Monthly Archives: May 2016

A Geezer Remembers; Play-by-Play by Gene Arkle

That Champ UK 01
“Coach” Gene Arkle center

It’s not an everyday occurrence to get a chance to act in a play or musical more than once. I don’t mean multiple performances like four weekends of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST or two years spent touring dinner theaters in EVERYBODY LOVES OPAL. I’m talking about separate productions of the same work. It’s hard enough to land an opportunity to do a play once!

I’ve done THE KING AND I twice (different roles) and MEASURE FOR MEASURE twice (different roles).

Three times I’ve played the role of Tom Daley in THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON. All three were successful productions. The first was at Studio Players, the second at the University of Kentucky, and the third was with Phoenix Group.

The second production is the one that prompted this reminiscence.

It was directed by Joe Ferrell (this is where I first met him) and featured Paul Thomas, Dr. Jim Rodgers (as an actor!), Eric Johnson, myself…and Gene Arkle. We were performing in the Laboratory Theatre in the Fine Arts Building. A few years later this was renamed the “Briggs Theatre”.

The play concerns the reunion of the remnants (four players and their coach) of the 1955 Pennsylvania High School Championship Team. Gene played the coach, the rest of us were the players.

Side note…

Jim Rodgers doesn’t act often but he’s a fine actor. Paul Thomas acts more often and he too is a fine actor. However, as basketball players…well…they are fine actors.

We used to warm-up each night with a real, live, no-batteries-included basketball.

We would whip it around the stage (yes, whip it…work with me…I speak though the happy filter of memory here) for ten or fifteen minutes with Joe Ferrell and Assistant Director Ralph Pate watching in terror and then begin rehearsal.

While whipping around the basketball, when Eric passed to Jim, he would, with great regularity, put a forward spin on his bounce pass. Now, Jim is a master of the English language, but English on a basketball was pure Greek to him. The ball would, with great regularity, sail under Jim’s outstretched hands and strike him everywhere except those hands. Jim would emit a polite “oof”, Eric would giggle and cover his mouth, Paul would look for a place to hide and we would continue our warm-up. It was a marvel and I’m sure it somehow made us a better team.

End of side note.

The big moment in the play comes after my character has fled the scene. The remaining team members are drunk and demoralized and the Coach must rally them. He does this with a wonderful long speech. At the end of the speech, the Coach places a recording (remember them?) on his record-player (remember them??) of the play-by-play call of the final game-winning shot of their championship game. It is a stirring moment. The team members respond, I return to the fold and we lurch to the end of the show.

The closing performance of our show was going as planned until this big moment.

I was offstage…listening…thinking…of basketballs and trophies and booze and betrayals…and whether my post show snack would be a cheddarburger from Charlie Brown’s or a disastrous pile of hash browns from Tolly Ho…in short, I was preparing (as an actor must) for my next entrance.

Gene was on a roll. His speech was indeed stirring. He built it to a climax and marched to the record-player and slapped that record on.

Silence ensued…

…and continued to ensue.

Finally, Gene said “I’ve been meaning to get this thing fixed.”

Offstage, I’m saying thanks and hosannas to every god known to man that I’m not onstage.

Gene took a deep breath and continued, “As you know, the game ended like this…”

And he proceeded to recreate the entire play-by-play himself!

It was absurd. It was heroic. It was a game saver.

We were saved………..by our Coach.

As usual, there is truth in dem dere memory, but I can’t recall just how much.

 

Scoff Not!

Movie night!

You’ve been waiting for this.

Well, here it is; CURSE OF THE DEMON (1957).

I hear scoffing.

Scoff not.

This is a lively and relatively scary flick. Oh, I grant the actual sight of the monster at the end of the flick is unnecessary and pretty cheesy, but all the subplots, setup and framing are pretty intriguing.

Plus, it’s directed by Jacques Tourneur. Most of us know and revere Mr. Tourneur’s work with producer Val Lewton. Films such as;

  • CAT PEOPLE. This is the original with the Simone Simon, the sexiest fully-clothed actress I know. This is a movie that did not have to be remade. They got it right the first time. The swimming pool scene is terrifying, yet… I better stop there – talk about a spoiler alert.
  • THE LEOPARD MAN. The scene walking from streetlight to streetlight is exquisite.
  • I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE. I hear more scoffing at the title. Stop it. Now. You could not be more wrong. This is a voodoo rendering of JANE EYRE and mesmerizing to watch. (Though the appearance of Sir Lancelot, the calypso troubadour is a bit incomprehensible).

