Friday, January 09, 2015


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D’oh! A Long Overdue Simpsons Quiz


 
How is this even possible? I was chatting on the phone today with Miss Lucy, the Queen of Atomic, when we discovered that we are both fans of The Simpsons. Miss Lucy said she had taken some of my oh-so-popular quizzes but didn’t remember the Simpsons one. I told her I’d send it off to her right away.

Well, I searched through all 1400 of these damn things and guess what? No Simpsons quiz. To be sure there were quizzes dealing with all of my other favorite things, like the Beatles, Howard Stern and at least three on Seinfeld, but somehow the Simpson got overlooked.

And so tonight we correct this egregious oversight. After all, I’m only here to please my readers, and if that reader happens to be a young woman so much the better. So without any further delay allow me to present my very first Simpsons quiz. This one, of course, goes out to Miss Lucy. And after this build-up I’m expecting a score of nothing less than a 90%, young lady.


  1. Which one is not a Simpsons character?
      a. Sideshow Mel
      b. Lunchlady Doris
      c. Air Force Amy
      d. Bumblebee Man

  1. What is Apu’s last name?
      a. Nahasapeemapetilon
      b. Nehpassapaatem
      c. Nupatahemisutt
      d. Smith

  1. Which character is still alive?
      a. Maude Flanders
      b. Bleeding Gums Murphy
      c. Fat Tony
      d. Dr. Marvin Monroe

  1. What breed of dog is Santa’s Little Helper?
      a. Dachshund
      b. English Terrier
      c. Bulldog
      d. Greyhound

  1. How many eyes did the mutated fish have?
      a. One
      b. Two
    c. Three
    d. Four

  1. What is Lenny’s last name?
      a. Carlson
      b. Leonard
      c. LaRue
      d. It’s never given

  1. Which one is not a schoolyard bully?
      a. Jimbo
      b. Kearney
      c. Rags
      d. Dolph

  1. Which character is based on Mike Tyson?
      a. Duffman
      b. Dreaderick Tatum
      c. Kirk Van Houten
      d. Ranier Wolfcastle

  1. On which program did the Simpsons originally appear?
      a. The Carol Burnett Show
      b. The Tracey Ullman Show
      c. The Tony Randall Show
      d. The David Letterman Show

  1. What are Itchy and Scratchy?
      a. A cat and mouse
      b. A dog and cat
      c. Two cats
      d. Two dogs


ANSWERS

  1. AIR FORCE AMY is not a character on The Simpsons.  She is, however, a real-life prostitute on one of those filthy HBO programs. And if you knew that you should be ashamed of yourself. (Me? Oh, I just heard about her somewhere. Ahem.)
  2. Apu’s last name is NAHASAPEEMAPETILON, and thank God for copy and paste.
  3. Of that quartet only FAT TONY still survives.
  4. Santa’s Little Helper is a GREYHOUND who lost his last race on Christmas Eve, causing Homer to remark, “He’s a Simpson.”
  5. The mutated fish who swam a little too close to the nuclear power plant had THREE eyes.
  6. Lenny’s last name is LEONARD, which is a pretty strange last name. Kind of a strange first one too, now that I think of it.
  7. There is no Simpsons character named RAGS, bully or otherwise.
  8. DREADERICK TATUM  is based on Tyson. He once said of his hometown of Springfield: “That town is a dump. If you ever see me back there again you’ll know I f&*$#d up pretty bad.”
  9. The Simpson family first appeared on THE TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW on April 19, 1987. Ullman later sued the program, claiming that at least part if its success was due to it having appeared on her show. The judge is still laughing.
  10.  Well of course you knew that Itchy and Scratchy are a cat and a mouse. Ah, but          which is which?   


So how did you all do? How about you, Miss Lucy, did you get at least nine correct? If not, you got some splainin’ to do!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Tagline



I write these things using Word, and then transfer them over to my website. It’s nice, because with Word there are a lot of bells and whistles that can really help out a writer. For example, in the previous sentence I accidentally typed “ith” instead of “with” and you know what happened? Why, a handy red line suddenly appeared to advise me that there is no such word as “ith.” Isn’t that something?

Now, I also type the title of each piece right at the very top. And so there it is: Tagline. And now I’ll even type it again: Tagline. And you know what I noticed each time I type it? I notice that no tell-tale red line appears under it. And it doesn’t matter how many times I type it. Tagline, tagline, tagline. See? And do you know why no little red line appears? Because it’s a word and it’s spelled correctly, that’s why!

