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all content 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Suburban Island

Myrna Loy
Wednesday, Apr. 30, 2003, 5:00 p.m.

Question: What's good about a sick day?

What I Learned: I really should rent one of the Thin Man movies.

Yesterday, I didn't feel well. I tried to take it easy, which for me means doing stuff anyway but just slower and in a more leisurely fashion than usual. For instance, I might only check my email two or three times during the day and only put together reports for the office for half my afternoon - who needs rest when they are sick anyway? Or I might sort the bills and go through a giant backlog of junk mail while sitting on the sofa watching proper daytime TV instead of sitting at the desk in my study. Now that's taking care of myself and getting my rest alright.

I am mesmerized by daytime TV and yesterday I was able to enjoy it in many of its most dazzling manifestations including:

  • Shock talk shows that focus on telling heartbreaking secret on national TV to the jeers of a studio audience that finds the sobbing and personal devastation of the guests jolly good fun;
  • Judges yelling at impossibly lame litigants and afterwards, in their chambers, having a good heart-to-heart with their affable bailiffs about the impossibly lame litigants - we get to watch this insider talk but the litigants miss it;
  • TV shrinks dispensing advice to those impossibly mired down in problems which amazingly are addressed in only 10 - 15 minutes for each individual including initial video showcasing the problem and a number of commercial breaks;
  • Celebrity talk shows with a host who seems to be nice right now but may turn out to be a bit more hostile an individual than initially presumed during years of loyal viewing when she finally quits the show;
  • Soap opera moments with the same characters I know from when I was on my first maternity leave - 16 years ago;
  • News with a ticker running along the bottom to make sure I am totally informed at any given second in time.

And old movies in black and white. I think this was the best of all because I finally learned who Myrna Loy was and I have always wondered about that. Ignorant person that I am about Myrna - I did not realize that she was the co-star in the famous Thin Man series of movies.

But yesterday, I watched her in a movie about a guy - Clark Gable - who was a test pilot- and his buddy - Spencer Tracy - who was nicknames Gunner and seemed to be the mechanical side of the duo. They were best friends. At least until Myrna insinuates herself into the situation. She and Clark up and marry after knowing each other about a day or so and there is the best buddy just left standing there. I'm sure it must have been hard, seeing as Myrna and Clark seemed to be having such a great time while he was left to tag along behind them all the time with nothing to console him but a slightly irritated look on his face. Well, they all came to be pals in the end, but of course poor Spencer (or rather his character) bites the dust in the end. It seemed to have to do with forgetting to stick a piece of used bubblegum on the plane for good luck. One more reason never to throw your gum on the ground. Oh, what a lovely piece of foreshadowing and lesson in the price of littering it was when he tossed that gum right on the tarmac and hopped into the plane without a backwards look. It all works out though - except for Spencer's character dying and all - because Clark's character realizes that his test pilot days are over after that and settles down with Myrna to start a little family and train up the pilots of the future. If you don't know who Myra Loy is either than here she is looking ever so glamorous with Clark Gable himself in tow.

Now that was a sick day.

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