Gimme a Dish of Mental Chex Mix, please Sascha, and a Double NyQuil: Lent in Casablanca, Night 10

*- When the Universe issues a karma slap, it can be a doozy.

*- The other night, I spoke disparagingly about the 1983 Casablanca, starring David Soul of “Starskey and Hutch” fame. I didn’t say anything bad about Mr Soul especially, but tonight…

*- I’ve felt like absolute crap the past two days, sort of like I was catching the flu. This would piss me off severely, since I shelled out ten bucks for the damn flu shot a few months ago.

*- So my Friday dawned with me feeling especially poo-like, but I persevered in the name of a Free France! VIVE LE FRANCE!

*- Sorry. I’m on my tenth straight night watching Casablanca.

*- So I was trying everything to perk up and get myself to work. The radio played one of my favorite Oldies: The Drifters, “Under the Boardwalk.”

*- Hooray! I cranked it and sang along: “Under the boardwalk. Down by the–” *ACK PTHH*

*- It’s like I sprained my voice, namely that ligament connecting my voicebox to the center of my brain, that little, stupid bunch of ganglia that decided, “No PROBLEM! You can just switch to falsetto just like Ben E King for “Down by the SEEEEAAAA yeah.”

*- Stupid brain.

*- So I felt like my brain had been sprained, and I dragged myself through the day with a pronounced mental limp.

*- The limp was such that I actually dropped a Casablanca line apropos of nothing. My coworker, April, asked me, “Do you think we should send a mid-month e-mail?” Without missing a beat, I replied “I’m afraid Major Strasser would insist!”

*- Good Lord.

*- I went through a similar phase after I finished writing, directing, producing, editing, voicing three parts in the U-92 version of “A Christmas Carol.”

*- Every time anyone said, “It was a long night,” I had no choice but to reply “But it was ONLY a night. And it seemed strange, too, that while Scrooge remained unaltered in his outward form, the giant had grown older, clearly–” “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SHUT UP!!”

*- One of the few complaints about Casablanca is Sam. I like Dooley Wilson, and the chemistry he shows with Rick is amazing.

*- However, in the name of Merlin’s most baggy y-fronts, he is the worst fake piano player ever. He does the same crap with his hands, independent of where the notes in the song go.

*- I’ve seen some monster keyboard wizards in my life: Bruce Hornsby was probably the most mind-blowing (this after he woodshedded for a couple years and became jaw-droppingly great). I’ve seen Joe Sample, Dave Brubeck, Dr John, and lots of spectacular unknowns in jazz clubs.

*- This guy would be my favorite:
*- That’s Keith Emerson, improvising.  His technique is amazing, but look at how beautifully this is photographed. You can see how quickly and accurately his fingers move.

*- Not so with Sam in Casablanca.

*- Know who’s a more believable pianist?

*- This guy.


*- Oh, well. If I have just one complaint about a movie, that’s still pretty amazing.

*- I can only dread what karma slap awaits me for dissing Sam.

*- When I got into the USS Nimitz to come home, the radio played a keyboard intro to a song I hadn’t heard in decades. A song by a one-hit-wonder, whose day job was as an actor in a popular tv series.

*- Gods help me, and somebody give my soul the Heimlich, it was “Don’t Give Up on Us Baby,” a huge hit for David frakkin Soul.

*- Thank God my voice was on the DL, because if i’d started singing along with that one, my brain would’ve self-destructed con molto brio.

*- I’m afraid Major Strasser would insist.

*- Happy Weekend.


3 Responses to “Gimme a Dish of Mental Chex Mix, please Sascha, and a Double NyQuil: Lent in Casablanca, Night 10”

  1. LOL! Cosmic karma comes around indeed.

    Rowlf often serves a Sam-like function; think of the scene/song between he and Kermit in “The Muppet Movie”. Here’s where your remake casting would improve on the original, b/c I think Jamie Foxx can play the piano for real.

    We won’t give up on you.

    • Jamie Foxx is amazing. I saw him do a musical bit in his stand-up where he channeled Luther Vandross and just nailed it. The guy has talent by the bucketload.

      I must admit that while “Don’t Give Up on Us Baby” is a crappy Carter Administration ballad, Mr Soul sang pretty well: nice first tenor, good power on the money note. However, this was not something I would’ve programmed myself.

  2. Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling like crap. You suffer and we reap the rewards of Nyquil-infused Mental Chex Mix; it hardly seems fair.

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