Thursday, July 31, 2008

Every Day's a Dog Day

It's been a lax week here at Synthetic Culture Worldwide Headquarters Unlimited. I've been strengthening my forearm and wrist for skeeball, improving my fried food tolerance, and watching Brody chase frogs around the swimming pool. How could I possibly have time to post? I'm out of here for a long weekend tomorrow morning, but I'll be back Tuesday with all the news from South Jersey, an even better suntan, and a bathing suit full of sand. Have a good weekend, one and all...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What to Do In Wildwood

I think my family went to Wildwood for a couple of days back when I was about 10, but of course I don't remember any specifics. Essentially, I've never been there before, but I'm going down for the weekend. I'm hoping the boardwalk remains as tacky as it's rumored to be. However, since one can only spend so long staring at the surf and playing skeeball, I'm wondering if any of you have any suggestions for places to go in Wildwood. Where should we eat? Are there any bars someone over the age of 23 would enjoy? Are there any beach/boardwalk unrelated activities? If you have any ideas, leave a comment or send me an email, and I'll thank you profusely.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Here Comes the Future

If Rip Van Winkle fell asleep in 1960 and awakened in 1970, he’d be a confused man indeed. “What happened?” he’d ask himself. “Men are walking around looking like women, women are acting like men, and what’s with this loud music? Plus, everyone’s dressed like a six year-old on a play date or a circus clown. What’s with the marijuana? Doesn’t anyone drink rye whiskey anymore?”

Rip’s question would be a hard one to answer, even today, with the perspective of hindsight. Change doesn’t happen in visible moments, so how do you pin change down, understand it? We often don’t notice change until it’s already happened and we suddenly find ourselves on the wrong side of it, feeling old. Who’s young, who’s old, and the underlying dread that comes with the recognition of changes that are occurring but still too incomplete to yet understand was the theme of last night’s season two premier of Mad Men.

The unspoken but underlying tension caused by change about to happen was what made me love Mad Men in the first place. Watching season one I marveled at the attention to detail, how period specific it was, in essence feeling nostalgia for a world so recently present but so irretrievably lost. The characters, of course, didn’t know that their world was about to be lost, and the tension between what the audience knows about the 1960s and the way the characters seem to think the new decade will just be a continuation of the 1950s was central to the mood of the show.

Based on last night’s premier, this tension will be central to the plot, rather than the mood, of season two. We first see Don Draper at a physical, being told to start taking it easier; his blood pressure is high, and he’s 36, considered middle-aged at the time. Duck, Sterling Cooper’s new Client Services director, wants to go after the Martinson Coffee account. All the young people are now drinking Pepsi, and he wants to hire some young creative talent to show Martinson they can induce the young to switch over to coffee. Duck has also insisted the office buy a Xerox machine.

Upset by the news of his physical, Don has lunch at a bar, where a beatnik-type next to him is reading Frank O’Hara’s Meditations In an Emergency. Don asks if the book is good. “I don’t think you’ll like it,” the beatnik states. Don doesn’t see the need to hire young creative talent. “The young don’t know anything,” he complains. His boss insists, though, and Duck has won this battle; Don will hire new talent, talent that it’s clear he doesn’t understand, as we see when he interviews a writer and designer who come as a team, a concept alien to Don.

Things have changed on the home front as well. Don seems to be coming home every night to be with his family rather than whoring around Manhattan. His wife Betty, though, has come out of the depression of season one; we first see her in a commanding position, astride a horse, and Betty’s recognition of her power, sexual and otherwise, would seem to be foreshadowed throughout the episode. Don, on the other hand, seems emasculated, literally impotent on Valentine’s Day despite Betty’s hot lingerie, later waiting in front of the TV for his wife to get home for dinner.

Don buys and reads the Frank O’Hara book, perhaps as an attempt to keep up. The episode ends with a Don VO quoting O’Hara’s poem “Mayakovsky”: “Now I am quietly waiting for/ the catastrophe of my personality/ to seem beautiful again,/ and interesting, and modern”. What will happen to all these characters as the 1960s unfold? We’ll have to watch to see, and in fact this is the reason that we will watch.

