Saturday, April 19, 2008

I have corrected the "Time elapsed since premiere of Mary Poppins" counter for the first time in a while. I just kept adding the total number of days since the last mention of Dick Van Dyke's accent to the time elapsed since premiere number, and I drifted way the hell off. I hope nobody was incommoded by my laxity this important matter, and if you were, I apologize.

Onward and downward.

There is a bit of bad news directly related to Mr. Van Dyke, and a bit of sad but inevitable news only tangentially related to him, and I have no desire to make jokes about either.

First, it seems Mr. Van Dyke's long-time companion Michelle Triola has cancer.

MARY POPPINS star DICK VAN DYKE's long-time partner MICHELLE TRIOLA is battling potentially-fatal lung cancer. Triola, 74, underwent surgery at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on 10 April (08), where she had part of her lung removed. The 82-year-old actor reveals it is too soon to tell how successful the operation was, but he remains confident she will recover. He tells the National Enquirer, "I couldn't really ask Michelle how she was feeling because she was still stoned out of her mind - just too far gone when they wheeled her back from surgery. Michelle had to have the upper lobe of a lung removed, but the doctors think she's clean."

We here at the MODVDA wish them both well.

As for the sad-but-inevitable news, Ollie Johnston, the last of Walt Disney's "Nine Old Men" animators died this week.

Johnston's work included such memorable moments as... the penguin-waiters serving Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins" (1964).

Okay, I didn't mean for this post to be such a downer, but it is what it is, and now I've got to make the transition to the silly again, and I'm not really a writer with enough wit and style to make that shift in any clever way.

Still, I can take some pride in being a writer who recognizes a stale cliché when he sees one.

Oh look, there's one!

The Times, April 19. 2008, "My Week: George W. Bush" by Hugo Rifkind

My first meeting of the week, with the dude in the dress. Definitely not the Jap. “Bless you, my son,” he says.

“Fank you, my son,” I say, putting him at ease with my best Dick Van Dyke accent. He just looks at me. My aide studies the ceiling. Maybe it wasn’t so good.

You see, the joke here is that the President of the United States is so stupid that he thinks he should address the Pope, whom he is confusing with the Prime Minister of England, in an English accent which he thinks is authentic, but it's really Dick Van Dyke's Accent! See all the levels of comedy there? Oh deary me, that is so very satirical that I may have to sit down and mop my brow and fan myself as I recover from the deep belly laughs which so recently seized me.

I'm okay now.

Time elapsed since premiere of Mary Poppins:

15,940 days

Time elapsed since someone mentioned D.V.D.'s accent:

14 days

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