and area motels had to reprint their Bibles.

The fact I didn't have to pay for all of that out of my pocket -- well, it was a miracle, I tell ya, a miracle!

I miss the stagehand life -- the cunning hiding of my minimal knowledge of Craftsman tools, the being treated like dirt by production personnel, the groin pulls, and, my favorite, the groin pulls on previous groin pulls.

Oh, how I yearn to update my doughnut-eating skills amongst my Union brothers and sisters and their nepotistic spawn. I dread those burly behind-the-scenes crews might call me "old school" and choke-spray powdered sugar and Krispy Kreme flecks 'n' filling onto my regulation black t-shirt and groin pull splints and recurring involuntary spasms.

Although I had mastered the untwisting of the pretzel-shaped doughnuts in my waning years backstage, I could never tie them into a subsequent sheep shank without getting all sticky and knocking over my professional acrid stagehand coffee.

Once, I inadvertently knocked over June Carter Cash and Johnny mumbled an impromptu medley of "God's Gonna Cut You Down" and "Good Night, Irene."

I don't know what that was about because I don't follow caterwauling.

Everyone complimented me on my reprise of "Hey, Porter" and then I shared my unraveled doughnut and we called an ambulance.

Nevertheless, thanks again for the paper letter via government agent. Mine is a lady in her own weary truck who likes to share that she's "barefoot and barefoot" when driving the mail about. That's fine, except she puts the letters between her toes and feets 'em over through the driver's window.

The last time she did that, the postage stamp of Henry Fonda contracted a bad case of Athlete's Hank.

The stagehand newsletter kindly points everyone to the fact I will be celebrating my birthday in May. How true. I was busy on my actual birthday, March 20th, and hope to fit it in eight weeks later.

If not, I'll simply remain 19 again until next May. My Union may not keep me working, but it does keep me young.

Fraternally,

Mike

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

100 Things About Me #144

Don't Make Us Strike You
The youts say "props," as in "I give u props, man."

Or: "Yo! Mad Props homey for them rhymes you just spit! They was mad ill dawg!!"*

Let me tell you something. I am a union stagehand.


Props are our jurisdiction, punks. Now, back off.

I'll hwack props on yo phat junkhead.


100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next

*Source: Urban Dictionary

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Out and About, a Snout!

Here's an emergency email I wrote to the nearest humans, our neighbors in the forest.

12:45 a.m., Sunday -- After having looked out our kitchen window only two minutes before and all was clear, I opened the door to put a cricket outside, so Morty the Cat wouldn't harm it. It's bad luck, you know, to kill a cricket.

I heard an immediate rustling in the shadows near our house. I looked up to see a black bear about 20 feet away, jogging up our drive towards the picnic table. I had startled him. It might have been my new Dial Soap for Men. I'm freshly bathed. Rugged.

I learned something. Walking into that bear proved it's also bad luck to not kill a cricket. Jiminy.

I went back inside, thrilled Morty hadn't darted outside like he did for the first time ever last week. I had the cricket in my hand and put him out at the downstairs door. Plan B. (Bear)

The bear lounged at the big tree near our wellhouse for about 15 minutes. He stood up twice and appeared to be rubbing himself/herself against the tree. He is massive, standing 6-8 feet tall, maybe more. He's certainly taller than me and it's prom season.

Eventually, he got up and walked into the woods behind our wellhouse. I made the comment he looked "as big as a buffalo" and I ain't talking nickels. That could've been shadows enhancing his size, but he certainly is big enough to do damage.

It's been 3½ days since the spotting. I guess it's safe to go sleep now.

Update: That's what I thought until I pulled back the bedcovers. I had walked into my teddy bear.

He snarled at me, but I can't be sure. I'll mull it over this pot of coffee....

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

What's on My Desk?

Many Internet writers have been revealing their answers to the question, "What's on My Desk?"


Okay. Here's what's on top of mine, a few of the actual items.

1. One banana peel. I suspect there may have been a banana inside it at some point. Carbon dating requested.

2. One empty cellophane bag of dollar store animal cookies. I shy away from weird food at the dollar store, but it's the only place I can find cookie animals with a savory hint of mange.

And the two-knecked giraffes are tops.

3. A used paper napkin of Halloween vintage with cute drawings of a witch, Count Dracula, and Frankenstein's Monster on it. What to do? Throw away or not?

I am halfway to next Halloween season. By then, the food residue should crusty-mold and fun-fungi into Cloris Leachman.

Keep it.

4. Weekly Planner 2008. There are no plans listed for April 21-28.

Why do I buy these things? As usual, I guess I will have to make the plans....

