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Letter From America: The Trouble With Hollywood!

..."Get me Amundsen at the North Pole," barks the big boss. The secretary punches a button and two seconds later Amundsen is on the telephone with Mr Big. Even in less remote areas such as the big cities, the screen telephone experience has the one being called with his or her hand resting on the instrument waiting for the call.

Two rings maximum, and the connection is made, no matter how remote or important the person is....

Ronnie Bray is amused by the wiles and ways of Hollywood.

The trouble with Hollywood is that it makes everything look so easy. This morning I watched Norma Shearer fall for the son of her sister’s illicit lover, who from his pocket pulled out an engagement ring and slipped it on her finger. The problem this posed for me was that the ring fitted like a – well – like a ring! How did he know her size?

I have to ask because in my youthful days I bought an engagement ring from Woolworth’s and sent it to my then current heartthrob. I got a nice letter from her mother with the ring enclosed. Apparently, her daughter’s fiancé didn’t like the ring, or something.

My not-to-be mother-in-law didn’t say whether it fitted or not. She merely wrote that she wished she had another daughter for me, because her only daughter was occupied full-time. She was the soul of kindness.

I did not press the ring into service again, but donated it to one of my Army comrades that was as impecunious and as daft as I was. It did the trick and he married his young lady.

Did you ever see a moving picture where the hero tries to slip an engagement ring onto the third finger left hand of his beloved, only to go red in the face trying to get a too-small ring over a too-large knuckle? I never did.

Other than that small matter everything goes so swimmingly right for the on-screen characters that I wonder if the scriptwriters live normal lives.

"Get me Amundsen at the North Pole," barks the big boss. The secretary punches a button and two seconds later Amundsen is on the telephone with Mr Big. Even in less remote areas such as the big cities, the screen telephone experience has the one being called with his or her hand resting on the instrument waiting for the call.

Two rings maximum, and the connection is made, no matter how remote or important the person is. If telephones had been invented when Stanley was looking for Livingstone all he would have had to have done was to call the missionary’s number – AFR 123 – and the ‘lost’ missionary would have answered immediately and saved Stanley a lot of time and trouble.

As for Colonel Percy Fawcett who managed to lose himself, his son Jack, and another companion searching for a lost mystical city, who was last hear from on the 29th of May 1925, when telegraphed his wife that he was ready to go into unexplored territory. They then crossed the Upper Xingu, a southeastern tributary of the mighty Amazon River, and nothing further was ever heard of them.

It is possible that when Fawcett reached the mystical lost city he called ‘Z,’ he found all the telephone kiosks had been vandalised by soccer hooligans after their teams lost several skirmishes with the Jivaro.

If the telephones had worked, and Hollywood would have made sure they did, the doughty Colonel would not have been forever lost in the Matto Grosso, because a snappy request to an international telephone operator would have had Percy instantaneously lifting the instrument to his head with a pert, "Hello, this is Fawcett!"

Although I had a yen as a young teenager to visit the Matto Grosso to unearth its exotic singularities for myself, I would have readily settled for an unerring knack of accurately determining the ring size of young Venuses.

© 2010 – Ronnie Bray

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