Mr. Tourneur also directed the noir classic OUT OF THE PAST with Robert Mitchum. That alone is cred for a lifetime.

Tonight’s flick features a fine, plausible performance by Dana Andrews and a very nice turn by Niall MacGinnis. MacGinnis will always have warm place in my heart for his performances as “Zeus” in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS (God bless those sword-slingin’ skeletons) and “Friar Tuck” in SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST (any friend of Robin Hood…).

CURSE OF THE DEMON – it has séances, mysterious storms, hypnotism, curses written on parchment, trains, planes and automobiles in Britain. All the basic food groups.

Scoff not! Lest…

A Prequel to CASABLANCA?

Are you a fan of the film CASABLANCA?

Do you have a pulse?

Are you worth knowing at all?

Depending on what day I’m asked, my reply to “What’s your favorite film?” is any one of about a half a dozen films, one of which is CASABLANCA. I could go on and on about the flick, but I’ll spare you the gush except on one point. Every time I see the ending of CASABLANCA, I wish there was more.

Duh-h.

Well, it’s Movie Night and tonight’s entrée is the 1937 French offering; PEPE LE MOKO. This is well worth a look. There is much about this flick that is reminiscent of CASABLANCA, though CASABLANCA was actually made five years later.

Claude Rains played Captain Renaud in CASABLANCA as despicable in action but sympathetic in heart…and as smart as Rick (Humphrey Bogart). In PEPE LE MOKO, we have an outsider policeman named Slimane. He is played wonderfully by an actor I know nothing about; Lucas Gridoux. He is despicable in action, despicable in heart…and as smart as Pepe Le Moko (Jean Gabin). Gridoux slithers. He insinuates. He invades people’s space. He smokes their cigarettes…and needs a light. I felt the need for a shower after each of his scenes. It’s a fine performance.

Pepe, a thief and all-around rascal, is perfectly free to live as he pleases in the Casbah. The police are incapable of touching him there. He is also imprisoned in the Casbah. His power and immunity evaporate should he leave his safe haven. He pines for freedom and a Paris he remembers with a street-by-street affection. Sound like someone else you know? Maybe someone named Rick?

His memories of Paris are re-ignited by Gaby, played luminously by Mireille Balin. I watched their scenes with the phrase “We’ll always have Paris” running in my heart.

The connection between these two films is further emphasized by the inclusion of Marcel Dalio in the casts. He plays an ill-fated messenger in PEPE, but is better remembered as the unfortunate croupier requesting additional funds in Rick’s Café Americaine in CASABLANCA. Mr. Dalio in real life was also married to the beautiful Madeleine Lebeau, who played Yvonne, Rick’s jilted local lover in CASABLANCA. Their desperate escape and winding journey from France to Portugal to Canada to the United States mirrors that of the refugees pictured in CASABLANCA. Marcel Dalio also appeared to good effect in LA GRANDE ILLUSION, TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, THE RULES OF THE GAME, and CATCH-22. Interestingly enough, he also played Captain Renaud in the TV series of CASABLANCA (1955-56).

Finally, there’s Jean Gabin.

I really like watching Mr. Gabin work. I have seen him referred to as a French Humphrey Bogart and I can see why though I see him more as a French Jean Gabin. His work in PORT OF SHADOWS and LA BETE HUMAINE (both 1938) is compelling. Later in his career, in FOUR BAGS FULL (1956) he gives a performance full of surprise and relatively free of cliché. I’m a fan.

If you cherish CASABLANCA as I do, you will find much to delight you in PEPE LE MOKO.

Trailer Speak – A Career Opportunity

Eureka!

Imagine spending your day uttering deathless prose like;

–“Crashing into this world of horror, a beautiful woman and three adventurers dare to challenge the unknown! A world where life and love are ruled by…THE CYCLOPS!”

At the age of 65, I’ve finally found the career for which I was meant; to enlighten the world by explaining;

–“Here is nature gone mad, revealing a world of terror – a world mastered by a monstrous mutation – the spawn of nuclear fury!”