Let’s take a step back. Two days ago I was nearing the end of another game of Words With Friends with Spike. Up until that point it had been a fairly close game. I was leading, of course, but it was not by any means an insurmountable lead. Little did I know that I was about to begin the greatest Words With Friends run I ever had, and probably ever would have.

One of my moves was for a whopping fifty-six points. And this was the only one of the four that was under sixty-two points. I estimate that I picked up about 250 points in those four moves, leaving poor Spike to eat my literary dust. Still, I wanted to keep the momentum going, and so studied my rack of seven letters as if it were the Rosetta Stone.

Then I glanced up and noticed there were no more letters to be drawn. Now it was time to think about going out, and with seven letters left I would try to do it in two moves. This is my usual end-of-game strategy.  I don’t mind sharing it with you because I know that even on the off-chance that I ever play Words With Friends with you, and even if you know my strategy, I still have little doubt that I will kick your ass, and royally.

And then I saw it. Not only could I form a seven letter word, I could lay it down quite nicely, right over the Triple Word box. The word was “tagline,” and with it I could get a Triple Word, use all of my letters and end the game as well. Not to mention making my fifth big-point word in a row.

But all of those feats, astounding as they were, paled when compared to this last one: I did a quick bit of math, and found that this word would give me ninety-two points, including a thirty-five point bonus for using all seven letters, pushing my score for the game over the 550 mark, and so making it the highest total I (and certainly you) had ever achieved!

And so I began. I put the letters where they belonged, thrilled to see that in reality the word fit just as I had envisioned. I looked at the sheer beauty of it for a few adoring seconds, and then hit the Play button. And I was absolutely stunned to see the little box come up and tell me that my word was either a proper noun or spelled wrong!

Well, computers are machines and machines make mistakes, so I suppressed my rising panic and tried again. Then I recalled all my letters and placed them in the position again. T-a-g-l-i-n-e. And then I did it a third time. And each time I was told by that black box that “tagline” is, in essence, not a word.

The next thing I did was take a short walk to the living room. I needed to clear my head. I needed to think it out. But mostly, I needed to whine. I told Spike what had happened, but judging from her reaction, or rather, lack of one, I don’t think she fully comprehended the gravity of my situation. I stared at her for a few seconds as she re-immersed herself in yet another Lifetime movie, and then with a huff I returned to the computer.

A few minutes later I entered the Acceptance phase and made my move. I would not be using all seven letters, I would not be scoring ninety-two points and, most devastatingly, I would not be setting a new personal record for points in a game. And so I eventually won the game by over 200 points, finishing with a mind-boggling score of 495. That’s nice, I sighed.

But I wasn’t done. My first move was to look up the word “tagline” on the Encarta Dictionary attached to Word. It said, to my surprise, “No results were found.” I then reached for my Random House College Dictionary (‘though, admittedly, it’s been some time since college) and again the word wasn’t there. Which proves nothing, I thought. That dictionary is so old it also doesn’t have entries for AIDS, George W. Bush, and probably many other modern-day plagues as well. But dammit, I spent fifteen long years writing scripts for television commercials. I know what an effin’ tagline is!
My next stop was at Google. I entered the word and suddenly the world began to make sense again. There it was, in the Free Online Dictionary. And there it was again, on Wikipedia. And one more time, in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. And let me clear up that thought that’s been buzzing around your head since we started. In two cases the sources pointed out that “tagline” could be spelled as one word or two. And the Merriam-Webster folks only offered one version, and that was as a single word! They also mentioned that the first known use of the word was in 1926.

There’s a place on the official Word With Friends website where you can submit a word to their official list, and so I half-heartedly typed in “tagline.” Add it, don’t add, I don’t really care. Sure, they’ll be future Words With Friends games where I’ll use all seven letters. I’ll also go out first in many more games. I’ll make moves that are worth over ninety-two points and I might even set a new personal high score someday. But never again will I get to do all of these things in one single move, and I’ll never forgive Words With Friends for that.

Sure, I’ll continue to use their Words, but I’m afraid we can never again be Friends.
 
(By the way, that's a tagline.) 



Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Fat for a King


My girlfriend and I were just coming out of the movie theater when we saw the headline.  Elvis Presley was dead.  This was major news.

