“Mommy, what’s a movie theater?” – WIF @ The (Failed) Movies

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Movies That Were

Box Office Duds

Despite what Disney and Marvel would have us believe, there’s no magic formula for making box office gold. Everyone who makes a movie fully expects it to succeed and do well, but sometimes that’s not in the cards. While there are some movies that are critically maligned and do poorly overall, when a high-budget movie fails miserably the losses can be staggering.

10. The Adventures of Pluto Nash – Lost $96 million

If you don’t recall Eddie Murphy’s The Adventures of Pluto Nash you’re in good company. The 2002 film cost over $100 million to make and it was a massive science fiction comedy extravaganza. Or at least that’s how they described it, since barely anyone actually went to see it. It grossed a paltry $7 million at the box office.

The movie is so bad that even its star Eddie Murphy claims trying to watch it causes him to weep openly. It’s one thing for critics to savage a movie, and Pluto Nash has a dismal 4% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s quite another when even the star admits that the whole movie was absolutely terrible.

Because movie budgets are a little tricky to wrap your head around, and they also factor in things like marketing costs on top of it as well as adjusting for inflation, at least one source claims that the total loss for Pluto Nash tops $130 million.

9. Stealth – lost $96 million

In 2005 anyone probably would have thought a movie in which Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx have to tangle with artificially intelligent killer fighter jets would have been a good idea, right? That’s a big yes and no.

The studio that financed the movie for $135 million definitely thought it was a good idea. Audiences who didn’t actually go see the movie did not.  With a healthy marketing budget that was really trying to push it, when it managed to pull in $77 million at the box office it wasn’t as small a loss as the budget makes it seem. All told, it’s estimated that the movie lost about $96 million.

Stealth sits at 13% on Rotten Tomatoes, and Roger Ebert called it a dumbed-down Top Gun. If you recall, no one ever claimed Top Gun was very smart in the first place.

8. 47 Ronin – Lost $98 million

The Keanu Reeves movie 47 Ronin is what is known in Japan as a Chushingura. It’s a fictionalized account of the real-life events surrounding 47 master-less samurai, known as ronin, who sought to avenge the death of their master.

The story has been made into a film no less than six times but never was the story as big and extravagant as when Keanu starred in it back in 2013. It had a staggering $175 million budget, the highest ever for a debut director. And in a very telling sign, the movie sat on the shelf for two years after it was produced. That’s never good.

47 Ronin lost an estimated $98 million and the blame has been put, in part, on Carl Rinsch and his first time directing chops. It only has 16% on Rotten Tomatoes and many critics accused it of being both boring and cliche.

7. Lone Ranger – Lost $190 million

There are a number of movies that have been called cursed over the years. Poltergeist was one such movie, famously said to be cursed from the first installment through to the third of the series. The Lone Ranger is another film which definitely deserves to be considered for that honor, assuming you believe in such things.

The production of The Lone Ranger was hampered by numerous problems. It suffered delays as well as massive budgetary issues. At one point the budget had reached almost $300 million, and Disney had to shut down production to retool everything. That resulted in some cuts to special effects and other parts of the budget until it was scaled back to a lean, mean $215 million.

There were accidents on set with the stunt people involved, and a crew member even drowned during the production. Disney was fined $60,000 for safety violations and some inclement weather destroyed sets and cost even more money on the budget.

When the film was finally released and the bad reviews rolled in, the result was Disney chalking the movie up to $190 million loss.

6. Mars Needs Moms – Lost $111 million

In 2011, Mars Needs Moms seemed like a sure thing. The legendary Robert Zemeckis, who was responsible for iconic movies like Forrest Gump and Back to the Future, produced the motion-capture animation. The film itself was based on a book by writer and cartoonist Berkeley Breathed. It almost seemed worth the $150 million budget.

When you factor in marketing it’s believed that Disney probably invested about $200 million in this movie. Which is why when, on its opening weekend, it only pulled in $6.9 million people started to get worried. The final gross of the film was about $39 million, which means lost anywhere from $111 million to $161 million, depending on which numbers you want to work with.

