Fifteen More Ways To Comment on “How I Rode Away”


I wrote a nice little post about how life doesn’t always turn out the way you hope it will when you’re fourteen (see below), then I go to New York for a couple days, and when I come back I’ve got a film criticism blog! How does this happen exactly? Anyway, I thought I would help by providing some other possible routes for comment and digression…

1. Supply educated remarks about Gogi Grant, as Mr. Sadorf suggested. Now that would be worth reading! I, like the rest of you, haven’t the foggiest about the old girl except she was kind of a progenitor of brassy-voiced Shirley Bassey, the girl who sang Goldfinger.

2. Try asking the Pig exactly what a ‘brineshrimp puddle’ might be. Is it the same as a ‘brineshrimp-filled puddle’? And, if so, why doesn’t he say what he means? And exactly what is a brineshrimp anyway?

3. Inquire how a “striver subdivision” differs from a “slacker subdivision.”

4. Write about someone else you knew named Cullinan.

5. Ask why so many girls in the Fifties were named Kathy.

6. Explain that, contrary to this essay, high school algebra is not a bit difficult. Kathy Cullinan understood it and she was a girl.

7. Question whether it is possible to ride horseback around England and France with just a bedroll and a coffee pot. What would happen if someone actually tried it and could they get a corporate sponsor? If so, which one?

8. Would the BBC produce a documentary about said wayward traveler and would Eric Idle host it? Or would Michael Palin be better?

9. Prove or disprove the uncritical assumption that Kathy was a popular girl’s name in the 1950s. Maybe the Pig is just saying that. He’ll say anything.

10. Forget about the movie Shane and instead tell us some Hollywood gossip about its stars. For instance, comment on legend that Alan Ladd was so short he had to stand on a stool during his kissing scenes.

11, Or better yet, announce an upcoming retrospective at your house of child star Brandon de Wilde’s films. (The Pondering Pig will be first in line if you supply popcorn). While you’re at it, uncover more similarities between De Wilde and James Dean – neither of whom came back from Dead Man’s Curve.

12. Take the Pig seriously. Ask “If ‘forever love’ is so great, then why is divorce so popular? Why do best friends grow apart? Why do dogs change masters whenever they get bored?”

13. Ask “If a young girl gets an abortion, does that make her a ‘death dealer’? (I’m sorry if I rubbed salt in anyone’s wounds with that crack. I wasn’t thinking about abortion issues when I wrote the piece but, on reflection… it was a thoughtless, self-righteous remark – I know how much guilt and suffering a sorrowful mistake like that can cause.)

14. Ask again: If life doesn’t work out the way you hoped when you were fourteen…is that a problem?

15. Finally, demand the government root out all talking pigs and send them back where they came from!

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