Carriage Return

Lots of stuff just happened.

Football is officially over for the year in the most lopsided Super Bowl, like ever.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman died of an alleged heroine overdose.

And, I solved (sorta, not really, cheated actually) a Rubik's Cube on the insistence of my son.

The 2013 Denver Broncos had the most explosive offense in the history of the NFL. They were kinda supposed to, like, you know, win. But I guess when you walk onto the field with more assumption than preparation, you're gonna get your clock cleaned.

Mull that for the next seven months.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman was supposed to finish filming the Hunger Games movies and then continue a long line of critically acclaimed dramas, a few of which I might actually watch. Not that I wasn't a great admirer of his work, but he was so damned good, his work so real, that it made it almost uncomfortable to watch.

I never had a taste for drama. Ibsen to Tony Kushner, I know it sounds weird coming from a trained actor, and it's not that I find plays to be boring, it's just that I like to like the people I spend time with.

Probably why I always find Tennessee Williams' work to be breathtakingly lame.

I once saw a version of The Glass Menagerie where the director tacked on a good twenty minutes of scene chewing filler, the worst was a bit where the main character sat at the typewriter banging on the keys for what I'm pretty sure is the same amount of time it took Sisyphus to finish pushing the boulder up the hill.

Only thing he forgot to do was teach the actor how to use a typewriter. Typewriters type along a line and when they near the end little bell goes off. Then the typist hits the carriage return and starts a new line.

The whole process sounds like this:

Clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, ding, clickety, foooowhump.
Clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, ding, clickety, foooowhump.

It's got great rhythm it does. It's addictive too. Get into a good pace and the ideas flow like wine at my house when the clock strikes five.

But the actor was in his mid twenties and had never used a typewriter before. He had no idea that the carriage needed to be returned.

So for the entire five minutes, while the stage cigarette burned, the audience heard  nothing but clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety.

There is nothing worse than a Tennessee Williams play.

I get and respect the genius of it, but it's like spending two and a half hours in a low rent apartment listening to the neighbors fight.

Which, now that I think about it, might make a creepy cool art project.

Invite the audience to come out to the ghetto, usher them into a shabbily decorated studio apartment and perform "A Street Car Named Desire" next door.

Hand them all plastic cups and urge them against the wall so that they might be able to hear the quieter dialogue.

Smoking should be permitted. Air conditioning not.

Luke warm Kool Aid should be served during intermission.

Doors and windows should be left open so you can hear the cat calls of the prostitutes and the ring of the sirens.

If you're gonna make something real and uncomfortable, why not go all the way?


It's a terrible shame Phillip is dead. A lot of good people die for stupid reasons. Chasing a decent high isn't the least of them.

Solving a Rubik's Cube however, that's a terrible way to die.

Which is why I cheated.

But Al Gore invented the internet for several reasons, one of which includes me being the hero to my eight year old son.

See, if you were to lock me into a room and told me that I couldn't eat until I had solved the cube, I would most assuredly die, but not until I'd taken the thing apart and eaten the pieces.

I'm not dumb, I just go insane when you take away my food.

And I can solve the first two steps to solving the cube, which is solving a single side and the first row. I can do that all on my own.

But the center row gets a little trickier cause you can't solve it without un-solving the first part.

Except that you can. A series of twists and turns will allow you to move one piece to the correct position while returning the solved potion back to its original state.

There are a series of the these moves, like algorithms, if you need to move here, do this, if you need to move there, do that.

The first time took me about an hour.

The second time about ten minutes.

Felt pretty good even though I didn't actually SOLVE it. It's kinda like iKea furniture. I didn't actually build it, but it took some skill to put it together. And if there is sweat and blood involved then there's no testicular diminishment.

And those guys on YouTube never actually solve it, they just have memorized the if/then moves, and, as I found out from one of my geeky friends, they've added a little grease to the insides to make them spin faster.

But the end result I wanted, I got.

It's not important that I solved the stupid thing, but it is important that my son still believes I can do anything.

Which gives me lots of time to teach him a few important lessons. Things such as, how pride comes before a fall, and drugs are always a terrible idea, and when solving problem, it's okay to cheat as long as you blog about it.

And last but not least, if you're ever going to star in a college production of a Tennessee Williams play, then try to remember that a typewriter sounds like this:

Clickety, clickety, clickety, clickety, ding, clickety, foooowhump.

No comments:

Post a Comment