100 Things About Me #103

Glad I Could Help
I've been blessed with two fine godsons.

One provides highly technical security for our military in a dangerous place.

The other is a fresh college graduate with double degrees: Bachelor of Arts cum laude and Bachelor of Music cum laude.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out how to make an ice cube.

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Ain't Me Tweet?

Recently, in a Separated at Birth comparison, I pointed out I am twin kin to Tweety Bird. The physical similarities are striking: the shape of our heads, the eyes, the beaks, the molts....

Tweety Bird popsicleMike Durrett

With the surfacing of this photograph of the Tweety Bird popsicle, I'm even more convinced of our theory of relativity.

For example, I can be cold.

And, when I insert my baby blue contact lenses, I often miss the pupils.

I must say, as I look closer, I do have some concerns about the skeletal disembodied head on a stick thing.

Say, you know what? I'm more and more positive I am an only child, after all. Yeah, I'm an only child.

Forget the fact we're both yellow.

Tweety Bird photo by Mark Frauenfelder, Creative Commons, some rights reserved. (via Boing Boing)


Trick or Tweet

Mark Frauenfelder at Boing Boing laments that his "Tweety Bird popsicle doesn't look like Tweety Bird."

I'd say the more important consideration is: does it taste like Tweety Bird?

Photo by Mark Frauenfelder, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.



via YouTube

Seen in this 1966 spot, the great Jack Benny and Mel Blanc performed several variations of the non-musical material over the years, dating back to 1940s radio. That simplicity and these masters never fail to impress and crack me up.



100 Things About Me #102

That W.C. Fields boxed DVD set I misplaced eight or more months ago and have been desperate to locate?

I found it on my desk.

I'm so tidy.

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Dueling Banjos Redux

Billy Redden, The Kid From DeliveranceMy California pal, Frank, is always sharing his celebrity sightings with me -- and rubbing them in, too.

One time, he saw famous little person Billy Barty break into an impromptu song-and-dance number atop the counter in his bank.

Another, when I was visiting Los Angeles, he pointed out the back of Tori Spelling's head to me at a flea market.

He lives amongst the legends.

So, I had to write to Frank when I heard about the upcoming film festival tour from Rolling Roadshow, an outdoors project that projects movies at the locations where the pictures were made, such as "North by Northwest" at Mount Rushmore, "Goldfinger" at Fort Knox, and "A Christmas Story" in Cleveland.

Here are our emails.

Rolling Roadshow is coming through Georgia. "Deliverance" on the edge of the Chattooga River with The Kid From "Deliverance" IN PERSON!

Now, THAT'S Show Business!

Top that one, Burbank's Frank!

Stan and I are going. Would you like to be Ned Beatty?

To which Frank said:

Depends on who's going to be the demented hillbillies.



'Spider-Man 3: Shrek 3'

Two beloved folk heroes -- one buggy, one ugly -- join forces to wage war on social profiling.

Spider-sense puts the team into Broadway's musical toast of the town, "Spidey and the Beast."

"You can't judge a book by its cover!
You can't judge a crook by his color!
You can't judge a schnook by his ogre!
So let's get together, let's get together
And flight that fright!"

Backstage, events turn scandalous when Mary Jane and Donkey stick to each other after a night of impact webbing, while Spider-Man clings to Princess Fiona, leaving Shrek all alone in his dressing swamp.


'Spider-Man 3: Disturbia'

Spider-Man 3: Disturbia - Now PlayingA Peeping Mary Jane observes the sinister world outside her rear window, where she witnesses Peter Parker and his Amazing Fantasy, as he frolics hither and thither in Spider-Girl spandex and "kiss me, swat me" pedipalps.

Later, she watches suicidal Venom dilute himself with Nutrasweet.

But not before the Green Goblin's henchmen sap our hero's wall-hugger powers, gang-buffing Spidey with Cling Free dryer sheets.


Almost Beautiful

Well, enough moaning and delay, I'm simply going to suck it up and tell you.

Those most insane people at "People" magazine have released their "Most Beautiful People 2007" list and I did not make the top 100.

I realize their assessments are nothing more than a contrived ploy to sell product, but still, I floss every six or 35 months when I visit my dentist, and I have been known to use sunscreen, the same as Reese Witherspoon, who made the list of cutes.

Ageism, I curse thee!

The publication won't confirm or deny, but I understand, according to my mole (left side, under love handle #9 of song fame), the raw data shows I do appear elsewhere in the "Beautiful People" research.

