Got Smarts

My friend Bill and I went to see "Get Smart," while our wives and a gaggle of gal pals threw a feast to schmooze about feta cheeses, sangrias, and all things "darling," except men who go to see "Get Smart."

Would you believe he left the movie to buy popcorn and never returned?

Would you believe I hiked and spelunked the entire 24-screen theatre and concourses to locate him?

Would you believe he was meditating with a Kung Fu Panda?

And loving it.

And stuck.

I spent forever hopping Bill across the parking lot and into the car. He's a big guy, which made the wincing even more poignant.

Fortunately, he was driving and his pointy leg could stretch out of the window.

It took another seven hours back to the house since we could only make lefts.

More Bill: "Another Dream Served" | "Dishonorable" | "Jolly Green Juvenile Delinquent"


100 Things About Me #153

Wonderful WINO
George Carlin appeared on ABC's "The Hollywood Palace," Dec. 10, 1966, in an episode co-hosted by Jimmy Durante and his hat. Carlin performed this sketch about radio station WINO.

Can't see the video? Try here.

I'd seek Carlin on the various TV programs of the day, where the WINO routine and several others, including Al Sleet, the Hippy Dippy Weatherman, established his fame. I remember clearly, a walking home from school ritual, reciting the comedian's act to myself.

The three-second "Wonderful WINO" jingle was as instrumental as anything else in leading me to my career in radio. It was always a kick to play the call letter jingles on the air between the shady used car dealer commercials and the moldy oldies.

During my deejay years at WFOM, Marietta, an Atlanta suburb, we'd refer to the station as "Wonderful Woofum" -- a nod to Carlin, and dripping sarcasm in the same breath.

My secret wish was to have a jingle where the singers crooned my name, but I worked for broadcasters unwilling to invest in an orchestra and chorus for Mikey. Oh, they of misguided priorities.

I did get to voice "Starts Friday at a theatre or drive-in near you" a lot, and "Free balloons for the kids!" so that was nice.

100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next



My Recent Confessions and Observations on Twitter, Where Everything Must Be Said in 140 Characters or Less

Just in: "Verne Troyer sex tape scandal." If I cared, I'd make some remark about it must be a short subject, but I don't care. No big thing.

Mini Me's Mini Me? I do not care.

Re: @alisondoyle on your 10 years with About.com. I've got 10 years and 3 months. Congrats from the future.

And not to brag or anything, but in my 10 years and 3 months with About.com, I've amassed as many as 9 coherent sentences. So, I've grown...

[In reply] @htmljenn she d0 saye 2 moi: "@MikeDurrett that's almost 1 coherency a year! congrats!" -- Tank ewe berry mulch!

I'd have to say the most fun I ever had on a job was doing morning radio. This one comes in #2, right above Fashionista to Amy Winehouse.

My year-over-year drooling is down, but I'm working on that. I've invested far too much time in newfangled hives and stupors.

I finished writing my newsletter 8 whole hours before the deadline! What is wrong with me? It's usually 8 seconds early. I feel so chump.

[In reply] @barbcrews sez she "may have to quit following [me] if keep being that productive." I promise to do worse. My apologies, I have let you up.

[In reply] @htmljenn sez: "I was debating unfollowing you too." I know the feeling. I don't even follow me.

Follow Mike on Twitter


What the Heck Was I Thinking?

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


Listen, as a friend, I know it's Sophia Loren Month. Take extra showers. And breathe.


We don't need no faux volcanic lava tubes with my bladder.


I'm probably in 1-D, an extremely wide 1-D.



Cat photos: Where's Morty?
Watching Westerns

Download Version



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

Headline: "Teens made pact to get pregnant." Times have changed. We made pact to get pizza.

Tummies grew, baby.

All I do is gripe about character limits in my professional writing job. I loathe them. So, where do I spend all my free time? On Twitter.

Headline: "Ex-cook pleads guilty to putting pubic hair in steak." My vegetarian lifestyle continues to reward me in ways I never imagined.

Feeling down today. Nobody ever refers to me as "kindly ol' Pops Snavely."

Just in: "Girl born to Jamie Lynn Spears." Already pregnant.

Headline: "Bear strolls into McDonald's drive-through in NJ." -- That's 'McFlurry®,' not 'McFurry!' Supersize the Tangy Honey Mustard Sauce.

Good news is I weed-whacked the yard. The bad is our neighborhood deer and bunny lost their buffet. I should get them restaurant gift cards.

Headline: "Police blame paperwork for keeping body in morgue 7 years." Police also thank goodness they weren't using Windows 98.

Follow Mike on Twitter


Manlier Than Ever

Mike's Mailbag
Continued From: "100 Things About Me #152"

I may have mentioned this before, but after 11 years on the Internet, I never cease to be amazed by how many people are concerned enough to write to me and inquire about my penis. Some are strangers.

Thank you very much. My penis is fine and taking a nap at the moment. I read him each and every one of your emails, so keep 'em coming.

He's too tired afterwards to reply.

Here's a sample from an actual letter I received recently.

"Penis Enlargement Reviews -- from Rich Potts

"Add almost 3 full inches to the length of your penis... No Pumps! No Surgery! No Exercises!"

Thank you for writing, Mr. Potts. I have never met you and we have arranged nothing in advance.

Hmm, so about that email. I might consider adding "3 full inches." I am nothing, if not redundant.

Overly redundant.

Giftedly redundant.

Let's do the math. Drinking my average amount of liquids, I urinate one dozen times daily.

I counted, on all 10 fingers, one penis, and one nose. Twelve.

Adding three inches per, that's 36 inches, an extra yard I'd have to pee each day, if I came to grips with Mr. Potts' generous enlargement proposition.

Multiply that newly cultivated yard by 365 days and I would need to pee an extra 1,095 feet in a calendar year.

In less than five years, at that length, I would be required to relieve myself a whole additional mile.

My life expectancy may be so kind as to allow me another three decades. Gosh, oh, Mikey! That would be like peeing all the way to town and back.

I'm not up for that. Regardless of what the email says, there would indeed be exercise involved, evacuating the length and breadth of my tubular annex.

On the other hand, three more inches means I would not have to walk as far to go to the bathroom.

What to do? What to do?

I'm going to sleep on it.


100 Things About Me #152

Streams of
For a biographical project, I've been counting the number of times I pee.

And I've learned something.

My life needs more song and dance numbers.

100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next


Boys' Day Out

I should mention my big Father's Day.

I don't have biological children, although Morty, my cat, does look a lot like me in the whiskers and toenails departments.

And when he has a fur ball lodged in his throat, people mistake us for sisters, due to my sympathy hacks.

I do think of Morty as my son and I've already made plans to leave him the family business. He's in training for it. We basically eat around the clock.

I didn't say it was a money-making business.

So, I was happy to pal up with him on Father's Day. That's a day when the kids think they are doing something special for Dad, but, instead, the old man actually humors the little ones. I took Morty fishing.

Like most youngsters, Morty insisted on a lift.

What could I do? He called, "Shotgun!"

I didn't mind carrying him. He's a pretty good navigator, you know, what with the rudder.

We walked down to the creek and I watched Morty get dizzy eyeballing trout, quickly losing interest after the splash. He meowed impatiently for the towel boy, which, of course, was me.

I fluff-dried him, mere seconds before our long afternoon nap.

We'd get up every few minutes and relocate several feet to the sunbeam moving across the ground, eventually causing me to sleepily roll off the creek bank. Splash.

I had hoped for a "King of the Day" helium balloon like we saw in the supermarket, but I didn't receive one. Morty only got as far as purchasing the string -- and he won't let me play with it either.


Top 10 Jerry Lewis and Akira Kurosawa Movies

In "The Boston Globe," "Kung Fu Panda" co-director John Stevenson says, "Imagine Jerry Lewis and Akira Kurosawa making a movie together."


Top 10 Jerry Lewis and Akira Kurosawa Movies

10. "The Seven Samurai Persons Mans"

9. "The Hidden Fortress Boy"


7. "The Magnificent Welenmelon"

6. "Yojimbo Wozentall"

5. "A Fistful of Heebert"

4. "Visit to a Small ToshirĂ´ Mifune"

3. "Who's Minding the Dog Carrying a Severed Hand?"

