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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Smaug? Desolation? Movie offers plenty of time to think (about something else)

January 05. 2014 3:42PM

I am easily confused these days. The lady of the house took me to the movies last weekend and I thought she had gone all Greenpeace environmental on me.

She said we were going to see something called the "Desolation of Smog.''

I knew smog was a bad thing. First time I ever heard the phrase it was from my great aunt Hattie reporting back on a trip she had taken to visit kin in California in the 1960s. She said you could actually see this stuff called "smog.''

But I didn't know if the smog in the movie had itself been desolated or was desolating California again.

Turns out, I had the spelling wrong. It's actually "Smaug'' in the movie and it is a dragon. Smaug has a lot of gold; and some little people, including one with some sort of Habit (it wasn't clear what), are trying to take the gold.

I have to leave it there because that's what the movie does. After a mere two hours and 50 minutes, it ends just when it should be getting good, or at least better. Apparently you will have to wait a year or two for the Smaug to clear. I will try to contain myself until then.

The lady of the house asked me what I thought of the film, which featured elves and dwarves in addition to the Habit. I told her I was reminded of the saying in the theater that there are no small parts, only small actors. This one has a lot of them.

The Smaug did give me time to think of resolutions I should make for this new year. My first one was easy: Try to resist seeing movies with a lot of dwarfs in them.

Then it occurred to me that I should only make resolutions that I can keep. So I have also resolved:

To gain five pounds.

To give up smoking.

To read good books.

Not to text while driving (and especially not to do so while putting or hitting out of a bunker).

To spend more time with Ike, Mike, and Spike (and to refrain from picking up Spike. He is killing my back).

I also resolve to turn 65 at some point this year and to treat Mayor Ted Gatsas to lunch at Cremeland.

I owe the mayor for some long-forgotten wager. I don't mind paying. It should help me with my second resolution.

Write to Joe McQuaid at or on Twitter at @Deucecrew

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