Cheeseburger, fries, and salad

My ten tedious days of COVID lockdown are over. Almost three years into the pandemic, the disease hasn't gotten me yet — just another benefit of being a hermit. The mask helps, too.

And now I'm back in the world. Kinda missed the place.



& links

Jan. 19, 2023

To celebrate, I ate at Mrs Rigby's yesterday, and I've definitely missed that place — good food, low prices, working-class customers, great waitresses, and no TV on the wall.

I sat at the counter, and read not the latest issue of the AVA newspaper, but the third most recent (I'm running behind).

"No coffee, thanks," because once again I'm trying to quit. Haven't had a cup of coffee in a couple of months, nor the caffeine withdrawal headache that always struck a few days later. 

Lunch was a cheeseburger, fries, and salad, with a glass of water, but when I ordered, the waitress asked if I wanted a second burger. Two burgers was my standard for a long time, but, "Nope, just the one burger from now on."

Me and food — I always want to eat a second burger, or more of whatever's in front of me, but that's eating for entertainment, and I'm trying not to do that.

The salad, by the way, comes with croutons and, oddly, Goldfish mini-crackers sprinkled over it. The Goldfish weirded me out when I saw my first Rigby Salad, but you can't argue with the crunch.

Everything was exquisite, of course. Always it is, at Mrs Rigby's.

Midway through the burger, a different waitress came 'round and offered to pour me more coffee. "No coffee at all," I said, and we both laughed when she saw I didn't have a cup. When coffee was my habit I drank a lot of it, and the staff still has the habit of trying to refill me.

The total tab was ten bucks and change, plus my usual five dollar tip. Damned fine lunch for sixteen dollars, and waiting for the bus afterward my belly felt full, so one burger is enough. 

In addition to the Post Office job I'm hoping to land, months ago I also applied to be a Metro bus driver. (That's for full-size buses, not the short bus that I briefly almost drove last summer.)

With Metro, they had me take some bogus psychiatric profile test, and I never heard from them again, so I'd assumed I'd flunked the psych eval. But this morning, two months later, there's this:

This email is to notify you that you have passed this part of the application process! Good job and well done!

The next step is an interview. Our team will contact you on those details. Thank you again for your patience as this is a long process for this highly competitive position.

So now I'm on track for two jobs? Ha! If there's a choice, I'd rather work at the Post Office, where a mistake gets a letter waylaid, instead of Metro Transit, where a mistake kills somebody. I have made a lot of mistakes in life.

It's nice having two possible jobs, though, and I'll definitely go through with an interview at Metro, to see what happens.

When you watch a really old movie — a noir from the 1940s, a western from the 1950s, definitely anything from the silent era — everyone who made it is dead. It's kinda cosmic to think it the first time you think it, but watching a lot of old movies that's an old thought for me.

Here's a new one, something I hadn't considered until today: All the cars in those old movies, every car and truck and bus made that year, and every vehicle made all the years before and most of the years after whatever old movie I'm watching, is junked.

With the exception of a very few museum pieces and the cars still clogging the roads, every automobile made since automobiles have been made is now rusting or buried or squeezed into a cube somewhere — immeasurable millions of tons of metal and glass and plastic that isn't and wasn't and never will be used for anything else. What a wound on the world.

Cars are abominations in so many ways.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

More than 90% of rainforest carbon offsets by biggest provider are worthless, analysis shows 

Virginia rejects $3.5-billion Ford plant over fears of Communist Chinese control 

Mississippi Democrat files "trigger" bill to bring prayer back to public schools 

Fox News invents a fake trans Joker controversy to have a melt down over 

Mystery links
There's no knowing where you're going




Clicks ahoy

Some lies we tell ourselves 

For every $1 gained by a bottom 90 percenter since 2020, a billionaire got $1.7M 

The glue that holds us together 

Restaurants for women 

How Walgreens manufactured a media frenzy about shoplifting 

Rats in your toilet? 