This season will take place entirely during 1962. What the characters don’t know, but we do know, is what is still to come in this one year alone. This episode takes place on Valentine’s Day. By New Year’s Eve, the Cuban Missile Crisis will have come and gone; James Meredith and the National Guard will have integrated Ole Miss; Marilyn Monroe will have OD’d; the members of SDS will have written the Port Huron Statement; and John Glenn will have orbited the earth. Even more to the point, 87% of American homes will have a television set and CBS radio will have broadcast the final episodes of its last serials, thereby officially ending the Golden Age of Radio. The Beatles will have released their first single, “Love Me, Do.” And Andy Warhol will have had his first solo gallery show, of Campbell’s Soup paintings, at the Stable Gallery.

Frank O’Hara was a poet of immediacy, of the now. His writing was a rebellion against the academic studiousness of American Modernism. Even the title of this book, and that particular prose poem, indicates this fact; these aren’t meditations on an emergency, they are meditations in, or during, one. But Meditations In an Emergency was actually published in 1957. By the time Don Draper discovers him, O'Hara is about to be of the past himself. O’Hara was and is associated with the New York School of writers and painters, with the Abstract Expressionists that Warhol and Pop Art would succeed. He is of the 1950s. By 1966, he would be dead.

We don’t yet know what Sterling Cooper does with the Martinson Coffee account. In 1964, Andy Warhol will open the Factory and paint hundreds of plywood boxes, some replicating Brillo boxes, but some replicating Martinson Coffee. A new world not of immediacy or of its opposite, nostalgia, will be replaced by a world that ironically celebrates mechanical reproduction, and a world where the tools of mechanical reproduction can make everyone an artist, writer, musician. Warhol makes Martinson Coffee something for the young at heart in a way Sterling Cooper could never imagine.

And the Xerox machine? It’s the first in a long line of technological innovation that will lead to the decline of print media and the monopoly of the national glossy magazine. Soon, anyone will be able to put out a ‘zine. Fast forward 40 years and here we are, me writing and you reading, the means of production and consumption at our fingertips, change all around us, but we don’t truly know it yet. The future happens every day, in small increments. The pleasure of Mad Men is watching it slowly unfold.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Correction in the Market

I took a nap in the pool yesterday afternoon and clearly got up on the correct side of the float. The tree people arrived, the yard is clean, the neighbors brought me a check, the sale contract for my business will be signed this afternoon. If my old house had sold the reversal of fortune would have been complete. There's always today, however. Have a nice day!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


This has been one of those weeks. You know, the kind of week you just want over. My neighbors have been distinctly unhelpful and unresponsive about getting their 500 tons of trees cleared out of my yard. The tree service that was supposed to show up this morning to clean it up hasn't shown up. It looks like I'm going to have to take my neighbors to court to get this paid for, if I can ever arrange to have the work done. I've been unable to sell my old house, and my tenant called to say she's leaving, giving me not the 60 days notice required of her lease but instead giving me 14 days. My business' buyer was to have signed the contract this week, but hasn't signed and isn't calling me back. I may as well just declare bankruptcy, leave the country, and be done with it.

Then we have the "glass is half full" contingent. Last weekend, thousands of people attended a "Life is Good" festival in Boston. Apparently such festivals are held around the country. I'm not sure what's involved in the festivals beyond a bunch of people wearing Life is Good t-shirts and hanging out together, smiling. I honestly don't care how relaxed that smiley-faced stick figure and his dog look in the cartoon drawings that emblazon this company's paraphernalia, life really isn't good right now. It's a fortune to fill up my tank, and in a few months heating bills will start again. Food has become expensive. Investments aren't doing well. Unless you want to wear a paper hat and scoop french fries, you're out of luck if you're unemployed. Sure, I love my dog, sunsets are pretty, the beach is fun, whatever. Life is still randomly cruel.

I know, this will all pass. If my mother were here she'd say, "You just got up on the wrong side of the bed," as if exiting the bed to the left rather than to the right really effected anything. But sure, maybe tomorrow I'll get up on the correct side of the bed, throw on a smiley-face t-shirt and run around saying, "Have a nice day!" and really mean it. For now, it's nine in the morning, and I'm already counting the minutes until happy hour.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nature Nurtures Itself

Before I bought it, my property housed two different sets of old people. When the house was built in 1955, the landscaping was undoubtedly beautiful. Unfortunately, I don't think the flora has seen the likes of a pruning sheer, chainsaw, clippers, or weed killer since. My "hedges" are 20 feet high; my trees are so overgrown they're half dead; my "shrubs" are taller than the house. Add this fact to the events of Sunday night, and I'm left pretty much hating nature right now.