I came in just below Gilbert Gottfried with a flaky dreadlock wig, gassy drunken rage, and nervous eye tic -- and a notch above the stretch-marked tattoo of hippie-fancier Billy Jack carved into Hell's Angel motorcycle mama Lurlene X during an ill-advised Tainted Clambake and Rum Jollity.

Thanks to all who voted and basked.



Morty, P.I.
As my lookout for a trespassing black bear persists, a vigil for an uninvited black cat purrs, sits.

Morty the Cat zeroes in on a mysterious black cat.


Up the Creek Without a Peek

The Bear Is Not In
Continued From: "Up the Creek Without a Piddle"

I'm pleased to report we have not seen the roving black bear since that (scary for me, happy for our friends) sighting, the night it showed its ugly snout and ferocious pedicure on the deck next door.

I continue my surveillance, nevertheless, from every window of our house, every five minutes on the five minutes, for a glimpse of wildlife the size of a shag-upholstered love seat walking around.

Meanwhile, Neighbor Sally keeps the dream alive.

Photo ©2007 Sally Smelcer


Up the Creek Without a Piddle

Squirt Alert
Continued From: "Up the Creek Without a Jack Bauer"

As mentioned, I spread manly urine around the outside of the house to keep bears from breaking in and disturbing our safety, sleep, and Sugar Smacks.

Twenty-six years of marriage. Actual conversation.

Donna: What are you doing with that [gallon container]?

Mike: Collecting urine.

For the bear?


Donna: Why don't you just go pee on the house? Nobody will see you.

Mike: Nope, no more. With my luck, while I'm doing it, the bear will come up behind and eat me.

Adding new meaning to the term, "cocktail weenie."

Next: "Up the Creek Without a Peek"


Up the Creek Without a Jack Bauer

Continued From: "Up the Creek Without a SWAT Team"

Here are more actual emails concerning the impromptu black bear and his walk-on appearance around our yard in the dark of night.

I first saw the bear outside the kitchen and executed a perfect triple take. It took three looks to fit him all in.

The black bear

Sally, the neighbor, had seen the midnight marauder earlier. I sent her another email update at 1:11 a.m.

I might die before dawn, but, hey, unlimited DSL!

The bear is huge. We could be on "Dancing With the Stars." I would have to let him lead.

He's kinda hunkered down in your photograph and looks much smaller than he is.

Time to revive my favorite pastime of peeing on the house.


Or I should say, Whizz.


That's right. I pee on the house. It's not for a Boy Scout merit badge. (Those are taking me a tad longer than I anticipated, by the way.)

And it's not for artistic expression (although I do have a deft hand).

We've learned that Mikey urine is a bear deterrent.

2:00 a.m. -- I typed another email to Sally. It would give her something to read to pass the time during my funeral.

Sally wrote:

>>I see you over there peeping out! Oh my, that was so exciting. I just hope we don't displace many bears by all this building, but I know we are.<<

Well, "Peep-eye!" to you, too.

Sally, I love you, BUT ARE YOU NUTS?!

I don't wish the creatures ill, not at all, but I'd prefer it if bears weren't foraging in the neighborhood of MY FACE!!!

My doctor says I may show an allergic reaction to the ripping, gnashing, and tearing of my jugular vein, not to mention an 800-pound bear pouncing on me like some sugar-fiend kid on bubble wrap.

Oh, and fur sweat gives me a hive.

Yes, indeed, the nearby construction might run off bears. Where's my hammer and Bob the Builder belt? I'm over there at sunup, bending nails, and showing the guys my vintage collection of "Parts Pups." Build, boys, build!

That's why God created Motel 6. The bears can go there and leave hairs in the sink, swallow the pool. Whatever.


P.S. Too bad it's not Halloween. I'd have my bear trap costume out of mothballs.

I didn't hear from Sally again until the next night. The bear never writes.

9:58 p.m. We are lying in wait for the bear. Jim has let the sunflowers stay on the porch and has added some molasses for additional lure. I'm using my bear call. Our cameras have fresh film.

Neighbor Mike, if you see it, write us. Are you back on your constant vigil?

Sally, Official Bear Watcher

10:17 p.m.

Yes, I'm still on my bear vigil, except for the three hours when I hid in the dryer and closed the door for a nap.

I kinda liked it. I haven't been fluffed in months.

So, you're spreading molasses and I'm over here spreading man urine. Naturally, I hope yours is sweeter.


Next: "Up the Creek Without a Piddle"

Bear photo ©2007 Sally Smelcer


Up the Creek Without a SWAT Team

Bear Scare
Continued From: "Up the Creek"

The best way to tell the story of our latest black bear visit may very well be through the actual emails I exchanged with Sally, our forest mate, residing in the cabin next door.

