Tag Archives: 1970s

BQB’s Time Travel Adventures #1 – The 1970s (Or, A Hairy Situation)

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3.5 readers, I don’t want to alarm you, but Dr. Hugo Von Science recently invented a time machine.  He left it at BQB HQ because he didn’t want to pay to put it in storage and made me promise not to use it.

So naturally, I used it…A LOT!

From time to time, I’ll regale you with tales of what I’ve done with this magnificent contraption and how I may have inadvertently changed the course of human history just a wee bit.

First up?  The 1970s.  I was but a mere baby during the very end of this decade, yet I still remember that time I was kicked out of Studio 64.  The conversation went like this:

BABY BQB:  Waah, waah.  Let me in.

BOUNCER:  Scram, baby!

BABY BQB:  Buncha jive ass turkeys.

So, as you can imagine, I was quite pleased to return via time machine to Studio 64 as an adult.  And I was let in this time.  You might wonder how I got in, since they only let in famous, well-to-do people.

Let’s just say I was holding.

“Wow, BQB,” the bouncer said as he opened the door for me.  “These pixy sticks are outta sight, man.”

“I can dig it,” I said as I strolled on in and made my way to the dance floor.

Oh man, 3.5 readers.  The dancing.  The dancing!  People actually danced!  They didn’t just stand around and text emojis to each other on their iPhones like they do today.  Everyone wanted to dance and they’d all just dance with each other.  Fat, thin, ugly, pretty, no one cared.  The music was on.  They all got their groove on.

Plus, it was so much easier to pick up a chick.  You know what happens to me if I try to pick up a chick today?  I get maced in the face.  In the 1970s, they say cool, whatever.

TODAY:

BQB:  Hello, I’m BQB.  Wanna do it?

TODAY’S WOMAN:  Suck mace and prepare for my multi-million dollar lawsuit, buttface!

IN THE 1970s:

BQB:  Hello, I’m BQB.  Wanna do it?

WOMAN:  Sure, I like to do it.

That’s all you had to do.  And people liked beauty.  They tried to look beautiful but you know, they weren’t obsessed with it.  They didn’t spend 24/7 on their looks.  If you had glasses, that didn’t slow you down.  Women would still do it with you because, you know, hey, it’s not your fault God decided you can’t see that well without glasses.

The only caveat?  Women did not shave.  At all.  Like, ever.  Sure, they had a carefree attitude about sex, largely because AIDS had yet to be discovered, but man, getting all up in a 1970s woman’s lady business was like taking a deep journey to the darkest regions of a tropical rainforest.

Seriously.  You didn’t even want to attempt cunnilingus without a weed whacker, possibly a John Deere tractor if she was into that sort of thing.  All I’m saying is before you could plow the field, you had to harvest the crops…so that you could even find the field.

And the smoking?  Man, did people smoke.  I walked around Studio 64 and there would be people just standing around with cigarettes, blowing smoke in each others’ face.  Shit. They’re all probably dead from black lung now but at least they didn’t have to worry about the Surgeon General taking a dump on their parade with his totally accurate yet scary anti-cigarette warnings.

And the drugs.  When the foxy babes weren’t offering you access to their overgrown bushes, they were totally trying to fill you up with all kinds of drugs.  People would just pop pills like they were tic tacs.

I didn’t touch the stuff.  Never have.  Never will.  You shouldn’t either, 3.5.  Pixy sticks are the only high I need.

Anyway, everything was going fine.  The tunes were tight.  The party was far out and groovy.  The giant bushes were everywhere.  But then, some stupid ass ninjas had to go and break in and cause trouble.

“We have come to steal all of the women in here, for if there’s one thing that all ninjas love, it’s ridiculously hairy, unshorn 1970s lady bushes!”  the ninjas all declared in unison.

“Of course that’s what you are after,” I replied.  “I am a man of the world and I know everything, including the fact that ninjas love 1970s women with absurdly untrimmed bushes,” I said.

“We hope that women never start shaving off their bushes,” the ninjas said.  “We like a little mystery whenever we visit her-story.”

“Man,” I said.  “You jive ass ninja turkeys better get all your vagina related activities done by 1995 then because it’s gonna be smooth sailing from thereon.”

Now, I realize I should not have done this.  All those women were destined to be kidnapped.  To save them, I would have to change the course of history.  But I could not help myself.

I jumped into the air and took down all 948 ninjas with one single, solitary roundhouse kick.  My foot connected with all of their faces, knocking them out cold.  The police came, removed the ninja carcasses, and then I partied with all of the incredibly hairy bushed women all night long.

Man, I really had a good time under that disco ball.

Afterwards, I returned to 2017 and consulted with the Fake Institute for Bogus Statistics.  Apparently, bushes are now 25% bushier thanks to my stupid actions.  When I saved those hairy women, women all over the world somehow got the idea that men would be fine if they all just walk around looking like they’ve got Afroman trapped in a leg lock.

