March 26th, 2012

krazy koati

Just gazing at some dragon in the sky

Angora Love has Laurel and Hardy accidentally adopt a goat, which is the sort of thing that happens in silent comedy shorts. And comedy shorts in general. The goat chews through his rope outside the pet shop, the owner calls the cops over his ``best goat'', and that sets things up. The goat starts following Laurel and Hardy because Laurel gives him a bit of doughnut (Hardy: ``You would spend our last dime for pastry with a hole in it!'', which is remarkably not a bagel joke, probably because bagels were still too obscurely foreign a food back then), and a passing (human) kid warns the police are looking for the goat and they're going to tell. (``We'll get ten years for kidnapping!'', Hardy fears.)

They fail to outrun the goat, of course, (``They lost the goat once --- but it caught up with them in St. Paul'', an intertitle I assume makes sense if it's 1929) though this gives some of those silent movie beauty shots of Los Angeles As It Was, as well as Could It Be Like That? I imagine the six-foot-deep puddle just off the curb has to be at least a recognizable exaggeration of something people actually encountered, but it sure turns up a lot in comedy shorts. Even for as awful as roads were in that time, it's hard to see them being that awful.

So, the last fifteen minutes of the short is them trying to hide the goat in their apartment from short-tempered mean-spirited landlord Edgar Kennedy, whom you'll recall as the short-tempered mean-spirited landlord from every short movie ever. (Also the peanut stand owner tormented by Harpo in Duck Soup.) This is reasonably successful, most of the jokes making decent sense from the premise, apart from their decision that it's necessary to bathe the goat in the middle of the night. I'm still scratching my head on that one. I'm willing to grant the goat smelled bad, but, I'd have expected that to stand out earlier in the night's proceedings.

This, too, ends in a chain-reaction fight.

Trivia: On 26 March 1769 a ``quiet & industrious'' marine called William Greenside committed suicide by leaping off the Endeavour. Greenside had been caught pilfering and was harassed by his fellow marines. Captain James Cook wrote that he knew nothing of the alleged crime until after Greenside had disappeared. Source: Discoveries: The Voyages Of Captain Cook, Nicholas Thomas.

Currently Reading: In The Land Of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried To Build A Perfect Language, Arika Okrent. And then it comes up to mentioning a guy who invented a language for chipmunks, made only of clicks and scratches and hisses, and how thanks to it being the Internet Age he can find people who're interested in hearing about it. So, good for the modern day in giving eccentric people the chance to turn their language-building games into stuff that's, ultimately, the start of their novels about space chipmunks.