In Buffalo, the competition in the department of Strange Things You Get Paid To Do is always keen, but actor Dave Lundy surely scores high in this category. He spent five hours on Sunday, starting at 7:30 a.m., running around with a shovel, fighting imaginary alligators.
He was a paid extra in "Alligator Apocalypse," being shot Sunday next to the Hotel @ the Lafayette. (A corner of the hotel is apparently standing in for the Empire State Building. Buffalo plays New York.) Another alligator fighter was the stellar jazz pianist Kevin Doyle. We have Kevin Doyle to thank for this action-packed shot, which we snatched from the jaws of his Facebook page.
Lundy has appeared in some arresting dramatic productions. And Buzz, who has admired him on stage at Shakespeare in the Park, had to ask: In "Alligator Apocalypse," when he was in the teeth of battle, where did he get his motivation, so he could look believable fighting imaginary beasts? Did he brandish his shovel westward and imagine directing his wrath against various government officials?
Lundy said no.
"They told us to look serious and not smile," he said.
Now that had to be tough. You have to admire actors. They are not like the rest of us.
We bet when he said goodbye to the filmmakers he did not even say "See you later, alligator."
Buzz, being a mere mortal, would not have been able to resist!
Scoot over, Luna. Joggers over the weekend were stopping to gawk at something much less often seen.
A genuine Plymouth Horizon!
We think it calls for a Latin identification tag.
Along with one of those old triangular signs reading "Vanishing Animal."
Gee, we never really wanted to climb a debris pile before but now we kind of want to.
We would also like to ape the zoo and put a sign like this next to our desk!
Hearing about Ringo Starr's upcoming visit to Artpark, Buzz was swept up in nostalgia for 2001, which is when we went to see the one, the only, the great Pete Best. Best, in the above 1982 David Letterman clip, was said to have given up music. Wrong, wrong, wrong! In 2001 he was playing T-Birds in Cheektowaga.
All we could think -- we wrote about it at the time -- was that he knew the answer to one of music's big mysteries. He told The News' Jim Heaney he didn't know why the fledgling Beatles had fired him. He knew, all right.
So we remember that. A visual image also sticks with us. In the hall, when you walked in, T-Birds displayed a huge mural of the Beatles' faces - and over Ringo's, someone had taped a 9-by-12 Xeroxed photo of the young Pete Best.
Another rosy memory: On stage, Best introduced "Love Me Do" by saying: "This song made me a few bob as well, so that's why we've got to play it." That was pretty funny, you know, especially in that charming Liverpudlian accent.
Wow. That was a unique occasion, you know?
That's why Ringo isn't playing Cheektowaga. Because out there, he would always be ... Second Best.
Buzz, earlier today, thought to ourself, sure, it's March, it's going to be cold, but does it have to be bitterly cold?
And we had to laugh, reading on Twitter about a JetBlue flight attendant, pictured above, said upon landing here yesterday.
Somebody named Paul Mitro tweeted that when the plane touched down in Buffalo, this attendant announced: "JetBlue welcomes you to Aruba....just kidding, you're in Buffalo, I was just in Aruba, it was really nice."
Hahaa! Welcome to Buffalo, JetBlue passengers!
Misery loves company!
Buzz threw in our lot with the Buffalo Mass Mob this morning at St. John Kanty, a church we have passed millions of times but have never gone in.
We liked the painting of a dark-skinned, Eastern-looking Jesus in the front of the church, sort of visible in the picture above over the heads of the Mass Mobsters.
There were also, we have to say this, a few funny moments. There were a few priests and deacons on hand. And one of them got up to welcome the big crowd of 800 people (we are estimating). He said he was moved to see so many people from out of town, "from California, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Hamburg and Williamsville."
The best jokes are the ones with a grain of truth, and that got a big laugh. The fun continued during the sermon.
"I really feel I am preaching to the choir," the priest said, looking out at the faithful. He added: "But I will go on."
Ha, ha! Meanwhile we see our brethren at the Cleveland Plain Dealer are having fun covering their local Mass Mob, one of the Mass Mobs our Buffalo Mass Mob has spawned. Cleveland also had a Mass Mob scheduled for today. The story says too that Philadelphia also held its first Mass Mob today.
But back to Cleveland. Bless this reporter for his bad pun.
He writes: "Many are called and pews are chosen."
It is surely the ladies room at Prospero, the little Italian restaurant across from Kleinhans Music Hall.
Note in the picture above the magazines: The Buffalo News' Buffalo magazine, and Buffalo Niagara Restaurants.
And the candy dish, should you become hungry while you are away from your pasta.
Another table holds toiletries. This is why they are called toiletries!
And over the sink is a collage made out of gloves. That is a whole other story.
Che bel bagno! We will be ready with that phrase next time we visit.
It means, "What a beautiful bathroom!"
March 14, 2014 - 11:45 AM
Ox Foot, available at the meat counter across from the entrance to Sav-A-Lot!
And next to that is Pig's Foot.
We get a kick from these feet. There might be a shortage of pussy willows for Dyngus Day but thank goodness the market is overflowing with other delights.
We love this time of year!
March 13, 2014 - 11:45 AM
The eloquent folks over at Dyngus Day are worried about the pussy willow harvest. Their poem below, in the spare yet vivid style of the late-Renaissance Polish poet Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński:
Pussy willows put in peril by being pelted with snow?
Say it ain't so!
With this alarming picture:
That last weather statistic Buzz absorbed before falling asleep last night was that in Jamestown it was nine below zero.
We give you the immortal Sonny Boy Williamson.
This goes out to Jamestown!