2. "The Nutty Kagemusha"

1. "You're Never Too Rashomon"

"Kung Fu Panda" image courtesy Paramount / DreamWorks.


I'm Not Exactly Durretty Harry

Continued From: "Drive-In Mr. Mikey"

Because of his movies, Clint Eastwood has been a role model for me.

I'm still working at it.

At the moment, I am "and the pudgy."



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

A stranger wished me "Happy Father's Day, sir." I thanked him & said, "I have no kids." Then I told him to get a haircut. Felt good.

It's going to be oppressive today, hot and very humid at my house. I've already started to pant. I may need to rent an additional tongue.

Headline: "Man accused of leaving kids to pick wild asparagus." Oh, them wacky superdelegates.

I'm eating Cherry Garcia ice cream. I alternate a pint w/a pint of Cherry Garcia yogurt, repeat, thru the day. I have to think of my health.

Headline: "Pipe bomb found inside chicken." Rooster heard mumbling about Colonel Sanders and 17 primo giblets.

Headline: "Obscenity trial judge likes sexy cows." - Well, then, that explains the judicial muumuu.

Headline: "Man feels fine after being shot in head by nailgun." It's such a nice day. Bring on the buzzsaw to the elbows, live bees & punch.

Just in: "New catfish named for longtime mailroom supervisor." You mean Gil Slits? Does he still lick himself & cover the junk mail by foot?

Re: @photo_guide on TV viewing - I adore HOUSE. The kindly doctor is my role model for tenderness, patience, and light. You got any Vicodin?

2:28 p.m. - I've just learned our electricity was off for four hours, so I overslept my regularly scheduled overslept.

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Drive-In Mr. Mikey

My love for movies outdoors makes me fond of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, TX. Each summer, their mobile projection booth and giant screen travel the U.S. on the Rolling Roadshow Tour, showing 35mm presentations of classic movies at the actual filming locations.

This past Sunday, in quite an expansion, Rolling Roadshow screened Sergio Leone's epic spaghetti western, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," in Almeria, Spain, on a spot which doubled for the Civil War era American west.

I was fortunate enough to see the restored uncut version of the production in 2005 at Atlanta's Starlight Drive-in (pictured above). It was the better, the badder, and the cuter.

And, as fate determined, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" was also the second movie I ever projected in a drive-in theatre, during my decades as a motion picture machine operator and bottomless free popcorn partaker.

The western was the second half of a double bill with the "Paint Your Wagon" musical on a Sunday evening in May 1970 at the South Expressway Drive-in Theatre, an impressive single screen venue near the Atlanta airport. It was a week or so before I graduated from high school. I had been an intrepid, seasoned veteran of projection rooms since age 11, but only inside hardtop cinemas.

That night at the drive-in was a major moment of truth in my life. I was being tested.

Oh, I knew I could run the show without difficulty. The question was whether I could stay awake until quitting time, three in the morning. I was still a kid, after all.

I did, but it wasn't easy. I caught myself sleepwalking and sleep-slipping into my jammies during one of Lee Marvin's song solos.

When Clint Eastwood sang "I Talk to the Trees," I donned my nightcap.

By the time Lee Van Cleef bit the dust, I could be heard mumbling, "The Lord is my shepherd ... and God bless Mommy ... and doggy...."

I made it to "The End," eventually -- and then I had to drive myself home. Kudos to Teddy Bear, excellent co-pilot.


100 Things About Me #151

Staring Is the Pits

At the olive bar, I feel uneasy when the pimentoes follow me around the room.

100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next


What the Heck Was I Thinking?

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


So you can see what they look like, I've attached somewhat mediocre scans of the original "Sailor Beware" one-sheet movie poster and the lobby cards set. I found the scans on eBay awhile back. My one-sheet is not yellowed at all. It's as old as I am. I, however, am slightly yellowed.


Donna and I were talking about "The Maltese Bippy" only yesterday. She asked me what a bippy was. I couldn't believe it. I hit her over the head with a purse.


I have a photograph of you with Vic Mizzy. I keep it next to my heart. Or in the box with the moths and Jackie Coogan erotica.


Perturbin' Turbans

I've been examining these snappy photographs since yesterday.

Note to Self: Pay the damn cable bill.

And some things are readily apparent.