I was not a big fan of Elvis. He was in his prime before my time. I didn’t really start paying attention to music until the Beatles came along, and then I really paid attention.  And while I recognized Elvis for the cultural icon he was, I never gave him a great deal of respect. He didn’t write his own music.  I did sort of like his movies though, although here again it was less because they featured his music and more due to the bevy of bikini-clad girls who were always scampering through them.

Shortly before his death, and even more so after, Elvis had gone from being a rock and roll god to something of a punch line. He had gotten, if not quite old (he died at 42) then certainly older. And the obvious fact that the formerly svelte sex symbol had become obese was overlooked by no one.

One of the lines often used by the millions of people who imagined they did a pretty fair Elvis impersonation was, “Make me another of them fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, Priscilla.” It was no secret that the sandwich was indeed one of the King’s favorite snacks. And though I had heard mention of the sandwich many, many times, I never actually stopped to think about how it was made, or what it might taste like.

Until now.

And so a trip to the Internet, where I find many recipes for the legendary fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. I also find some rather sharp differences of opinion. One person says that Elvis ate 12 to 15 of these at a sitting, while another commented that this was absurd. And still another said that she had seen Elvis’s actual cook prepare the sandwiches, and if you wanted your sandwiches the authentic Elvis way, well, you’d better be ready to use a stick of butter for each one.

And so right now, as if you hadn’t already guessed, I’m going to whip up one of Elvis’s special treats and share the experience with you. You might recall that in the past I have shared the fun with you as I ate cat food and, even worse, Brussels sprouts. So this one should be easy.

First, let me share the recipe with you. You’ll need creamy peanut butter, two slices of bread, lots of butter and one mushed up banana. See, without reading the recipe I would have simply sliced the banana. I never would have known to mash it up.

Take one slice of bread and spread the peanut butter on it. By the way, if you hear Elvis rolling in his grave it’s because I’m using chunky and not creamy. It’s all I have. Then on the other slice of bread spread the mushed up banana.

Bring the two slices together to form a sandwich, and then fry in butter. Pretty simple, huh? Okay, I’m heading to the kitchen now. I’ll be back in a bit…to eat like a king!

You know, I was going to write that since I like peanut butter and I like bananas and I like bread and I like butter, it should be no big surprise that I liked the sandwich. And I did, to some degree. But here’s the thing. I gave half the sandwich to Spike, who also likes all the above ingredients but took only one bite before handing it back.

“I don’t like the combination,” she said. Which makes sense, I suppose. I mean, I like pickles and I like ravioli…

Listen, given the choice between the cat food, Brussels sprouts and the sandwich I’d go with the sandwich every time. But I have to tell you it was just okay. I doubt very much that I’ll ever taste another fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, unless someone else is making it and I’m near starving. And so why was Elvis so obsessed with them? That, I suppose, is a mystery that the King with him took to his early grave.

Thang ya very much.


Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Runny Eggs


Mom was a great cook, she really was. And those of you who have been lucky enough to partake of my near-legendary eggplant parmigiana should know that what you oohed and ahhed over was little more than a pale imitation of the original; the original, of course, being made by Mom.

In addition to her award-worthy Italian dishes, Mom also made us, my brothers and me, breakfast every morning before we rushed off to school. To this day I don’t see how it was possible that I woke up, got washed, dressed, sat down for breakfast and still made it to catch the 7:06 school bus, which stopped over two blocks away from our home. If I tried this today, with my current attitude and motivation, I’d no doubt quickly become a fourth-grade dropout.

And it wasn’t just any breakfast.  Mom believed, and even said, that it was important to have a hot breakfast. To be honest, I suddenly recall the ‘hot” part of breakfast occasionally being a Pop-Tart or two, but give us a break. Pop Tarts were a wondrous new innovation at the time, a warm pastry coming right out of your toaster. Why, it was one of the marvels of the dawning Space Age!

Now, there’s no way I can remember how often we had eggs as part of our daily breakfast, but I seem to remember it being fairly often. My brothers, I believe, liked their eggs scrambled. I, however, preferred mine fried. Just like everything else I ate. You see, sopping up that yellow yolk with a piece of buttered toast just might turn out to be the high point of my day.

