The Babs-and-Darla-Edict

Marcia’s last day is tomorrow. I’m supposed to learn what she knows, but they have to be there too, both of them. That's the Babs-and-Darla-Edict.

So all four of us were scheduled for an hour together at 9AM. An hour is nowhere near enough time, but we didn't even have that — something came up, and Babs couldn’t be there, so this morning’s class was canceled. 

Again, Marcia’s last day is tomorrow. I'm supposed to learn everything she knows, by tomorrow, and we haven't started.

♦ ♦ ♦

I rode the elevator down to the basement to call Mom again, but all four booths were in use so I rode back up to the 8th floor.

Tried again half an hour later, and there was a phone booth available, and for a handful of quarters I called again, and got through to Mom's answering machine. I left a message, so I've done what I was supposed to do. Now it’s Mom's turn to call me. 

♦ ♦ ♦

In the early afternoon, we got an e-mail from Babs, announcing that she was leaving early for the day to go home and take care of her sick daughter. If a worker did that, of course, it would be half a day without pay, but management has different rules.

By the Babs-and-Darla-Edict, that means no training with Marcia today — but hooray, a few minutes later Babs sent a second e-mail, saying it would be OK if Marcia trained me today, as long as Darla was there. So Darla scheduled an hour, and the three of us met for a crash course. Or a crash and burn course.

Because Darla was there, and Darla doesn’t really know the basics of what we do, Marcia had to explain things more slowly. She covered a few tidbits of the Marcia-magic stuff, but Darla’s questions slowed everything, and when the hour was over, Darla asked me how much more time I’d need.

“Why are you asking me?” I asked, which was too blunt, but — hello? I don’t know what I don’t know. Marcia knows what I don’t know. Ask Marcia.

Marcia said, “At the pace we’re going, we’ll need four more hours, maybe six.”

Darla nodded and said thanks, and I said, "I'm available right now, can we keep going?"

Darla, though, had another meeting, and as she walked away, she reminded us, "Please don't discuss this unless I'm present."

After she was gone I said to Marcia, “We’re screwed, aren’t we?”

“Well,” she said, “I’ll show you as much as they’ll let me show you,” and she made a shrug face and walked back to her desk, and I walked back to mine.

Despite working with Marcia for a few years, I don’t know her very well, but I think she's done giving a damn. That's perfectly understandable, of course.

♦ ♦ ♦

I checked my messages after work, and there was still no word from Mom. I refuse to worry any more, and anyway, it’s Roxie noir night.

The Missing Juror (1944) is a waste of film, not bad enough to be enjoyable as camp and nowhere near good enough to call it entertainment. I wants to be a mystery, but the killer’s identity is obvious at the start, and as the story trudges on there’s never an unexpected moment in the script. I only endured it to get to the second feature.

Black Angel (1946) is by Cornell Woolrich, the master noir novelist whose name is attached to some of the genre’s best stories, and this is one of them.

A loyal, loving woman stands by her man even as he’s convicted of murdering his mistress, and as the day of his execution approaches she sets out to prove her hubby innocent.

There's cynical dialogue, an alcoholic songwriter, unexpected plot twists, Peter Lorre hamming it up, soaring cinematography, an eerie performance by the young Broderick Crawford in a supporting role, and a satisfying conclusion. It was worth the price of admission, and also worth enduring the first feature.

♦ ♦ ♦

I checked my messages again at the phone booth near the rez hotel. No messages from Mom, or anyone else. Should I say again that I'm done worrying? I've said that already ... but obviously I'm not.

From Pathetic Life #5
Thursday, October 13, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

Pathetic Life 

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  1. You scored one for me with Dues so I'm going to give Black Anegl a try. I don't usually like old movies...

    1. If you're new to old movies, I'd say, think of it as time travel. You've watching a movie made 75 years ago, so don't expect cell phones or diversity or liberated women, but if you acclimate to the setting you *will* have a good time.


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