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“Roy Atwell” (Used 2 times)

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JoeMc on 06/24/2010 at 02:00PM

Crapple Dumpkins for the Germophobe (Roy Atwell, mp3)

Charles Korvin about to take the plunge courtesy Evelyn Keyes

For almost a week now, I've been fighting off a bad cold. Last week I couldn't call it what it obviously was; but now that summer is officially here, I can say with conviction that I have an especially annoying case of that seasonal favorite known as the "summer cold."

Summer cold? Ha, there's nothing cold about it. Particularly since last weekend, with the thermometer darting into the 90s, the last thing I want to do is sip tea and crawl under the covers. Having a cold in the winter is natural; you put on your sweater, daub your runny nose, and keep the Fisherman's Friend under your pillowcase. Having a cold in the summer is just wrong. It's hard enough to be comfortable when you're feverish and stuffy, but add in grotesque humidity and heat and you feel as if suffocation would be a mercy.

One of the only consistent comforts of being sick in any season, and it's one of the best reasons for the invention of television, is that you can sit on a sofa watching DVDs all day and no one accuses you of being an indolent sloth. Being somewhat perverse, one of the films I chose to watch during this past week of joy was about an epidemic of small pox. This is sort of like watching airplane disaster movies on a plane, but hey, at least when everyone's dying from small pox, a summer cold doesn't feel so dire.

The name of this particular film was The Killer That Stalked New York. Grammarians among you will notice from the choice of relative pronoun that the filmmakers are not talking about a killer who, but a killer what. The "what" in this case is the small pox. A sweaty blonde diamond smuggler played by Evelyn Keyes carries it in from Cuba (a land of plague, apparently, even in 1950) and proceeds to infect man, woman, and child along the way to her rendezvous with her sleazy husband. The sleazy husband, a musician (ha!) played by the dimple-chinned Charles Korvin, has been making time with this Sheila's sister while she's been off smuggling for him. It's okay, though--the jane has the last laugh. Or at least, the last grimace. Although she's covered with sores and doomed to die, he goes first, off of the ledge of a building, about 20 stories up. Splat.

Anyway, The Killer That Stalked New York put me in mind of just how flimsy we all are, and how the smallest thing, often something we don't even know is there, can make us ill. That's right about when I found Roy Atwell on the FMA.

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