Sweet.

Or how ‘bout;

–“Here is a weird suspense-filled journey that hurdles you into the most frightening adventure the screen has ever shown!”

I should have been born about 1920. Then I would have been just the right age to do the impassioned voice-overs for the trailers of monster/sci-fi flicks in the 1950’s and introduce a nation of enthralled viewers to;

–“Whit Bissell…demonic as Professor Frankenstein…who creates out of human parts the most terrifying creature to walk the Earth today!”

Or positing out loud the titillating possibility of;

–“Transferring a young girl’s love into terrifying bloodlust!”

I’m so there.

AND you get paid for it.

AND you get to watch the flicks.

“…challenge the unknown!”, “…the spawn of nuclear fury!”, “…weird suspense-filled journey…”, “…human parts…”, “…terrifying bloodlust!”

The words are positively Shakespearean, if Shakespeare had written under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust…and needed to pick up some quick rent money.

Whatta job!

Sigh.

A Geezer Remembers; How I Met Tosca

I discovered opera in the Cub Scouts. Now admit it, that’s a sentence you never thought you’d read.

But it’s true. Many times my “reminiscences” are not true and I don’t care, but this one I think will be…mostly.

I was manning a booth in a Saturday afternoon Cub Scout Jamboree being held, as I remember, on the floor of Memorial Coliseum. “Manning”…how quaint…how old could I have been? I was a cub scout lookin’ for a badge.

As I recall, there were not too many people in attendance that afternoon. Thus, my duties were not compelling. To be exact, had I the word “ennui” at that age, I would have relished the chance to use it so aptly.

The adjoining booth was staffed by an adult scout leader who was whiling away the afternoon listening to the Metropolitan Opera Broadcast on WBKY-FM (the call letters were later changed to WUKY). I knew the Cincinnati Reds were playing that same afternoon and I thought I might entice him to switch over to the game. Sly boots that I am, I casually asked what he was listening to.

He just looked at me. I think he was considering how much he could tell me before he’d have to kill me.

How could he explain the love-sick foolishness of Cavaradossi or the jealous foolishness of Tosca or, to put as simply as possible, the un-foolishness of the music…ah.yes, the music? I don’t recall there being an achievement badge for opera.

Finally, he explained; “We’re nearing the end of the first act. In a moment, you’ll hear three gigantic, scary chords. They will announce the entrance of a truly evil, foolish man. His name is Baron Scarpia. His name is also those three chords. If you ever hear them again, be assured he is nearby. If you’re not hearing them on a radio or a stage, I would advise you to flee.”

Sure enough, I heard the chords, and wide-eyed and wide-eared I listened to Scarpia’s scene with Tosca to the end of the act. When it finished, I asked the scout guy what Scarpia had said at the end (the opera being in Italian and my Italian being no better then than it is now). He translated; “Tosca! You make me forget God!!”

Well, my little Southern Baptist jaw dropped at that. I listened the rest of the afternoon and was hooked.

I had experienced grandeur, and largeness of spirit, and the gargantuan tragic foolishness to which humans in a post-Puccini world can aspire. Mostly, I fell in love with Tosca (not liked…loved) and I hated Scarpia (not disliked…hated). My little Cub Scout world had expanded exponentially. My values had not changed, but they were applied to a larger venue. I had been made, not different, but bigger.

Yes, I was hooked and I have gone through decades of being alert for “those three chords.” Scarpia will not catch me by surprise again!

We’ve Always Got the Diner

It’s movie night.

From tonight’s movie masterpiece;

 

–“Whaddaya doin’?”

–“Breakin’ windows.”

–“Why?”

–“Hey, it’s just a smile.”

 

Everyone knows about chick flicks and rom coms.

 

–“Hey, do you know what word I’m not comfortable with?

Nuance.”

 

Here’s a question for you; what would be the complete opposite of a chick flick?

 

–“Hey, where’s yer date?”

–“I gave her away.

I got five dollars.”

 

Answer; Barry Levinson’s DINER. I love this flick. I wanna be in this flick. I think maybe I was in this flick.

 

–“Hey, you gonna finish that?”

–“You want it? Ask for it!

–“No, no… I just thought if you’re not gonna finish it?”

 

Guys in ties – hangin’ out – in the wee hours – at the diner. It’s a solid concept.