I look best in this turban, which can only mean one thing. It's probably a girl's turban. I always embarrass myself.

I look like a hastily scribbled extra in a Betty Boop cartoon. I should be weaving a basket and moaning "mercy, me" to Cirque du Soleil contortionists in Death Stalker Scorpion club wear.

Oh, this one's good for my street cred, but only in the blue. In white, I'm King Kong's Q-Tip.

Joan Van Ark after a nice clarifying shampoo.

Game Show Host ("What's My Hookah?") / Sewing Club Pincushion

Now, this is the hat for driving my Saturn.


Blah Monday

I was going to write more about drive-in theatres today, but chuck it. Too much work.

Say, let's try on turbans!

Enough of that. Who wants Jiffy Pop?

Mr. Durrett's Dresser: Turbanizer via About.com Humor



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

9:12 a.m. - First ice cream of the day. I have to start early to fit it all in. =)

I'm downing Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream. My doctor told me to eat more greens.

Keep your digits crossed. My agent meets with Daniel Day Lewis' agent to discuss my script, "There Will Be Clots."

Headline: "Robbie Knievel Jumps 21 Hummers" -- You know, some days it's just too easy to be snarky. I'm going for a nice walk instead...

Attention Peeping Toms: Tonite, I will be sleeping in an upright position. My normal "ZZZZZ's" will sound like "NNNNN's." Do not be alarmed.

Good evening, my fans, you. I'm building my brand today. Look closely. I'm going to scratch this.... And now: the yawn... *sniff* ... *bow*

I've learned there's something called CHOO-CHOO SOUL. What is that? SOUL TRAIN for tots? Cool. Do the li'l ones dance Ă  la Fly Larvae Girls? ...

Family, friends gasped when I forked out big bucks for the giant flat screen, but who's nuts now? Tomorrow: HDnet Movies in 1080i: JOE DIRT!

Re: @barbcrews: "no truer lyrics - 'Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain'" - How 'bout "Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't fuzzy, was he?"

The only change I can believe in is what I find under sofa cushions.

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Happy Birth-Night, Drive-In Theatres

Last dusk marked the 75th anniversary of the opening of the first drive-in movie theatre. Drive-ins are one of my passions, excepting the corndogs.

Inventor Richard M. Hollingshead tinkered with various combinations of films, screens, sound, and automobiles in the yard of his home, before hitting on a magic formula, which he patented. His Drive-In Theatre opened soon thereafter in Camden, New Jersey, on June 6, 1933.

Shown that night on the gigantic 40-by-50 foot screen: "Wife Beware" with Adolph Menjou.

Admission was 25 cents per person, plus 25 cents per car.

Backseat smooching would not be invented until 1967. (I'm penciled in for August, 2011. I couldn't get lucky earlier. Apparently, it is quite the something!)

Drive-in theatres took awhile to hit their peak, but they soared during the 1950s, totaling almost 5,000 locations across the United States.

This live 1951 sketch from "The Colgate Comedy Hour" features Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis as they spoof the booming exhibition phenomenon. The boys and drive-ins contributed sizable chunks to each other's success.

Can't see the video? Try here.

Can't see the video? Try here.



Cat photos: Where's Morty?

Morty, according to his publicist, was ambushed and provoked in an ugly altercation outside the pussycat's palatial home, involving a paparazzo and a camera strap.

Morty did not return several telephone calls for this story.



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

4:52 p.m. -- Okay, I've had my 2½ hour nap. Let this day begin!

Due to CRYSTAL SKULL's success with aging Ford, Spielberg and Lucas are plotting 100-year-old hero in INDIANA JONES AND THE QUEST FOR FURBY.

@WirelessGuide sez: "Listening to Bob Hope's 105th birthday celebration on Sirius." Isn't that wild? Bob will never retire, I wanna tell ya.

Headline: "Anti-theft dye pack explodes in man's pants." But, and I think this point has been missed, the pants WERE NOT stolen! So there.

[Obama's election victory] This is the big night many have waited for. Michelle put on a happy snarl.

Odd. Hillary Clinton just strong-armed me on the phone, insisting I name her my Vice Tweeter.

Pringles' creator has died & will be buried in one of the cans. That's nuts. I'm going to be cremated and fried into a big eternal Cheetos.

