Stupid Subway TV ad curbs my enthusiasm

Sandwich

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

One of the most annoying TV ads right now is the Subway commercial playing the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” theme.

What mad ad man thought this was good?

I want to associate the music with “Curb” creator and star Larry David and no one else because his HBO comedy show is better than anything at Subway.

A story on Thump earlier this year said Larry David discovered the tune when he heard it in a bank commercial.

“It just sort of introduces the idea that you’re in for something pretty idiotic,” he said in a 2009 interview.

The title of the tune is “Frolic,” a work by Italian composer Luciano Michelini.

Subway and Larry David go together well in this video and nowhere else: A hilarious combination you can see on YouTube.

After you watch the clip, it will be time to get back to reality.

The use of the “Curb” music in the ad curbs whatever enthusiasm I might have for Subway.

Every time you go to Subway, you will hear that music in your head when your sandwich maker goes through the process of getting your order from the toaster to the takeout bag, and this will be so overwhelming, you will hallucinate and believe your sandwich maker is Richard Lewis or Super Dave Osborne.

And those guys are too cool to be making sandwiches.

This reminds me of the gentleman who worked in the Polo men’s section of the pre-Katrina Dillard’s in Biloxi. He was a spiffy dresser and looked like a short and older version of Larry David.

Months after Katrina, I saw him wearing a nice Polo ball cap at the Super Wal-Mart in Gulfport. He was a Wal-Mart associate. He was slicing meat for a deli customer.

How can you go from selling nice clothes to cutting deli meat? I was in shock.

It was my “Curb” moment. Cue the music.

Illustration courtesy Pixabay

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Get off my comfy chair!

My comfy chair at Barnes & Noble in Gulfport
Chair
Not my favorite chair at Barnes & Noble in Gulfport/JOHN E. BIALAS

 

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

Testy afternoon thoughts while waiting for my comfy chair at Barnes & Noble in Gulfport, Mississippi:

Don’t interview your job applicant right here among the magazine displays.

This bookstore is not your office.

This place is for people who want to sit, relax and read.

I don’t want to overhear your conversation with the woman next to you. Both of you are in two of the store’s few comfy chairs and I’m in an uncomfortable chair mainly because of you two.

Hey man, I don’t want to hear your color code system (“we have yellow and orange”).

I don’t want to hear the train whistle that is your cellphone ring.

I want you to leave. Now.

I came here to escape distractions and seek out other worlds far from my own.

I planned to read a few pages of a Dave Eggers paperback and an Eleanor Brown paperback, but you made me sneeze so hard from whatever manly fragrance you’re wearing (Johnny Depp Dior perhaps) that you’re forcing me to sit in the Starbucks cafe.

I don’t like to sit and read in the cafe. It’s uncomfortable being surrounded by religious people and lonely laptop people, even more so when the baristas fail to fill the water pitcher or they hide the water pitcher.

I get really thirsty when I’m irritated.

Since I retired, I make daily appearances at the store and I usually find a comfy chair. I even have a favorite comfy chair and might even chat with a couple of people also relaxing in their comfy chairs.

I believe my loyalty to Barnes & Noble entitles me to free reserved seating.

My comfy chair at Barnes & Noble in Gulfport
My comfy chair at Barnes & Noble in Gulfport/JOHN E. BIALAS

 

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Don’t run on Dunkin’. Run to Daylight.

Daylight Donuts

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

Don’t run on Dunkin’. Run to Daylight.

Daylight Donuts is our go-to doughnut place in Gulfport. It’s in the old Hungry Howie’s on Pass Road just east of 25th Avenue and is one of 400-plus independently owned and operated Daylight shops in the U.S.

The shop is in a small strip mall, where I bought a wig back in the 1970s to hide my long hair during my Air National Guard weekends. Now I need a wig to cover what little hair I have. Much of the hair is long gone and so is the wig store.

I used to run to Dunkin’ Donuts in Biloxi, about six miles from our Gulfport home, but it has become mediocre at best. Daylight is better, fresher, doughier, more delicious and more colorful and offers more variety.

The last time our grandson stayed overnight, he asked, “Can we get doughnuts in the morning?” We knew which doughnuts Wade was asking about. Daylight Donuts, and it’s about five minutes from our house.

At 5 years old, Wade knows what’s good. He will get a chocolate twist, eat half for breakfast and save the other half for later.

The Gulfport Daylight Donuts Facebook page lists the shop’s hours, address and phone number, and when you look at the photos on the page, you can almost taste the sweetness.

Don’t waste your Friday in long lines and traffic jams trying to get the cheap deal at Krispy Kreme, which is a dozen glazed doughnuts for 80 cents to celebrate 80 years in business.

Daylight Donuts will make your day.

 

 

 

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Oldest building in Broadmoor can be yours for $99K

broadmoor

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

The oldest building in the Gulfport neighborhood of Broadmoor can be yours for $99,000, a price I saw on the Inrix travel app.

