Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Trouble With Harry

It wasn't that he was naturally a pessimist, it was that he was naturally a pessimist and circumstance kept reinforcing his belief.

From a glass half full or half empty perspective, the glass was half empty, cracked and leaking badly.

Running, and running with the Knitting Circle, didn't exempt him from misfortune and bad happenstance. Running just made that misfortune bearable. Harry hydrated and, um, unhydrated appropriately before most big scheduled races. That wasn't the issue. It was a timing thing. He'd start on Gatorade or some other reptile-flavored sports drink well before the race started and try to get balance in his body. Trouble was all that fluid didn't pass in a timely fashion. It sort of hung around the pancreas or lower aorta for an hour or so and didn't decide to "git" until about ten minutes before the starting gun went off.

Running with Harry for the rest of the Circle usually involved warmup sprints to the port-a-potty to bang on the door and yell for him to hurry.

There wasn't much equipment, so there wasn't much that could mechanically go wrong. That, at the very least, was good. It was a given that if anybody carpooled, somebody other than Harry would drive. But Harry seemed to get a little more than his fair share of broken laces or snapped spandex.

He didn't complain. That was fortunate. He was a pretty smart guy for all the things that seemed to only go wrong for him, but he had figured out long ago that complaining:

-didn't fix anything
-tended to piss other runners off

There was the one time after a half marathon when he warned Jim about the sandwiches. They looked like Italian cold cuts and for the most part, were. Somewhere along the line though somebody had gotten the idea to incorporate habanero and other peppers into the sandwich as some sort of cross cultural orgy. The thing wound up tasting like salami with a liberal sprinkling of fire ants.

Harry didn't get to Jim on time. Jim had already swigged his post race twelve ounce water and lit into the sandwich. Twelve fluid ounces quickly sweated themselves off the top of Jim's head and left the rest of him fire engine red. When Mike caught up with them at the refreshment table he looked at Jim and said:

"Jimmy, if you're going to stroke out, could you give me your ATM password now?"

Jim glared and said something over the fire on his palate that sounded like "muft fooo!" Harry could speculate but never testify to it under oath.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Foley Artist

In the annals of weird jobs, this one popped up like an Irishman in Philadelphia on CNN yesterday.

A Foley Artist correctly uses whatever they can find to create and record the noises used to make the sound effects used in film, like heavy footsteps, rolling thunder or creaking doors.

I quote. CNN that is.

A little more research came up with a list of the greats:

Luke "Blaster Effect" George: Recorded a ball peen hammer on a high tension tower guy wire to convey the sound of lice issues Chewbacca was having in Star Wars. This effect was dropped for Empire Strikes Back.

Chuck Chapin sent 270 protogees out into United States movie houses in the early twentieth century with day-old Fred Harvey meatloaf specials. They were to consume the dish at the lower right hand side of the screen during the shoe eating scene of The Gold Rush.

Using only cigarette paper and a pocket comb, Louis Vanderville mimicked it being December 1941 and all America asleep for the production of Casablanca.

The famous Audible Murphy found that common drug store Vaseline sounded just like Vaseline in the production of Brokeback Mountain.

Trevis "Tenor" Fitzgerald sequestered himself for seven months in order to perfect the silence of the Lambs.

Collectively, Foley artists have collected gloves, shoes, shoeboxes, aluminum foil and every size imaginable bottle but cannot re-create the sound of one hand clapping.

Sven Staarsgaard mimicked regret in all the Bergman films by drawing a feather over women's nylons.

And D. Whatserface Ofthesamename, scratching a pen on paper made the sound of a certain magazine believeable.

Bunny on.

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