Flash Gordon arrives to save the universe as December 1980 begins
Plus Vanity has sex with a blue-eyed monkey in the weirdest film of the year
The premise is simple, but the task is not. Every single movie released in the United States during the 1980s, reviewed in chronological order, published month by month.
Buckle up, because this is The Last ‘80s Newsletter You’ll Ever Need…
Led Zeppelin broke up.
Magnum PI debuted on CBS as The Wonderful World Of Disney came to a close on NBC.
United States copyright law was amended to finally allow computer programs.
And, in one of the most shocking moments of the entire decade, as John Lennon and Yoko Ono returned to their apartment in New York just before 11:00 at night, the troubled Mark David Chapman shot Lennon in the back four times.
There are a number of significant milestones for me as a movie lover.
The summer of ’77 was a huge one, and I emerged from that summer changed in some pretty foundational ways. The next major one where I felt like it all came together at once was December of 1980. My movie mania had been building all year long, and in writing about 1980 so far, I have been soaking in my memories of that time and place.
Part of what was going on in 1980 was that I was driving the decision-making about which movies we saw. Not every single time we went, but often enough that I felt some autonomy for the first time. I felt like I was the consumer that was being targeted instead of feeling like an accessory to my parents. The things I was excited about became all-consuming to me, one or two obsessions at a time. I’d spent much of the year completely immersed in The Empire Strikes Back, and as the year closed, two new movies landed on me with enough force to temporarily make me give Empire a rest.
The Popeye soundtrack had been on constant rotation as I entered December, and I kept my eyes peeled for any book tie-ins to the film. Bridget Terry’s The Popeye Story was a making-of paperback, surprisingly well-written, offering a nuts-and-bolts view of the entire process. There’s no way you could get a book this honest past a studio today while they’re trying to launch a blockbuster. Richard J. Anobile’s adaptation, which was almost a Fotonovel in terms of how many pictures it used and how it was laid out, was also released. I read both books over and over before I ever got a chance to see the film. That’s how I operated at that point. I didn’t care in which order I experienced something as long as I got to experience it. I would routinely read novelizations first. It didn’t matter at all in terms of my enjoyment.
There was another soundtrack that drove me crazy that month, even though all you could get at first was a single. My friend’s brother had “Flash” as a 45, and the first time I walked into their rec room and heard the opening to that song, I was hooked. I had to know what it was, and when he told me it was the theme song to Flash Gordon, I went wild. I’d seen the posters and I knew that Flash Gordon was one of the things that inspired Star Wars. There was coverage in Starlog that made the film look amazing, and then I heard that theme song and it was over. That’s all it took.
By the time I got to Memphis for Christmas break, both movies were already playing, and I got to see them on back-to-back days. My grandmother Ruby spoiled me rotten, and she told me that she would take me to a different movie every day of the vacation, and she did. Sort of. Because I made her take me to Flash Gordon twice. I managed to see Popeye more than once as well, although that second viewing was back home in Chattanooga. This was an era when I would see films in theaters over and over, in part because they would play for a much longer run, giving me many more opportunities, and also because I was trying to understand the impact they were having on me. I wanted to know why I loved what I loved.
Both films hit me hard on those first viewings. Both films impressed me as whole worlds created by these filmmakers. Both of them had soundtracks that I immediately wanted to play over and over. They expanded the palette of what you could do onscreen, and they left me buzzed. They weren’t the only films we saw that holiday season, either. We saw Stir Crazy, which played like a blockbuster to the audience we saw it with. I remember wanting to like it more than actually liking it, and being fascinated by the way people were belly-laughing at stuff I didn’t think was funny at all. We saw 9 to 5, and that damn near burned the theater down. My parents lost their minds for the movie, and even though I didn’t get a lot of it, I liked the movie’s energy and attitude and I was determined to decode why it made adults laugh so hard. Foul Play had been a big hit with my family a few years earlier, and for us, Seems Like Old Times was family destination entertainment. Not only were those movies we bonded over in theaters, but then again at home over and over.
