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I'm so thrilled when folks phone me from their office & immediately put me on hold. I cannot get enough horribly distorted Bossa Nova music.

Poll: 11% of America has confidence in Congress. We are a tolerant people.

I got my invite to the high school reunion. I'm supposed to bring school spirit. Big yippy and that smell in the gym.

Watching: THE MIDDLE. I just realized, like the kid, I am "the forgotten third child." That explains a lot. ... Um, can I leave my room now?

Sitting here, remembering my first kiss, wondering if the statute of limitations has run out for Shemperella....

I don't get to hear them often, but I am about to hear those three little words I yearn: "More chips, please." Huevos rancheros, I love you.

We had lunch with the lady who cuts my hair. I'd never seen anyone shampoo a chalupa.

Got home from high school reunion at 5:30 a.m. They hid my clothes & dangled me from a shower head by my slide rule holster.

Eating Cheerios. Going to be a good day. Let's just say yesterday began with a big bowl of LoatheYouToYourRottenCoreios.

Press Release: "Contestants from AMERICA'S GOT TALENT" are coming to my town. ... Mikey's got $61.50 and keeping it.

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Big Weekend

Big weekend, attending my high school reunion.

I missed the first part. I had to sit in the corner an hour for Study Hall and read "Beowulf."

Then, they made me run laps.

I got home and my yard had been rolled.

But I kept my damn fish sticks!!


Chattanooga Ooh! Ooh!

THE ROAD, Tenn., Day 1 -- Fans of the classic Broadway show tune, "I've Gotta Be Me," immortalized by Steve Lawrence, Sammy Davis, Jr., and countless popular performers, will note the special lyrics warbled by me as our vacation mobile withdrew from the bubbly state of Georgia into bladder-bursting Chattanooga.

"I'll go it alone, that's how it must be
I can't be right for somebody else
If I'm not right for me
I gotta go pee, I just gotta go pee
Daring to try, to do it or die
I gotta go pee!!"

I've been bellowing that little ditty for decades, pretty much on the hour.

"Do you have to go?" asked Donna.

"What gave you that idea?" I countered.

"Your theme song was a hint, and your hands are bending the steering wheel at 10 and 2."

"Yeah, I should alter the act."

"The demonic beads of sweat on your brow spelling out 'DRAIN ME!' is new."

"Thanks for noticing. Yes, I have to pit stop!"

"Then, turn off at this exit."

"You mean, thataway?" I was incredulous.


"But, I thought the Grand Canyon was our first thataway."

"We won't be there for two days!"

"I guess I could hold it -- or, certainly, this car."

"Are you crazy?"

"It's a rental."

"Take the exit!" Donna ordered. I heard it.

"So, now you're telling me we're eight thataways to home."


"Our itinerary, as you argued for the defense off blog via highlighted atlases, View-Master® slides, and notarized receipts in quadruplicate, is to visit seven thataways."

"Off blog?"

"Seven delightfully scenic destinations."

"The Shell station is not scenic."

"It is if you gotta pee! Beauty."

"Mike, go potty. Make your happy noises and don't send me a postcard."

"I'm watching you, missy, and tabulating, "Eight Thataways to Home."

To Be Continued

With apologies to Walter Marks and, of course, Slim.


Gentleman, Start Your Engine

RENTAL CAR, Home, Day 1 -- I turned the dashboard key, engaging the motor and our vacation.

Mike: Check list.

Donna: Check.

Mike: Cat.

Donna: Check.

Mike: Kitty Kondo?

Donna: Checked in.

Mike: Calm? Comfy? Chunky chews?

Donna: Check. Check. Choice.

Mike: House locked?

Donna: Check.

Mike: Lights out?

Donna: Check.

Mike: Luggage.

Donna: Check.

Mike: Maps.

Donna: Check.

Mike: Snacks.

Donna: Check.

Mike: Salt.

Donna: Sea?

Mike: Si.

Donna: Check.

Mike: Cash.

Donna: Check.

Mike: We need to go to the bank??

Donna: Why?

Mike: Check.

Donna: Check?

Mike: Check.

Donna: Cash. Check.

