The Critic and the Fox

Thirty Years Ago
SOLITARY WOMAN: I hear you. Please come see me, high noon, the Saturday following this edition, foot of SIO pier. La Jolla. Red Ker Chief.

ROCKY HORROR!! I’ve discovered it and I love it, love it, love it!! Lips forever! Frankie, I love you! Gee Are.
CLASSIFIEDS, March 22, 1979

Twenty-Five Years Ago
Jonathan Saville must be joking! The Fox Theatre is “splendid for dance”? (“Quarter Notes,” March 8). It certainly wasn’t from my top-price seat (tenth row of the orchestra, right-side section, on the inner aisle) for the recent San Francisco Ballet performance. The heads of the people in front of me blocked my view of everything below the dancers’ shoulders on fully half the stage.
LETTERS: “THE CRITIC AND THE FOX,” Amy L. Morris, March 22, 1984

Twenty Years Ago
Dear Matthew Alice:
On the television show Mr. Ed, how did they make Mr. Ed move his mouth as if he were speaking?

Just before show time, Ed’s handlers would thread the clear plastic line through his halter, under his upper lip, and out through the other side of his halter. Two off-camera assistants would tug on the line, and Ed would wiggle his lips, trying to get rid of the irritant in his mouth. Pull on the line, he “talks”; stop pulling, he stops “talking.”
STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, March 23, 1989

Fifteen Years Ago
The car ride home was via the typical route, straight up Fifth Avenue toward Mission Hills. Mick drove slowly, stopping at red lights always out of sync with each other. Our ordinary journey turned into an abrupt and extraordinary one.

A loud thump hit the driver’s door, and as I turned to look, I was startled. Hanging with one arm in the door was a black man, his large build not as apparent as his urgency.

“Gimme your car, man,” he said.

The man looked like a typical homeless person, with a rather bizarre request. I became slightly amused. Mick will handle this, I thought to myself.

“No, get off my car,” he replied. There, I thought, that will take care of him.

“Gimme your fucking car, man,” he insisted. Pretty persistent homeless guy, I thought to myself.

Ten Years Ago
By Friday I’d washed every sheet and towel in the house twice. I’d washed all of Johnny’s clothes and most of Lucy’s two or three times. Saturday no one threw up. Sunday both Johnny and Lucy seemed almost back to normal.
KID STUFF: “SATURDAY NO ONE THREW UP,” Anne Albright, March 18, 1999

Five Years Ago
This morning there was a mortar attack on Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) and maybe one on the presidential palace. The palace isn’t too far from BIAP, so we’re not sure if it was a miss aiming for us or a miss aiming for the airport. But the highlight of my day was going to Camp Victory to attend a meeting in the Water Palace. It’s smaller than the Presidential Palace that I work in, but the interior is much more ornate than ours — as hard as that is to believe. It’s amazing what you can do with a couple billion dollars of other people’s money.

Apparently, most of these palaces (I think the number is 77) were built with “Oil for Food” money that Saddam was allowed to collect after the first war. The interiors rival the Czarist palaces in Russia — a dozen huge chandeliers and intricately carved and colored plaster on all the ceilings. The floors are multicolored marble and beautiful marble columns line the entryways.
CITY LIGHTS: “NOTHING LIKE THE MOVIES,” Chris Schnaubelt, March 18, 2004

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