I loved seeing comedies in a packed theater, and both Seems Like Old Times and 9 To 5 were formative audience experiences for me, like Heaven Can Wait in ’78 or Tootsie a few years later. When a comedy really works and the audience gives themselves over completely, it’s like you’re surfing. Just wave after wave of laughter. It’s one of the most enjoyable sensations you have. 9 to 5 was originally planned as an early test of day-and-date launches with a home video version arriving simultaneous to the theatrical release, but at the last minute, Fox gave in to the fairly angry reactions of theater owners. Even so, it was on home video a mere three months after it was released, and it was still raking in money on the big screen even as it became a smash hit on home video. It was incredibly weird at the time to get something so soon after you saw it in the theater, and it felt like a real novelty. Even so, it was the communal experience that made 9 to 5 such a hit.
There’s a lot of ground to cover this month, but the first weekend of December was fairly easy going. It’s pretty clear that everyone was getting out of the way of what they saw as Robert Altman’s oncoming juggernaut…
A Change Of Seasons
Shirley MacLaine, Anthony Hopkins, Bo Derek, Michael Brandon, Mary Beth Hurt, Edward Winter, Paul Regina, K Callan, Rod Colbin, Steve Eastin, Christopher Coffey, Albert Carrière, Billy Beck, Blake Harris, Karen Philipp, Paul Bryar, Anita Jodelsohn, Tim Haldeman, Paul Young, James Jeter, Stan Wright, Percy Davis, Steve Myers, John O’Connor
cinematography by Philip H. Lathrop
music by Henry Mancini
screenplay by Erich Segal and Ronni Kern and Fred Segal
story by Erich Segal and Martin Ransohoff
produced by Martin Ransohoff
directed by Richard Lang
1 hr 42 mins
A professor who is having an affair is caught by his wife, who starts an affair of her own, leading to the two couples vacationing in the same house for the weekend.
Richard Lang was a prolific TV director, capable of churning out a fair amount of material in a very short period of time, so it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that this is his second feature film of the year. I didn’t hate his debut feature, The Mountain Men, the Charlton Heston comedy that was released in June of 1980, but I didn’t love it, either. I think it’s safe to say it’s the better of his two 1980 releases, then, because I think I hate A Change of Seasons quite a bit, and this ended up being his final theatrical film.
To be fair, it’s only half his. The film’s original director, Noel Black, was fired mid-movie and Lang came in to replace him. Ultimately, no one could have made this terrible script work. So many of the movies set during the “sexual revolution” of the ‘70s are actually deeply conservative texts about how disastrous and damaging any variation from the norm can be. This film wants to make a statement about new arrangements within marriage, but can’t decide what point of view it takes, and ultimately, by the time Bo Derek’s father shows up, it all feels like a toothless retread of ‘30s farce instead of some kind of trenchant observation about modern mores. It took four people to shuffle this collection of bad ideas together, and what’s amazing is how close they came to duplicating another Shirley MacLaine film also released this year, Loving Couples. They even had the same cinematographer shoot both movies.
Here, you’ve got a shitty college professor who starts having an affair. When his wife confronts him about it, he refuses to stop or even admit he’s done anything wrong. He acts like it’s his right. She starts having an affair as well, and the four of them all end up at the same summer house, along with the daughter of the professor and his wife, and shenanigans ensue. Anthony Hopkins and Shirley MacLaine are the professor and his wife, and their utter lack of chemistry is a big problem. They seem to hate each other even when the film demands otherwise.
Bo Derek was cast as the college co-ed who Hopkins is sleeping with before “10” opened and became a box-office sensation, but they were shooting as the film, that phenomenon was exploding, and the producers took full advantage. The opening credits of the film, which also became the central image of the poster, feature Hopkins and Derek in a hot tub having the most embarrassing aquatic sex this side of Showgirls. It is a silly scene that doesn’t look or feel like anything else in the movie. It is a movie full of weird decisions, like casting 34-year-old Mary Beth Hurt as a teenager. Sure, Garp did it again a few years later, but only for the opening, and she played her character over the arc of her whole life. Here, she’s just their teenage daughter, and it’s weird.
Ultimately, the movie fails because the marriage that everything hinges on is never shown to us in any way that gives us any investment in the outcome. Is it good? Is it bad? Who knows? These people all seem like rotten assholes, and you’re not going to care who’s sleeping with who as long as you don’t have to spend any more time with them after the film is done.