Rubbing salt in the wound, when it was released overseas it somehow made even less money: only $2.1 million throughout 14 countries. The question needs to be asked then, how did the movie that had so much talent behind it end up failing so miserably? The problem may have been in the execution.

Mars Needs Moms used motion capture technology, the kind of stuff we as audiences really took a shine to with characters like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, or the Na’vi from the movie Avatar. The problem was the way it was used in Mars Needs Moms was less cool, and what at least one person described as creepy.

5. Titan AE – Potentially Lost $120 Million on a $85 Million Budget

On paper, the animated film Titan AE looked bulletproof. Director Don Bluth, who created classics like The Secret of NIMHThe Land Before Time, and An American Tail was helming a sci-fi animated film featuring the voice talents of Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Bill Pullman and many other well known stars.

Behind the scenes, things were pretty ugly during the production of the movie. For starters, Don Bluth was not the original director. The film was already $30 million into the production before the original director was fired and Bluth was hired alongside Gary Goldman. According to Goldman, the initial $30 million was used to do some pre-production art and nothing else.

The movie blended traditional 2D animation with 3D animation, which didn’t seem to be a conscious choice from the get go. According to Goldman, they just abandoned the 2D idea halfway through production and finished it with 3D because that’s what was new and cool at the time.

The movie ended up losing somewhere between $70 million and $120 million on an $85 million budget. It also saw the head of Fox Studios fired by Rupert Murdoch, and the closing of their Phoenix Animation Studio, which had produced two major bombs including the earlier animated film Anastasia.

4. Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas – Lost $125 million

Proving that there are no guarantees with animated movies no matter how much effort goes into them, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas bombed like a case of Molotov cocktails. The film was produced by DreamWorks Studios, and featured voice acting from Brad Pitt, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Michelle Pfeiffer. That all sounds great in theory, but the reality was not.

For unknown reasons, Sinbad was turned into a Sicilian in this movie, completely ignoring the source material, which was just one of several issues. According to DreamWorks, the budget for Sinbad was $60 million. That number should be looked at with a bit of skepticism, as the former head of DreamWorks David Geffen said in an interview that the movie actually lost the studio $125 million. No amount of advertising budget can more than double the losses of a movie, so DreamWorks may have been playing a little fast and loose with their numbers, or their co-founder Geffen just had no idea what he was talking about.

The movie had extensive marketing tie-ins with Baskin-Robbins, Hasbro, M&Ms and more. When it debuted, it didn’t even out-gross Finding Nemo, which had already been in theaters for six weeks.

3. Cutthroat Island – Lost $147 million

It’s not often that a movie does so poorly it kills an entire genre of film, but that’s what Cutthroat Island seemed to do. The Renny Harlin directed movie, starring Geena Davis in a swashbuckling adventure, did so poorly Hollywood didn’t make another pirate movie for over a decade.

It can’t be overstated just how awful this movie’s whole legacy is. The budget for Cutthroat Island was $115 million back in 1995. Its box office take was $10 million. This was so bad, it actually made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the greatest financial loss in film history at the time. When you adjusted for inflation today, you’re looking at a loss of $147 million.

The IMDb facts page for the movie reads like a rogue’s gallery of bad ideas and terrible mistakes. One actor was fired for getting drunk and mooning Geena Davis. Star Matthew Modine explained that some of the budget went for the shipping of dozens and dozens of cases of V8 for the director to drink on set. They had to be shipped from the United States to Malta, and apparently an entire room of the vegetable juice was left at the end of filming. On top of that, three cameras were used to film every single shot which resulted in massive amounts of unused film at the end of production.

Harlin is said to have fired the chief camera operator from the set, which resulted in dozens of other crew members quitting in solidarity. The blame can’t solely be put on Harlin’s shoulders though, as he tried to quit production realizing just how bad the movie was going to be, as did Geena Davis. The studio refused to stop production.

2. Gemini Man – Lost $111 million

Betting on Will Smith is usually a smart choice when it comes to Hollywood. Many of his early films were massive blockbusters, like Independence Day and Men in Black. Everyone has a miss once in a while though, and Smith definitely missed the mark with his 2019 sci-fi flick Gemini Man.