So, to you, men of the world, I apologize for all of the bushy bushes I have bestowed upon the world.  But hey, look at it this way…free dental floss.  Am I right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Book Review – Fletch by Gregory McDonald

BASIC BOOKTOMETRICS

TITLE: Fletch

Author: Gregory McDonald

Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Publication Dates: First Published 1974; Published 2002 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

GENRE: Crime/Mystery/Humor

FORMAT REVIEWED: Paperback

NUMBER OF PAGES: 197

I have a new hero. His name is the late, great Gregory McDonald.

There are some books that are giant, unrelenting tomes. You break your back carrying such books around and yet despite the voluminous number of pages, the story goes nowhere.

Then there’s Fletch. In a little under 200 pages, McDonald, in his streamlined, use one word instead of ten, writing style manages to successfully provide the reader with a story about an anti-hero who solves not one but two complex mysteries.

If you’re old enough to remember the Reagan administration, then you may have seen the Fletch movies by Chevy Chase – Fletch and the sequel, Fletch Lives. Both were funny and gave Chase his moment in the sun. Sadly, after reading the novel, I’ve realized that the movies were really only loosely based on McDonald’s work. The films served as a vehicle for Chase to show off his multiple character talents. For some reason, the epitome of the gold star for a comic is to star in a movie where he gets the chance to do various accents and pretend to be all different varieties of people. As movie Fletch, Chevy puts on all kinds of goofy costumes and buffoons his way through solving crimes while tricking people into giving information to the various personas he takes on.

If you lived during the 80's, you'll remember Fletch.  Also, Destro.

If you lived during the 80’s, you’ll remember Fletch. Also, Destro.

The novel is a bit different. Make no mistake, on top of everything else, it is funny. But while the movies were zany funny, the novel could probably be described best as a dark comedy. The reader finds himself laughing at things that he probably should not laugh at in polite society.

The plot? Fletch’s real name is Irwin Maurice, or I.M. (I am) Fletcher. He’s an LA based reporter posing undercover as a bum, trying to trick various beach dwelling hoodlums into helping him find the supplier of a constant flow of drugs to the beach scene for a story he’s writing.

His cover is so good that he fools wealthy business executive Alan Stanwyck into thinking that he’s merely a degenerate drifter. Stanwyck picks up Fletch and makes him the following proposition, which I’ll post below so you can get an idea of the quick-draw, rapid fire pace at which McDonald writes:

What’s your name?”
“Fletch”
“What’s your full name?”
“Irwin. Irwin Fletcher. People call me Fletch.”
“Irwin Fletcher, I have a proposition to make to you. I will give you a thousand dollars for just listening to it. If you decide to reject the proposition, you take the thousand dollars, go away, and never tell anyone we talked.”
“Is it criminal?”
“Of course.”
“Fair enough. For a thousand bucks I can listen. What do you want me to do?”
“I want you to murder me.”
Fletch said, “Sure.”

Stanwyck claims to have terminal cancer and offers Fletch $50,000 to return to a week and shoot him in his study. He tells Fletch this will allow him to avoid suffering through a prolonged, agonizing death and as it will appear like a burglary gone bad, his wife will obtain a hefty insurance payment. Fletch may be a degenerate (he is haunted by his two ex-wives’ divorce lawyers throughout the novel) but he’s no dummy. Refusing to take Stanwyck at his word, he sets out on an investigation to find out whether or not Stanwyck is telling the truth. By posing as various people (insurance investigators, lawyers, “old long lost friends,” etc.) he manages to trick the people in Stanwyck’s life to give up the dirt. In the process, he even discovers the source of drugs on the beach along the way.

I really enjoyed this book. If you’ve seen the movie, you haven’t experienced the full story. It amazes me that in such a short novel, McDonald manages to provide the reader with a rich, in-depth experience. Rarely do I read a novel and want to read the series, but I think I might actually do it with this one. In case you are interested in the reading order for the Fletch novel series, I’ll post it below.

Note that while Fletch was McDonald’s first novel published introducing the Fletch character, he also published prequels, so Fletch is not the first novel in chronological order.

Reading Order for the Fletch Series of Novels by Gregory McDonald

Fletch Won

Fletch, Too

Fletch and the Widow Bradley

Fletch

Carioca Fletch

Confess, Fletch

Fletch’s Fortune

Fletch’s Moxie

Fletch and the Man Who

Son of Fletch

Fletch Reflected

McDonald was a newspaper reporter himself, so I imagine that he had an idea of the difficult life of a reporter that Fletch faced. It’s always interesting when authors write about environments they have personally experienced. I’m putting him next to Joseph Heller of Catch-22 fame as an author who can be funny and serious at the same time.

As always, Bookshelf Battlers, thank you for stopping by. Shameless plug – please follow this blog, and if you’re on Twitter, follow @bookshelfbattle I’ll keep writing reviews as long as somebody keeps reading them. May your days be filled with booktastic goodness.

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