Richard Dreyfuss, Amy Irving, Lee Remick, Sam Wanamaker, Joseph Cali, Ty Henderson, Vicki Kriegler, Adam Stern, Philip Sterling, Gloria Stroock, Bea Silvern, James B. Sikking, Delia Salvi, Jimmy Sturtevant, Kathy Talbot, Elaine Welton Hill, Stephen Corvin, Jan Ivan Dorin, Priscilla Pointer, Rachel Bard, Laurie Main, Corrine Kason, Ronald F. Hoiseck, Ross Evans, Allan Gruener, John Clavin, Bill Conklin, Lynn Arden, Koki Iwamoto, Kurt Stefl, Robert Vega, John Mezz, Sam Ratcliffe, Rhio H. Blair, Rex Benson, Jack Denbo, Howard Osias, François Gondoin, Jean-Claude Personnat, Alain Rocaboy, Ben Hammer, Sterling Swanson, Fielding Greaves, Eric Barnes, Mark Anger, Nick Outin, Joe Bellan, Carl Arena, Marti Cate, Robert Dawson, Anne Hodgkinson, Peter Hallifax, Drew Letchworth, Jeanne Lauren, Patrick Martin, Richard Dupell, Leslie Allen, Ann Cooper
cinematography by Richard H. Kline
music by Lalo Schifrin
screenplay by Joel Oliansky
story by Joel Oliansky and William Sackheim
produced by William Sackheim
directed by Joel Oliansky
2 hrs 3 mins
Paul takes one last run at his dream of being a professional competitive pianist but when he meets his opponent Heidi, his dreams become more complicated.
Richard Dreyfuss was a huge star at this point in time, but he had a hard time picking projects that allowed him room to shine. Without being dismissive, part of Neil Simon’s gift was writing highbrow sitcom dialogue that gave actors room to really run. Something like The Goodbye Girl is a huge gift to an actor, and Dreyfuss knew what to do when he was given the right piece of material.
Paul Dietrich is not a character so much as a placeholder, an idea for a character. He’s talented but he’s allowed life to repeatedly sideline him, and he’s starting to feel like he may not have many more shots at winning a piano competition. The film is all about the way his family pressures tear at him and what happens when he meets Heidi, played by Amy Irving, who is an immediate distraction. Paul’s a real prick for most of the film, and it only allows Dreyfuss to play irritated. Yes, he does that well, but when that’s the only note he really gets to hammer, it becomes abrasive after a while.
There are some things I liked about this one. It does ask some questions about how you build a career in the performing arts and what that looks like over time and what it requires of you, and Lee Remick in particular has a few scenes where she makes those points well. I think the actors do a credible job of selling the idea that they’re really playing in the piano scenes. The film is scattered, though, and while I like the idea of telling a story about the entire competition, this one telegraphs up front that there are only really two competitors who matter here. I wish writer-director Joel Oliansky had focused less on the romance, which doesn’t really dramatically land, and more on the idea that any of these players could win. It would make the ending more interesting. As it is, by the time they get to the final showdown, I wasn’t particularly invested, and I can’t imagine anyone else will be, either. It feels like a near-total misunderstanding of the lead actors and their charisma, and a misfire of a script with a few interesting ideas still poking through. Oliansky’s best work on film comes later in the decade with his script for Clint Eastwood’s moody little biopic Bird, and I can’t wait to get there.
Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow, Topol, Ornella Muti, Timothy Dalton, Brian Blessed, Peter Wyngarde, Mariangela Melato, John Osborne, Richard O’Brien, John Hallam, Philip Stone, Suzanne Danielle, William Hootkins, Bobbie Brown, Ted Carroll, Adrienne Kronenberg, Stanley Lebor, John Morton, Burnell Tucker, Robbie Coltrane, Peter Duncan, Ken Sicklen, Tessa Hewitt, Ventia Spicer, Francis Mughan, Oliver MacGreevy, John Hollis, Paul Bentall, Leon Greene, Graeme Crowther, Tony Scannell, David Neal, Bogdan Kominowski, George Harris, Colin Taylor, Doretta Dunkley, Sally Nicholson, Deep Roy, Michelle Mildwater, Marie Green, Imogen Claire, Kay Zimmerman, Frederick Warder, Stephen Brigden, Lionel Guyett, Ken Robertson, Andy Bradford, Bertram Adams, Terry Forrestal, Mike Potter, John Sullivan, Eddie Stacey, John Lees, Roy Scammell, Kathy Marquis, Sophie, Kathy September, Glenna Forster-Jones, Roseanne Romine, Sneh, Magda, Shaka, Lindy, Viva, Beverly Andrews, Frances Ward, Kerry-Lou Baylis, Camelia, Miranda Riley, Lorraine Paul, Carolyn Evans, Celeste, Tina Thomas, Ruthie Barnett, Joe Iles, Trevor Ward, Alva Shelley, Nik Abraham, Leonard Hay, Glen Whitter, Jamalia, Jill Lamb, Sunanka, Karen Johnson, Gina, Raquel, Fai, Malcolm Dixon, Tiny Ross, Mike Edmonds, John Ghavan, Rusty Goffe, Richard Jones, Mike Cottrell, Peter Burroughs, John Lummiss, Kenny Baker, Bob Goody, Daniel Venn, Peter St. James, Steve Payne, Max Alford, Stephen Calcutt, Anthony Olivier, Jim Carter, Stuart Blake, Nigel Jeffcoat, Chris Webb, Leslie Crawford, Peter Brace, Terry Richards, John Gallant, Eddie Powell, Peter Mariker
cinematography by Gilbert Taylor
music by Queen
score by Howard Blake
screenplay by Lorenzo Semple Jr.
adaptation by Michael Allin
based on the characters created by Alex Raymond
produced by Dino De Laurentiis
directed by Mike Hodges
1 hr 51 mins
Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, and Doctor Zarkoff are all transported to a distant planet where they must stop Ming the Merciless from destroying the Earth.
I had no nostalgia for the original Flash Gordon comic strips or the film serials. Why would I? I was ten years old in 1980. Even so, I knew that Flash Gordon was an important precursor to the thing that was most important to me in the whole world at that time, Star Wars, and because of that, I was more than willing to embrace it when the film was released.
It’s interesting how Star Wars is the end result of George Lucas being frustrated in his attempts to buy the rights to Flash Gordon, just like Indiana Jones was born out of the frustration of Steven Spielberg being told he couldn’t make a James Bond movie. When Buck Rogers became a massive hit, King Features Syndicate decided they had to compete, and they tried to lock down the rights to John Carter of Mars. That didn’t work, and they created Flash Gordon instead. The strip was an instant hit and they were in production on the Buster Crabbe serial for Universal Pictures only two years later. It was a huge hit, and there were two more Flash Gordon serials as well as a Buck Rogers serial, also starring Crabbe. The strip ran continuously until the early ‘90s with a series of writers and artists working on it, but I would argue it was in those early days that the strip was genuinely influential and important.
Dino De Laurentiis saw the potential in Flash Gordon and locked the rights down because he wanted to make something that would fit stylistically alongside his earlier productions, Barbarella and Danger: Diabolik. When he first pitched the film, he wanted Fellini to do it, and there was a short time when Fellini was actually interested. Fellini had actually been chasing the rights on his own, and he was a huge fan of the strip. I am fascinated by the idea of Fellini doing sci-fi spectacle, and I wish it had happened. That was right around the time George Lucas was trying to get involved, but De Laurentiis had no interest in him. He chased Nicolas Roeg down instead, and Roeg threw himself into it wholeheartedly. What would Nicolas Roeg’s film have looked like? It would have been out there. We know that much. Michael Allin co-wrote it with him. They spent a year working on their take, and Dino haaaaaaaaated it.
There’s a famous story that Dino reportedly told him no in the room, then pitched him the version he would make, which Roeg had no interest in making. It’s crazy that this was a year into the process, but it happens. Filmmakers like to go away and dig in and then come back with something that is fully thought-through, and that means an investment of time and love. A great recent example? Michelle McLaren on Wonder Woman. She was in there before Patty Jenkins, and I would have given anything to have been in the room on the day she made her presentation. When she pitched it, the reaction was evidently straight-up shock from the studio because she had the Amazons on wolves and saddles and killing dudes and it was described to me as the “70s van art version of WW.” She spent some serious time on that and had art created for it, and it just imploded. That’s what happened to Roeg on Flash. His Ming was supposedly a god with strange existential powers, closer to Ego The Living Planet than the Ming from the comics. Roeg’s movie, as I understand it, really would have been about sex. Straight up.
