Thanks for visiting. This site will no longer be updated.

Please visit my new site.

You can find new writing, new photos at


Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Silly Cure for What Ails You

I've tried massive doses of Airborne and chicken soup to ward off the company flu bug, which has insinuated itself between me and two milongas and a private lesson with Shorey this week. Damn.

So it's germs winning over tangobaby, 3 to zero.

The healthy cure isn't really working so I've switched to something more enjoyable: takeout Chinese food and the Marx Brothers in one of my favorites, Horse Feathers.

I'm still trying to figure out what the hell a College Widow really is, though. All I know is that it seems like a great job: you get to dress up in negligees and hang around the house looking cute, and have men bring you breakfast in bed. Where do I sign up? Thelma Todd had it right (in the movie, unfortunately not in real life).

Guess I should get out of these sweatpants.


j December 14, 2007 at 10:25 AM  

it may be too late for this one, but i truly truly swear by yin chao, a chinese herbal remedy you can buy at health food stores. you're supposed to take it as soon as you start feeling the bug come on. i take five at a time, and so does seth (my husband who doesn't even believe in vitamin C). i truly just licked a cold that was trying really hard to settle into my chest. yin chao won the battle! hope you're feeling better soon, tbaby, and we'll see you this weekend at la casa bregman.

tangobaby December 14, 2007 at 10:33 AM  

Thank you, J, for the advice. As long as the yin chao doesn't taste really yucky, I'll try it. I really should have more in my medicine arsenal than pretend vitamins that taste like Sweet Tarts and the Marx Brothers movies. Although they do say that laughter is the best medicine.

I look forward to seeing you and promise not to come if I am too gross to be around! ;-)

Anonymous December 14, 2007 at 2:07 PM  

Wagstaff has a strong talk with his son Frank, concerned about courting Connie Bailey (Thelma Todd), the college campus widow. [A 'college widow' is a non-college girl who hangs around with students year after year to associate with the male students.] While ashamed of his son, Wagstaff recalls his college days and the promiscuous "widows" that often taught the boys more than their professors:

Wagstaff: You're a disgrace to our family name of Wagstaff, if such a thing is possible. What's all this talk I hear about you fooling around with the college widow? No wonder you can't get out of college. Twelve years in one college! I went to three colleges in twelve years and fooled around with three college widows! When I was your age, I went to bed right after supper. Sometimes I went to bed before supper. Sometimes I went without my supper and didn't go to bed at all! A college widow stood for something in those days. In fact, she stood for plenty.
Frank: There's nothing wrong between me and the college widow.
Wagstaff: There isn't, huh? Then you're crazy to fool around with her.
Frank: Aw, but you don't...
Wagstaff: I don't want to talk to you again about this, you snob. I'd horsewhip you, if I had a horse. You may go now. Leave your name and address with the girl outside, and if anything turns up we'll get in touch with you...Where you going?
Frank: Well, you just told me to go.
Wagstaff: So that's what they taught you in college. Just when I tell you to go, you leave me! You know you can't leave a schoolroom without raising your hand no matter where you're going.

tangobaby December 15, 2007 at 7:15 AM  

Anonymous, you totally made my day. Where did you find this explanation? Now it makes sense! I've heard this dialogue many times but it still wasn't sinking in as to exactly what Thelma Todd was up to.

The dialogue in a Marx Brothers film can be so stream-of-consciousness and surreal that it can be hard to follow. Or else I am in the Margaret Dumont category.

I went to a state college so I don't think it had enough status to have college widows. ;-)

Anonymous December 15, 2007 at 10:16 PM  

I found those great quotes here:


And thank you for reminding me of what a wonderful film that was. That site has a few quotes from the movie that had me laughing all over again. There are many stories of long suffering Margaret Dumont and the Marx Brothers but apparently there was a real friendship there. Somewhere out there is a great poster of Groucho easing up next to Mrs. Dumont and she is rolling her eyes to heaven. It was a great publicity shot.

Hope you are feeling better soon.

ecbyahoo a.k.a. anonymous

tangobaby December 19, 2007 at 4:35 PM  

Dear Anonymous,

We are still slugging it out at home, but we will win in the end. We have a lot more movies to watch in the meantime. We have skipped the Airborne now and have gone straight to the hard stuff: Mucinex.

I remember reading something about Margaret Dumont and it was reported that she didn't get Groucho and his humor but that just can't be true. She had to understand him and was probably just a consummate straight girl. Living with The Boy, I know how she feels sometimes.