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3 March 2022

To Catch a Thief: They’re Selling Dreams


This morning, I trashed an email from a rose-breeder/seller in Oregon. Last year, I bought a slew of bare-roots from this online business, and I am presently engaging in the growth of patience more than those bare-roots are engaged in growth.


Oh, I know they’ll thrive, once the winter is long past the frostline. Queen Frost-ine (as we call Gabby the Snowshoe cat) has been out amongst them with me. But I daresay the plants are not as advertised; nor did I expect them to be!


They’re selling dreams. I understand that tactic, or ploy. The image, however, this morning of the Iceberg climber gave me a laugh.


“I never did like Iceberg,” I commented to Dear Husband. “Lettuce, or rose, or the American Dum-Dum.”

The American Dum-Dum is a man whom Nora Charles breathlessly awaits at the West Indies Club in the hilarious Hollywood flick of 1939, Another Thin Man. She’s holding a bag with money, loose change, that she must give to a guy for a hot lead on a murder on Long Island. Nora instead attracts to her, in her sumptuously glittering gown, a handsome and dashing gigolo, who is quite unlike the modern wimpy wusses we see on-screen today.


The dialogue is as follows:


Nora Charles: “I have a husband, you know.”


Gigolo Dancing with Her: “A stupid American iceberg! Ha!”


Nora Charles: “No. He’s traveled abroad.”


Gigolo Dancing Even More Closely to Her: “Oh, does he ever speak to you burning words that make you go half-mad with joy and yearning?”


Nora Charles: “Well, He’s kinda cute.”

I was going half-mad with joy and yearning yesterday when first I set out to drive Dear Husband and myself up the highway; but, first, we had to fill the Caddy-tank with gas. That’s where the joy and yearning subsided, and the half-madness threatened to come to full fruition.


Due to my long and tormented history of filling the gas tanks of my ex-cars during my life as a single woman; and because of the two decades (plus) of filling up the gas tanks of the kiddie-taxis during my years as Mom In The Home, I now possess a distinct and deep aversion to filling up any tank with gas.


After yesterday’s run into the local village gas station, that aversion has become fixed fear-and-loathing.


Truth to tell, I did not know how to position the correct side of the gas tank next to the pump. It’s that quick decision, telling my left from my right, that always throws me. Dear Husband was a patient passenger, not unlike Cary Grant in the sports car with Grace Kelly at the wheel in Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief. I was even wearing driving gloves!

When he said that I could not fit through the turnaround area for the pumps, I whizzed through it and around to the other side. Which still put the Caddy on the wrong side of the pump. I then performed a flawless 3-point turn to arrive at the correct position for the Caddy gas tank to be filled with liquid gold.


Dear Husband did the honors while I recalled my early years in the early 1980s in Sacramento, when I had to use a locking gas cap on my Pinto. The gas kept getting siphoned, in the dead of night, out of my tank in Moonbeam’s California of Pothead Dreams. And, then, one evening, I filled the Pinto tank at one of those mini-marts, and I left the locking gas-cap atop the roof, and drove off.


There really was no winning in terms of guarding your gas back then.


Dear Husband completed his spousal duty of the day; and then we drove out of town. Once I was on the freeway, I took note of how horrible the road known as I-80 has become. Caltrans: Your tax dollars at play.

I always love the drive up (or east) into the Sierra. Never do I forget my first encounter with the granite rocks and the dark green trees during the summer of 1979; or with the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada during that first frigid winter. All of those memories came rushing back at me, in a wondrous way, yesterday afternoon, while my driving was getting Dear Husband slightly car-sick. (He told me only later, much later, after we returned to the domicile.)


There were many 18-wheelers to drive around. And there was my expert-avoidance of the usual speeding eco-carts whose drivers believe I-80 was built — just for them — to reach their Playground as they temporarily escaped the Bay Area. At last, an hour later, we reached the Rainbow.

