Vanity & More

vic fortezza
4 min readOct 8, 2022

I never liked playing Monopoly. Now comes this, selling for $35 at Amazon. Game doesn’t end until someone owns all the properties. Include me out:

Headline from “Report: Trump Oil Policies Would Produce 2–3M More Barrels, Outpacing OPEC Cut.”

From NM, news from Quid Pro Joe’s backyard: “Delaware Supreme Court Declares Mail-In Voting Unconstitutional.”

Headline from “At least 12 armed citizens have thwarted crimes in just the last 60 days.” What are the chances the mainstream media will mention this?

From FN: “National Guard troops leaving faster than new enlistments.” Down 7500 according to the most recent tally.

Friday night’s movie fix was an entertaining mystery adapted from a novel by Dornford Yates, She Fell among Thieves (1980). I’d read one of his lively, witty works and it spurred me to search for adaptations. The literary style of that book is largely absent from this film, but the fun is captured. It’s the story of an evil stepmother trying to get her mitts on a huge inheritance. Eileen Atkins seems like she had a great time in the lead. Malcolm McDowell plays the hero. Although I did not recall any of the other members of the cast, all but Karen Dotrice, playing the young woman in peril, have substantial credits. The tone is light despite several murders. Tom Sharpe, a novelist himself, wrote the screenplay. Clive Donner directed, the flick from the middle of his canon, career spanning 1957–1983… Born in London in 1934, Atkins is comfortable on the big or small screen but has been phenomenal on the stage. I was surprised she has as many as 103 titles under her name at IMDb, one currently filming. She has received four Tony nominations and has won many awards for her work in Britain. She won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, Cranford (2007), and was nominated for another. She was the co-creator, with Jean Marsh, of the popular mini-series Upstairs Downstairs. Married twice, she has no children, claiming to have no maternal instinct and to be “high maintenance” according to her IMDb profile… Dotrice, daughter of Brit vet Roy (133 credits), has only 16 of her own, including both versions of Mary Poppins. Married twice, she’s a mom of three. She has worked in an art gallery. In a fun bit of trivia, her godfather was Charles Laughton. Her last stage performance was in 1981, playing Desdemona to James Earl Jones’ Othello, with Christopher Plummer as Iago. Here’s Atkins in character as Vanity Fair in She Fell among Thieves:

And here are Dotrice and Malcolm McDowell:

After watching the movie, I rooted around with the remote and came across a Loretta Lynn doc on PBS. Reba McIntyre was among the interviewed artists. When asked why so many country songs are about cheating, she said simply, perfectly: “Cause there’s a lotta cheatin’ goin’ on.” The quote may not be exact. She may have used perfect English, or partially correct.

I lucked into a parking spot on Bay Parkway and it led to above average return for the floating book shop for the first time this month. All but one customer bought in bulk. My thanks. Here’s what sold: two hardcovers in Russian, a collection of American Idioms; the first two volumes in the Fifty Shades of Grey series by E. L. James; two installments of Dexter by Jeff Lindsay; The Art of Doing Nothing: Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself by Veronique Vienne and Erica Lennard; The Art of Courtly Love by Andreas Capellanus and John Jay Parry; Now, Discover Your Strengths: The revolutionary Gallup program that shows you how to develop your unique talents and strengths by Gallup; The Top 100 Immunity Boosters by Charlotte Haigh; Ghost Heart: A Medical Thriller by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry. 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.