Estimates place Gemini Man‘s losses at around $111 million. A number of factors seem to have come together to make the movie fail so badly. For starters, it was filmed at 120 frames per second for a 3D release. High frame-rate movies like that have a curious effect on audiences.

While it seems like higher frame rate and crisper detail should make a movie a more exciting and interesting experience for viewers, what happens is the movie becomes so real and clean looking it removes some of the magic and glamour we expect from movies. While it’s hard to define, the result is that audiences just don’t like the way it looks.

The other problem with the movie was that the story-line was pretty generic and not interesting. It wasn’t necessarily a bad movie, but being so run-of-the-mill and then having so many reviews dominated by the technological aspects of the high-frame-rate meant that no one was really trying hard to sell the movie.

1. Terminator: Dark Fate – Lost $120 million

The Terminator franchise is one of the most unusual in film history. The first one made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star, proved James Cameron as a blockbuster filmmaker, and started the ball rolling on one of cinema’s most famous characters. 10 years later when we got Terminator 2 it became one of those rare times when a sequel surpasses the original. And then things took a turn.

Rise of the MachinesSalvation, and Genisys were all fairly underwhelming at the box office and for critics. But then James Cameron returned to the franchise with Dark Fate and brought series star Linda Hamilton back as well. It felt like a recipe to take us right back to the legendary status of T2: Judgment Day. Or at least that’s what it seemed like at first.

Dark Fate opened at $29 million at the domestic box office. Respectable numbers for a low budget film, but not for something of this caliber. The budget for Dark Fate was estimated at somewhere around $185 million. In order to break even the movie needed to make about $450 million. That put the movie on track to lose a staggering $120 million overall.

Despite having the original director and cast back, and even being critically praised for being the best film in the franchise since Terminator 2, it seems that audiences had just had enough of Terminator after so many bad movies in a row.


“Mommy, what’s a movie theater?”

WIF @ The Movies

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #330

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #330

…Both A.O. & JOB had endured the worst that the Devil could do, short of laying a hand on them…

job_on_the_dunghill-by-gonzalo_carrasco_-_

Job on the Dunghill by Gonzalo Carrasco

Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell was released from the Leon County Jail that early September day. He had just been reading The Book of Job in his King James Version bible, when the news of freedom reached down to him. Job, a devoted servant of God, had been eyed by Satan. Surely he would abandon his God when his wealth, family and health were taken from him? Job did not.

And though the Doctor was clearly not as blameless as was Job, he had been reborn to forgiveness by the sacrifice Our Father made, in the death of his only Son; Once for all.

Job: Chapter 42, vs. 12, after all was said and done, ‘The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.’ He had endured the worst that the Devil could do to him, short of laying a hand on him. And never did he abandon his adoration of his Lord and Savior.

Renewed, restored. Admonished, advised.

“Don’t you dare think about performing another abortion, spanish-mossA.O.,” does Carolyn exhort, once they had cleared the jail’s grounds. It is a cathartic walk to Joe Slater’s four-seat automobile.

Joe had fallen asleep in the shade of an evergreen tree, a few blocks north and west of the jail, Spanish moss dangling downward, swayed by a gentle breeze. Having met his segment of responsibility, he could only stand by… horizontally.

band-aid_tin“Don’t you worry Miss Hanes, I am done with all that,” easier said than done… harder to pull off.

“Bob and I have talked this over, you know, as it applies to your cash flow. Our money would only be a Band-Aid.” She refers to the 1921 Johnson & Johnson invention of an adhesive bandage. “We believe that a white wing, or in the case of your hospital, floor, is the definitive solution. That notion that you need one makes me ill, but we cannot change the world, at least all at once. We are doing the legal footwork to make it happen. Whites will come to be treated and they will pay their way.

“Additionally, we will find you a bookkeeper. Maggie Lou is going to be on a budget, for your own good.”

Such is the gravity of the situation.


Alpha Omega M.D.

ISBN 978-1-4691-9018

Episode #330


page 309

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #323

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #323

…On one hand, A.O. wanted to give Maggie the world, yet when it comes to revenue streams, his compassionate heart would trump his family’s bottom-line needs…

A Lonely Path by Dan Crystalis

A Lonely Path by Dan Crystalis

A single solitary figure sits huddled against the back corner of a room; whose corners are all too near to one another. The pungent light of a dwindling candle wavers forth and back, barely illuminating the tattered pages of an obviously well read black book. Once surgically skilled hands, thumb painfully, yet knowingly to the Gospel of Saint Matthew Chapter 5 verse 4:

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted”, thus saith the Lord our God, by the way of Alpha Omega Campbell, good and faithful servant. He goes to his knees to pray for the health of his dearest Maggie Lou. She has not taken her husband’s arrest very well. No other than he, has she depended on for the last 37 years of her life. What will come of her if she loses him to prison?

Unfortunately, it is partially due to her cozy lifestyle that her husband is sitting on a cold steel bench. Over the years, many of which were prosperous, Maggie Lou Campbell had become accustomed to:

  • The house maidImage result for household servants
  • Chef
  • Chauffeur
  • Gardener
  • Tailor

And whatever else she wanted within reason.

For his part, Alpha Campbell had lost perspective, as it relates to finances. On one hand, he wanted to give Maggie the world, yet when it comes to revenue streams, his compassionate heart would trump his family’s bottom-line needs. Yes, that sweet potato pie is wonderful, but the Lewis State Bank would prefer cash.

Equally unfortunate is the fact that the folks with cash in hand are those who are most desperate. Those that have not… ‘Doc Campbell, please help my baby, he won’t stop crying and I have tried everythin’ I know.’ Or, ‘If you could get this bunion off my foot, I would be so grateful.’ And lastly (badly), ‘Our doctor Image result for dollar sign gifsent us here. He said you will keep our affairs private. My baby girl is too young to have her own baby… what will people say.’ These have the dough.

  Two hundred dollars ($200) in the 1950’s is a goodly amount of money, just as the three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) is more than substantive for a private hospital. $10 soothes a colicky baby, $65 dollars pays for the surgical removal of that painful bunion, but 200 big ones will get you an abortion.

Before modern day pictures (sonograms) of a moving, womb-bound neonates, who may dissuade the mother from aborting, instead, no baby — problem solved. Maybe now Auntie Margaret will stop asking about that recent weight gain.

Perhaps most debilitating for the Campbells, is the fact that the white folks of Tallahassee are not permitted to be treated at Laura Bell Memorial Hospital; no white floor or wing for fair skinned Floridians, even if they wanted to be treated there.

          Stop and reflect upon the last paragraph.

braceT LFT

Black Tallahassee is minimally educated, mostly poor, but white Tallahassee is a university town, capitol to the state and very much in need of affordable healthcare.

Whites are remarkably discouraged from stepping foot into LBMH. City fathers have even diminished it by calling it ‘Campbell Clinic’, a.k.a. not worthy.


Alpha Omega M.D.

atari-pitfall-001

Episode #323


page 303

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #296

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #296

…The Negro community in Florida will look back at what A.O. Campbell has done with great pride, and the promise that success is there for all who are willing to work hard…

LBMH

New Jersey was memorable for A.O. Campbell, after making the longest house call in his career. He delivered a healthy baby girl for his daughter Angela and it was nice seeing Camille Diaz again. She was so happy to be a grandmother, a tailor-made fit for a loving woman. It makes him wonder what it would have been like if she had been a part of his life. One thing for sure, she would make do with a lot less than Maggie Lou.

   He returns to Florida with a dark cloud overhead. His hospital has turned into a money pit and he has lost perhaps his greatest asset, his lawyer and friend, James Ferrell. His wife, Abbey and sister Agnes were with James to the end, trying to get him to pull through, but the antibiotics were no match for lungs filled with mucous. He used some of his last conscious moments to write a note to A.O. Campbell.Image result for watching you

Scribbled on a scrap of hospital paper, the one line read:

Be careful, Alpha. I think they are watching you. Call R. Worth Moore, he knows.

Shortly after that, the Ferrell legacy fell into the lap of the Ferrell women. Neither James nor Cyril Odz were able to produce a child and the Ferrell grocery chain, the pride of father John, was bought out by Food Fair a more national company. Why is it that a good longtime family like the Ferrells dies on the vine and the stinkers like the Lewis and Wilson clans reproduce like vermin?