The first message arrived at 11:45 p.m. A period and five exclamation points is not a good sign.

There was just a HUGE bear on our deck eating the birdseed. ... Looked like it was going to your house.!!!!!


Gee. Great. Now, where did I put my primal scream?

I responded:

I noticed your lights on. I went out on our deck, too, and stood around a few minutes ago. Didn't see anything, although I may have heard some twigs and branches snapping around 11:30.

Then, I saw your email, so I will be on constant vigil until I collapse from exhaustion sometime Friday.

I'm a wimpy city boy who takes exception to a dangerous, behemoth omnivore in close proximity to my last gasping breath and unopened box of ice cream sandwiches.

Much to my surprise and horror, I soon realized Sally was enjoying the bear invader.

We got a picture!!!

I see you over there peeping out! Oh my, that was so exciting. I just hope we don't displace many bears by all this building, but I know we are.

Constant vigil, huh? ... Hahaha.


At 12:10 a.m., I spotted the bear. This email was on its way to Sally at 12:11.

He's under our security light at the well house at this very minute! And he's GIGANTIC!

No response. Obviously, end-of-our-world-as-we-know-it excitement only goes so far with Sally and Jim. They'd returned to Slumberland.

Me, I was bouncing off walls with nervous tension, the kind of exercise I usually get from guzzling coffee by the quart.

I was all alone.

The neighbors were sleeping.

My cats were sleeping.

My wife was away, sleeping.

My sleeping was awake, yawning, and weeping.

The bear was out there, either sleeping or not. Both involve big teeth and claws with my maim on them.

"Up the Creek Without a Jack Bauer"

Bear photo ©2007 Sally Smelcer


Up the Creek

Our next door neighbors, across the pond and down the stream, are early-to-bed practitioners. It is not unusual for their lights to be turned off by 9 p.m.

So, when I noticed the couple's outdoor floods beaming through the trees near midnight, I knew something was amiss. A simultaneous email from them set the stage -- and clutched my chest.

A black bear had been discovered on their deck eating birdseed! Sally seemed even more delighted to inform me he was "HUGE" and heading my way!

A few minutes later, she forwarded this photo.

A few minutes later, the bear was in my driveway.

A few minutes later, I am awake until August.

A few minutes later, I'm writing concerned emails back and forth with Sally about the bear.

Whatever happened to opening a window and yelling, "HHHEEEEEELLLLLPPPPPPPPP!?"

Next: "Up the Creek Without a SWAT Team"

Bear photo ©2007 Sally Smelcer


Peeps of Faith

Bible Flash CardsBible Flash Cards?

Oh, my, such revelations could be explosive!

Joseph and the, uh, Gaping Technicolor Raincoat?

Noah's Argyle Socks?

The Garter of Eden?



Where Did I Put My Clown Shoes? And Step on It!
Here's one of those strange real-life coincidences which never fail to puzzle me when they occur.

Saturday evening, I typed my previous post, "Spider-Man 3: Kickin' It Old Skool," saving the document to publish the next morning. In the entry, I mentioned another party spraying Raid pest killer on a spider, an act I don't ever recall undertaking.

A few hours passed. I flipped the ceiling light switch on in our downstairs bathroom, only to discover a humongous spider standing in the sink and dominating the room, the house, my very existence, to say the least.

I am not exaggerating when I report that the breadth of the animal's legs spanned four to five inches, while at rest. It was fearsome -- the largest, scariest spider I've seen outside of a zoo or that deadly "Wild Wild West" movie.

Seconds later, I found myself spraying Raid on the beast.

I remain quite disturbed by the encounter, but household-invading critters are to be expected in a woodsy, rural locale.

That reminds me, it's Tax Assessor Season. (Note to Self: Restock gator moat.)

I have no idea what kind of spider I faced, but my first thought gasped "tarantula!" I eliminated that possibility when I recognized our spider was not furry, although mighty intimidating, nevertheless.

It was buff, black, wearing chukka boots (four pairs) and a Harley Davidson jacket with the collar up, no helmet. That's all I know.

And the Scotch is about gone.

I could've used some.


'Spider-Man 3: Kickin' It Old Skool'

Spider-Man takes a crime spree off, telling everyone to chill and call the cops.

Later, dastardly Flint Marko goes retro, spritzing Spidey with a can of Raid.


Separated at Birth: Bob Hope and...

Me, I wanna tell ya...

Bob HopeMike DurrettBob Hope

That's wild. Ain't that sumpin'? And, hey! How 'bout that Paris Hilton, huh? Grrr-rowl!