5. Observations of Hillary and Bill Clinton vs. Polly Bergen, the first female President of the United States, and Fred MacMurray, the first male First Lady. ("Kisses for My President," 1965)

1. Bill Clinton better actor than Fred MacMurray.

2. MacMurray has Flubber-powered car.

3. Hillary has Bubba-powered cad.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Punchy Pussycats

Morty at the Movies with Morty the CatMorty, as you know, is a big television fan, so I'm not surprised he chose this home video to share, "Gizmo Boxing Cat."

I understand Martin Scorsese is planning a big screen remake with Robert DeNiro's kitty, "Raging Burmese."


Can't see the video? Try here.

Our Morty mimics what he sees on the tube, too. In fact, we've had to designate HGTV: Home and Garden Television off limits. It was tiring, all his copycat litter box remodeling on a budget....

...The burying of the swatches...

...The two pairs of tiny, fashionable Crocs he insisted I strap on him before each restroom visit, only to complain about the holes....

...Scented sand, unscented, organic, and now with Splenda®...

There were the clay filler winters, cedar shavings summers, clumpy falls, seersucker springs -- oh, then, he's Matlock uncovering clues....

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

The Haircuts: 'So Rare' and 'Flippin' Over You'


Can't see the video? Try here.

It's time to kick off my surprise all-night teen dance party! Gotta get into shape for the Junior-Senior Promenade!

Here's a blast from the past, another nugget because you dug it! The Haircuts! Carl Reiner, Sid Caesar, and Howard Morris, those kids with their tight pants, crazy ties, and their wild hair!

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

A Boy and His Man

Several people have mentioned the post "100 Things About Me #141," where I remarked:

"While rummaging through my third birthday photographs, I recalled a recent snapshot with unintentional similarities, proving some things never change..."


I've been asked to point out the similarities of then and now which might not be readily apparent to an untrained eye. I'm happy to do so, but environmental laws prohibit me from going too far.

1. Predilection for clothing with sketches on it.

2. White two-toned footwear.

3. Sweaters over t-shirts over chest and arms.

4. Left sleeves, exactly the same hang.

5. Outdoorsman. Outdoorstot.

6. Not doing yard work.

7. Rather be watching cartoons.

8. Raw, sinewy smirk.

9. Avoiding afternoon nap. You can't make me.

10. Unshaven.


100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

What the Heck Was I Thinking?

Actual Messages I Wrote, Forgot, Then Found While Cleaning Out My Email Folders
11/16/04

"Oh, please come before flood season to protect your feets. The new owner has built up the problem side of her lake, so that might protect us. There are also some new irrigation streams to help. I pan for old gum."

What the heck was I thinking?

7/17/07

"Glad you adored it. What's the deal with Pippi Longstocking's hair anyway? I always wonder if it is undergoing something akin to boners, which disturbs me."

I don't believe this next one is related to what I posted recently, but who knows?

6/23/07

"My behemoth robot from outer space concurs."

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

The Sexiest Man Alive

100 Things About Me #143
Not exactly.



Live Bait

But I have been named "Live Bait" in "Congealed & Stream."


100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

The Cat of Five Faces Presents The Cat of 1000 Faces

Morty at the Movies with Morty the CatMorty's favorite movie franchise is not Indiana Jones, not Harry Potter, not James Bond, not Twizzlers, but The Cat of 1000 Faces.

Our cat aspires to be as versatile as the master impersonator known as Hugo. After yesterday's feline facial demonstration, Morty needs only 995 more poses to catch up. He's made a bold business decision to use his head, not computer software, as he moves forward in the mimic business. I have no doubt that--

Excuse me. Morty has hopped onto my desk here. "Is that a teeny mustache, Mort?"

It is. He's wiggling his nose at me.

"Are you supposed to be Charlie Chaplin?"

Apparently not. Wait a minute. He looks angry, showing teeth, eyes bulging, mustache protruding, kitty goose-stepping...

"That's our Hitler!"


Can't see the faces? Try here.


Can't see the faces? Try here.


Can't see the faces? Try here.

Read More: "The Cat of 1000 Faces" @ About.com

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

He Purrs Among Us

Continued From: "Meanwhile..."

Morty, I stand corrected.

You only use the catnip thumbs and mouse on the desk computer. Laptops have touchpads, as do you.

Thank you for your service.

And now, we promised a selection of the portraits Morty created from his snapshot (above right) on the PicHacks image maker.




Morty, I collapse corrected.

You are creeping me out, cat.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Meanwhile...

Cat photos: Where's Morty?
Morty got wind of my About.com article concerning personal photographs altered on the funny face maker at PicHacks.

He's over on top of the other desk on top of the laptop, manipulating -- or, perhaps, I should say catipulating -- his own snapshot into comical contortions.

We'll post those images later, maybe tongue some milk.

