Mandrake the Magician saved the day

Facing another day


These days when you wake up old and alone and don’t want to face another day you pull the covers over your head, just like when you were a kid and woke up to the voice of your mother telling you to get out of bed and go to school because she had to go to work. There was no father in the house. And you’d pull the covers over your head, it was cozy under there as rain thundered on the roof and gully winds roared down from the hills and shook the window panes.

Riding your bike to school down Steeple Road was a breeze, freewheeling most of the way, freedom that ended in the classroom when you didn’t know the answer to an impossible algebra problem the teacher had written on the blackboard. Who the fuck’d know that, you muttered under your breath but not under enough because the teacher heard it and ordered you to the front of the classroom to be over-bending and receive six sharp slashes on the behind with a birch rod, the only thought preventing tears of pain from filling your eyes was the resolve to one day when the opportunity arose to barricade this son of a bitch in the classroom and set fire to it.

Riding back home up Steeple Road was a hard breathing ordeal on a bike before gears, relieved only by a stop at the Comix Shop halfway up and laying down seventy-five cents for the latest Phantom, Dick Tracy, Dan Dare and Mandrake the Magician.

An assorted collection to be read in lieu of homework which is why to this day you still couldn’t solve that algebra problem.


You had a bedroom full of comics. Some you still have, now you’re old and still pulling the covers over your head.

Header photo effect by Outosego

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Liam Neeson haunted by Bruce Willis memory loss

Memory loss in actors

In his new thriller Memory, Liam Neeson plays an assassin who refuses to do a job for a crime syndicate — and thus, he becomes the target.

Neeson’s character is afflicted with the onset of Alzheimer’s and he fights a failing memory to stay one jump ahead of his pursuers. His memory loss becomes so severe he doesn’t know who to trust.

Memory loss in actors

Ever since he made the movie, Neeson said he can’t stop thinking about Bruce Willis.

The Die Hard star announced his retirement from acting recently because he cannot remember his lines. Willis, 67, suffers from aphasia which affects the ability to express and understand language.

Memory loss in actors

“My heart goes out to him,” said Neeson, who is 69. “I think about him every day. Memory loss is particularly poignant for an actor.”


Not being able to remember lines, of course, is the fear of every actor.

“I know several actors in London who have lost the ability to learn lines,” Neeson said. “And these are actors who have given extraordinary performances on stage and on film and television.”

Neeson graduated to full-fledged action hero in the 2009 Luc Besson thriller Taken. The movie was a worldwide hit — earning $230 million against a production cost of $25 million — and spawned two sequals.

Memory, an action movie by Casino Royale director Martin Campbell, was filmed in Bulgaria and also stars Guy Pearce and Monica Bellucci.

It will be released April 29.

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Easter Dinner at the Roadkill

Easter dinner at the Roadkill

Easter Sunday was no day to spend alone in my hovel so I drove down to the Roadkill Bar & Grille on County Road 9.

There were only four people sitting at the bar — a couple acting real cozy down at the end, and a young guy and an older guy sitting alone. My addition made it three guys sitting alone.

I exchanged cordial nods with the two other guys and sat down next to them. Misery loves company. The bartender was a tough looking biker type in a T-shirt and rally cap who I hadn’t seen before.

“Is Ray off today?” I asked.

“Easter,” is all he said.

“Where is everybody?” I asked.

“Family,” he said.

I ordered a beer to wash down the trail dust. It went down fast.

“Another?” the bartender asked.

I shook my head and ordered a vodka martini.

“Menu?” he said. This guy was a one-word man.

“I know what I want,” I said, and ordered a ham and salami sandwich and potato salad with egg. Easter dinner at the Roadkill.

I had a glass of red wine with my meal. The food was good. I followed it with a couple more martinis.

“Desert?” the bartender said.

“A liquid desert is in order,” I said. “Can you make me an Easter Bunny cocktail?”

“What?” he said giving me a stern look.

Easter dinner at the Roadkill
Easter Bunny cocktail

Fancy drinks aren’t my style, but since it was a special occasion. “Do you have dark crème de cacao?” I asked.

His stern look became sterner. “What else?” Two words.

“Vodka and cherry brandy,” I told him. “About a shot of each.”

He turned slowly (Slowly he turned… hahaha) and set about it.

The cocktail arrived. “One Easter Bunny,” he said with a forced smile.

“Have one yourself,” I told him. “On me.”

He raised his heavy eyebrows. “Okay,” he said, and turned again. He returned with his own Easter Bunny cocktail. We raised our glasses. “Happy Easter,” we said in unison. We drank.

“This is good,” he said. Three words.

It was very delicious so I ordered another, and another for him. And one for the older guy and the younger guy. The couple down the end of the bar had left. There were just us four guys, drinking our Easter Bunny cocktails and having a good time. Thank you, Jesus.

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