The Campbells are hanging in there, but again without a male heir. With A.O. into his sixties, his empire an extension of John Ferrell – via Maggie Lou, there is a perceivable end to a historic dynasty. The Negro community in Florida will look back at what A.O. Campbell has done with great pride, and the promise that success is there for all who are willing to work hard.

LBMH-001 Success does come with a price tag. That and .75 cents gets you a ride on the bus to Panama City. That and $252.50 gets you a mortgage on a hospital. Unless he lives to be 88 years old, he probably will not see that debt retired. The plan was to pay it off in ten years, but that was contingent on other doctors, black or otherwise, working out of it.

And that did not happen. So on January 23rd of 1951, at the age of 62, when some lucky Americans retire with a pension, Mr. J.L. Lewis recommends Doctor A.O. Campbell for active staff appointment at A&M Hospital. His family simply needed the money. Vacant lots and run down houses do not pay the bills. Even the lots on Campbell Lake go unsold. Real estate taxes are gobbling up rental revenue.

Communist witch-hunts, yet another foreign war, blatant racism and back-stabbing friends, can be summed up with one word: inhospitable.


Alpha Omega M.D.

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A BLACK SOUTHERN DOCTOR

Episode #296


page 278 (end ch. 16)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #284

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #284

…Hospital mortgages require cash and good paying customers are out there, it’s just that, the really, really good money comes from the riskiest of all medical procedures…

Barter For Subscription by F.S. Church

Barter For Subscription by F.S. Church

Image result for time passing gifBut as the days and weeks passed, Doctor Campbell has learned the difference between the word intent and commitment. Oh sure, all his friends made an appearance at the grand reception that week in 1947. They came to acknowledge the crowning achievement of a 58 year old man of compassionate vision.

Not that the others weren’t either of those things, but what they have not, is the greatest LBMHobstacle to philanthropy. They do not own a large piece of Tallahassee acreage, let alone their own private clinic. ‘If Alpha Campbell can afford to give away his services, that’s’ good for him.’

As things turned out, it did not take as much arm twisting by a Wilson or two or a Lewis or two, as was first thought. Yes, there was the issue of funding A&M Hospital, but in the end, pure and simple jealousy rears its ugly head.

And that is what hurts A.O. Campbell the most. He doesn’t show it on the outside, he without a hateful bone in his body, but people know that the A&M gang has stayed put, behind the cover of Gibbs Hall, down Wahnish Way and the Dyson Pharmacy building.

In the meantime, there is Lettie Golden’s mother, right leg amputated at the knee and no one to care for her with the special needs of an amputee. And the Johnson twins, delivered two months early, after being turned away because the two-week stay at A&M would cost a gaudy $400! ‘Ol’ Doc Campbell has plenty of room at his clinic. He can always feed his hospital patients with the chickens and eggs and peach pies he gets for his services.’

Cash flow by Annie Lee

Cash flow by Annie Lee

And the funny thing about Lewis State Bank; they do not accept barter, whether it is a Georgia peach pie or five loaves of buckwheat bread. The classic pound of flesh is a distant and impractical option. Mortgages require cash, or its equivalent, and good paying customers are out there, it’s just that, the really, really good money comes from the riskiest of all medical procedures, both professionally and legally.

Now, brain surgery may come to mind.  There’s big demand for that. It certainly is a risky medical procedure and a legal nightmare should everything be not right with the person with an extra hole in their One dollarhead. But brain surgery is not something they offer as a refresher seminar at the Mayo Clinic.

Plastic surgery is lucrative, an up and coming field with scores of, mostly women, lined up for nips, tucks and noses the size of Rita Hayworth’s. Doc Campbell has put some noses back into place, after a fall or barroom brawl, but as far as rearranging middle-aged skin… not exactly his cup of tea. Besides, leave one scar on the wrong rich lady and then you will have hell to pay.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Georgia Peach pie by Shirley Lowe

Georgia Peach pie by Shirley Lowe

Episode #284


page 265

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #224

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #224

…Banker Lewis is giving special attention to one of his best customers, though he has secretly admired Maggie Ferrell-Campbell for more than her assets, if you catch the drift…

Meanwhile Caption-001“What brings you to the bank this fine day, Mrs. Campbell,” asks George Lewis, whose bank is used by most Tallahasseeans, and happens to administer the trust that John Ferrell had established for Maggie Lou. He has up close knowledge of what the young woman will take charge of in about two months 5 days and 7 hours; 61 parcels of land totaling 110 acres, some of which is coveted by various people with mixed motives.

