Taking a Shot

vic fortezza
3 min readDec 2, 2023

Sometimes the house loses. According to a nypost.com article by Erich Richter, FanDuel Sportsbook put together a “Popular Parlay” that attracted tens of thousands of bettors. It cited four NFL players. If each scored a TD, the bet would be won. Each did, and FD lost $13.4 million. Love it. (Edited by yours truly)

Headline from newsmax.com: “Denver Mayor’s Car Stolen as Crime Becomes Key ’24 Issue.” If he’s a “progressive,” call it karma.

Fans of The Honeymooners will recall Alice complaining that the apartment looked like “Yucca Flats” after a nuclear test. Last night Movies!, channel 5–2 on OTA in NYC, ran The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961), featuring ex-pro wrestler Tor Johnson as someone out in the desert as a bomb blast goes off, the radiation turning him into a killer. The flick is the product of writer/producer Coleman Francis, whose career spanned 1950-’70, 39 credits as an actor and three each as a writer and director. Scanning the acting credits, his most notable appearances came in From the Terrace (1960), in which he was billed as “Office Worker,” and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970), billed as “Rotund Drunk.” He had a weight problem. The Beast…, his first directorial effort, has an anemic rating of 1.9 on a scale of ten at IMDb, about as low as any I’d ever seen. I then noticed that his third and last effort, Red Zone Cuba (1966), is rated 1.6. His other, The Skydivers (1963), is also rated 1.9. I don’t mean to ridicule him. After all, he made three more movies than 99.9999% of the rest of the population did. I give him credit for taking a shot, as many did to Ed Wood. He passed away at 51 in 1973, death attributed to arteriosclerocis. A dad of two, he was married to Barbara Francis, the female lead of The Beast…, the first of her two credits, the other The Skydivers. His sons, Ronald and Alan, also appear in the flick, and their two credits are the same as mom’s. Coleman appeared in all three of his creations and did the narration of The Beast… Kudos, Sir. Photos from Google Images:

Here’s a foxnews.com headline about one of today’s most successful actresses: “Susan Sarandon calls anti-Jewish rant a ‘terrible mistake’ after agency drops her.” The sincerity is overwhelming.

May the rest of December be as mild as it was today. My thanks to the woman who bought The New York Times Cook Book by Craig Claiborne, The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook: Recipes * Decorating * Joy by Susan Westmoreland, and a bunch of kids’ books; and to Wolf, who purchased three books and a CD in Russian, and Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II by Robert Hardman, and The Book of Abraham, a biblical novel by Marek Halter; and to Cabbie, who selected Los Alamos by Joseph Kanon, Ransom by Julie Garwood, and Faces of Fear by John Saul. I am blessed.

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vic fortezza

I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to Sicilian immigrants. I’ve had more than 50 short stories published world wide. I have 13 books in print.