Mike: I can cash a check.

Donna: Check.

Mike: Which bank?

Donna: On First.

Mike: Woohoo! On First?

Donna: Check.

Mike: The other bank is on Third and I don't give a darn!

Donna: What?

Mike: I said, "I don't give a darn!"

Donna: Oh, that's our loan shark.

Mike: Well, okay, then, the two weeks are now up. I enjoyed it. Let's go back into the house--

Donna: Michael, drive the car.

Mike: Where?

Donna: Thataway.

Mike: Far away thataway?

Donna: Check.

Mike: Well, that will be just grand.

Donna: Check.

Mike: What are you talking about?

Donna: Grand Canyon. Thataway.

Mike: Oh, yeah, we were mentioning visiting one of those, weren't we? Are there Grand Canyons everywhere? Is it part of a chain, like Sink Holes R Us? Are there Tall, Venti, Grande Canyons?--

Donna: Go! I've planned everything.

Mike: Check.

Donna: You love me?

Mike: Check.

Donna: Why?

Mike: Chick.

Donna: Chump.

Mike: Check.

Donna: Kiss.

Mike: Cheek.

Donna: Mmm-whah!

Mike: Chemise?

Donna: Are you chewing gum?

Mike: Chicklet.

Donna: Chimp.

Mike: Check.

Donna: Check, mate.

To Be Continued

With apologies to Bud Abbott, Lou Costello and, of course, Slim.


A Ride in the Country

Preview: Big Weekend
Foreword: Pillow Talk

DODGE CHARGER, Outside the House, Day 1 -- Years of travel discussions, preparations, and reservations brought us to this singular Saturday morning. Departure was imminent. Over the next fortnight and a fourth, we would navigate 5000 sleep-deprived miles across America's pavements, puddles, and potholes to reach our final destination:

This very parking space!

"Am I missing something?" I asked, swiveling helter-skelter to peep through the vehicle windows for wisdom. "We're off on a massive car trip to ... here?"

"You," said my wife, buckling her seatbelts, "are too dramatic."

I don't know of what she speaks, but this is my story....

Mike Durrett: Seven Thataways to Home

To Be Continued


Pillow Talk

Previously, I shared a little teaser from our epic vacation. Now, I'm ready to confess the entire tale. Here's how it all began:

Donna: Are you awake?

Mike: Si.

Donna: Would you like to go on a trip?

Mike: Si.

Donna: You would?

Mike: Si.

Donna: When?

Mike: Soon.

Donna: Soon?

Mike: Si.

Donna: Where would you like to go?

Mike: Silt.

Donna: Silt?

Mike: Si.

Donna: Silt, Colorado?

Mike: Si.

Donna: What's to do?

Mike: See.

Donna: See?

Mike: Si.

Donna: See what?

Mike: Slim.

Donna: Slim?

Mike: Si.

Donna: Silt Slim?

Mike: Si.

Donna: You don't know any Slim.

Mike: Sad.

Donna: That would be--

Mike: Silly?

Donna: Si.


Mike: Si.

Donna: What do you imagine this Slim does?

Mike: Silage.

Donna: Silage?

Mike: Si.

Donna: I'm afraid to ask this next one. You're talking silage, the fermented, high-moisture fodder that can be fed to cud-chewing animals like--

Mike: Sheep.

Donna: Sheep?

Mike: Si.

Donna: Steer?

Mike: Sure.

Donna: So--

Mike: Si.

Donna: Silage?

Mike: Si.

Donna: Silt?

Mike: Si.

Donna: Where in Silt?

Mike: Silo.

Donna: A silo!

Mike: Si. See.

Donna: Chances?

Mike: Slim.

Donna: Sleep.

Mike: Sleep?

Donna: Zs...

With apologies to Jack Benny, Wikipedia, and, of course, Slim.


Big Weekend

"Bosco Chocolate Syrup (1950s)" via YouTube

Big weekend, bought me some Bosco!

"Bosco Bear Milk Amplifier Commercial" via YouTube

When I was five and six, the number one, supremely glorious, must-have commodity in the whole wide world was Bosco!