It's official. My spring fever has turned into spring flu.

Dick Martin. Harvey Korman. Kelsey Grammer heart attack. They always come in 2.3s.

The Universal Studios backlot was destroyed by fire. The Eddies, Haskell and Munster, are being questioned.


Balloon Animal

This video about a champion balloon-popping pup made me smile, although it, inexplicably, exacerbates my fear of goiters.


And another thing: Why do people always say, "Enjoy?"

That annoys me, people.


Can't see the balloon-popping dog video? Try here.


Slowly, I Saturn, Step by Step

Ugh. Car trouble. Ain't it grand?

I managed to get my suddenly ailing vehicle to limp back to the house, where we prayed together for the wisdom to make the right maintenance decisions and the proper custody choice for the floor mats, if we should part.

Then, I phoned my wife.

"It doesn't look good," I whispered. "It's lost a lot of fluids."

Mike and his car in the good ol' days, last month.
Donna and I talked over the situation and she was ready to abandon my trusty Saturn sedan of a scant 15½ years.

"If the repairs cost $2000 or more, I say we use that money on a new ride for you," she said.

"But--" I butted.

"Something economical."


"Something economical that operates on hay. You'd look mighty cute on a burro. We'll get you matching hats. Ear holes. Christmas is coming. Maybe Santa will bring you a flyswat."


"Racing stripe? Okay. Maybe a gnat swat function on it, too. You go wild."

I called the wrecker service and ordered a rescue. I also tried to get a musical montage of memories going in my head with film clips, snapshots, and the cupholder, but it wouldn't work for me. I ate an imaginary donut.

Some time passed and I found myself small and alone in the lane, waving good-bye to my wheels tucked up on a flatbed truck.

"Come back to me," I said bravely, shifting to a grandstanding pose Barbra Streisand doesn't use anymore, "YOU COME BACK TO ME!!"

Forty-five minutes later, my telephone rang. I stopped mid-"swing low, sweet chariot, comin' for to carry me home" to answer.

Twelve seconds after that, lightness and sweetness reentered my life and restarted my heart.

Yes. Heart of gold. I left that part out. I am duly corrected.

"Thank you, kind sir," I said to the mechanic. "And a glorious good day to you, mon ami."

With a parting "Happy gearbox additives," I hung up the receiver and sat down to send Donna this very email:

The car is fixed. A wire or line was pulled loose, probably by something on a rough road.

Drum roll, please.

Twenty-five dollars.

Let's buy a BIGGGG TeeVee!

Tow truck...

Drum roll, please.

Forty-five dollars.

I want Tang!!


100 Things About Me #150

No Dice
Video games and I don't mix. My computer's Hearts not only got a virus, but also a myocardial infarction.

The error message during Solitaire told me, "You are not the one."

And I'm not so great with old-fashioned games either, like when I play Go Fish, I have to take Dramamine.

100 Things: #1 | Previous | Next



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

Settling in for tonight's nightmare, thinking maybe something with crunchy mayo or me as a creek-to-creek salesman of fanny packs to trout..

I did have a nightmare. I dreamt giant ants ate me alive. Few had the class, while drinking my fluids, to leave their pinkies pointing out.

Just in: "Tatum O’Neal Arrested For Cocaine Purchase." Her Oscar makes a really lousy roach clip.

The most jaw-dropping bad major Hollywood movie ever, SKIDOO, is on TCM in July. Didn't some critic refer to it as SKIDON'T? If not, I will.

TiVo tells me today's episode of THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM is a rerun. Well, that saves me tons of disappointment. Thanks, TiVo! Get one today.

Headline: "Men use women's thongs as masks during robbery." -- I dunno. Smells fishy to me.

Ah, the end of May. This is the weekend I recrinkle my seersuckers.

Seen on Twitter: "boor boor zaag pulk pulk spuit boor haak plak blaas plak..." Don't know what it means, but apply Gumout®.

I'll see WALL-E. I dated a robot once. I'm a li'l bit Metallica. Her favorite singer is a sewing machine. I was sobbin', caught 'em bobbin..

Rapper 50 Cent reportedly in a bitter dispute with his girlfriend. If community property laws prevail, we'll be calling him Quarter.
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