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Huh. That’s weird.

Last night we watched a short film called A Welcome to Britain. It was a WWII film made for American GI’s, going over the basics of how to interact with war-weary Brits. Not too heavy-handed, mildly charming. If you’re inclined’ta, you can watch it for yourself here.

It was narrated by Burgess Meredith, who I don’t suppose was particularly famous in 1943. In the very last scene, he lounges in bed, pops a cigarette in a long cigarette holder and does a sort of Penguin impression. See picture. Uncle B and I both sat up and pointed and made “ook!” noises.

I wondered if maybe the cigarette holder was a Burgess Meredith ‘thing’, but no. IMDB says:

On the television series Batman (1966), he developed his grunting Penguin laugh out of necessity. Meredith had given up smoking some twenty-odd years earlier, but his character was required to smoke with a cigarette holder. The smoke would get caught in his throat and he would start coughing. Rather than constantly ruin takes in this matter, he developed the laugh to cover it up. “Actually, it was a pretty funny noise for a penguin to make,” said Meredith. “I sounded more like a duck.” Needless to say, Meredith gave up smoking again immediately after the series ended.

Which is weird. But it also says this, which is even weirder:

He was fascinated by the subject of non-human intelligence, particularly dolphins. He once believed that a dolphin somehow called to him for help in the middle of the night while he was staying at a friend’s home on the beach. He ran out and found the dolphin, caught in a net under a dock down the beach, although there was no way he should have been able to know it was there. He released it, saving its life. He believed it had made some sort of connection with him, perhaps telepathic, to call for help.

Something to think about on a Monday evening.


Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 21, 2018, 9:00 pm

Oh, American hater eh? Won’t let me watch the movie because I’m outside the UK, eh?

Well, well, well.
We’ll petition for return to the Empire! That’ll fix yer asses!

Now, see, I could have handled that nicely, but, noooooooooo.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: May 21, 2018, 9:24 pm

It’s available on YouTube.

Comment from p2
Time: May 21, 2018, 10:51 pm


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 21, 2018, 11:18 pm

Ugh. Clooney and Amal in the vip seats at the wedding signals to me that he will be throwing his hat into the ring with the endorsement of the royals.

It is not the ruskies who interfered with our election but the UK.

Comment from gromulin
Time: May 22, 2018, 12:56 am

Thank you for your wonderful indolence. Really. Made my day.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 22, 2018, 11:26 am

Watching A Very British Scandal. They portray Lord Boothby as a defender of badgers and he has them running around free in his house. Dont know if based on truth but cant see badgers as domesticated pets.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: May 22, 2018, 2:20 pm

Rice Fan –

Badgers belong in The House(s) Of Lords don’t they?

At the same time, at the risk of being banned here, I’d speculate that most members of The House Of Commons are weasels, eh?

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: May 22, 2018, 2:37 pm

No, I don’t suppose Meredith was a superstar at the level of Cary Grant in 1943. But he’d played George to Lon Chaney Jr.’s Lennie in the 1940 film Of Mice and Men, and later tackled a slew of television and stage plays before the Penguin role.

He’s still the perfect image of that character to me, despite Danny DeVito and others. Though his trivia on IMDb says that the producers originally wanted Spencer Tracy (!) to play the Penguin — so maybe it wasn’t so obvious at the start.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: May 22, 2018, 3:17 pm

They’ve been married for 3 days now – has the empire fallen?

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: May 22, 2018, 4:24 pm

She’s pregnant. Look how thick her waist is. Well, so was Anne Boleyn when she and the other Henry got hitched. I just hope Markle gets to keep her head.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 22, 2018, 7:03 pm

I am, in fact, one of the most indolent human beings ever, grom, but I’m not sure how I’ve put that on display in this post.

Comment from gromulin
Time: May 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

You always find the bestest trivial stuff. Only well honed indolence can produce such a quality as this post. 😉

I strive for this level of indolence. Someday…

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