When I was singing in a rock and roll band in my teens we would finish our gig at 1am, and then head to the Jerry’s Drive-In at New Circle and Broadway. The other local bands would do the same. It was a solid concept…over J-Boys and onion rings.

 

–“Hey, you wanna talk? Ya got the guys at the diner! Ya don’ need a woman.”

 

No-o-o-o-o…definitely not a chick flick.

 

“Hey!”

Don’t Just Move, Stand There!

I’ve been pondering mobility, or rather the lack of it, as an important element in horror films.

Normally, we’re a lot more a’feared of a terror whose current location is uncertain and moves mysteriously and quickly (ala the alien in ALIEN or Zika-carrying mosquitoes) than we are of a known and fixed enemy like, say, a patch of poison ivy. I don’t fear poison ivy, I avoid it. I can’t outrun much but I can outrun poison ivy. It can’t “cut me off at the pass”. Mosquitoes however…those suckers are everywhere! This is the stuff of most horror flicks.

But there are a number of horror films that feature stationary menaces or menaces that move at glacier-like rapidity. I happen to have viewed a couple of these recently; THE LIVING HEAD (Mexican), and THE HEAD (German). Two other previously viewed films; THEY SAVED HITLER’S BRAIN and DONOVAN’s BRAIN (both USA), would also fall into this sedentary and thus far inadequately studied category; films about living heads with no bodies (no legs, arms, wings, or driver’s licenses). The writers of these films are required to strive mightily to make these threats plausible since anyone could escape by falling down and crawling.

So, how do they do it?

Well, in THE LIVING HEAD and THEY SAVED HITLER’S BRAIN, we are shown mesmerized worshippers of the head toting it about from place to place. No one seems to notice or care until it’s too late.

In DONOVAN’S BRAIN the title brain enforces its desires through emanations (wouldn’t that be a great name for a baseball team or a doo-wop group?) In THE HEAD it’s like the writers don’t even try. The threat simply exists as a sideshow to be gasped over. Meh.

Until Brendan Fraser, mummy films had much the same problem. Bandage-bound Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee were not precipitous. Writers on these films worked hard to trap their victims in a corner, or just trip them repeatedly, or paralyze them with fear. Fainting was a popular and useful response. Plausibility fled as the mummy shuffled.

Two films come to mind that actually turned this lack of mobility into a positive. In THE INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, those malevolent pods can’t move, but are placed where they are most effective by previous victims of the pods. This is effective because of the mathematics of the situation. One victim begets two. Two beget four. Four beget eight. Eight beget… You see the problem. The rapid and devastating multiplication of zombie-fied neighbors and public officials is completely plausible and scary.

I hate pods to this day. I look at sugar snap peas and tremble.

In the beginning of the film THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, the title plants apparently cannot move. But after the Earth’s population is blinded by a handy meteor shower the plants pull up their roots and reveal their slow, but inexorable mobility. The fright factor soars. Kudos for the writer! BUT, look how hard it was to make effective – handy meteor shower? Please.

And that’s my point. Writing is hard work. Why make it harder? I’m thinkin’ writers should unleash their terrors, not nail their feet (or whatever might pass for feet) to the floor.

Indulge me one more example.

THE MONOLITH MONSTERS featured mountains that grew quickly and fell on you if you were foolish enough to stick around and watch.

Let that sink in…but don’t let it fall on you.

This film reminded me of my one and only visit to Phoenix, Arizona. I looked out the window of my hotel room and saw, not too far away, a butte. Is that the correct term? There were two impressive houses built snugly into the base of the butte. I remarked to the bellman that I would be fearful of living in those houses because of the possibility of gigantic rocks falling on me. He replied that the rocks never fell.

Let that sink in.

I gazed again at the butte surrounded by the Greyhound-Bus-sized boulders that formed the 60-70 foot high slopes of the butte. It reminded me of my California-living friends who blithely dismiss earthquakes as a factor in their lives; “But the weather’s so nice all the time.”

Blissful denial…perhaps that’s the key to the monolith monsters’ path to success.

Oh, and did I mention how much I hate pods?

Backyard Baseball

Ah, I see the Dodgers and the Cardinals are our Sunday night TV baseball contestants this week; from Dodger Stadium. Great. Now I’m gonna want a Dodger Dog all night.

