January 18, 2008

Household Follies! A rollicking filmed entertainment concerning the adventures of a young man of twenty-three residing in a flat in the immigrant borough of Queens! It has been said the audience for short comedic film-strips must feel superior to the protagonist if they are to laugh from their bellies, and patrons of all ages will have no trouble feeling above this scamp for whom the very acts of feeding, clothing, and bathing himself are trying madcap ordeals.

First Entry In The Program- "Household Follies: That Can-Do Spirit!" - A jaunty piano rag plays as our hero uses a "can-opener" device to attempt to open a tin of tuna fish for his evening meal. He struggles mightily, but at one point the lever of the device simply stops turning with the tin barely half of the way open. The device has broken! Our hero curses the proprietor of the discount emporium who sold him the faulty apparatus, then wonders if he can pry the tin open with his fingers.

"Hi-ho! A little tug ought to do the trick!" says our hero, his dialogue printed on title cards lovingly embroidered with curlicues which the audience reads to know what the characters are saying, in this case the embellishment providing a hilarious contrast with the coarseness of our hero's speech and manner!

Sure enough, when the fellow has the tin almost open, he gashes his thumb on a jagged metal edge. "Cripes!" he explains, "I'm punctured! Just my luck!" With the loping, awkward gait which is his signature (under-cranked for a speedy comic effect), our hero rushes to the washroom, runs water over his wound, and watches wide-eyed as his blood continues to spurt in a manner humorously mis-matched with the seeming size of the cut.

From the sparkling of the tap water we dissolve to a dream sequence wherein our hero must trek to the Emergency Room, encountering all manner of wine-os, rummies, and zip-gun victims, and get patched up by a brusque and sleepy doctor. Since the fellow has no Insurance Against Corporeal Malady, he imagines medical bills raining down from the sky like snow in an exaggerated, operatic effect!

When we snap out of this sequence, the hero's bleeding has just stopped, and he bandages up his cut, yet is so riven with paranoia that he must watch his bandage for several more minutes for any sign of hemmoraging, all the while attempting to manipulate a fork and scrape out the peasant-fish which is the meager reward of his folly. The protagonist then looks into the camera and a title-card appears bearing his signature phrase: "I Just Want To Go To Sleep!"

Exhibitors choosing to license "That Can-Do Spirit" will be favored with the option of being the first in their district to run the next entry in the Household Follies program, in which our poor little fellow makes himself an evening meal of peanut-butter on wheat toast, places it on his bedroom floor for reasons obscure and mystical except to him, and, while attempting to just his "Tele-Vision Device," accidentally places his toes right smack in one of the pieces of toast, resulting in a half-ruined late supper and greasy, peanut-smeared foot digits. "I Just Want To Go To Sleep!" moans our hero as he cleanses his toes off in his dirty wash-basin.

The audience will be sent rollicking into the newsreel or motion picture to follow after the fellow concludes the entertainment by tearing off the piece of toast which received his foot, discarding it, and consuming the rest with a relish that will be familiar to any in the audience who have ever ridden the rails as a derelict, been rendered destitute by an errant Dust Bowl, or simply graduated from University and had to figure shit out for a while.

Posted by DC at 11:45 PM | Comments (211)