The Rainbow Tavern Lodge is where Hubby and I spent parr of our honeymoon. Among other memorable memories is the sudden placement, while we were not looking, of a De‘Longhi electric radiator into our freezing room. That heat source materialized on the morning that we exited this historic site. We were headed for some time along the coast. I recall telling my beau that I like the mountains and the ocean, in response to his question as to which scenery I’d prefer for The Honeymoon.


It was a short drive in those days from the Sierra Nevada to the California coast at Monterey. Of course, things were much different then, when we had a Real Governor of California, and Morning in America, and a real President named Ronald Reagan.


But I try not to look back at California and the USA, especially when the past is catching up with the idiots who still don’t “get it” from some 30-40 years ago. Maybe they weren’t born yet, but they’re still not “getting it”, today. And “it” means reality.


I almost want to tell those idiots: “Poulet, Pou-let. Poo — lay.”

The horrific economy here in the Golden State shows up first in the leisure/fun/travel/resort spots. The Rainbow was, much like the country home in Varykino, all boarded up by the Commies in the 1964 Hollywood film, Dr. Zhivago.


I parked the Caddy in the parking lot at the lodge. Dear Husband then took some quick pix for my professional use. It’s a good thing those first takes were final takes because the look on my face, during repeated takes, would have been, after having driven all that way, not worthy of happy viewing.


A picture is worth 1,000 words!


Chancey Boy, Chance, the Wonder Beagle, was along for the ride. He was along for the walk, as well. I had a hold of him, on the leash, during the photo session, and I can attest to the fact that this beagle is one heavy hunk of hound who does not heel!


When we all returned to the Caddy, I felt very saddened about how abandoned and run-down the place has gotten, but the Rainbow had always been a haven with a tavern for carousers of the male sort. Never was it a politically correct anything, which more than explains my fondness for this lodge that dates back to the 1920s/1930s.

I’d driven to the Rainbow during the summer of 2017, just in advance of writing POINT OF THE SWORD. I’d read, online, reviews of how dilapidated this structure had become. The food was atrocious and the service was rude. Even the drinks at the bar were bad. Owner after owner after owner had come and gone. I’d not stayed there since the autumn of 1997, when I was holed-up in one second-story room, performing reading and research. I’d not brought into my room any skis, or another person.


The management was highly suspicious of me, eating alone, in their dining room. They decided to try and find out just what She was up to, in that small rented room. At about 11 one night, The Maid suddenly burst in, needing to change the sheets!


I was awake, working on my writing. I guess the Paid-Snoop got enough info, and returned to the front desk with it. And I guess I could have instigated some kind of lawsuit, since We Do No Snoop On Our Guests is a supposed rule, or regulation, or even an implied policy. I decided to drive back home, which was in Roseville at that time. And I never went back for an overnight stay, or even a meal along the way to Truckee. Evidently, many other customers made the same choice.

They’re selling dreams, but whose I cannot say.


Several years ago, this bed-and-breakfast for the public got changed to the loser-sales-model of Private Event Venue. The San Fran crowd can drive 150 miles to their posh and privileged Sierra site to get formally married in an exclusive members-only ceremony as part of a selective members-only club.


Spare me the tommyrot of your moral superiority at top-gouge price. We hicks in the sticks will economically survive this coming winter of 2022. You won’t.


Yesterday, I drove to the Rainbow to wrap up my writing-life in that locale while I work on writing THE SILENT HEART. I’ll not be returning there, ever.


While Dear Husband and I were seated in the front seats, drinking some coffee and eating a snack, from our thermos and travel bag, Chance, from the back seat, lunged to try to get his share of our share. He always expects a place at the table. He is, however, much more polite about that expectation, even with real canine teeth, than are many humans. I warned him back into his back-seat position, and he went, with a hurt look on that handsome face of his.

A girl then came marching up to my Caddy. She was a real Karen-type, except she probably IS the manager at this woebegone boarded-up venue. She informed me that it is PRIVATE PARKING.


