Friday, July 08, 2005


Shanghai. Word that implies something almost exotic. Shanghai Express. Shanghai Gesture. Shanghai Lil. I knew someone from Shanghai. Nothing special, really.

I remember the first time I watched the Shanghai Express pull out of Von Sternberg’s city with military men bayoneting melons as their pifer. Dietrich as Lil was on board. She was looking exotic. Dietrich always could adapt that personae for me. A cold lady of ice who promised that if someone got to close they’d get burned and enjoy every second of it. I’ll bet they asked for more.

But Shanghai is the word. You know I wasn’t even sure what it might mean. Probably something like cit6y of the Shangs. So ordinary. I’ll bet they don’t even have a Shanghai Sling.

But my question returns to the exotic. Around here the most exotic thing we have is a couple of salamanders growing in the Branch. That and Milt Harvey’s 48 Ford Truck. That thing is more Bondo than metal. We don’t put much stock in things exotic. We like the ordinary.

Suzy Jacobs ordered something risqué from Fredericks of Hollywood a few years ago. That might have seemed exotic to hubby Ward but the plain brown paper wrapper was partially see through. Everybody in the county knew about it before Ward. Might have been interesting to see Suzy in that rig. I understand it had holes where her things were supposed to pop through.

Today I was down at the spring near the creek. Looked through the cool water and for a second I thought I spotted a piece of gold nugget. Now that would have been something. It was the wrapper from around a Hershey kiss. Damn. An empty kiss wrapper.