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Johnny LaRue's Crane Shot
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Edge Of Your Seat

I haven’t consciously been setting out to document NBC’s woeful late-1970’s prime-time schedule; it has just coincidentally worked out that way. As I wrote in my reviews of A MAN CALLED SLOANE, QUARK and DAVID CASSIDY--MAN UNDERCOVER, Fred Silverman’s lineup was really struggling in those days. To be somewhat fair, at least he was trying different ideas, and even if it was unsuccessful, NBC’s slate was much more diverse and unusual than today’s glut of cop, doctor and lawyer shows. I recall WHODUNNIT?, a mystery game show hosted by Ed McMahon where the contestants watched a murder and had to guess, “whodunnit?”; TURNABOUT, a sitcom where the personalities of married couple John Schuck and Sharon Gless were magically switched into each other’s bodies (a la FREAKY FRIDAY); MRS. COLUMBO, a bad idea for a mystery show starring Kate Mulgrew (STAR TREK: VOYAGER) as the way-too-young-and-normal formerly-unseen wife of Peter Falk’s classic Columbo character; and one of TV’s most famous “bad shows”, HELLO, LARRY, a sitcom with McLean Stevenson as a radio talk show host and single father of two teen daughters.

CLIFF HANGERS, on the surface, sounded like a decent idea. Kenneth Johnson, the then-hot producer of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN and THE BIONIC WOMAN and executive producer of THE INCREDIBLE HULK, had an idea to re-create the juvenile fun and excitement of the old Republic serials that were most popular during the 1930’s and ‘40s. If you’ve never seen one, you owe it to yourself to try it, because the best serials packed more action and thrills into one segment than many contemporary films can in two hours. In a nutshell, serials were short films that played in theaters on a weekly basis in the form of chapters (serials are also called “chapterplays”). They usually ran anywhere between twelve and fifteen chapters, each being about fifteen minutes long, and each ending with on a cliffhanger--the hero’s car plunging over a cliff or the female lead trapped in a locked room with the walls closing in. And every week, you would have to go back to the theater to discover how the good guy got out of the death trap. Republic Pictures made the best serials, since it really seemed to care about its product, and hired the best special effects artists and stuntmen in the business. Chases, fights, high falls, gunplay--Republic really packed it into its serials, although Columbia, which made serials using Batman and Superman, and Universal (its FLASH GORDON may be the most famous of all chapterplays) made some good ones too.

Johnson’s concept was to make three serials for television and air all of them in a 60-minute timeslot. End each one on a cliffhanger, guaranteeing the viewers would return next week to see how the hero survived. A good idea on paper. The problem was that, by 1979, when CLIFF HANGERS premiered, hardly anyone under the age of forty remembered the good old days of weekly chapterplays (they mostly died out by the late ‘40s, although Republic still churned out a few cheapies into the early 1950s). More importantly, CLIFF HANGERS forgot that serials were all about action, action, action. The plots and actors were just instruments to get us from one exciting action sequence to the next. In CLIFF HANGERS, and maybe budgetary restrictions played a part in this, the actors did more chatting than running and jumping. Each of the series’ three segments ran about fifteen minutes, yet only a couple were set aside for the action.

THE CURSE OF DRACULA was perhaps the most popular segment of CLIFF HANGERS. It was the only one to finish its storyline before the series’ abrupt cancellation, but it was also the one least representative of the classic serials and the dullest. Count Dracula (Michael Nouri, soon to move on to FLASHDANCE) is alive and teaching history at a junior college near San Francisco, where he has compiled a small army of sexy young co-eds who have been seduced and vampirized by his bite. On his trail are Kurt von Helsing (Steven Johnson), whose ancestors have been chasing Dracula for centuries, and his fianc? Mary (Carol Baxter), who witnessed her mother’s death at the hands of the count when she was a teenager. One of Johnson’s gimmicks with the show is that each segment was joined already in progress, so Kurt and Mary have already set about destroying Dracula’s coffins (he can only sleep in a coffin lined with Transylvania soil, and he has several of them hidden all over the city, in case he’s still out and about at sunrise). Over the course of the series, Mary discovered that her mother (Louise Sorel), Dracula’s former lover, was still alive, and that she was herself attracted to the debonair count, who tried unsuccessfully to transform her into a vampire (it takes three separate bites to do it). The problem is that Gothic horror and edge-of-your-seat action do not mix, and audiences had little patience for the soap operatics and tame cliffhangers of THE CURSE OF DRACULA. Nouri is a pretty good Dracula, but Johnson and Baxter are very drippy romantic leads, never believable as lovers or as dedicated vampire hunters. CURSE ended in CLIFF HANGERS’ final episode in spectacular fashion, as Kurt shot Dracula in the heart with a crossbow bolt as the count’s lair erupted in flames.