“I would like to put this into a safe or something, don’t want anybody stealin’ it.” She pulls out a necklace out of an envelope, jewelry that is best stored away from the house… whose mortgage is held here as well.

Lewis checks his watch, five o’clock having come and gone. “Let me lock the doors and we will get you a safe deposit box.” He is giving special attention to one of his best customers, though he has secretly admired Maggie Ferrell-Campbell for more than her assets, if you catch the drift. “Right this way.”

    The safe deposit boxes occupy the back corner of the building’s second floor. They pass Lewis’ personal office on the way, he ducks in, turning on the light as they go by, grabbing a key off the wall. Number 3760, yes, just about chest high.” He does the honors, handing the rectangular metal container to Maggie.

“This can hold a lot.” She is impressed by this method of storage.

“There is only one key to this box, so take good care of it.” He not only gives her the key, he takes her hand, placing it there with both of his, lingering well beyond what is necessary for the transfer. She does nothing to end the clinch. “Let’s go to my office. We need to fill out a rental agreement.”

They are alone in the bank, but George Lewis pulls down the shade on the office door anyway. “Here we are. Maggie Lou Campbell agrees to rent box number 169 for a minimum of twelve months for a fee of ten dollars to be paid in advance.”

 Maggie instinctively reaches for her purse for the agreed on fee. George stops her. “Please, no. I would like to furnish this box as a token of appreciation for your continued good patronage.” His body language implies that the ten dollars is waived for a completely different something. He ushers her to his leather couch, where again, she mysteriously offers no blatant resistance.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Happy Banker

The Happy Banker by George Condo

Episode #224


page 209

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #143

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #143

…with Eastman’s talent for capturing the moment on nitrocellulose and Harv having the knack of being in the right place at the right time, this venture, into an established literary format, may well succeed…

Judith Eastman responds to poor-mouth Harv Pearson, “Hurricanes and assassination and who knows what else have given you the most respected by-line I’ve seen in years. Your name has been mentioned in the same breath with Horace Greeley. Small town, my eye!

“And I don’t mean to change the subject, but have you found a hot-shot lawyer to draw up our partnership papers yet?”

“Oh yes, for the Pearson-Eastman Journal?”  Harv suggests. Judith rolls her eyes at the order of the surnames. He ignores her exaggerated pantomime, prefacing his real answer with, “Do you remember that young couple, the Ferrells?”

“Yes…?” She recalls them as handsome and young.

“Well I thought it would be good business to give the lad, James, his first taste in contract law.”

“Is he old enough to vote?” she wonders aloud.

Kodak_HQ_1900

Kodak Building

“Well, just this year, but he must be the brightest student at Harvard Law School… that is what his mother said.”

“My dog, Frisky, is smart. But I don’t expect he’ll be running for Congress any time soon.” With that analogy, she summons the regular lighting in her Rochester, New York laboratory, which is just down the hall from her inventive brother George’s same.

Judith Eastman will be as formidable an associate as she is a companion. If he has any thought of pulling a fast one, perhaps assuming she does not care or notice this or that, he can take those unilateral notions and pitch them out with yesterday’s garbage.

  “I can see where you might be skeptical and I apologize for wanting to aid in the career of a hometown boy,” he invites sympathy for his cause, “but you see, he is interning at Beacon Hill Partners. The senior attorneys will be supervising the entire document.”

“Thank you for clarifying those details for me. I am betting my long range security on this magazine, Harv…” she feels fully exposed to the whims of fate, “not to mention giving myself to you… like some daffy girl in prep school.”Daffy wallpaper

  “What’s wrong with that?” It sounds perfectly normal to him.

   “It’s just not like me! I am going to be forty years old in a couple of years and I’m holding hands and kissing, not to mention making my banker very nervous.”

