|Here I am with my new Ed Wood poster, bathed in the greeny fluorescent glow of my small kitchen.|
"And, for an example, let's take the recent unpleasantness."
-Mr. Turkentine (David Battley) in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
|This poster caused me so much grief.|
And sometimes, my lovelies, this project has inconvenienced me in such silly ways that all I can do is laugh. Take today, for instance. You'll remember, a few weeks ago, that there was a massive auction of Ed Wood memorabilia. I chickened out on the big ticket items, including a suitcase and two trunks owned by Eddie himself, but I wanted to get something out of the auction so I bid on a few of the smaller items. I wound up winning two of these: a vintage one-sheet poster for Glen or Glenda? under the alternate title I Led 2 Lives (Lot #3028) and a set of eight Mexican lobby cards for Plan 9 from Outer Space (Lot #3043). Today, they are in my possession at last, and getting them into my apartment was a Sisyphean ordeal. It should have been easy. FedEx was scheduled to deliver them yesterday, but I knew I'd be at work when they arrived so I arranged to have Patricia, the lovely lady who manages the office of the apartment complex where I live, sign for them in my absence. My apartment, I should say, is literally next door to this office. We share a wall. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men. My landlady happened to be dropping by the office when the FedEx guy arrived, and she prevented Patricia from signing for the package, reasoning that if they performed this simple kindness for me, a loyal rent-payer for 12 years, they'd have to do the same for everyone. My landlady, I can say from experience, is not someone with whom you can bargain... or reason. Through that thin wall we have in common, I have often heard her screaming at the maintenance crew. She's a fearsome woman. I just hope I didn't get Patricia into any trouble.
|One of my nifty new lobby cards.|
Eventually, though, I did manage to extract my purchases and get them into my battered, grungy old car. The Glen or Glenda? poster was swaddled in about eight miles of bubble wrap, so it was still quite a large item even outside of its cardboard cocoon. But at least it was now flexible enough to be (barely) wedged into the nearly-nonexistent back seat of my vehicle. I couldn't see a damned thing out the rear window, but then again, I didn't have far to drive. It wasn't 100% safe, but it was safe enough. Once I got back home, I had a devil of a time chasing after all the additional styrofoam peanuts which were falling everywhere. I'm kind of a zealot about littering, especially in my own neighborhood, so I didn't want to just leave a trail of those tell-tale peanuts outside the apartment complex where I live. It was a windy day, though, so this was tricky to say the least. I'm sure I lost a few soldiers today.
And now? Well, now the poster and the lobby cards are safely ensconced in my apartment. And you know what else? They're really lovely. I have no idea what I'm going to do with them, but they're lovely nonetheless. The Glenda poster is larger than I was imagining, the size of a small (admittedly very wide and flat) child, and still a satisfying shade of fire-engine red. Right now, still wrapped in plastic, it's leaning against the wall of my kitchen. I'll probably have it framed soon, but I think the kitchen is a good place for it. Much of Glen or Glenda? takes place in kitchens. Even Lugosi's lab where he creates life is a kind of kitchen. Every morning when I have my bowl of cereal, I can look up at Eddie smooching with Dolores Fuller, forever preserved in their 1953 glory. That's a nice thought. The lobby cards came in a thick, heavy binder of their own. I might just leave them that way. To be honest, I haven't given much thought to the items themselves. I've barely even looked at 'em. For now, I'm just happy they're home.
POSTSCRIPT: In my Clouseau-esque struggles to get the uncooperative poster and lobby cards into my vehicle on Wednesday, I somehow managed to injure my left leg rather badly. By Thursday, that leg was noticeably bruised and achy, making it difficult to walk. For the last two days, then, I have been limping to and from work. Now that I am at last in repose, attempting to recuperate over the weekend, the medicinal smell of a cheap, over-the-counter topical ointment is stinging my nostrils. So when I say I have suffered for Ed Wood's art, I mean it quite literally.