THE SECRET EMPIRE is loosely based on THE PHANTOM EMPIRE, a 1936 serial starring Gene Autry as a singing cowboy who discovers a futuristic society underground that plans to conquer the Earth’s surface. A great idea, so Johnson cast handsome Geoffrey Scott as Marshal Jim Donner, who accidentally stumbles across the underground city of Chimera buried deep below Wyoming. Ruled by the evil Thorval (Mark Lenard), the Chimeran government uses a Compliatron to brainwash its citizens into total obedience. When it amasses enough gold to power the machine, Thorval and his council, including his beautiful daughter Princess Tara (Diana Markoff), plan to use it on the surface dwellers and control the entire planet. Donner hooks up with a handful of freedom fighters (one of whom is portrayed by future PRESS YOUR LUCK host Peter Tomarken!) in adventures that take place both in Chimera (represented by not-very-futuristic sets on the Universal lot and what appears to be a power plant) and in the desert (mainly Vasquez Rocks). THE SECRET EMPIRE screams out for more action, but all it produces are a few tepid laser shootouts in nondescript hallways, although one neat cliffhanger finds Donner trapped in a room with a slowly disappearing floor, under which lies a bottomless pit. Another cliffhanger featuring a giant spider is laughable even by ‘70s standards. THE SECRET EMPIRE has the best supporting cast of the series, including David Opatoshu, Sean Garrison, Carlene Watkins and a marvelously hammy Peter Breck as a greedy rancher who joins Thorval’s team. Also of interest is future HUNTER babe Stepfanie Kramer, who replaced Markoff in mid-series as Princess Tara. THE SECRET EMPIRE is the best of CLIFF HANGERS’ three segments, although it also appears to have been its least popular.

STOP SUSAN WILLIAMS is the only CLIFF HANGERS segment with no fantasy elements. Susan Anton, who had a very brief TV career as a musical variety star in the series MEL & SUSAN TOGETHER (yes, somebody had the bright idea to team up the leggy Anton and stuttering country singer Mel Tillis!) and PRESENTING SUSAN ANTON, stars as Susan Williams, a spunky newspaper photographer for a New York City paper who refuses to accept that her brother Alan’s death was an accident and goes poking around the mysterious circumstances. Jetting all over the country to Morocco, Rio de Janeiro, Kenya and Maryland, Susan teams up with a rugged soldier of fortune, Jack Schoengarth (Michael Swan), and discovers an international conspiracy plotted by Anthony Korf (Albert Paulsen) to explode a bomb in a mine shaft running beneath Camp David, the site of a conference involving a dozen world leaders. Susan finds herself trapped naked in a bathtub by a cobra, tossed into a lion pit, pushed out a window, and even trapped in a cave-in (filmed in Los Angeles’ Bronson Canyon, recognizable as Adam West’s Batcave). No question that the six-foot blonde Anton is an arresting sight, but Swan’s obnoxious hero, sporting an awful hairstyle and constantly spouting a series of putrid one-liners and nicknames, is a major turn-off. Despite the international settings, everything looks like Southern California, and even if you’re not a veteran serial watcher like I am, you’ll probably guess the twist early on. Ray Walston, Marj Dusay and John Hancock are also in the cast, and look for brief appearances by Fred Ward as a Central American bad guy.

Like THE SECRET EMPIRE, STOP SUSAN WILLIAMS was still in progress when NBC cancelled CLIFF HANGERS after ten episodes in May 1979. Universal edited together a movie for syndication called THE GIRL WHO SAVED THE WORLD, which used footage from all eleven chapters of SUSAN. CLIFF HANGERS ended with two chapters left in THE SECRET EMPIRE’s run, but one additional episode was compiled, I assume for syndication, which included the last chapter of SUSAN and the last two of EMPIRE. I’m not exactly certain where the final episode aired, certainly not on NBC, but it definitely exists.

Even though CLIFF HANGERS was a bomb (that didn’t hurt Johnson’s career; he went on to make V and ALIEN NATION), the idea is still good, and it seems as though it certainly could fly with today’s attention-span-challenged audiences. I’d certainly like to see somebody take a shot at it, even though it could be argued that 24 and PRISON BREAK are doing the same thing, but sixty minutes at a time.