Tunnel Ultra: The mind-bending 200-mile ultra-marathon in the dark 

Conversation pits 

It's an architectural style that's faded away, and I never saw a conversation pit in real life, but always thought the concept looks comfortable, congenial, and cool. Have any of you ever had a conversation in a pit?

♫♬  Mix tape of my mind  ♫

All Through the Night — Cyndi Lauper 

I Predict — Sparks 

Many Rivers to Cross — Harry Nilsson with John Lennon 

She's Always a Woman to Me — Billy Joel 

Water in the Sky — Phish 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Carole Cook 

Chris Ford 

Danny Kaleikini 

Ben Masters 

Kingsize Taylor 

Frank Thomas 

Lee Tinsley 

Christopher T Walsh 


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.


  1. Re your James Baldwin quote, I've always sort of gotten chills at the Kristofferson / Joplin song "Me and Bobby McGee" line, "Freedom's just another word for 'nothin' left to lose.'"

    1. A beautiful line from a beautiful song. Mr K wrote it, but I got chillier chills when Janis Joplin sang it.

    2. At the same recording session as Bobbie McGee, three days before her death, Janis recorded Mercedes Benz, very shortly after she wrote it (Bob Newwirth gets a writing credit because he copied down Janis' lyrics as she was making them up at a bar), with Rip Torn and Geraldine Page pounding a table for percussion accompaniment. The recording was part of an audio birthday card to John Lennon (thus the "that's it" at the end). Janis was recording her last album, Pearl, at the time, and the only recording of Mercedes Benz was in the birthday card, so producer Paul Rothchild cleaned the recording just a bit and the song was included on Pearl.


    3. Faskinating as usual. And almost amazing, as the song is such a classic. Did Rip Torn and Geraldine Page get credit as the rhythm section?

    4. Nope, they were the rhythm section while she was writing and rewriting it. She recorded it acapella, which I think is Latin for "without drunks". Letting Rip Torn into an expensive recording studio is just asking for trouble, as much as I love him as an actor.


    5. Claude With A Chance Of ReignsJanuary 19, 2023 at 7:49 PM

      Did someone mention Rip Torn? One of my favorite actors!

      Just watched Freddy Got Fingered, which is considered one of the worst films ever made... incorrect! It is one of the funniest films ever made, completely stupid and utterly offensive and genuinely strange. Torn is hilarious in it.

      My favorite performance by Torn is in Payday.

    6. Rip Torn was brilliant on all six seasons of The Larry Sanders Show as the show producer. Something like a third of the 21 to 30 minute episodes were largely unscripted, and Torn rose to the occasion. Throughout his acting career he was considered an actor's actor and, from time to time a drunken troublemaker. But when drunken troublemakers are making the right kind of trouble they are invaluable.


    7. Always liked Gerry Shandling. Both his HBO shows were very good, and Rip Torn is exactly what I want in from Hollywood stars — very good on-screen, very "out there" off screen.

      Both of them, the older they got the better they got, and then they got dead but that's what happens.

      Freddy Got Fingered? Tom Green? Really? Again, I'll trust you on this, but I'm skeptical...

  2. Claude Got A Job And No Longer ReignsJanuary 19, 2023 at 5:52 PM

    "Cars are abominations in so many ways"

    You should watch Mad Max Fury Road. I'm not a fan of the others (though the first is fine) but this one deserves all the praise it has gotten. I was suspicious, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. It's almost a silent film - very little dialogue, very big ideas, and pure visual storytelling. Surprisingly moving, too, in a visceral way, like seeing a great athlete or dancer accomplish something amazing. It really might be the greatest action film ever made, if you differentiate the *kind* of action film it is, from something more verbal or traditional like Die Hard or Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    1. Dang, that's high praise. You surprise me...

      I tried to rewatch the original Road Warrior several months ago, and couldn't get through it, but your recommendations are usually very worth watching.

      I shall add Fury Road to the long list.


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