I've never liked gardening. I get absolutely no pleasure, no sense of accomplishment, out of weeding or pruning. I like it when flowers come up, but have no interest in thinning beds or moving bulbs around. Nearly all of my friends have perfect gardens, filled with flowers and vegetables. They all say, "Oh, you just need to weed a little every day, it doesn't take much time. And it feels so good!" I've tried, I really have, but it just doesn't feel good to me. In my last house I waged a six-year long battle with a trumpet vine. The vine won; I moved rather than continue to deal with it.

How do you know what is weed and what is "plant" anyway? Everything's a weed, if you think about it. Our culture just decided to value day lilly more than dandelion. Based on my experience, all plants are invasive. They just grow and grow, attempting to take over the property, until a storm comes along and rams them into the house. If nature had it's way I wouldn't live here at all. Nature is a beautiful woman who knows she's beautiful so she flirts with you and then breaks your heart. Vigilance can lead to the appearance that culture is capable of holding back nature, but one can't be vigilant each and every day. Blink, and your yard is full of poison ivy. Take a nap, and you'll awaken with a trumpet vine in bed next to you.

Even so, I'm not paving over the property, at least not this week. The storm debris will be cleared out and chipped, and someone is coming to cut the hedges back to a height where I can, in the future, trim them myself. I lose each and every battle with nature, yet I continue to fight the war.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Biblical Proportions

I was spending a peaceful evening relaxing in my air conditioning, watching the Mad Men marathon, when I heard the sounds of a storm blowing through. I went out on my back porch to check it out, and to enjoy some breeze after a stultifying weekend. I enjoyed the thunder and lightning and wind for about 15 minutes when suddenly something went terribly wrong.

If I didn't live on a small mountain I'd be prone to think a tornado tore through. What used to be my backyard certainly displays signs of the aftereffects of a tornado. I bought this house because it's surrounded by partially wooded lots. As it turns out, the downside of partially wooded lots is what happens when 60 mile an hour winds blow. As I sat on the porch, the top 2/3 of a very old tree crashed down through the screen and almost took out my cat. At that point, we moved back to the side of the house but continued watching; it's hard to turn away from a trainwreck, after all.

The top half of a 50 year-old pine tree blew past and landed in a pile on top of the remains of the first tree. What looked like an entire maple tree blew by next, coming to rest on top of what was my birch tree. Next, a large branch flew out of nowhere and landed on one of my Adirondack chairs, smashing it to pieces. An oak tree fell from the sky, adding itself to the growing pile beyond my porch door.

At that point I retreated into the house entirely. Within 10 minutes, it was all over. Even now, in the light of day, I'm not sure what the damage is, because so many trees and parts of trees fell into my yard I have no access. As far as I can tell, my house and porch are structurally fine; my only loss, beyond damage to my birch, is one screen panel and one expensive chair. The only good news is that each and every tree and branch that landed in my yard came from the neighboring property, which means it's his insurance that will be paying.

The cat will suffer most from this; with a square-foot hole in the screen, he won't be allowed on the porch until I can get it repaired. With trees piled up floor to ceiling along the porch, it literally feels like I live in a treehouse, so at least the view is pretty. One of Brody's hobbies is chewing on sticks, and today is his birthday. The best news is that he can spend the day in the yard, making mulch.

UPDATE: All insurance companies involved feel this was an act of God. They'll pay for damage to my house, and my chair, but not for the removal of the yard-full of trees. God did it, God can clean it up, I guess. And here I thought God and I were getting along so well...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

You Know You Want to Watch

It's been a while, and it's time for a roundup of crappy TV. Sure, Generation Kill started Sunday night, and Mad Men returns at the end of the month, but summer really isn't the time for edification. It's the time for half-drunkenly watching fluff. It's the time for I Love Money.

