Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Lox vs. Locks and Tuesday Movies Go Dark

Your faithful correspondent and his wife returned home shortly after 3 am today from a week-long trip to California, first to visit my sister Lee and her husband David in Los Angeles and then to attend a wedding in Laguna Beach where the weather couldn’t have been better—the whole weekend a balmy 71 degrees with a slight ocean breeze. That compares quite favorably to the mid 80s and high humidity in White Plains today.

My only complaint about the trip was I never got an opportunity to watch any episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or The Colbert Report. Here’s an example of why I miss those two shows:

When you’re a Jewish comedian as Stewart is, you run the risk of telling an “inside” joke your gentile guest has no idea you’re making. During his interview with actress Ellen Page Monday night, Stewart couldn’t contain his positive feelings about Canada, especially Halifax, Nova Scotia, Page’s home town. He concluded his gushing by saying, “and by the way, the lox that they make ...” To which Page immediately responded, “I know, you can’t break the locks.”

I laughed at Stewart’s ethnic culinary joke and even harder at Page’s non sequitur response. To his credit, Stewart didn’t flinch. Though he tried to salvage the joke, the conversation quickly moved to another topic. No doubt, when he reviewed the tape of the show he mused and was bemused by the shmeared exchange.

It’s Tuesday Free Movie Day: Only until the end of May. My fellow senior citizens and I have been dealt a cruel blow. In the same week The NY Times came out with its summer movies preview section, we received notice that free Tuesdays and discounted-films-all-other-times at Clearview Cinemas we qualify for as part of our Cablevision Optimum Triple Play package will terminate by the end of the month. 

Cablevision has sold Clearview Cinemas. Until the company follows through on a promise of new movie deals, this will be a looong summer. Not just for me but for many seniors who took advantage of the free movies on Tuesdays. The promotion was not restricted to those in the sunset years, but we have been the major beneficiaries of the benefit. With everyone trying to stretch their bucks as far as they can, the free movie deal was a real bonanza. Consider this: Seniors normally pay $8 per ticket. You were entitled to two free tickets per week. If you went to the movies at Cleaview just one Tuesday a month, by yourself, you’d save $96. Go more often, or with a spouse, partner or friend, and the savings really added up. 

During the winter, the first screening started around 4 pm. But during the summer it was pushed up to around noon. Over the last few years I thought I’d take more advantage of the deal but something more important always came up. Now I’m feeling kinda disappointed I didn’t see more free films. 

News Updates: Gilda’s averaging a little more than 45 miles per gallon in her Ford C-Max. She’s even logged in a 50-plus mpg drive to work (the car informs you what your mpg was each time you turn off the motor). ... A quarter of the baseball season has passed and the NY Yankees are in first place. I readily admit it, I never expected this. Nor did I expect the Yanks to be among the American League team leaders in home runs, have the best earned run average and be ranked third in team defense. All this without a laundry list of high-priced veteran stars on the disabled list. Which should make Yankee fans wonder if our pursuit of top-dollar free agents might be a mistake going forward. Perhaps all we need are hungry-to-succeed players bolstered by a Robinson Cano who is having a monster of a year. ... Did you notice that American retailers did not join in the global effort to monitor and fund work and building conditions in Bangladesh. The plan was good enough for foreign-based retailers such as H&M, Inditex (Zara) and C&A to sign on, but U.S. companies like Wal-Mart and Gap resisted, believing their individual efforts would be better. Perhaps, as well, they feared being told what to do. It’s the same mentality that scuttled U.S. approval of a proposed United Nations treaty that would regulate international weapon sales despite the treaty’s specific language guaranteeing each country the right to maintain its own internal regulations, in our case the Second Amendment right to bear arms. ... JC Penney’s new/old boss Myron “Mike” Ullman has reinstated sales and pushed an aggressive advertising campaign acknowledging mistakes and asking disillusioned customers to come back. The ads have good production quality but the problem is they don’t reflect what’s going on inside the stores. Until Penney shifts its merchandise to match its customer profile, no amount of advertising will turn the battleship around. ... Here’s another example of Target getting a pass on a practice Wal-Mart would be crucified for: A new union election has been ordered for a Long Island store after it was ruled Target  acted improperly to stifle the vote, including threats to close the store if the union won certification. Wal-Mart’s constantly being harangued for its anti-union attitude. But few if any of the “sophisticates” who prefer “Tar-zhay” to Wal-Mart reconsider their patronage of the Minneapolis-based discounter.  

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