          “Do you think I do this every day myself?  Noooooo. My assistant editor thinks I have lost my mind. They are sending my picture to post offices asking, “Have you seen this man, he’s gone daffy?”.”

“They aren’t, are they?”

“No, silly, but you can believe my banker is feeling the pinch. I may have withdrawn 25% of their assets – the Quincy National Bank is a fancy name for 2000 life savings that probably averages less than a thousand dollars, and that is if you don’t count Herb Love.”

The new magazine will have start-up costs of nearly a million dollars, but all indications are that with Eastman’s talent for capturing the moment on nitrocellulose and Harv having the knack of being in the right place at the right time, this venture, into an established literary format, may well succeed. They are gambling that pages, filled with equal portions of word and picture, will entice Americans to make the Pearson-Eastman Journal a monthly must read.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Getty STILL LIFE / REPORTER'S DESK WITH TYPEWRITER & BOX CAMERA

Episode #143


page 131

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #18

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #18

…Money buys influence and sometimes it prevents liberty…

Guilt-001

Samuel Goldblatt’s resolute agenda is twisted, compared to the governor’s debatable influence.

“When I told the rest that the F.B.I is involved, in the matter of former doctor A.O. Campbell’s release–they are, except it is in a more ‘round about way. They may not object to his release per se, but I know they are greatly disturbed about how many abortions are being illegally performed in this state, which is under your direction, I might add.”

The Visiting Quack Doctor null British School 18th century 1700-1799 Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T10122

The Visiting Quack Doctor

“We prosecute more doctors than some,” Hopkins brags mildly.

“No, Governor Hopkins, I believe you indict more quack butchers than you do medical doctors. The Bureau has provided me with some intriguing numbers… accompanied by some interesting names.”

“Is Dr. Sapp on the list?”

   “Yes, indeed, I believe you see my, our point. Most every country doctor does abortions, especially for girls with greenbacks in their lily white hands. I suspect those doctors remember the days when the Dixie dollar dried up. They can’t resist an easy buck, like those from families desperate to save the reputation of their dear sweet daughter.

          “Doc Campbell may have cleaned up after Dr. Sapp, but he was caught in counterfeit circumstances, just like folks who were holding Confederate paper,” he deduces.

“That is a lose interpretation of the law,” insists Hopkins, who should be the expert in this twosome.

“It wasn’t loose when you were States Attorney, now was it?” counters the antagonist.

Yes-buts are not relevant in the here and now. He offers no retort.

“I’ll tell you what, W.D. … may I call you that can I not?” He is sarcastic. “Our hotel will be completed in less than a year. That would be a right fine time for ol’ Doc Campbell to be freed.”

A $1000 bill is stuffed into the breast pocket of his Italian-made suit. That is where Wilbert Hopkins had seen the name of Samuel Goldblatt III before; on the contribution rolls of his gubernatorial campaign.

   Money buys influence. Sometimes it prevents liberty.

Hopkins allows the money to stay in his pocket, but its filthy aura will benefit some charity, not him. He is ashamed to return to the parole meeting and the mostly negative reaction that awaits him there.

Wilbert Dexter Hopkins saves his own skin, at the expense of his conscience.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #18


page 17 (end Ch. 1)

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #9

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #9

…  Samuel Goldblatt III thought he might be able to sneak one past these Southern bumpkins …

Sneaky Sam-001

“Campbell’s property on Tennessee Street is worth millions to you, yet you’ll get it for pennies on the dollar,” the doctor’s son-in-law complains.

“Speaking of percentages, you’ll be getting a good fee for your part, you know blood moneythat,” chimes in George Lewis, the handler of the title arrangements.

“That is blood money to me, George and you best make sure that the Leon County Clerk will see you as the aggressor in this matter,” he implores.

“You will take the money I bet?”

No answer, is his answer.

“Let’s get past the pettiness and get right to the meat, men.” Samuel Goldblatt III does not linger on such trivial things as fragile human emotion. “Ten thousand dollars an acre is the agreed on price, am I correct?”