One thing I didn’t like, though, was that gelatinous goop that was inevitably sitting on top of the egg, glistening and shimmering there like a cup of snot.  Most times I’d be aware enough to scrape it off into my plate, giving it a wide berth from the other food and thus avoiding the tragic accident of shoveling some it up when I later attacked with my buttery piece of toast. And once in a while I’d miss seeing the stuff, eat it right along with the rest of the egg, immediately realize my error and begin to gag like a virgin on prom night.

I suppose I had always known the phrase “over easy,” but I figured this was some fancy adult recipe for the preparation of eggs, like eggs Florentine or caviar stuffed eggs. It may be a slight exaggeration (I swear to you I just accidentally typed “eggsaggeration”) to say I didn’t know the actually definition of the term until I was well into college, but it’s no stretch to say that when I found out I was shocked.

I was genuinely astounded to learn that all you had to do was flip a fried egg over, let it cook for even a minimal amount of time, and all that white runny goo would disappear. All of my years of scraping that slimy crap off of my eggs, or actually--gag--swallowing it, could have been avoided with one simple maneuver. Why, for the love of God, didn’t Mom do this?

It’s possible that she didn’t know, of course, but with her kitchen expertise that seems very unlikely. Still, as appalling as it was to learn what “over easy” truly meant, there was some joy in the discovery as well. Never again, I realized, would I have to eat a runny egg. And Mom, for unnecessarily serving your eldest, and clearly finest,  son half-cooked eggs that jiggled like white Jell-O for all those years, you are hereby forgiven. But, jeez... 


Monday, January 05, 2015

While My Guitar…


Is it possible that you, the staunchest and most loyal of Beatle fans, could ever imagine a circumstance where an iconic trophy of no less prestige than a guitar that had been autographed by George Harrison is purposely destroyed, and you actually support and even cheer this action? Hold on, don't answer too quickly. First you must hear the story, and then you can decide. Sound fair? Okay then, listen up:

George Harrison died of lung cancer on November 29, 2001. A legal complaint was filed shortly after on behalf of his estate, claiming that Dr. Gilbert Lederman, a radiation oncologist, had sometimes brought along his family while visiting the dying Harrison. On one occasion the family began to sing, forcing the former Beatle to gasp, "Please stop talking." The complaint also alleges that later Lederman had his 12 year old son play guitar for the captive Harrison, after which he asked him to autograph the guitar.

"I do not even know if I know how to sign my name anymore," pleaded Harrison.

The complaint claims that Dr. Lederman then picked up Harrison's hand and guided it, saying "Come on, George, you can do this. G-E-O..."

The suit was eventually settled out of court. One of the stipulations was that the guitar that Harrison had been forced to sign must be "disposed of." How the guitar was destroyed has never been made clear, but I'm sure you'll now agree that getting rid of the musical instrument that surely would have become known as "George Harrison's Death Guitar" was the proper thing to do.

Or perhaps not. Maybe the guitar should have instead been preserved and hung on a wall, with Harrison's shaky signature serving as a stark and cruel reminder to us all that people, and especially sick and dying people, should be treated with kindness and dignity. And even better, instead of the guitar, maybe it should have been the callous Dr. Lederman himself who should have been disposed of. 

With kindness and dignity, of course.  




Sunday, January 04, 2015

New Year. Same Old.


As you get older you develop an instinct for these things. Or at least I did. Or maybe I’m just that much more perceptive than you. Yeah, that’s probably it.

We were watching (and I hesitate to admit this but I have to write about something) that New Year’s Eve show from New York. You know, the one with Ryan Seacrest. There was a band performing, one that I had actually heard of. And that’s about it. I knew their name and nothing else. They are called Florida Georgia Line.

I was paying enough attention to know they were doing a song called, “Sundays,” or something like that. And then I heard the line. It went, “If I’m lucky, yeah I might get paid.” And it just didn’t sound right. I suspected they had changed it.

And so, to the Internet! Where the first thing I discovered was the name of the song was actually, “Sun Daze.” Isn’t the web wonderful? I mean, years ago we would have been thinking it was called “Sundays,” right up until the day we read it on the record label. And if we never bought the record, we’d be wrong forever.

I quickly found the lyrics and sure enough, and as usual, I was right. The actual lyric was, “If I’m lucky, yeah I might get laid.” Well sure, this was probably the duo’s biggest audience ever, they were performing live and if the network said to change the word, well, what else could they do?