"Bosco Chocolate Milk Commercial With Dick Van Dyke" via YouTube

Nowadays, I add Bosco to my coffee. I am the most wired kid I know.



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

Now what do I do? Sloopy is hangin' on me. Sloopy, hang off will ya?.

Thinking about changing my name to Special Agent Johnny Utah, but I'll probably just go make a sammich....

I'm bracing for CUPCAKE WARS. I've got my Kevlar sprinkles & semi-automatic sniper pastry squirter....

Watching: ZOMBIELAND. I may require a Mommy and a platoon of Nanas....

I survived ZOMBIELAND and now I will be taking up flossing.

I almost walked out of that GREENBERG movie. Then, I noticed I was on my couch.

Things I've Learned From TV: "Box of Wine is very classy right now." But, egad, so expensive compared to Dumpster of Hooch.

I saw a box turtle enter the road. By the time I stopped the car & could get out to help him, he ran across & was gone. ... Hmmph. Steroids.

Okay, summer is here. Time to start my spring cleaning. Maybe. Yeah, maybe.

In 26 years on a computer, my writing has improved. I've changed my default font from Toothless Goon Oblique to Arial Boob.

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Off the Wall

Saving Facebook: My Confessions: 

On Time Travel

Soaking, minding my own business in the hot tub time machine, when Marty McFly snorkels Yvette Mimieux. Sheesh. Date over.

Friend Peter
Mmm, Yvette Mimieux. You know how to party.

Oh, terrific. Now Malcolm McDowell is hogging the blow-up duck and Rachel McAdams is still a child. Dagnabbit.

I'm sending her to the kiddie pool time machine....

On the Living Dead

Watching: ZOMBIELAND. I may require a Mommy and a platoon of Nanas....

Friend Peter
Great flick. Bought the Blu-ray.

The Blu-ray is lovely. The zombies were right out of "Vanity Fair."

Potty Mouthings

We actually have three litter boxes. No waiting.

The cat likes to lounge around in them. I don't know what I'm going to do with that boy.

I think I'm seen as a bit of a small town coot at the supermarket. I buy 100-120 pounds of litter at a time (taking advantage of sales), but the check-out kids are stunned to see that, so, of course, I drool and mumble about "roughage."

On the Effects of a Special Award

‎"Sony Pictures renames its main screening theater after visual effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen." So, then, will all the movies be jerky?

Friend Peter
HA HA HA! And that would be Awesome!

Friend Frank Thompson
Every movie screened there will be projected a frame at a time.

Okay, I know every movie everywhere is projected a frame at a time. But you get me.

Yes. They will project every movie one frame at a time. The lights will come up while they reset for the next frame, lights down, project one, and so on....

Also, my understanding is every other movie screened will now have a giant octopus with only six tentacles terrorize the protagonists. I think the trailer for their version of YOUNG VICTORIA looks quite promising....·

I really enjoyed YOUNG VICTORIA a lot but, yeah, an octopus fight sure couldn't have hurt.


Again, I Got Nuthin'

In all the years of CONFIDENTIAL writings, I have never repeated an entry, but this one simply kills me. So, here we go....

Consolation Video: Bob Hope and Lassie: "You Bet Your Life, Lassie" (1955) via YouTube



Not long ago, while standing on our porch, I thought I heard a cat mewing repetitive distress. My eyes searched the area near the house. I discovered the source of what would be more appropriately described as clicking noises, coming from the trees.

It seems the lass on the left was in the midst of a whirlwind courtship. I observed the rascal on the right gather his courage and climb up to join her.

Moments after these romantic photographs were snapped, the suitor chased the pulchritudinous prize down the trunk to the ground, where they raced under the woodshed and passed into the forest.

I lost sight, but I could hear increasingly frantic activity amidst the dense growth and -- go, girl! -- the young miss zoomed across the driveway into the opposing brush. Six lads, all attired identically, were in hot pursuit.

I shook my head and dared to speak me wisdom, "Prom Night."


Sock It to Tee

Continued From: Meet the Neighbors?

At 1 a.m., the next night, I looked out the same window to see this thug stealing my sweat socks! Four of them!