I'm proud of Morty and the computer. He's pretty impressive for a seven-year-old. He's always into something on that Internet, using the catnip thumbs I bought him and, of course, a mouse.

It's de rigueur.


Continued: "He Purrs Among Us"

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Follow That Dream: Remco Movieland Drive-In Theatre


Can't see the video? Try here.

How did I miss getting this keen drive-in theatre set when I was a child? I would have demanded one. There would be (Milk) Duds.

I eventually worked in hardtops and outdoor cinemas, off and on, for 40 years. My desire my entire life has been to own and operate a real drive-in theatre during the 1950s.

I'm finding that goal tougher to achieve in 2008.

Besides, ever since Randolph Scott retired, there's been nothing to show. Sooner or later, customers would have their fill of "Thunder Road" and "The Tingler." I suspect.

At this late date, I'd settle to own one of these Remco toy kits. The company ought to return the Movieland to stores. They'd sell tons of them. Drive-ins today often have four to six screens. Parents would be compelled to purchase six of these theatres to keep their child current and quiet.

A bit of modernization would be required to the facility, however. The little cars should do the springy-springy bouncy-bouncy (actual theatre lingo!) in the dark -- and a goon with a semi-automatic and a tattoo of his face on his neck needs to barge in and rob the assistant manager in the check-out office while the toilets back-up in the ladies room.

Remco must be certain there's no plunger included and "We ain't got no Diet Coke! We ain't got no Drano!" is bellowed in the Snack Bar every 2.7 minutes. This all has to be authentic.

Gosh. I love the drive-in life.

Did you recognize the girl in the TV commercial? That's Academy Award winner Patty Duke in the coveted role of "Ticket Taker," which led to "Helen Keller."

She's far too cheery for this theatre employee part, coming off, ironically, as a miracle worker. The official industry-standard job description of a ticket taker begs "more sullen, please."

I was sad to observe Patty didn't go pick up the trash in the Movieland parking lot, collect the used soda cups, resell them, and pocket the money for cigarettes and lottery scratch-offs. That would be realistic. Truly, it would.

Enjoy the show and bon appétit! Movies are still your best entertainment.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Giving a Show of Kenner's Give-A-Show Projector


Can't see the video? Try here.

I'm pleased to share this color 1968 television commercial for the Kenner's Give-A-Show Projector.

I wrote about my beloved projector as "100 Things About Me #87." I was an early adopter of the toy, the Blu-ray of its day. The era was 1961, when advertisements were in black-and-white.

By the time this spot hit the air, I had been showing 35mm movies professionally in theatres during several of my high school years. By '68, I, too, was in color.

Mostly faded pale beige with a hint of antique taupe, as I reminisce, from all those hours in the dark.

My friend Lewe commented my eyes were receding into their sockets like a mole.

I almost didn't hear him over my munching on earthworms and grubs.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Cartoon Carnival

This first one is not a thing like "Cars."

*cough cough*



"Susie the Little Blue Coupe" (Clyde Geronimi for Walt Disney, 1952)
Can't see the cartoon? Try here.

Next, Margie Hines substitutes for Mae Questel's famous Olive Oyl vocals. Jack Mercer is Popeye and Shorty. By the way, there are several WWII cartoons where Mae performs Popeye's voice!



Popeye, Olive, and Shorty in "The Marry-Go-Round" (Seymour Kneitel, 1943)
Can't see the cartoon? Try here.

There is not one prediction of "Teletubbies" or Conrad Bain or "'I Cheated on My Transvestite Poodle' on the next 'Springer'" in this cartoon, so don't take its vision of the future as gospel....



"T.V. of Tomorrow" (Tex Avery, 1953)
Can't see the cartoon? Try here.

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Bologna and Franks Bubble Gum

It's probably for the best I didn't chew this bubble gum. There's something unappetizing about blowing fruit-flavored weenies.

On the other hand, meat-flavored fruit might be good, chomping on barbecue pork strawberries, chicken bananas, and steak-and-gristle grapes.

Oh, I wish I were an Oscar-Mayer walnut...

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Indiana Jones and the Frosted Flakes


On the cereal aisle at the supermarket, I was thrilled to see Tony the Tiger is starring in "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

I knew Sean Connery had passed on a return to the latest episode. Harrison Ford and Karen Allen are back, and now Tony has finally agreed to appear.

Fans will recall he turned down the original film, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," also known as "Indiana Jones and THE GRRRAIL!"

Mike Durrett: CONFIDENTIAL

Why God Created Blu-ray


"Hello Mike,

"We've shipped Alvin and the Chipmunks [Blu-ray] to you. You can expect to receive it on or around Wednesday, April 2, 2008...."

Yesss! Jesus (and my friends at Blockbuster) luvs me.

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