Well, they could have done what Jim Morrison did just before appearing for the first (and last) time on the Ed Sullivan Show. A producer had told the band that they must change the lyric to their hit “Light My Fire” from “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher,” to “Girl, we couldn’t get much better.”

Hell, that doesn’t even rhyme. History is a little fuzzy on whether the Doors verbally agreed to this, but it’s crystal clear about what happened next. Morrison sang the original lyrics, and the Doors were banned from the Sullivan Show for life. (Which for Morrison meant less than four years.)

So, can you really blame Florida Georgia Line for caving? I mean, a gig’s a gig, right? And with Ryan Seacrest, no less. Still, when I went on to read all of the lyrics in “Sun Daze” I was somewhat surprised. There were references to getting stoned, the corn hole game and sitting a girl up on the kitchen sink and putting “a pink umbrella in her drink.” Okay, maybe I’m reading too much into that last one, but I don’t think ol’ Ed would have liked it. Nope, not one little bit. 


Thursday, January 01, 2015

Quiz: The Road to…


Why would I be sitting around, minding my own business, and suddenly be thinking of three movies all of which whose titles begin with The Road to…? I don’t know. Believe me I stopped trying to figure out how this somewhat peculiar mind of mine operates a long time ago.

And, even more amazing, it was after having this thought that I remembered that Bob Hope and Bing Crosby made a whole series of movies that began with The Road to. How about that? Why, there must be so many movies whose titles begin with The Road to that I could even make a quiz. And so I did. Now get to work.

  1. In 1926 Lon Chaney starred in The Road to…
      a. Burma
      b. Mandalay
      c. Hell
      d. The Wolf Man

  1. An Oscar-nominated documentary from 1962 was The Road to the…
      a. Sky
      b. Ocean’s Floor
      c. Wall
      d. End of Time

  1. Hope and Crosby’s final road picture was The Road to…
      a. Bali
      b. Tahiti
      c. Singapore
      d. Hong Kong

  1. A 2006 docudrama about three British Muslims was The Road to…
      a. Allah
      b. Guantanamo
      c. Salvation
      d. Afghanistan

  1. Matthew Broderick and John Cusack starred in The Road to…
      a. Wellville
      b. Hollywood
      c. Nat’s Farm
      d. Sara Jessica Parker

  1. Tom Hanks starred in Road to…
      a. Omission
      b. Perdition
      c. Commission
      d. Nuclear Fission

  1. There was no Hope/Crosby movie called The Road to…
      a. Morocco
      b. Egypt
      c. Rio
      d. Utopia

  1. Cicely Tyson starred in a TV movie called The Road to…
      a. Houston
      b. Galveston
      c. Austin
      d. Crawford

  1. In 1955 John Payne and Lee J. Cobb starred in a western called The Road to…
      a. Abilene
      b. Boot Hill
      c. Carson City
      d. Denver

  1. A 2000 musical documentary was called Elton John: The Road to…
      a. London
      b. El Dorado
      c. the Yellow Brick
      d. Rodeo Drive


ANSWERS:

  1. MANDALAY. That was Chaney Senior of course. It was Junior who gained fame playing the wolf man. And it was Dick Cheney who starred in The Road to Hell.
  2. WALL. What wall? The Berlin Wall? I don’t know—IMDB didn’t say and I’m too lazy to research it. Do it yourself if you’re so curious.
  3. HONG KONG. It was made in 1962. There were rumors that Hope and Crosby had planned on one more Road movie, but Bing Crosby died before it materialized.
  4. GUANTANAMO. It tells of three Muslims who were imprisoned for two years until they were release without any charges filed. Whoops. I’m sure this is the only time something like that has happened.
  5. WELLVILLE. It was okay, but I was a little disappointed. Great cast, though.
  6. PERDITION. C’mon, it was only six years ago. Surely you got this one right?
  7. EGYPT. But I bet you remembered there was, with pyramids and dancing girls and camels, eh?
  8. GALVESTON. And where else are you going to see Stephen Root and Clarence Williams III in the same picture?
  9. DENVER. Wrong! I just threw in all those western-sounding places to mess you up. Sucker.
  10. EL DORADO. Named after the animated movie of the same year, in which Sir Elton did a voice.

This test was a toughie. How did you do? If you got four or five right you did great. If you got over five right you’re a cheater.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Mount Trashmore




A few years ago I was wandering around Realtor.com and becoming enamored of the seemingly bargain prices for homes in Florida. In fact today you can still get a three-thousand square foot home right on the beach for about $12,000. OK, that last part isn’t true, but the prices did seem remarkable, especially when compared to our own merciless California market.