I Love Money is on VH1. It's repeated so many times a week I have no idea when new episodes air. Just turn to VH1, and an episode will surely be playing. It appears to be some sort of 'all star' competition, where contestants from other VH1 shows I've never watched have been asked back to compete not for "love" but for $250K. I don't know where they found these people, I really don't. Since even the contestants seem to understand the inherent loss of self-respect that goes along with their participation in this program, they all go by pseudonyms: Toastee, Heat, Real, Destinye, Niblz, and (my favorite) Whiteboy, who is a tatooed Jewish guy who undoubtedly just graduated from Brandeis.

The contestants live in a "mansion," are divided into two teams, and eliminate each other. It's a low, low rent version of Survivor meets Big Brother meets a train wreck. There's no purpose to anything other than being on TV and winning some money, and the show and the contestants are honest about this fact, and it's for this reason that the show is brilliant. Isn't every reality competition finally "about" the love of fame and money? Isn't every reality contestant ultimately playing a character, having been cast for "dramatic" effect? Here, it's all in the open, and in that sense I Love Money is a meta-reality show, a reality competition about reality competitions where generic convention is laid bare. It's so bad it's wonderful. You must watch it.

If you can't bring yourself to spend an evening contemplating the feud between Toastee and Niblz, try The Greatest American Dog instead, on Thursdays at 8 on CBS. Here, we have crazy dog people and their dogs living in a house together, competing for the title and, of course, money. Each week, one dog/human pair is eliminated. It's Survivor meets Big Brother meets America's Next Top Model, with cute dogs thrown into the mix. Brody and I watched last week's premier together and were happy to see that one of the contestants is Star, an orange and white Brittany. "Look," I said to Brody repeatedly, "that's what a good dog looks like. Look! That's a good Brittany performing tricks rather than running in circles chasing bugs while it's human gestures wildly, trying to get its attention." Brody was nonplussed, but he enjoyed the show, and you will too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Career Institute

Cicadas have already arrived. It's mid-July, but summer has begun its slow fade. I've sold my business, and I gave myself the arbitrary deadline of Labor Day to decide what I want to be when I grow up. I get up every morning determined to determine something and then get distracted by the day, by the Times and by the pool, by whatever reading I'm doing, by a warm evening on my porch. I watch dusk come just a little earlier each evening, hear the cicadas, know something has to be decided, sigh, and turn back to the pages of my book.

What will I be when I grow up? All I know is that my friend's pool beckons. Maybe life is just randomness. If I let it go, something will come to me. That's my hope on a morning in the middle of July.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Birthday Party

Yesterday's NY Times Magazine ran a story about the trend toward treating pets with psychotropic medicines developed for humans: Prozac for separation anxiety, that kind of thing. The real argument boils down to whether or not one believes that animals have emotions similar to humans, and living with a dog and a cat it's easy for me to see that they do certainly feel what we feel - anger, pain, fear, confusion, joy. On the other hand, as I read the article I imagined facing some of the pet owners featured in the story, shaking them, and yelling, "Nitwit! You got a cattle dog! You can't leave it alone all day and expect to come home to an intact house! Your dog was bred to run all day! You don't need Prozac; you need to all go out for a run!" Then I remembered the events of Saturday night, and realized I have no room to talk.

Brody, my Brittany, will turn three on the 21st. His girlfriend, Lucy, turns nine on the 27th. Bella, who lives down the street, just turned one. So, we decided to have a birthday party for the three of them. Bella's human made a cake (complete with icing) comprised of dog-friendly ingredients. I thought this would mean cat food, cat feces, and deer poop, but it turned out to be a combination of wheat flour, shredded carrots, and peanut butter. Lucy's human brought birthday cards for Brody and Bella. I provided wine for the humans.

Lucy does not like female dogs. This is known. So, when Lucy trotted in to the party and immediately snapped at Bella, I at least wasn't surprised. Lucy then had to spend the remainder of the party leashed and in the down position. Bella is a small beagle, and when Brody meets smaller dogs he always tries to hump them, not sexually, but because he's generally so far away from alpha dog he approaches "zeta" status, and he enjoys the chance to pretend dominance. So, when Brody immediately tried to hump Bella, I wasn't surprised.