Posted by Marty at 11:27 AM CDT
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Thursday, October 27, 2005
Nine-Fingered Man
With the baseball season over with, I can now get back to watching some crappy movies. Tonight I finished up MGM's new SABATA TRILOGY box set, which I'll be reviewing for The Hub in a couple of weeks. SABATA; ADIOS, SABATA; and RETURN OF SABATA are Italian-produced westerns made around 1969-1971 that have just been released in a nicely designed package on DVD.

SABATA is a fun movie starring western legend Lee Van Cleef (the "Bad" of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY) as Sabata, an expert gunfighter with a sense of humor who nabs the thieves who pulled off a nicely choreographed gold robbery in the town of Daugherty. This actually pisses off the town leaders, since they were the ones who actually organized the robbery. Sabata finds out and blackmails them, including Stengel, the arrogant boss man who resembles a gay Michael Caine and sends a succession of assassins to (unsuccessfully) silence Sabata permanently. What makes SABATA stand out is its gimmicky attitude, unusual for a western, like Sabata's ragtag team of assistants, who include a mute Indian acrobat and a conman with a rifle concealed in his banjo, his trick firearms, and his penchant for flipping coins with deadly accuracy.

ADIOS, SABATA finds Yul Brynner (THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN) playing the title role. Or is he? Common wisdom is that Brynner shot a film called INDIO BLACK, which also was the name of his character, but when the English soundtrack was dubbed, it became a Sabata movie. However, the actors' lips appear to be saying "Sabata", so I think the INDIO BLACK story may be an urban legend (although, admittedly, the film was titled INDIO BLACK in some overseas markets). Considering ADIOS, SABATA was made by the same director, Gianfranco Parolini (credited as "Frank Kramer"), using the same supporting cast and a similar storyline, it figures that it would have always been intended as a Sabata movie. That said, it's also pretty fun and adds a few more gimmicks, including a mute named Septembre whose deadly weapons are his feet, which he uses to toss ball bearings.

Van Cleef returns in, well, RETURN OF SABATA, which is not as good as the first two, despite its nutty theme song ("Sa-baaa-taaaaaaaaa!") and a very loose performance by its star. Once again, Sabata is involved with a gold theft, a colorful assortment of accessories (two acrobats this time), a snide villain, and several doublecrosses. This one, again directed by Parolini, has less action and mostly takes place in town or inside buildings, as opposed to the vast open spaces normally associated with Italian westerns.

All three are presented in their original 2.35:1 aspect ratios with their original English soundtracks. If you're into "spaghetti westerns", you need to pick this box up.

My car saga is dragging longer than I hoped. I received a phone message from the insurance company today saying they had not yet had a conversation with their client, the girl who hit me, and that they have not yet "accepted liability." I finally managed to get the USAA General agent on the phone, so I could ask her what has taken them so long to contact the girl. She said that she and the client had been playing phone tag, but she did not have a correct telephone number for the girl, who had been calling in and leaving messages, but somehow the agency was not getting her number. They should have asked me--I have her number right here on the police report. Hopefully they will talk tomorrow so we can get the ball rolling. The agent, who sounded like a young woman, sounded defensive and not terribly professional when I talked to her, even calling her colleagues "irresponsible" in regards to their not getting a correct telephone number for their client. I wasn't rude to her, so she had no call to act defensive, but I don't believe that people in the insurance business are the most pleasant anyway. The first time I called USAA General to inform them of the accident last Friday morning, I spoke to an older woman, who also got sharp with me and even scolded me about what I should do with my car and where I should take it before they would send an appraiser to look at it. Here I was going out of my way to help them out and give them a heads-up, and she's acting in a condescending manner. I suppose if she was a nice person, she would probably also be honest, in which case she wouldn't be working for an insurance company's claims department anyway.

Posted by Marty at 11:02 PM CDT
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Wednesday, October 26, 2005
No Mo' Beisbol
Now Playing: Sox 1, Astros 0
Waaah. Baseball season is over. The White Sox swept Houston to win their first World Series since 1917. Imagine how emasculated Cub fans feel tonight. Even more than usual. And Fox was back at its usual abysmal standards. It's pretty common during clinching games for TV networks to stick a camera in one of the clinching team's hometown bars. Fox did it in Chicago tonight, and managed to somehow find the only bar on the South Side with not a single black person in it.

I suppose my life can get back to normal now, i.e. watching crappy movies instead of baseball games. I just got another big box of crapola in the mail, so I need to hunker down and bury myself in Al Adamson and Andy Milligan movies (deeeeeep hurting...).

