Saturday, December 23, 2017

Ryan Quinn Flanagan writes

Dummy Companies, like Incorporating the Mentally Retarded

Sores fester.
There was an uncle on popular television 
named Fester.

More guidance systems than councillors –
almost a million-to-one.

The abacus will not lie unless you pay it to lie,
that is the spark plug behind everything.

Plausible deniability at a price.

Offshore accounts and offshore drilling.
Dummy companies, like incorporating the
mentally retarded.

And I put on my old lady’s nylons.
Hop down the hallway like the frontrunner
in a potato sack race to the death.

The lipstick smears still heavy
so that I smack my gums together
like banging a dust broom
against a wall.
-- Charles Addams

1 comment:

  1. In 1933, after leaving the University of Pennsylvania, Charles Addams joined the layout department of “True Detective” magazine, retouching photos of corpses to remove the blood from them; he complained, "A lot of those corpses were more interesting the way they were." In 1938, for “The New Yorker,” he began drawing a series of cartoons about macabre characters who became unofficially as “the Addams family.” The one-panel cartoons continued until his death in 1988. TV producer David Levy asked him to name the characters and give them some characteristics that actors could build on to portray them. The result was “The Addams Family,” which ran 64 episodes between 1964 and 1966. (During that time “New Yorker” refused to run any Addams Family panels, though it used other Addams work; the magazine did not resume their use until after editor William Shawn’s retirement in 1987.) As Addams outlined Uncle fester, he “is incorrigible and except for the good nature of the family and the ignorance of the police, would ordinarily be under lock and key ... the eyes are pig-like and deeply embedded ... he likes to fish, but usually employs dynamite ... he keeps falcons on the roof which he uses for hunting ... his one costume ... summer and winter ... is a black great coat with an enormous collar ... he is fat with pudgy little hands and feet.” On TV he was portrayed by Jackie Coogan (who had been one of the 1st child stars when he had appeared in “The Kid” with Charlie Chaplin in 1921. Coogan reprised the role as a voice actor in a 1972 episode of “The new Scooby-Doo Movies” and in the animated series “The Addams Family” (1973-1975). Christopher Lloyd took over the role for the 1991 movie, Barry Sonenfeld’s directorial debut (with a $50 million budget, the movie grossed over $190 million) and its 1993 sequel “Addams Family Values.” Meanwhile, Hanna-Barbera reprised the animated series in 1992-1993, with uncle fester voiced by Rip Taylor. In 2010 the musical by Marshall Brickman (known for his comical parodies in “The New Yorker” and as co-writer of “Annie Hall,” for which he and Woodie Allen received an Academy Award in 1977), Fester was played by Kevin Chamberlain. When designing the show, director Julian Crouch claimed that he was guided by wondering, "If Fester was going to do a Broadway show, what kind of Broadway show would he do?" A fine-arts building on the University of Pennsylvania campus is named for Addams, and in front of the building is a sculpture of the silhouettes of Addams Family characters.

    A sack race is a competitive game in which participants place both of their legs inside a sack or pillow case that reaches their waist or neck and hop forward from a starting point toward a finish line. The first person to cross the finish line is the winner of the race. It developed in the 1st half of the 1880s.


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