I know I’ve mentioned once or twice…or perhaps a hundred times before how much I love baseball. I come by this infatuation honestly and early.

I grew up in North Lexington, on a street named Gay Place. Go ahead, snicker if you wish, but all it meant to us then was that it made it easy to fill out any forms requiring a home address. I didn’t need to write out street names like “Henry Clay Boulevard” and “Avenue of Champions” until much later in my intellectual development. To be perfectly accurate, the street was South Gay Place and yes, there was and still is a North Gay Place. Today I suppose we would call this configuration a cul-de-sac, but in the late 50’s/early 60’s the only French we knew was French’s Yellow Mustard (See? Completely obsessing on those Dodger Dogs).

On Gay Place, in the summer, we played baseball all the time, everywhere, and with all kinds of equipment.

We mowed the vacant field behind our street and played on the stubble. The field was severely canted on a hill. What did we care? Oh sure, the run uphill to first base was arduous and rarely successful, but if you made it, you could attain Olympic speed from first to third. Flat is seriously over-rated.

We played intense whiffle ball. We would locate the densest shrub in the neighborhood and put home plate in front of it. That eliminated the need for a catcher. I recall one memorable game when my participation was cut short after I reached into the catcher/bush to retrieve the ball and retrieved a wasp nest instead.

We played in driveways using a fishing cork for the ball and a broomstick for the bat.

My favorite games were played in our backyard. The ground rules were remarkable and vital to know to determine a winning strategy.

  • A ball hit over the right field fence was a home run UNLESS;
    • It crossed over my dad’s vegetable garden. Then it was a foul ball. If it landed in the garden, it was an out – no, it was the ultimate out. We weren’t allowed to play anymore that day. OR…
    • …if the people who lived in that house were home. Then the ball was considered un-retrievable until they left and the game was over or suspended.
  • A ball hit over the left field fence was considered to be “in the outfield”. It could be caught on the fly for an out or fielded to hold the runner to a single or a double. UNLESS…
  • …it was a ball hit over the left field fence AND traveled beyond the tree in the middle of the neighbor’s back yard. That was considered to be a home run and would initiate an argument over measurement of such vitriol it would dwarf today’s chats between Clinton and Sanders supporters.
  • Games would continue until twilight, at which time we would switch to horseshoes, just to irritate ALL the neighbors.

No matter which incarnation of “baseball” we happened to be playing each day, the score for each game was meticulously kept and just as meticulously forgotten the next day. Players switched teams with complete fluidity. Feelings were hurt…and healed. People were offended…and survived. Heroes were made…and humbled. The sun set…and then rose again. We could spell “Gay Place”, but we couldn’t spell “Republican”, or “Democrat”. We had heard of the Reds and the Yankees, but we had never heard of conservatives or liberals. If, in the middle of the game, we felt the call of nature, we ran home or to a neighbor’s house or to that catcher/bush and no one checked any birth certificates about it.

We had all the time in the world, but there was no time to waste on foolishness like that. We had a game to play.

Oh yeah, I love baseball. I earned the right to that love. Those wasps…!

Godzilla, Suspenders, & Short Pants

Movie night and my personal Japanese film odyssey continues.

This time I’m moving from riveting noir to rubber-suited nuisances and from the remarkable to the regrettable. Tonight’s delicacy is GODZILLA VS HEDORAH (aka GODZILLA VS THE SMOG MONSTER). Do you suppose there might be a sequel; GODZILLA VISITS THE ISLAND OF PLASTIC BAGS?

Hedorah looks a cross between a giant tadpole and something unfortunate you might find on your shoe after walking the dog…oh…and with bloodshot eyes. One of Hedorah’s main weapons seems to involve projectile vomiting. I’m usually a pretty open-minded kinda guy but I’m thinkin’ deliberate hurling does not go on the positive side of the scoreboard for this epic. Ew-w-w-w-w.

I’m notoriously unashamed to admit my fondness for Godzilla flicks but there are some elements that regularly pop up in the films that are simply unacceptable in polite society. This film has several of ‘em;

  • There’s a precocious child in suspenders and short pants. Wrong.
  • Godzilla is portrayed as a friend to humanity. Completely wrong.
  • There are scenes on Mt. Fuji. Film-makers seem to love shooting mountains. I’m guessin’ it’s because mountains are consistent in their line readings and always hit their mark.