I have been battling the weeds in our yard. They ate our deck, the tool shed, Donna's self-esteem, and, we think, a mail lady.

I fold my work clothes after each perspiration-drenched skirmish and place them on the porch chair for another round.

Apparently, the nocturnal visitor was snooping and became highly stimulated by my manly scent (who doesn't?), because, after his curious rendezvous with my cotton footwear, he returned to the chair seat and rolled, burrowed, and slobbered into my navy blue tee-shirt and old sneakers, biting feverishly at the materials. He was as aroused as kitties in catnip.

I began to feel the humidity waft off his slobber when an unrelated rain shower pelted the house. The varmint skittered across the porch and down the steps, disappearing into the woodsy darkness.

After an additional observation period and the recitation of several Psalms and a brief prayer to that gardener on HGTV, I opened the kitchen door to the porch. The large wok strainer and spritz bottle of Extra Strength Febreze gave me defensive courage as I clutched them hard, shuffling gingerly into the outside.

I did not see the intruder, but I did find the missing clothing in a disheveled pile beneath the rocking chair. The white crews were sopping with trespasser saliva. There were big drool splotches on my shirt. I'll get a tetanus injection and baby aspirin before I search my shoes.

And then it hit me.

What if my neighbor isn't a he? What if she was looking for a cozy spot to birth babies?

Nuh uh. We'll have none of that. The love nest had to go.

Seconds later, I salad-tonged my various spittle apparel into a plastic bag.

I heard Willie Nelson croon, "Michael, don't let your sweat socks gross up to be daddies...."


Meet the Neighbors?

I looked out the window at three the other morning and these guys were at the door. Unexpected visitors startle me at any hour and this pair was creepy.

I remained inside, unseen. The Ol' Census Worker Treatment.


Big Weekend

Big weekend, at the dollar store.

Okay, so now you know. I don't smell like a million dollars.

I smell like a clam.


Double Feature Kitties: 'Kittens Gone Wild: The Original Popcorn Kittens' and 'This Is Charley'

Morty at the Movies with Morty the CatWhenever I make popcorn, Morty becomes perplexed over the crazy noises, but he may be more confused at the sight of the Popcorn Kittens, those young kits with their wild dance. (Pssst ... it's a response to the new feel of plastic under their paws.)

Then, meet Charley, an inspiration, dealing gallantly with his cerebellar hypoplasia.

"Kittens Gone Wild: The Original Popcorn Kittens" via YouTube

"This Is Charley" via YouTube


Beck to the 'Beach'

Poster for Bikini Beach, one of the early Beac...Image via Wikipedia
When we were 12, I remember going to the neighborhood theatre to catch "Bikini Beach."

The truth be told, I really went to see if Becky Ward was there.

I thought maybe I might "bump into" Becky Ward.

I looked.

The theatre burned to the ground 15 years later. I never saw her.

I noticed Turner Classic Movies is showing "Bikini Beach" tonight.

Will Becky Ward be watching?

I'll watch, if Becky Ward watches.



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

For Father's Day, I emptied the litter box. I have no biological kids, just kitties. They're the gifts that keep on giving.

Texted pal Jeremy while he saw THE LION KING play in Vegas: "Seen any warthogs munching grubworms, yet?" He re: "Pumbaa is now vegetarian."

Question to me: "Will you miss LAW AND ORDER?" ... I haven't missed the show for 20 years. It will be nice not to have to avoid it, though.

On Twitter, I see mentions of "Sepp Blatter." I'm not sure what that means, but I'm suddenly concerned to use our plumbing.

@wceberly sez: "Jun 29... Globe Theater burned down this day in 1613, where most of Shakespeare's plays debuted." ... Out damn marshmallows!

Now on TCM: 55 DAYS AT PEKING. I liked about 3 days and a long weekend.

I'm told GONE WITH THE WIND was published on this day, June 30, 1936. I don't know nuthin 'bout birthin' no novels.

Wonder Woman's got a new outfit. I think it's very appropriate. Now, we'll wonder if she's a woman.