Since I’d parked right in front of the Private Parking sign, I’d had a clue!


There was absolutely no one there at this dump, in the parking lot, in the building, even on the snowy road. I told this snooty sprout that I was leaving. She gave me a phoney smile and walked off, tossing some rock salt from her environmentally-safe bucket onto the driveway. To ruin the rutted asphalt!


What a stupid goose. I might have been someone interested in the high-price Private Event. These empty-headed entrepreneurs know absolutely nothing about capitalism or private industry. This chick had also kept her safe-distance from me since I appeared before her, mask-less, as I’ve been for years now! She was maskless too, but I might be one of The Unvaccinated!

That tactic toward scaring off the intolerant is a well-practiced one on my part. It does bring to mind my popping in at William Glen in Sacramento, right before Christmas 1990. That capitalist business was The Original William Glen at Town and Country. That big and beautiful store was chock-full of fine china and leaded Waterford glass and gorgeous decor for The Dream Home. That original Sacramento-based store closed in 2010.


Other smaller locations, the remnants of the Original, went out of business in 2020 and 2021. Methinks the anti-china (no, not that China) Proposition 65 got that free-enterprise wrecking ball going. The anti-business climate of Sacramento, of California, along with the high-crime guaranteed by defunding the police in 2020, finished off the family business of the founder William Glen. I feel certain there’s one native son of the Golden State who supports real climate change — in a world that’s gone stark ravers over gaslighted freak shows and lunatic frauds, all of them guvmint-corporately sponsored!


On that day, of 24 December, I was on my way home from The Hospital with Wee One #2, and I wanted to buy her a Christmas present. Well, a birthday present too. I found a wonderful Brambley Hedge bank, entitled Winter Story!

(That purchase would be just about my only one from this brick-and-mortar store.  Feathering my nest with fine goods was done largly through discount shops.)

I grabbed a hold of it while Dear Husband and Dear Little Son waited for Mom to be done with her Christmas shopping on the way home from her maternity event. On the crowded way to the long line at the cashier, I literally ran into The Evening Male-News-Anchor from the local affiliate. The pairing up of Mr.&Mrs. at the anchor desk had just started, as if they were lawfully joined in liberal-heart.


Mr. Anchorman was a nice guy, with a nice big smile. I’d heard from very informed insiders that the News Station reportedly spent 40% of their budget on his wardrobe, hair, makeup and image consultants. It showed. The clothes were smashing, but the reporting was as collapsing-bad then, in the 1990s, as it is now, without the obvious hatred for America and patriots.


As I got in line for the cashier, I showed the three or four plastic, hospital bracelets on my wrist. “They just let me out,” I grinned.

Absolute horror on the non-smiling face of Mr. Anchorman. The gals today are going about it all wrong when they want to permanently be done with Guy#Wrong!


That story from my personal life brings me to yet another run of semi-ribald dialogue from this Nick and Nora motion picture, a celluloid creation that dates back to the early days of the now-faded Rainbow.


Nick Charles has spotted Nora in the West Indies Club. His beautiful wife is seated at a table, surrounded by a throng of men.


Nick: Mommy, you know better than to come to a place like this, your first day out of bed. What if the health officers find out? They'll put you right back in quarantine.


Nora: I won’t stay in quarantine! I don’t care who catches it!

The adoring males flee the scene wherein Nora sits, stunningly radiant in her loveliness, comedy, and victory.


Dear Husband did the driving on the way home. I needed a rest from making him car-sick. He discovered a back road that leads to Larkhaven, my dream house. I am so thrilled: I now have a secondary route out of this location. Dear Husband said that the look of delight on my face was priceless.


In a nation, where prices are about to skyrocket, remember to wear a look of delight on your patriotic face that is priceless, and look stunningly radiant in your loveliness, comedy, and victory.


Lions not sheep.