When Brody spent the entire party dragging Bella around by her hindquarters humping away, I was surprised. When Brody attempted to climb on whatever lap to which Bella had retreated in order to continue humping her, I was surprised. When Brody trapped Bella under the couch and humped the air next to said couch, I was surprised. When the only break from humping all night was to eat the cake in one bite and then eat everyone else's Frosty Paws, I was surprised. Bella finally spent the last half of the party in the safety of her human's arms, while Brody lay on the floor and stared lovingly at her. She is a cute beagle; at least he has taste.

If dogs are capable of learning the kinds of lessons humans can learn, then the party should have taught Bella that some people love you and some people hate you, and there's nothing you can do about it. I'm just hoping I remember the lesson of the night for humans: dogs don't know it's their birthday, and their idea of a party involves humping and snapping rather than cake and presents.

The whole thing was a nice excuse to sit on the porch drinking wine. Next time, we'll just leave the dogs at home.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How to Prevent Allergic Idiots from Suing

I bought a can of what I think are the best peanuts in the country yesterday. The label on front of the can states, in large type, "The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg Handcooked Virginia Peanuts." In case you still don't know what you're eating, the label in the back repeats, "Handcooked Virginia Peanuts" in medium type. The ingredient list, printed right below, is as follows: Super Extra Large Virginia Peanuts, Peanut Oil, Salt.

Just in case you're really, exceptionally stupid, underneath the ingredients appears, all in caps and in bold:


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Parting Words

I spent the long weekend reading another long Nixon book, J. Anthony Lukas' Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years. I think I'm finally done with my little study of the Nixon administration, not because a book hasn't been published for each day he spent in the Oval Office, but because the facts are the facts, I've now studied them from all angles, and it's just time to move on. So, these will be my last words on Richard Nixon, or at least my last words until October 20, the 35th anniversary of the Saturday Night Massacre.

Through this book, I learned that not only was Nixon a little crazy, but his aides needed a good civics lesson. Halderman and Mitchell in particular seemed to lack an understanding of the line between use and abuse of power. They all just egged each other on. If Nixon hadn't been taping his conversations the whole thing would have stopped short of the Presidency; those tapes were the only evidence that he was aware of the break-in and cover-up. And if Nixon hadn't been worried about money, he wouldn't have been taping conversations. Apparently it was his intent to donate the tapes to the National Archive or a library somewhere in order to have several years worth of tax deductions.

Why have I been so fascinated with all this? As the 10-year anniversary of his death approaches, I've been thinking of my father. He was completely fascinated with and absorbed by Watergate. Not only did he insist I watch the Senate hearings, and that I not only watch but bring out my tape recorder and record for him Nixon's resignation the next year, but he also tried to convince me and my mother to picket the White House with "Impeach the President" signs when we went to DC to visit a family friend the summer of 1973. I was nine years old and the whole thing was not only meaningless but boring. Watergate was something that interrupted my morning television, nothing more.

He had always hated Nixon, and I think that he experienced the scandal as vindication, proof that he was right about that man and about Republicans in general. Reagan never got his goat the way Nixon did, so he was shockingly sanguine about Iran-Contra. In a way I'm sorry he missed out on the W administration, although I suspect the past eight years might have killed him if the heart disease hadn't gotten there first.

Politics was one of the few things my father and I could talk about. He was a mechanical engineer, and I had no interest in the workings of combustion engines or printing presses. He had no interest in modern American poetry or literary theory. By the time I was old enough to care about politics Watergate was a thing of the past. By learning more about it now I've felt closer to him, even as I realize that the memory of his voice and of his presence is moving farther and farther from my grasp. To care now about the events of 1973 is in a way to care about my childhood and to feel the presence of both my parents, glued to the black and white TV in the family room of their suburban house while dinner cooks.

Just before leaving the White House for the last time, Nixon addressed his family and supporters. "We think that when someone dear to us dies, we think that when we lose an election, we think that when we suffer a defeat, that all is ended," he said. "Not true. It is only a beginning, always."

Monday, July 7, 2008

I Don't Think I've Seen it All, But This Comes Close

If, like me, you watched the raid on the FLDS Yearning for Zion Ranch in Texas and the attendant court cases and thought, "I want to look like Holly Hobby, too! Where do I get those clothes?" then you're in luck. Although currently only children's sizes are available, the FLDS has begun selling clothing that adheres to the Church's standards for modesty through this website.

