Well, it “is better than being totally unemployed.” Teaching, I mean. At least that’s what our disgruntled Miss Brooks told herself—and the audience of the situation comedy bearing her name—on this day, January 16, in 1949. She was asked to fill in for a colleague and was tempted respectfully to decline; but, educators being generally treated with less respect than the handouts lavished on their listless charges who promptly doodle themselves out of earshot, dutiful Connie Brooks showed up anyway.
Showing up! That has got to be the easiest and most elementary aspect of fulfilling any job requiring our leaving home. In my case, though, even that seems too much to ask. Apparently, I am too busy these days keeping up with the out-of-date to consult my personal calendar much, at least when appointments involving more than me and the radio are to be kept. At any rate, showing up was something I neglected to do this afternoon, scheduled as I was to start a teaching assignment—in Creative Writing, no less—at the local university.
There is small consolation in listening to absent-minded Dr. Hall of The Halls of Ivy, who, on this day in 1952 suffered the following blackout while hanging up some paintings with his wife:
Mrs. Hall: . . . put this one over the sofa.
Dr. Hall: What is that?
Mrs. Hall: It’s a painting I found up in the attic. Don’t you remember it?
Dr. Hall: No, and please don’t accuse me of having bought it.
Mrs. Hall: Darling, you painted it!
There was reason for Toddy Hall to suppress the memory. Some fifteen years earlier, the painting had met with the assessment that “hanging is too good for it.”
Unlike Dr. Hall, Dr. Heuser tends to remember nothing more clearly than his past embarrassments, a failing that inevitably leads to further blunders. So, pardon me for not being in the mood to celebrate my three-hundredth entry into the broadcastellan journal and for cuddling up with my Mr. Boynton for a screening of Hitchcock’s Wrong Man (showing today on TCM UK).
Considering that I have fallen into the habit of editing my work online, you might find something new (or even worthwhile) in the previous posts. I am sure this short note will be revised before long. For now, it is rather a sour one, reflecting my current mood. Remind me to snap out of it—perhaps by divulging an incident involving a mental power failure of your own.