100 Things About Me #101

It makes me nervous when the colonoscopy clinic advertises "Free Balloon Animals for the Kids."

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I Sniffed Earl

Warning: Spoiler Earlert

NBC broadcast "a special Laugh 'n Sniff episode" of "My Name Is Earl." The sitcom was pleasingly executed, although only six odors were featured on the two-sided rub 'n whiff page stapled into "TV Guide," Clean Jumpsuit, Oreo Cookies, Cinnamon Buns, Popcorn, New Car Smell, and Salesman Cologne.

New Car Smell was my favorite, used as the fragrance of an inflatable virgin, followed by Salesman Cologne with a bouquet of the ol' bait and switch.

Cinnamon Buns was a surprise, because we were led to believe Body Odor would be the next smell. The spicy scent only half worked. It was like snorting a baker.

"My Name Is Earl" continued the long history of stinky entertainment stunts.

The first big olfactory event was the film "Scent of Mystery" (1960), also known as "Holiday in Spain," in the legendary Smell-o-Vision process, where odors, such as peaches, tobacco, wine, and onions, were piped into theatre auditoriums.

John Waters' "Polyester" (1981) was presented in the spectacle of Odorama, utilizing space age scratch 'n sniff card technology to bring rotten eggs, gym socks, and farts to eager nostrils.

The scratch 'n sniff sensation has popped up in other arenas, including children's books, print advertising, and the infamous "Hustler" centerfolds (outing hardcore fans in an epidemic of paper cut proboscises).

I apply the sniff concept to lottery scratch-off games, but they always have the taint of thumb.

In the early '80s, MTV showed "Scent of Mystery" with large numerals superimposed on the screen at key moments. The 7-11 convenience store chain distributed cards with corresponding numbered areas to activate during the movie. It was all too complicated for me, but I am credited with inventing the scratch 'n sniff Slurpee.

My memory of MTV's "Scent of Mystery" is that the flick was a horrible experience, the original length and continuity truncated by nearly an hour. I've pondered about the smells excised in the edit. I am glad, though, to have missed Peter Lorre's bunions (#23, #24, #25) and bullfight blood (#31), sweat (#32), and beers (#33 and #33 Lite, achieved by half a scratch -- "More Savor, Less Filing").

I recall the various scents in the motion picture were disappointingly similar with a strong, harsh chemical consistency. They lingered inside my nose for days, setting off smoke alarms each time I exhaled.


10 Things Gals Crave in Bed

10 Things Guys Crave in BedI know this one, too! I know this one, too! Here's the flip side of the "10 Things Guys Crave in Bed."

Did I mention I've been married 26 years?

10 Things Gals Crave in Bed

1. Fresh linens! Tucked linens! Coordinated linens!
2. Pillows! Pillows! Pillows!
4. Remote control planter
5. Significant other speaks fluent Wamsutta
6. Being poised to pounce with strategic, nefarious cold toes
7. Cuddlesome cat, dog, or Linens 'n Things catalog
8. Weird-ass pajamas! Weird-ass clock radio station! Something, anything weird-ass floral!
9. Knowing "What am I going to wear in the morning?"
10. Sleep


10 Things Guys Crave in Bed

10 Things Guys Crave in BedThe cover on the current issue of "Cosmopolitan" boasts an essential article.

Since I've been married 26 years, save your money. I know this one! I know this one!

10 Things Guys Crave in Bed

1. Pillow candy
3. Remote control
4. Food delivery
5. Electric blanket
6. Flannel sheets
7. Cuddlesome cat, dog, or hot water bottle
8. Absence of significant other's sneezes
9. Peace and quiet
10. Sleep


One Sundae at a Time

Channel flipping into a gushy celebrity show, I heard sad canned music and a voice feign concern about actress Valerie Bertinelli's "courageous battle to lose 30 pounds!"

What? That twig Eddie Van Halen?

Oh, please, there is nothing "courageous" about reducing 30 pounds. I've lost 30 pounds several times. I'm working on 50 more at the moment. I don't deserve medals.

Although, I would like one of those lucrative celebrity spokespudge endorsements -- and a sleeve of cookies, thank you.



Toffee chunks.


And a s'more.

That "courageous" malarkey gripes me. I guess we're cowards, huh, because we ate streusel?

"I really wanted a healthy portion of broccoli, Doctor, but I chickened out. I ate a chicken. I ate a Kentucky Fried Chicken. I ate half of the Colonel Sanders sign. I found a hair in that, incidentally."

Put down the pastry squirter, Valerie, and step away from the shortcake.
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