Our family has lived in Broadmoor for 35 years, so I’m going to be a diplomatic neighbor and forego saying anything mean about the building on Kelly Avenue at 19th Street, less than a half mile from the beach, a block from the railroad tracks and about three blocks from the picturesque Second Street neighborhood.  Let’s just say the building’s need for repairs is overdue perhaps by a decade or two.

Many old-timers remember when the building was the home of the family-owned Broadmoor Grocery,  a small convenience store where you could buy an ice-cold Coke or Barq’s from a vintage cooler.

The store was on the first floor of the two-story building, a rental home is in the back and an apartment remains on the second floor.

The grocery went out of business a long time ago, perhaps years before Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

The front door of the building
The entrance to what used to be Broadmoor Grocery

Now the awning serves as a thunderstorm shelter for the hood’s ubiquitous bicyclists. The property is only a sidewalk away from two convenience stores. One is the Chevron Mart, also known as Hop In, and the other once housed the Broadmoor Laundromat. Its name is Chaibi, right behind the Chevron Mart and right across from the property.

Chevron Mart
The Chevron Mart is at the corner of Railroad Street and Kelly Avenue
hop
The Chevron Mart also goes by this name

 

Chaibi convenience store
The Chaibi convenience store on 19th Street at Kelly Avenue is between the Chevron Mart and the old Broadmoor Grocery and was once a laundromat

A woman getting into a car parked near the apartment Saturday afternoon saw me taking pictures of the $99,000 building and thought I might be a potential buyer. No, not me.

She told me the building is more than 100 years old and that Mrs. Doleac, an original Broadmoor Grocery owner in her 90s, is selling the property through Cameron Bell Properties. Cameron Bell says it was built in 1940.

The renovated Baptist church across the street from the $99,000 building in need of repairs
This renovated Baptist church is across the street from the $99,000 building in need of repairs

It’s  my opinion the former Broadmoor Grocery is the neighborhood’s oldest building. It is across the street from a renovated and renamed Baptist church, the street being Kelly Avenue.  I think my opinion is closer to fact than fiction. The building certainly looks like Broadmoor’s oldest, especially on the north side, which is the walk-up to the living area.

Stairs to apartment above former Broadmoor Grocery building
Stairs to apartment above former Broadmoor Grocery

An urban legend has it that during the Chris Jackson era of Gulfport High basketball in the late 1980s,  sportswriters would use the pay phone outside the building to shack in their stories to their newspapers after games at B. Frank Brown Gym. Jackson, who later became the NBA player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, lived west of the store in the Soria City neighborhood.

This is on the south side of the old Broadmoor Grocery building
This is on the south side of the old Broadmoor Grocery

The pay phone was on the south side. These days there are remnants but no phone. That alone has to be worth something to somebody.

 

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Go nuts for Fantasy Donuts in Biloxi

Fantasy Donuts

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

Go nuts for Fantasy Donuts in Biloxi.

I am.

The new shop is on Pass Road just west of Rodenberg Avenue and it’s on the south side of Pass. I recognized a landmark nearby, a place that used to be called Kelly’s back in the day. It was a bar where high school students were allowed to hang out, and there was some form of gambling in the back of the establishment.

I’m sure very few people remember the Kelly’s location, but Fantasy Donuts is to spot because of its signage, and once you get inside, you will see treats better than anything at Dunkin’ Dounts and Krispy Kreme, which is Krispy Kreme is celebrating its 80th anniversary Friday, July 14, with this deal: A dozen glazed for 80 cents. I wouldn’t take a dozen Krispy Kremes if they were for free.

At Fantasy Donuts, I went for a fritter and a glazed twist to take home for breakfast, and the guy at the counter threw in a cinnamon roll for free.

The menu is straightforward. I have no idea where the name Fantasy comes from. There are no Katsuwatch kolaches,  Kingdom Rush croissants, Zodiac glazed and whatnot.

You can get the basics and there is a lot to choose from. So go nuts for the doughnuts.

Fantasy Donuts
You deserve your own bag of doughnuts. What would you get?/JOHN BIALAS

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Summer scenes on 22nd Street in Gulfport

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

You never know what you will see on 22nd Street, a mostly residential two-mile east-west stretch that runs into 25th Avenue in Gulfport.

I drive on it every day because it is in my neighborhood of Broadmoor, and if I take my time, I will spot something interesting, unusual or humorous.

Here are scenes from the past few days.

A revival near the old Swahili Lounge in Soria City

The tent hours before the revival

A Mississippi State Bulldog or a Georgia Bulldog?

1917 mailbox: Centennial or address?

World famous? Do they even have snowball customers?

A gold mine on wheels

Warning signs across from Word of Faith Christian Center

What catches you eye in and around your neighborhood? Email me at bialasj@gmail.com and I’ll post your answer.

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$10 Ivanka Trump dresses at Dirt Cheap

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

There are $10 Ivanka Trump dresses at Dirt Cheap in Gulfport.

Pamela Hampton posted that message on Facebook on Monday, and since I was headed to Highway 49 north of I-10, I stopped at Dirt Cheap two hours later to get two pictures of one of the heavily discounted dresses.

I found a $138 dress and the discount was 80 percent.

I’m not good at math and I have never bought a dress, but that sounds like a great deal if you’re into that sort of thing.

I’m more of a Stella McCartney guy anyway. I didn’t see any dresses from the designer.

If I had, I would have bought a Stella dress for my daughter, though the retail price probably would have been $2,300 and perhaps the discount would have been just 30 percent. Even at 30 percent, it would have been Dirt Expensive.

 

 

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Know a home more patriotic than this?

By JOHN E. BIALAS
Broadmoor Bureau Chief

I’ve never seen a home more patriotic than the one just a few blocks west of our house in Gulfport.

I call it “Merica.” Sun Herald writer Paul Hampton calls it “Home of the Brave.”

That name is far better than mine.

The red, white and blue house is on 13th Avenue south of the Gulfport Little Theatre, which is south of Pass Road, and it looks this way year-round.

It has an All-American driveway, signage, star and stripes and decorated statues with inspirational slogans.  The mailbox and trash can are  also red, white and blue. I’m surprised the grass isn’t red, white and blue.

Every day there looks like a celebration of America’s birthday.

 

 

 

 

I think you have to be brave to even consider knocking on the door of the house. Maybe the owners are private people and would consider a friendly stranger a nuisance.

If the owners are sociable folks, it would be a great idea for them to charge admission and give people a tour of the exterior as well as the interior.

Perhaps they have a red, white and blue TV that plays 24-7 and 365  a colorized version of the 1942 James Cagney film “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” I would pay admission to find out.

 

 

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I miss Andy Devine

By JOHN E. BIALAS
As we celebrate Independence Day, I miss Andy Devine and other great Americans.
I grew up watching these Americans in Westerns on TV and in the movies during innocent times. We had no worries except for fears the Commies might bomb us because the nuns at our Catholic elementary school in Biloxi told us so.
This was around 1962. Thank God we had “The Alamo,” “Bonanza,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “How The West Was Won, “4 for Texas,”  ” Sergeants 3″ and “McLintock!”
Who else do I miss?
  • I miss Nick Adams
  • I miss James Arness
  • I miss Gene Autry
  • I miss Gene Barry
  • I miss Dan Blocker
  • I miss Ward Bond
  • I miss Richard Boone
  • I miss Walter Brennan
  • I miss Edgar Buchanan
  • I miss Spring Byington
  • I Miss Henry Calvin
  • I miss Harry Carey Jr.
  • I miss Chuck Connors
  • I miss Gary Cooper
  • I miss Gail Davis
  • I miss Jack Elam
  • I miss Gabby Hayes
  • I miss Hugh O’Brian
  • I miss Guy Madison
  • I miss Dean Martin
  • I miss Doug McClure
  • I miss Clayton Moore
  • I miss Audie Murphy
  • I miss Ricky Nelson
  • I miss Steve McQueen
  • I miss Maureen O’Hara
  • I miss Jane Russell
  • I miss Fess Parker
  • I miss Harry “Tonto” Smith (born in Canada, but America loved him)
  • I miss Claire Trevor
  • I miss Forrest Tucker
  • I miss John Wayne
  • I miss Guy Williams
  • I miss Chill Wills
  • I miss Roy Rogers
  • I miss Dale Evans
  • I miss Pat Brady
  • I miss Nellybelle

As I finish writing this, I’m thinking of one my favorite songs when I was a kid:  “Western Movies” by The Olympics. It represents the popularity of the genre back in the 1950s.

And the photograph with this post is a free download that represents the tradition of Westerns.

Do you miss Andy Devine or are you from a generation that never heard of the raspy-voiced character actor who appeared in more than 400 films? Shoot me an email at bialasj@gmail.com. Before you do, you might enjoy watching this August 1952 episode of the TV show “What’s My Line?”

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July the Fourth Be With You

By JOHN E. BIALAS

July the Fourth Be With You.

That’s my wish to you in case I forget to tell you on Tuesday, the holiday.

“Star Wars” celebrations don’t have to be limited to May the Fourth, when fans of the movie series unite to observe a play on words.

Enjoy the red, white and blue and all you do on Independence Day, which is not to be confused with the Will Smith movie that has been called the 1990s “Star Wars.”

When you take a break from your patriotic activities, channel your Luke Skywalker and do a green lightsaber dance just like wbb in the picture with this post.

Perhaps someday I will teach wbb the connection between “Star Wars” and the Fourth of July. I guess this is what you do in retirement.

The memes are plentiful. Here are a few examples:

  • Happy Force of July:  Star Wars has SO much to do with America’s independence
  • The Darth Vader American flag head
  • The George Washington Revolutionary War lightsaber battle
  • The Lady Liberty Wookie
  • Stormtrooper fireworks display

Tilly has no interest in “Star Wars,” but she went to a meme generator to put together this photo that strives to be in the spirit of the Fourth.

 

 

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