I still haven't heard jack from the insurance company. I tried to do them a favor and called them today. I left a message, along with my home and work numbers. Someone did call me back a little after 5 and left a message. She said she'd be in 'til 7:30, but I called back and left another message at about 5:25, and she never got back to me. My neck and back are feeling better now; I think I'm going to be okay, although I'm not 100% yet.

Posted by Marty at 11:55 PM CDT
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Good Morning
Now Playing: Sox 7, Astros 5
Just finished watching the longest World Series game in history, more than five hours. Kudos to Chicken, Darcy and the Smoker Hodgsons for going the distance. A terrific game all around, at least as far as suspense goes. Some of it was sloppy; nearly any 14-inning game is.

Most ironic moment of the night: during a pregame minute of silence for the late Rosa Parks, Fox cut to former First Lady Barbara Bush sitting in the stands. If it was any network but the one owned by Rupert Murdoch, I'd think the director was playing a snarky joke.

Posted by Marty at 1:35 AM CDT
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Tuesday, October 25, 2005
I Am Waiting
Just waiting for Game 3 of the World Series to start soon. I wanted to post the latest in my car saga, not that there's much to post. An assessor from the insurance company checked out my car yesterday and left a message informing me that it was a "total loss." Not an unexpected finding, but one that still sucks. It was a decent car, got decent gas mileage, was not going to fall apart for a long time, had plenty of room for passengers and cargo, and was basically paid for. Now I have to figure out whether to buy an inexpensive used car or buy something newer, which will be harder for me to afford. It all depends, I suppose, on how much I can get from the insurance company, which means I have to depend on them to be honorable. We'll see. Meanwhile, I still feel okay. I have a lingering discomfort in my neck and shoulder area and in the back, but nothing serious. It feels like I slept wrong or something like that, just a nagging thing.

Posted by Marty at 6:36 PM CDT
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Sunday, October 23, 2005
Fall Classic
Now Playing: Sox 7, Astros 6
Great game. That's what the World Series is all about. Since I don't really care who wins the Series, it frees me to sit back and just enjoy well-played baseball. I'm just rooting for five more games just like tonight's.

I bet that'll be a long flight back to Houston for Brad Lidge. Or as he's now known in Texas, Fucking Brad Lidge. As in, "Fucking Brad Lidge, what the hell?"

Posted by Marty at 11:17 PM CDT
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Saturday, October 22, 2005
Shut Up, Tim McCarver
Now Playing: Sox 5, Astros 3
Why does Fox hate baseball so much? I can't imagine why a network would spend so much money and effort broadcasting a sport it so obviously despises. From the inanities constantly spouted by its announcing team to its annoying habit of punctuating every graphic with a ridiculous sound effect, Fox shows its contempt with every inning it telecasts.

For instance, the pregame show featured an old man talking about the 1919 "Black Sox", the White Sox team that threw the World Series in the employ of gamblers, and the White Sox "curse", which never existed in anyone's mind until just now. The old man was an actor babbling about the old days, and then there was a reenactment of a little kid saying "Say it isn't so, Joe," to Shoeless Joe Jackson. Good grief. Then "Joe" told the camera about how the players "had" to do it (yes, Fox is making heroes out of the corrupt Black Sox). Then, another actor playing legendary Sox owner Bill Veeck portrayed the likable, intelligent man as a fat, motormouthed, greasy used car salesman. Doesn't anyone who works on Fox's telecasts actually, you know, know something about the sport?

It then took Jeanne Zelasko about ten minutes to talk about how Roger Clemens' dead mom predicted that her son would be pitching in the World Series. Good grief. During the game itself, Fox missed Joe Crede's home run because they were boring the shit out of us with a taped interview with Houston's pitching coach. In-game interviews are dull and worthless. Nobody wants to hear them, and we certainly don't while a Crede homer is going over the outfield wall and the outfielder is making a valiant attempt at a miracle catch.

Tim McCarver was his usual idiot self, saying things like "Bobby Jenks certainly wasn't tonight" (wasn't what?) and "In the World Series, the world is watching this play". He also constantly calls pitches as being fastballs when they're actually breaking balls.

Throw in Fox's repetitive marketing of its prime-time lineup, which includes about 1000 viewings of the same HOUSE and PRISON BREAK promos (notice ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, maybe the best show Fox has, never gets mentioned, but the anemic THAT '70S SHOW pops up about ten times). Even worse, during the game, Fox throws up one of those annoying corner promos, complete with a loud police siren while the announcers are speaking!