Mercifully, Son of Godzilla is not in the flick, nor have there been any scientists in school-bus-yellow jumpsuits. What kind of mind…?

The film is given an unfortunate artificial jolt by a psychedelic (non-geezers, you may have to google that word) night club sequence that features hard-driving songs by The Honey Knights and The Moon Drops (Adam Luckey and Walter Tunis have all their albums) and random, drifting skeletons for no purpose useful to the telling of this tale. You can do that kind of stuff when you’re being psychedelic.

Oh yeah, the film’s bad, it’s real bad. I of course cherish every minute of it.

Well, maybe not every minute – suspenders and short pants – a terrible thing to do to any child.

A Geezer Remembers; Droning Tonto and the Atomic Bic

I subscribed to Actors Theatre of Louisville for about 24 years. I love this theatre and have enjoyed a number of transcendent evenings over the years. Susan Kingsley and Ken Jenkins in “Childe Byron” was magical. Likewise, “Tobacco Road”, “The Three Musketeers”, “The Sea Gull”, were wonderful, and their production of “The Tempest” was the best I’ve ever seen. Oh sure, there were some head-scratchers along the way (“King Lear” in burkas plumb evaded me), but overwhelmingly most of the shows were inspiring and entertaining.

So…why did we stop subscribing?

I was working almost every Saturday then. The only performance we could count on attending was the nine o’clock curtain on Saturday nights. I would get away from work about five, we would drive to Louisville, have dinner at the Bristol, make the curtain at nine, get out of the theatre about midnight, and drive home.

Ah, there’s the rub.

That late night drive home was becoming increasingly burdensome. Janie and I began to question how much pleasure we were getting out of our Louisville theatre habit. We debated it for a couple of years. Then there were two productions that last subscription season that finally convinced us to drop the commitment.

The first production was actually quite well done. It was a gospel concert nominally disguised as theatre. Now, I can enjoy gospel music (or bluegrass, or German lieder) for about fifteen minutes just as well as the next guy, but this was two hours and forty-five minutes more gospel music than the Geneva Conventions probably allow. That night’s drive home was glazed in bitterness and that’s the gospel truth.

The other show…

(…shudder, squint, tears begin to flow…)

The other show…

The other show was titled “Beyond Infinity”. It was part of the Humana New Play Festival.

The play consisted of three intertwined (sorta) stories set in the same desert at three different times in history.

One story was of an ill-fated wagon train. Bleak. I found myself expecting Ward Bond to come out wailing “Bring out your dead!” (100 trivia points for identifying the reference.)

The second story was told in a sporadic monologue in monotone by one of ATL’s regular actors whose name eludes me at the moment. He was a gaunt, Sam-Waterston-Abe-Lincoln-Harry-Dean-Stanton-looking fella. For this show he was dressed like Tonto. Whenever the show’s innate hilarity moaned towards out-of-control, the lights would come up on Tonto. He would gaze at a spot about ten feet over my head (looking for what?…inspiration?…his light?…his lines?) and drone. I caught occasional words (kemo sabe, walla wah walla walla walla wah, bibbity bobbity boo) but we were never EVER in the same time zone as a coherent thought.

The third story…

Ah YES-S-S, the third story…

The third story involved J. Robert Oppenheimer and his merry pranksters in the desert working on the atomic bomb. At one stretch in the second act (of twelve, I’m sure), Oppenheimer is standing in the desert night, holding a smallish volume of the Bhagavad Gita (you can’t make this up!). His assistant is standing next to him. For ten minutes he reads aloud, translating on the fly, from his book by the light of his assistant’s Bic lighter…YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP!!

At this moment Janie, who had shed her shoes and was curled up in her seat in the fetal position, tugged on my sleeve, leaned near and whispered “there are 87 lights up there.” Why not count the lights? What else was there to do?

It ended…as all things eventually must (except baseball games).

Now, one of the obligatory rituals involved with attending shows in Louisville is the pre-drive-home bathroom visit. Well, I’m there, at the urinal, “inflagrante delicto” as it were, when the bathroom door is banged open by a three-piece-suit type who angrily declared to the room; “Well I have been to the desert on a horse with no name!”

I just about missed the urinal.