Thursday, January 16, 2003

You may not know that I'm an advice column buff. My favorite probably is Caroline Hax's Tell Me About It in the Washington Post. I'm also keen on Miss Manners, Savage Love, and's Since You Asked.

Unfortunately, earlier this year, put Since You Asked on a confusing, sometimes-it-costs-money-sometimes-not schedule, and naturally I'm not willing to pay. So the feature is altogether less satisfying.

Since You Asked was's replacement for my very favorite advice column, Garrison Keillor's Mr. Blue, which finished its run a year or so ago. Keillor still does a question-and-answer column on the Prairie Home Companion web site that's not unlike Mr. Blue. But predictably, Keillor maintains his PG-rated, aw-shucks radio persona on the PHC site. One of the pleasures of Mr. Blue was that it was, indeed, often blue--Keillor wrote a lot about sex and used words that don't turn up on Public Radio International.

All of which is to say, I enjoyed today's Dear Prudence column on Specifically, Prudence writes today about people who may go to a movie on the basis of the title alone and then are unpleasantly surprised by how things turn out--an alarmed friend took her young son to see Day of the Locust because she tought it was a movie about farming.

This reminded me of a time, about a dozen years ago, when I went to see Exorcist III in Nashville. It was a weekday matinee, and the theatre was empty except for me and a group of moviegoers who grew increasingly restless. Exorcist III isn't particularly scary, you see; mostly it's just talky and sort of boring. This became clear as the movie went on, and these folks grew louder and louder about their disappointment.

Finally one of them cried, "This ain't scary at all! This is just like when we went to see Dead Poets Society!"

No comments: