Tag Archives: compact cars

Lame Adventure 331: What a Scream

I had a very productive weekend.  I stocked up on paper towels.

Cheap thrills.

I also saw a ridiculously souped-up Mini Cooper.  Clearly the souper-upper wished this was a sports car.

Ridiculous from the rear.

It brought to mind a guy I sometimes see in my neighborhood that walks his cat on a leash.  The humiliated cat slinks along miserable, probably dreading encountering dogs.  Cats are not meant to walk on leashes.  Get a dog if you must scratch the leash itch.  That poor cat should be free to do what all cats do, lounge around and claw the couch.  Back to the Mini Cooper faux sports car, I half-expected it to be an automatic, but it was a stick.

Ridiculous from the front.

I also saw some flowers in a planter that were such a vibrant shade of deep pink.  They were so eye-catching, not that I would be caught dead wearing that color.

Nice in a planter, not nice anywhere on my person.

Turning back the clock to just before quitting time on Friday at The Grind, my sidekick, Greg, asked me:

Greg:  Are you familiar with the Wilhelm Scream?

Me:  Should I be?  Is that the noise my mother emitted when she hatched me?

Greg:  It’s a popular scream from the Warner Brothers sound stock library that’s been used in many films.  There are links to it on YouTube.

Me:  Huh.  I’d like to hear that.

No sooner did I say that than Greg shared the definitive link featuring Wilhelm Screams.  This is a twelve-minute collage of screams that have appeared in films from 1951 to almost the present.  It’s a favorite sound effect of George Lucas’s, and it’s also been used by directors Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino;   Pixar has utilized it in many of their animated films.  It’s familiar wail can also be heard in numerous action and horror movies.  Within the first three minutes of this collage you’ll even hear it in a scene with Judy Garland and James Mason from A Star is Born.  I urge you to click this link, not necessarily to listen to all twelve minutes of Wilhelm screaming in its entirety, like I did at my generally pointless leisure (illustrating that this site is not called Lame Adventures for nothing), but simply so you’ll have a better comprehension of just what it is that I’m talking about.

A few other interesting, or semi-interesting, or “oh, please end this painful as paint drying torture” of a discussion about the Wilhelm Scream include the following factoids — it got its name from a character named Wilhelm who appeared in a Western released in 1953 called The Charge at Feather River.  It was also voiced by Sheb Wooley.  To readers of a certain age, and you know who you are, if that name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the guy that sang the novelty hit from 1958, The Purple People Eater.  That is a song that’s so irritating it could elicit an endless loop of Wilhelm Screams.

Lame Adventure 169: Hello Gorgeous!

My usual mode of transportation is a $104 Metrocard that is sucked out of my weekly paycheck in $26 installments.  Toward the end of every month, Bronislava the Expressionless from Accounting, visits me and performs the somber Handing Out the New Metrocards Ceremony.  Only recently, did I Google search her name and discover that in her native Russia it means “glorious protector.”  Over here, I guess it’s been revised to Glorious Protector of the Metrocards.

Bronislava quietly creeps into my department where I am usually sitting at my desk before my computer heavy lidded, slack jawed, drooling and occasionally, snoring.  To gain my attention, she might mumble in fluent monosyllabic a sound that I think doubles as my name if my name were pronounced “Va-heen-na-ha.”  Or, depending on where she is in her fertility cycle, she might gesture silently with a sheet and pen that I am supposed to use to sign that sheet indicating that I have received my new card.  After I scawl my atrophying signature onto the sheet, she proceeds to hand me my new card.  This transaction always takes place with an economy of words where I often do all the talking when I say:

Me:  Thanks.

Over the weekend, I was walking from the East Village to the West Village enroute to meeting a friend for a beverage when I nearly suffered whiplash throwing out my neck at the site of this adorable 1970 Fiat Abarth 695 parked on Mercer Street.

Come home with me.

If I had ever seen one of these cars anyplace other than in a Fellini film, I don’t recall it, and my pulse has always quickened for compact European vehicles.

Hey, who's been fondling your rear engine?

It is a nice caboose.

This one was such a beauty!  Oh, to ride this to work in lieu of the crowded 2 Express train or, better yet, to ride it to someplace bucolic and far from the daily grind and full of fun.  <sigh>

Let's get lost!

I wanna see your instruments!

Of course, bucolic has always triggered my nasal allergies, parking in this city is a major pain, and I need to own a car, even one of the sexiest cars in the world like this one, about as badly as I need a brain tumor.  Yet, this one sure was a delight to ogle and photograph and a lot prettier than my Metrocard.

No "zoom zoom" here.

It was so much fun until reality got in the way.

Probably not a cheap date.