Samuel Goldblatt III

“It is ten thousand, only if I am the managing partner in the hotel,” Charles Wilson asserts. “Fifty thousand per if I’m not.” Ironically, the latter would obviously be best for the Campbells. But this is not about their welfare, rather the personal gain of the vultures.

Why do we need you Wilson? We could have leveraged our way into your Plaza, you know.”

“We will never know, Sam, will we? I am the sole owner of the Capitol Plaza and the only one who can pull off the land deal you need to erect your tower.” Stated like someone with clout of his own. “And I cannot stand competition, unless I have a stake in it as well.”

Holiday Inns knows full well that if they are going to make inroads into certain markets, regional lords, the holders of their dominion, will have to be players. The word “franchise” is a recent addition to popular vernacular and corporations have instituted these units to bring limited partners into the larger company umbrella. Charles Wilson is an example of a franchisee.

  Samuel Goldblatt the Third thought he might be able to sneak one past these Southern bumpkins; Fat chance.

“Sixty thousand for the lot, purchased by the Holiday Inn Corporation of America, with the Leon County Treasurer the payee, minus 5% real estate fees payable to McLoud Realty,” George Lewis enumerates. “Our attorneys will draw up the necessary papers, including the title search.”

Franklin McLoud stays seated, hands covering his face, disgusted with himself, as the others disburse, each his own way.  For $3000 dollars, he has seriously jeopardized the once proud Campbell Empire. It has been said, ‘every man has his price’, with some lower than others.

“I’ll see you at the funeral, Franklin. Try not to let this eat you alive. Leave that to the gators.” Lewis’ morose analogy disguises his true feelings. He is now the proud owner of two huge secrets – to deal with in the now and in those tenuous times to come.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #9


page 10

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 210

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 210

Chapter Eighteen

THE SPREADING WORD

…“How can you make money by giving away free wine?” Devil Dollars aren’t redeemable…

DEVIL DOLLARS-001

On the heels of his great mischief of on March 12th, Pentateuch learns of the Billy Graham Crusades returning to Chicago. “They must be suckers for punishment.” What manner of tomfoolery can the Dark Deceptor unleash on the innocent and unsuspecting that plan to be there in late April? An infectious disease from 1000 B.C. may affect the greatest number of them, but if it gets out of control, too many of his best bad people might become ill. He is in need every rotten tomato in his shrinking basket.

Good thing for him, he can redeploy the Joseph Winters ruse, this time Mr. Winters will get a job as a concessionaire at Comiskey Park. Penty is so versatile that it’s a shame that he doesn’t use his talents for good.

Concessions

And even though his Great Deception monopoly has been pretty much shot to hell, his tormenting spirit lives on and if he can muck up all this revival nonsense, like he has done a number of times before. That would certainly make it a banner year for him.

There are no beer sales at this Major League ballpark, tailored just for the crusade Christian clientele. “How’s an angel supposed to make a decent wage?” You must keep in mind that Pentateuch is an Angel of God, although falling as far as possible from His good graces. His current lament applies to how he can poison as many of the 45,000 as inhumanely possible. “Poisoned bodies or poisoned minds, how did I do it back in 1904?”

(There have been other revivals since 1904, mainly in the British Isles and Africa, but the legacy of D.L. Moody was strong as he passed the torch on to others. But it is hard to keep the momentum going when you attempt to evangelize the entire planet; a noble but improbable undertaking.)

This time around, Penty/Winters have discovered that the concessionaires will be handing out something for free. “How can you make money by giving stuff away?” Devil Dollars aren’t redeemable.

Communion is the heavenly handout and it is only given to those who are right with God. This means that the vast majority of the forty thousand plus will eat a hunk of stale bread and drink a miser’s portion of Manischewitz wine; hmmm, the putrefying possibilities.

Libbyites-001The what-ifs and why-nots are all point toward mass mayhem. After all, what does he have to worry about? Those damned Libbyites think they have won, above all that witch Caraway; the one human that has plunked herself in the middle of his best laid plans…….but even she is given to go off and cavort with that grounded Texas fly/playboy. (She doesn’t even know -nor does he – that he has a kid in Brazil.)


Constance Caraway P.I.

Satans Place-001

Forever Mastadon


page 176