Here’s the thing about the way production stories get told, though. That story about Dino? The best-known version has it that Roeg worked in secrecy until that moment, and sprung it all on Dino at once. Bullshit. They had 30 production artists working. Allin did something like five drafts. They were turning things in, and Dino was working as any producer works. It’s just that he started falling out of love with it, and after spending almost a year involved, they had a meeting where they each laid out what was most important to them about the project, and realized they were in different places.
Lorenzo Semple Jr. is a huge piece of this puzzle. He came in as Roeg and Allin were leaving, and then Mike Hodges came on after that. Hodges was damaged goods in Hollywood. He got shitcanned from The Omen II, a high-profile gig. His English films were stripped down, lean, brutal. Hodges was not an obvious choice to take over. I really like Get Carter, and both Pulp and The Terminal Man are interesting genre exercises. None of those movies would suggest that he’s the right guy for a big primary-colors campy science-fiction romp, though, and based on the stories about the production, Dino never really gave him control of this big weird out of control rollercoaster ride. I love this movie, but it feels like a miracle that it is even coherent, much less this beloved theatrical blast of lunacy. I have no idea who decided to put Semple and Hodges together, but it was kind of inspired. Hodges walked into a madhouse. They were talking about building whole freeways in forests they would plant covered in cars that would be specially constructed. There were multiple languages being spoken. It was unreal, and people who worked on the film were flabbergasted by the way things did or didn’t work.
Can you imagine if Kurt Russell had played Flash Gordon instead of Snake Plissken and Rudy Russo? Could have happened. De Laurentiis was convinced Russell was the perfect guy for the part, and honestly, he was probably right. I love that idea, and I can picture young Russell absolutely killing it. He didn’t see a character on the page, though, and he passed. Thank god. A young Arnold Schwarzenegger was the next name seriously considered, and while they didn’t use him, clearly he made an impression on Dino who was already thinking about Conan. Dino wanted American, though, and what was more American than crappy daytime game shows, which is where they found Sam Jones?
Sam Jones had a tough time on the movie, and there’s a weird sad irony to the idea that it became his biggest, most iconic role. He spent a good deal of principal photography struggling, getting into fights off the set at night and battling with Hodges and De Laurentiis during the day. Eventually, things built to a head and he walked off, leaving De Laurentiis and Hodges to finish the film with a double. More importantly, they used Peter Marinker to dub a large majority of Jones’s performance, although he wasn’t credited anywhere on the film. It seems kind of insane to dub over most of the work by the lead in your movie, but when it’s this contentious, it’s more understandable.
The cast is a strange ensemble, but it works. Melody Anderson helps set the film’s tone with her performance, which is wildly broad and silly, and whatever works about her chemistry with Flash works because of her. Topol winks his way through his role, and it looks like the most fun he ever had in a movie. Timothy Dalton is pretty great as the guy who thinks he’s the hero of the movie, while Brian Blessed clearly got permission to go as big as possible and then went even bigger. While I love a lot of the cast’s work, there are two performances in particular that I think are next-level great. First, there’s Ornella Muti as Ming’s daughter, Princess Aura. Muti is outrageously sexy in the film and serves as the perfect polar opposite to Anderson’s cornfed pin-up appeal. Between the two of them, you get that balance between the super-horny and the super-corny that defines Flash Gordon as a movie.
Then there’s the stellar, iconic work by Max Von Sydow as Ming the Merciless. He’s wearing nearly 100 pounds of costume and was evidently in devastating pain the entire time he was onscreen, and he never once lets you see it. Instead, he gives this nuanced, hilarious performance, playing Ming as a brutal despot with a cruelty kink, working out his shit on the entire galaxy. He loves to pit everyone around him against one another at all times, and he genuinely doesn’t care who succeeds as long as he’s entertained.