"90 Days in Jail for Probation Violation."... Lindsay Lohan in THE PISSANT TRAP.

Yay, Fourth of July! ... Going to Costco to get a silo of potato salad... Cutting back this year. Gotta watch my figure...

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'Pollyanna' the Beautiful

I experienced Walt Disney's "Pollyanna" (1960) when I was freshly eight. At the great risk of shocking you, I confess it was here where I first fell in love with a certain older woman. Hayley Mills was about 13.

I am not alone. Gathered from a half century of personal conversations, adolescent Hayley was the object of more affection by my collective contemporary fellows than any other female, at any point in our lives.

(Apologies to Annette Funicello, who trended to the slightly older boys. We caught up with her in our teens.)

Watching "Pollyanna" again on Independence Day was special, steeped in its unabashed Americana. One portion, faded from my memory, caught me by surprise.

Pollyanna and the children at the early 20th century bazaar, dressed up as the flag, singing "America the Beautiful," is a remarkably touching scene. I prize and place this sequence in high esteem and good company, alongside the endearing ham suit of "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962).

(Scene begins at 8:14)

"Pollyanna: America the Beautiful" via YouTube


Cartoon Carnival

Tom and Jerry in "The Yankee Doodle Mouse" (William Hanna, Joseph Barbera, 1943) via YouTube

Popeye the Sailor in "We Aim to Please" (Dave Fleischer, 1934) via YouTube

Bugs Bunny and Marvin the Martian in "Hare-Way to the Stars" (Chuck Jones, 1957) via Spike


Movies in the Movies: 'The Blob' (1958)

Writing recently of "The Tingler" (1959), where the dastardly creature kills the projectionist in the movie theatre, reminded me the idea was a direct lift from a bigger horror touchstone, "The Blob," the previous year.

You remember "The Blob," starring, as the coming attractions trailer says, "Steve McQueen and a cast of exciting young people."

I don't know about the cast of young Blob, but it was pretty palpitating in its own right, dropping in from outer space to feed and grow on exciting young people and a few gristly, yucky, mindless oldsters.

After all, even The Blob needs to eat its vegetables.

"The Blob" Theatrical Trailer via YouTube

I never knew The Blob's real name. I've always called it Smuck.

Because, with a name like Smuck, it has to be goo.

"The Blob" was filmed in Phoenixville, PA, where the best remembered sequence takes place inside the local movie theatre, the Colonial.

During a late night terror flick, the behemoth Blob enters the building through the air ducts, stopping off in the projection room to dine on the operator.

He was a bookworm, which The Blob finds tasty. I think it belches, "Spillane molls," before coughing up the Nylon shirt and moving on, squeezing through the projector windows to dessert on the spunky chunkies watching the picture below.

I've heard tales of how 1958 projectionists yelled out of the portholes over their auditoriums at the exact moment the movie counterpart dies on film. It shook up the kids in the audiences.

The rampage sequence continues as the gang spots The Blob coming their way. In immense fear, the entire crowd sprints outside the cinema and onto the street in a frantic escape. Look:

"The Blob" (1958) Run-Out Sequence via YouTube

Classic stuff. Researching this article, I learned the Colonial Theatre still exists and conducts an annual BlobFest each July!

Why wasn't I told of this wonderful event? It is exactly something I would love to experience. Scary movies and live entertainment, highlighted by 35mm showings of "The Blob" in the same room where it was filmed.

A run-out reenactment is part of the festivities. When the crucial moment, described above, beams onto the screen, I'd be highly amused to rise up with the BlobFest attendees and rush through and from the theatre, hollering as if life depends on it.

BlobFest informs me, however, the reenactment does not occur during a presentation of "The Blob," which seems like a missed opportunity, but still fun. Peek:

BlobFest (2009) Run-Out Reenactment via YouTube

I did not know The Blob had its own advance roadie with signal lights to direct the screaming throngs.

Considerate carnivorous monster, we hardly knew ye.

I need to make the trip. Then, I want to swim with The Incredible Mr. Limpet....


Morty for the Defense

Continued From: Meanwhile...

"Man, I told you I was goin' bowling."

"Good night, everybody!!"

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