Saturday, July 05, 2008

Gerry Nicholls for Hire

How bad is TV these days?

It's so bad, I actually get more pleasure listening to the "old radio dramas" a local radio station broadcasts each night than I do watching modern TV shows.

And one of my favorite radio dramas is Pat Novak For Hire, a detective show from 1948-49 starring a pre-Dragnet Jack Webb.

What I like about this show isn't so much the plot; it's the dialogue, which features fantastic Raymond Chandleresque one liners.

Here's a sampling:

* "She sauntered in, moving slowly from side to side like 118 pounds of warm smoke."

* "When he wound up and hit the floor, every window in the house rattled, and I figure the Berkley seismograph got a cheap thrill."

* "We tried to follow the car, but it would have been easier to win the Kentucky Derby on a pogo stick."

* "When she started walking towards you, you felt like a shovel full of scrap iron around a Pittsburgh blast furnace."

* "It was enough to tell me that she was as safe as a tap dancer on a floor full of dynamite caps."

* "She was at least 50, because you can't get that ugly without years of practice."

Anyway, this got me thinking; maybe I could start writing this way when I write a political column.

Maybe something like this: "When he arrived in Calgary, Liberal leader Stephane Dion looked as about as pathetic as a Blue Jay hitter at the plate with runners in scoring position."

Or maybe not.

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