Why the Web venture? Spokesperson Maggie Jessop told the Salt Lake Tribune last week that "(they) have to make a living the same as everyone else does." A living they should make; a basic dress will run you around $40, which seems steep even if the child will outgrow it before it goes out of style. I didn't feel like going through the motions of check-out, but I am left wondering whether or not they are charging sales tax, given their precarious relationship with state and federal government.

I'm also left wondering when the competing e-commerce sites for Amish wear and Hasidic garb will be launched. Everyone does need to make a living, after all.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, Nation

Independence from England was declared on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution stating as such. In the spirit of the Enlightenment, it was decided further clarification on this decision was needed, and that a formal declaration of the reasons for independence should be drafted. Both Adams and Franklin turned down the job, which fell to Jefferson. The Congress voted approval of the declaration on July 4. Hancock signed it and sent it off to the printer so that couriers could disseminate it throughout the colonies. Everyone then went home and grilled some hot dogs.

You have several options for celebrating the birth of our country tomorrow. You can write or sign a radical document, or you can stay home and grill some hot dogs. Either way, don't hold the sparkler too close to your eyes.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Feline Update

I'm on a "staycation," which is how the talking heads are trying to spin the fact that no one can afford to leave home this summer, which means that vacation time is spent in one's own backyard. In other words, I'm not working this week, except for the occasional meeting or two. So instead of a real post, here's a short update:

I was in fact inadvertently starving my cat. We went back to the vet yesterday to get him weighed, and with the increase in food he's put on half a pound in the past five weeks. Why the same amount of food he'd been give for the past 2.5 years suddenly became insufficient remains a mystery, but as long as he's putting on weight I'm not shelling out for further tests.

He's certainly been a happier cat recently, although he still gets me up at first light to beg for food. That was at 5:13 this morning, in case you were wondering. A true staycation would involve locking my cat out of the house overnight, but not even I am that cruel.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Fun Haus

In distance, the Funnel Cake Haus was about 150 yards from our parking spot in Parkingplatz Haus. Measured by time, funnel cake could have been mine within two minutes of disembarkation. I'll be fair and point out that we happened to be parked by the entrance to the Kutztown Folk Festival that led right to a village of fried food hauses; some visitors might have a slightly longer trek in search of funnel cake.

I really wanted to eat at the Hinkle Haus just because I liked the name, but that was one of the hauses selling complete all-you-can-eat Pennsylvania Dutch meals for twelve bucks, and I couldn't do that to myself at lunch on an 85-degree day. I settled for a deep-fried hot dog at one of the Weiner Hauses, while my friend enjoyed a brat from a Bratwurst Haus. I also had some birch beer from the Bier Haus, as well as one of those lemon drinks from the Limon Haus.

The highlight of the day way probably the Petting Zoo Haus, where I communed with some cute baby goats. I've always wanted some goats just because I think it would be fun to watch my dog cavort with them, but Goat Hauses aren't allowed in my city. Petting Zoo Haus also featured some ducklings, and a couple of pigs young enough to still be cute. And also a bunch of terrified children whose mothers insisted they attempt to feed the baby animals; petting zoos and the terror they inspire seem to be something that each generation must inflict on their young.

Otherwise I'd have to say I spent ten bucks to enter a huge Gift Haus. The Festival does have several entertainment tents, and I did watch a folk band playing some cool bluegrass/polka mash-up (and said band featured a nine year-old playing a mean fiddle), a glass blowing demonstration, and found out where I can learn to speak Pennsylvania Dutch, but in the main this was essentially a large Haus of Crafts.

So, I walked by Haus after Haus selling hex signs, straw hats, canned preserves, and woodwork. I helped to stimulate the PA Dutch economy by buying a piece of jewelery at the large Craft Haus (the one located right next to Farmer's Market Haus). In the end, I was happy get back into the car and return to my own haus.

I have only one regret: the Festival features a daily re-enactment of a PA Dutch execution. No, I'm not kidding. There at the edge of the fairgrounds was a gallows and a hearse, and a sign that, to my disappointment, didn't say "Death Haus" but instead said, "The Hanging of Suzanna Cox." They hang her three times a day, but we missed it. Now I'll never know if the execution becomes PA Dutch because they put an apple in her mouth.