Now you know and I know that I wouldn’t do well in Florida’s oppressive heat. I suspect that I’d last about two, maybe three, days before I hopped the next direct flight to Greenland, never to be heard from again. I often have this fantasy about God coming on Judgment Day and yelling, “What the hell are you doing? I never intended for people to live there! I made Florida for the lizards!”

At about the same time I was checking out the Florida real estate I had asked two friends who had come from Florida to send me, just for fun, their top ten reasons for not moving there.  I wish I had saved what they wrote, because both lists were very funny and I could have easily published them here on these pages and passed them off as my own.

I do, however, recall one of the reasons given for not moving to Florida. “You don’t want to live in a state where the highest point is a garbage dump named Mount. Trashmore.” This is hilarious if true, and while I’ve been able to locate several people on the Internet who repeat this claim I find no name for the particular dump or any hard evidence that the claim is valid.

The official high point in Florida is some place called Britton Hill. It towers 345 feet above sea level, and is surely destined to become Britton Island after Al Gore gets his way and Florida disappears beneath the Atlantic. The second highest point in Florida is Oak Hill at 331 feet, followed closely by High Hill.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the list of the eleven highest points in Florida is that five of them are man-made. In fact, we can even name the man. You see, all five happen to be rides at Disney World. Funny, sure, but not nearly so much as that trash heap story. I guess I’ve got some more research to do.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

WWCD?


Which of course stands for “What Would Columbo Do?” About what, you ask? Well, calm your heinie down for about ten seconds and I’ll tell you. Do you remember about a week or so back when I tried to play a mystery game where I gave you some clues in a story and asked you to deduce what happened? Well tonight we’re going to try something similar, except this story is true. And, unfortunately, this time I don’t have the answer. I’m leaving that up to you.

This took place about twenty years ago in the home of an old man. I had traded my soul for a stockbroker’s license and had come to the old fellow’s home to try to squeeze his life savings out of him. By which I mean to help him achieve his investment goals. Ahem. He was a pleasant old coot and showed me the small aviary he had constructed to keep what seemed to be about a dozen colorful finches.

“The doctor told me I should get a hobby,” he said.

The reason for the advice was that he was the full-time caretaker for his wife, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. She was sitting in a recliner in another room, seeming as innocent and childlike as the day she was born. He took me into the dimly-lit room to introduce me.

“She has good days and bad days,” said the old man. This, I knew, was clearly one of her bad days. That she didn’t recognize me was to be expected; that she didn’t recognize her own husband was heartbreaking.

I never did sign the old man as a client, but I did spend some time talking to him. He seemed to need some companionship, desperately, so I gave him about an hour and then said good-bye. I then stuck my head into the other room to say good-bye to his wife. Nothing.

I was surprised when about six months later the old man suddenly walked into my office. He still wasn’t interested in any of the bogus investments my company was pushing and I wasn’t sure why he had come. To chat? Whatever the reason I couldn’t deny that he seemed happier and…more free. He appeared as if a giant weight had been lifted from his shoulders; and so it had.

He had dropped by to show me some photos. He and his wife had been driving somewhere in the middle of Nevada when they had had a horrible car accident. He showed me pictures of the crushed vehicle with a pride that men his age usually save for pictures of their grandchildren. Or mistresses.

“I walked away from that without a scratch,” he bragged.

His wife hadn’t been so lucky. She had died on impact, right there in the middle of Nevada’s desolate void. Frankly the whole idea of this old guy practically beaming while showing me photos of the wreckage from the accident that had killed his wife was a bit off-setting. And creepy.

So here’s what we have: An old man trapped in a house that had become a prison as he was forced to care from his ancient and unaware wife. A car trip through one of the emptiest places in the West, followed by a fatal accident with no witnesses. And an aftermath of one dead wife, one unharmed old man and a car mangled beyond recognition.

So tell me, what exactly happened on that desert road? How was the old man able to walk away unharmed while his passenger died? It happens, I know. Where did this inscrutable sense of pride come from and why was he even showing me these gruesome pictures in the first place? Was he simply glad to be alive or was he bursting to tell someone, anyone, what he had done? So tell me, what do you think happened? And more importantly, what would Columbo do?

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