Tag Archives: gumshoes

Belated In Memorium: Donald J. Sobol AKA a Requiem for Encyclopedia Brown

We like to fancy ourself as an amateur detective.  If someone loses their keys, we’re on the case.  If someone is being evasive about whom they went to dinner with last Sunday night, we get to the bottom of it.  If there’s an email address to be found by scouring pages of Google results, we’re going to find it.  If we spend a week in Aruba, we fully believe that we’re going to solve a high-profile, lingering unsolved murder.  In many cases we’re successful, in some cases we’re not (the latter, in particular, which is still keeping us up nights).  But that inquisitive, investigator spirit stays with us, and it’s been with us since childhood.  If you asked us at eight-years-old what we wanted to be when we grew up we’d say “baseball player” or “movie writer.”  Definitely one of those two.  But “detective” would have won the bronze, which is why in 9th grade we did a future career report on “FBI Agent” and nearly began working part-time for a private investigator a few months after college (it occurs to us now that we would be especially unsuited for that role, our small bladder no doubt serving as a hinderance during long stakeouts).  It’s perhaps why we fell so in love with Veronica Mars (the show and the character), and spent so many hours as a child in our grandma’s basement using her office supplies and copy machine (or “photostat,” as she so adorably referred to it) to assemble fake case files, pretending that stamping a folder “PAID” was equivalent to “CASE CLOSED,” and  fabricating evidence out of Xerox copies of our tiny hands and face and randomly scribbling with mechanical pencils.  We were a junior Sam Spade, a soft-boiled detective, solving the case of the missing ping-pong paddle with a Bachman’s pretzel rod dangling casually from our lips instead of a lean Marlboro, a tumbler of Pepsi with crushed ice instead of a stiff whiskey on the rocks.

And what does any of this have to do with Encyclopedia Brown? Read on for the solution…

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Filed under In Memoriam, Literarally, Mars Investigations, Nostalgia Corner

Nostaliga Corner: Do It, Rockafallon!

*Note: With Thursday nights requiring two DVRs and thus creating a logjam of Friday blog content, we’re going to, at least temporarily, move Nostalgia Corner to Tuesdays (as, save for Chuck, Monday is pretty much tumbleweeds).

Last night I watched some of Late Night “live,” which is something I don’t normally do, usually catching any buzzworthy bits online.  However, my eyelids soon grew heavy (Mondays, right?!) and flipped off the TV without witnessing Jimmy Fallon and the crew doing anything especially noteworthy, assuming there wouldn’t be any new Late Night gems on this occasion (okay, full disclosure, I watched a little Real Housewives of New York City, then turned in for the night).  Lo and behold, I wake up, log on and find out that I missed this:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A brilliant piece of pop culture kitsch to parody, matched with the guts to repeat the same vocal beats over and over again, never saying a single actual word, stretching the gag until it wasn’t funny anymore and then keeping it going until it became funny again.  Good work, gumshoes (and I realize that’s not really an appropriate use for that distinction)!

And, to bring home the nostalgia part of this post: Do it, Rockapella!  Live in concert!

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Filed under Nostalgia Corner, Talkies