To quote Casey Kasem: ponderous, man. Fuckin' ponderous.

Posted by Marty at 11:24 PM CDT
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Sly & The Family Stone Kicks Ass
I spent much of the afternoon watching MPI Home Video's DVD of THE MUSIC SCENE. THE MUSIC SCENE was a risky experiment for ABC in the fall of 1969: a rare 45-minute weekly series that was followed by another 45-minute series, an Aaron Spelling production called THE NEW PEOPLE (which ABC ripped off last year as its hit series LOST).

Both shows were designed to appeal to the young audience, as they featured large casts of young hipsters. In contrast to the drama on THE NEW PEOPLE (a show I've never seen, but would like to), THE MUSIC SCENE was a musical variety show produced in association with BILLBOARD and dedicated to current trends in popular music. Although it's obvious there was a major attempt to be tropical and hip (David Steinberg was the main host and writer), the show was also committed to featuring then-current hit records, which were often anything but hip. For instance, The Archies' smash SUGAR, SUGAR is lambasted week after week, which must have come as a disappointment to audience members who liked that song, treacly as it may be.

So while you had electrifying rock acts as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Janis Joplin tearing up the stage, the show's format also provided a venue for square acts like Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee" (guest host Tommy Smothers rips Merle during his introduction and mimes toking up) and Roger Miller, whose attempt at making "King of the Road" cool is an embarrassing failure.

Not that the creative team's liberal bent doesn't come in for lambasting, as is clear when watching guest host Michael Cole of THE MOD SQUAD dramatically reciting Rod McKuen poems. As bad as television can be, it rarely gets as jawdroppingly insane as that.

Steinberg's repertory company includes a cute Lily Tomlin, Larry Hankin (still a familiar character actor who played "Kramer" in the pilot-within-the-show on SEINFELD), Chris Bokeno, Christopher Ross (who passed away in 1970, just a few months after the show left the air; since Ross missed a couple of episodes due to an illness that the cast talks about, I wonder if that had anything to do with his death soon thereafter) and Paul Reid Roman.

Now that you can fast-forward through the duller acts (can you sit through a leather-jacket-and-ascot-wearing Steve Lawrence crooning "The Drifter" on a cheap barnyard set?), MPI's THE MUSIC SCENE, VOLUME 1 is a fascinating glance at popular music as it was in 1969 (the show was cancelled, along with THE NEW PEOPLE, in January 1970 after 16 weeks). Sly & the Family Stone are incredible, doing four sizzling songs, including "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey". There's also The Rascals, Three Dog Night, The Temptations, James Brown and Jerry Lee Lewis for the cool crowd, and Bobby Sherman, Oliver, Buck Owens and Tom Jones for everybody else.

Stan Harris, director of THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR, probably the hippest variety show on television at the time (LAUGH-IN be damned), directed and co-produced the show, and Carl Gottlieb and Richard Schaal, both of whom appeared as extras, were on the writing staff.

My back feels a little better today, although I still have a bit of discomfort in my neck. I figure on taking it easy today. I'm staying in tonight anyway to watch Game 1 of the World Series, which should be a good one. Two teams with outstanding starting pitching, decent defenses, average offenses. The Astros have a better bullpen, but the White Sox's relievers won't be much of a factor if the starters continue pitching nine innings.

I went to bed early last night. Slept eleven hours. Haven't done that in a long time.

Posted by Marty at 3:35 PM CDT
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Friday, October 21, 2005
A Relaxing Day Off? No.
Got up at 8:00am and spent the next 2 1/2 hours on the telephone, talking to various insurance companies, tow guys, body shops, car rentals, etc. I carry only liability coverage on my car, otherwise my insurance company, Country Companies, would take car of a lot of this business for me. As it is, they were pretty helpful and answered a lot of my questions.

I mostly spent time talking to the woman at USAA General, the coverer of the girl who hit me. I was the first to report the accident to them, and the agent interrogated me over the phone in a recorded conversation. To be somewhat fair to her, she only had my word as to what happened, but I felt she was dragging her feet a bit to help me. I'm confident that the girl who hit me is 100% liable and that USAA General will be responsible for the entire tab.

Hopefully they'll live up to the deal. For instance, she told me that she could not begin an investigation into the matter until I had my car moved from the tow place to which it was taken last night to another location that would not charge a storage fee. That sounds like a load of b.s. and the Catch 22 is that, if my car is deemed totalled and no body shop can do repairs, then any body shop will charge for storage. If they do the body work, no, but if there's no body work to do, then they probably will charge. However, there's no way an appraiser can look at it and deem whether or not it's totalled until the car is towed to the body shop. I had little choice--I had it towed to a local body shop this morning. If there's work to be done, they'll have to do it anyway. If there isn't, I'll just have to fight that battle later.

