Saturday, February 04, 2006

'The best Burtless movie ever made'

Curiosity has not only killed the cat, but a number of my brain cells.

Seriously, some things sound so bizarre and/or awful that I can't just trust the observations of others -- I have to see it for myself.

That's why my movie library includes things like "Blood Freak," "Microwave Massacre" and "Pieces."

Today my curiosity is piqued by "Smokey and the Bandit 3."

I have no distinct memory of the movie, though I know I've seen it. Burt Reynolds shows up in a cameo at the end.

But what's really got me is that the movie was supposed to be "Smokey is the Bandit," with Jackie Gleason playing both roles.


From what I've learned, it tested poorly -- people were confused about the dual role. I'm sure it was confusing to watch, but can't you glean the basic premise from the title? Smokey IS the Bandit. Not a lot of guesswork, is there? I bet these were the people who talk to the characters on the screen.

Not having seen the original cut, I'm just curious about the explanation for it. Why is Smokey the Bandit?

Aside from "Well, the first two made lots of money, so let's make a third," I mean.

Thus far, SitB remains unreleased, though there has been some interest from fans for it to be included as a DVD extra in a future release. But given that you can pick up all three on one dual-sided DVD for $14, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Nonetheless, it's on my list of must-see oddities. I'm actually surprised they haven't tried to relaunch the franchise recently.

But who would play the Bandit?

Or if they decide to try "Smokey is the Bandit" again, there's always this guy...

Friday, February 03, 2006

How do you like them apples?

Sometimes the simple things end up the most complicated. Case in point: Many moons ago on a trip to Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, Jen and I stopped at a store that among other things, sold packages of dried apples.

Unlike the apple chips you tend to get in the produce sections in grocery stores, these were irregular chunks of dried apple. On a whim, I bought them, and they were really good.

Most people who know me are surprised when I say that fruit is my favorite snack food, but it's true. I went through the sizable bag by the end of that afternoon.

We didn't have a chance to get back out there for a while, and when we did, the store -- and my coveted apples -- was gone.

Thus began my quest.

In the ensuing years, I think I tried just about every variety of dried apples I could find -- apple chips (too thin and kinda burned), soft dried apples (good, but they look eerily like dried ears) and little shards of dried apple I'd get in cereal.

But not until the other day did I find a suitable replacement. And for only 69 cents.


They're apple chips made by Mariani, the company that also makes really good soft dried apples (even though they look like ears). The key, according to the back of the bag, is that they are air-dried rather than fried.

I polished off the bag (minus a small amount I saved for today's lunch) in one sitting. Now I have to hit the store to stock up, just in case they find out I like them and stop making them.

EDIT: I went back to the store two days later, and they were gone! Clearly a conspiracy is afoot!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Dumb things I've done (4 in an occasional series)

By the time I was a sophomore in high school, I'd been shaving regularly for a while. But one day, just as my ride approached school grounds, I happened to notice that in my haste to get out of the house on time, I had neglected to shave half of my mustache.

Everything else, no problem. But I had to hang out all day with one half-peach-fuzzed lip and hope no one noticed.

That lasted until all of first period.