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Summer escape season---no and maybe.

The sky today was a stalemate but at this time of year, if life is going at all well, you won't emphasize "stale". Summer felt very much setting out the deck chairs as haze and blue over the San Fernando Valley made for a plum like slate that said, "Pretty but not too deep in thought, folks." Hills standing out enough to beckon at near-future trips beyond them. That's the kind of velocity I was seeking at this North Hollywood shopping center.

On the other side of Victory Blvd. was the Sears at which we brothers had shuffle-restless-feet visits with Dad, but I haven't shopped there in decades. Today was dollar fifty day at the movies, in a faded setting that from the pavement up reflected an expression we used to use, "sic" privilege invoked here, "Ratched out."

The days of first watching the Three Stooges on telly, though I can't say I'm a (ouch alert) slam-bang fan. I'm a bit of a Zelig in hooking onto other people's enthusiasms---as The Boys did on their jerry-rig bicycle to a passing truck in the film. A brother, a band mate and a long deceased softball buddy had down every----as if my regulars would like to be reminded. I forwarded WWE promotional clips (that's our era, folks) and trailers and finally heard some reactions. Now retired and for the aforementioned price the noon show sounded right.

First was a visit to the folks' former place to wash some laundry and set the dryer on before zipping down the Hollywood Freeway. Yes, I have been reprimanded for leaving such an appliance running in absentia and the radiation of a stooge-like aftermath lurked. Coming home, all was well and dry---including the portion of lawn I hadn't attended before. During setting the sprinkler in a sun which was modest but announcing little or no retreat for the next few months, here came a locust which landed on a wall, with a lizard similarly placed a few yards away. Childhood and summer, indeed.

Oh, the movie. Community was the thing that made this cheap outing a true bargain. With all the staggered "school's outs" from our unsettled civic/economic situation there were children in the audience and much laughter from all ages. Not much room for a review here; this film has no reason to exist but the three leads and directors got the wagon wheels in the right ruts. One scene is a flat-out disgrace but enough fun turnabouts came in the uneven pacing to say, well, here's something to talk about for a while.

The directors appear in an odd coda showing "proper" fake eye poking (and you thought this kind of stuff wasn't germane to the creative stringing of words) and, look, rubber mallets with great sound effects equals: no one harmed. Done by professionals!

At this point not much of a hit, though.

This morning's Tuesday Times found the editorialist who is "always right, way right" probably taking his section of the season off but unlike the wrestler there was a front page feature I couldn't read: a ten-year old Pakistani girl whose face was destroyed by acid by men who paid a fine and walked free. My softball buddy died from lung cancer.

No slapstick, the hits just continue to come, all deadly.

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