I also picked up a rental vehicle this morning. It's a gigantic 2005 four-door Dodge Ram pickup. I think most people need a vehicle like this like they need a hole in the head, but I admit it is fun to drive. From what I understand, USAA General should be responsible for this too. Of course, that's only if their client is found to be liable, and I suppose there's no guarantee of that, despite what actually happened on the road last night. A call to the officer who wrote the report last night, so I could determine whether or not he ticketed to the girl, went unreturned, as did two followup calls to the USAA General agent I talked to this morning. On the other hand, I did receive a message from a local auto body appraiser who said they had received word from USAA General to give my car a look on Monday. I assume this means the investigation is complete and that USAA General is starting to figure up how much of a settlement I'm owed.

I also made a trip to the ER this afternoon. I wanted to see my regular physician, but I was refused by officials who made me go to the emergency room. I suppose that's SOP for car crash victims. I think it's probably because my co-pay is $25 to see my doctor, but it's $125 to go to the ER. I was only there less than 25 minutes. What is that, five bucks a minute? And probably for nothing. I feel okay, but I do have a bit of tension in my neck and back today. Nothing too serious or even painful, just a tightness. The ER doctor didn't seem too worried about it, but he prescribed me some muscle relaxants. I took one, but it doesn't seem to have done much for me yet.

Thanks to those of you who posted or sent email (the Z-man is still out there!). It feels like overkill, since the crash wasn't really a heavy one, and no one was seriously hurt. My pain is mostly in my ass now, as I have to make all these arrangements and eventually figure out how I'm going to buy another car. If my Altima can be fixed, that's fine with me and I would prefer that, but I have to face that I might have to find something else, and I can't in reality afford a car, even a used one. I'm keeping all my medical and car rental receipts in hopes I can be reimbursed for all that.

Eventually I'm going to have to post about the WALKER, TEXAS RANGER reunion movie. Norris is The Man.

Posted by Marty at 4:59 PM CDT
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Thursday, October 20, 2005
I was involved in a car accident on my way home from work tonight.

Don't worry--everyone is okay, it was just me in my car and the girl who hit me with hers. I call her a girl; well, I thought she was a teenager, she looks so young, but she's actually 20 years old.

At any rate, I was driving home on Springfield Avenue, just a few blocks from my place, when it happened. She was stopped at a stop sign, and, for whatever reason, she pulled right out onto Springfield in front of me to cross the street. She said she thought I was turning because I slowed down, which I may have done, because the four-lane street bottlenecks into two lanes right at that intersection. I certainly didn't have my turn signal on, and it still wouldn't have been my fault if I had.

I saw her pull out, braked, and tried to swerve away, but I couldn't. She T-boned me right on the passenger side, caved the whole side in, and spun me around about 200 degrees so I was facing the opposite direction. I've never been in an accident like this before, one where there was actual damage and where someone could have been seriously hurt. In fact, if anyone had been riding with me, I believe they could have been hurt badly. I suspect my bitchin' '94 Altima is totalled. For sure, it would cost more to fix than what I'm paying my brother for it, and quite likely more than its Blue Book value. I don't expect to ever drive it again.

So I'm taking tomorrow off of work, at least in the morning. I'm inexperienced at this, but I'll call my insurance agent tomorrow morning. The girl who hit me has insurance, and I'm pretty positive her company will be picking up the tab. The policeman who wrote up the report sent me home (with the tow truck guy who came to get my car), but kept her behind, and I presume he ticketed her, probably for Failing to Yield or something like that. I wonder if I can get a free rental car, but that won't last forever.

I might see my doctor tomorrow too. Oddly, no police officers even asked us if we needed medical attention, and probably we didn't. I feel a bit of soreness tonight, kind of like if I'd played basketball or something. Just a bit in my neck, my calf, upper back, and chest where my seat belt was. I think I'm fine, but for a $25 co-pay, I might as well make the just-in-case effort.

What's really scary is that she couldn't have hit me very "hard". In that she was accelerating from a stopped position, and moved only the width of one traffic lane before hitting me. She sure packed a wallop though--Mass x Acceleration = Force or whatever it is. It's been a long time since Mr. Hendricks' high school physics class.

Posted by Marty at 11:51 PM CDT
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