I love the opening exchange between Ming and Klytus (Peter Wyngarde), and there was a short period of time when Scott Weinberg and I almost called our podcast Klytus, I’m Bored. There’s something hilarious about the entire destruction of the Earth taking place because someone on the other side of space just gets a wild hair up his ass one afternoon. Looking now at the Alex Raymond comic strip and the old Buster Crabbe serial, there’s a sincerity that is very old-fashioned, but there’s none of the winky winky camp that is such a signature part of this film. This was a very particular point on the continuum of comic book movies, and one of the only real successes anyone could point at was the TV version of Batman. I understand why people thought you had to make these feel big and broad and silly, and while I don’t think this movie was drawing directly on Superman: The Movie, I think both films were drawing from the same energy, the same inspirational starting points. At the time, I would not have called Superman: The Movie silly and would have been upset at the implication, but when you look at it now, that’s part of what makes it so charming, that willingness to let Otis write “Otisburg” on Lex Luthor’s revised map of California. I don’t think every film should feel like that, but I love when filmmakers can pull it off, and Hodges works a minor miracle of tone here.
Honestly, the not-so-secret sauce holding it all together is that score by Queen. I admit that when I put the 4K Blu-ray into the player and turn up the system, I’m doing it for the soundtrack as much as I’m doing it for any of the images onscreen. I can’t help but be curious about what it would have sounded like if De Laurentiis had hired Pink Floyd, his first choice, but even as a giant Floyd fan, I would not trade this score for anything. It is one of the most iconic marriages of movie and music of all time, and even when the film doesn’t seem to know how to land a sequence, that score keeps you convinced that you’re constantly watching the most amazing thing of all time. It is bombastic and absurd, and the idea that they’re constantly singing the name of the main character is, when you think about it, insane. But it works. It more than works. It is fantastic. Irresistible. Gilbert Taylor’s lush and vivid photography is the perfect match for what Queen’s doing, and some of my favorite dreams take place in the liquid cloud tank skies of this film. It may be the most perfect expression of the De Laurentiis sensibility of all time, and it makes a strong case for him as the defining auteur of his filmography as a producer.
Vanity, Richard Sargent, Mariette Lévesque, Don McLeod, Donny Burns
cinematography by Mark Irwin
music by Jean Musy
screenplay by Pierre Brousseau
produced by Pierre Brousseau
directed by Alfred Sole
1 hr 22 mins
A woman, trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship with an artist, daydreams about life on an island where she falls in love with a blue-eyed ape.
How do you take the director of Alice, Sweet Alice, the make-up effects artists behind The Thing and American Werewolf, and a butt-naked Vanity for 90% of the film and turn out something that manages to be both stunningly dull and morally reprehensible?
The film is presented as a fantasy, with a final sting that’s meant as an enigmatic tease but which lands with a dramatic thud. Denise Matthews become internationally famous as Vanity, but this early work sees her appearing under the name D.D. Winters. She is young and beautiful and more than willing to take her clothes off for pretty much the entire film, starting with an opening title sequence that is basically just a close-up tour of her naked body. As exploitation goes, I guess this is modestly successful because she is certainly exploited.
The poster promises that this is a sort of forbidden romance, a taboo-busting movie about a woman in love with a humanoid ape, but that’s not really the movie they made. The ape, which she calls Blue, is a suit created by Rick Baker and Rob Bottin, and applied by Steve Johnson, and it’s a pretty solid overall design. He doesn’t do much, though, mainly just lurking around and looking at Tanya, making Lobo (Richard Sargent) jealous. Lobo goes crazy and tries to capture Blue, then tries to make sure Tanya and Blue are kept apart. All of this goes on in this languid narrative slow motion on an island that isn’t real, and then in the last few minutes, the ape rapes Tanya with no warning.
Boom. She wakes up back in the real world, then checks her body and sees that she’s been scratched in the same place that Blue scratched her in her dream. And that’s it. That’s the big twist. Yikes. Sitting through the barely feature-length film, I felt genuinely bad. Even though it’s dull, it’s still skeevy, and you spend much of the running time wondering what Alfred Sole thought he was making. Mark Irwin shot this film somewhere between his work on The Brood and Scanners, and it’s well-photographed. It’s just that the intent behind what’s being photographed is almost wholly questionable. This may be the worst film I’ve reviewed so far in this project, and it barely feels fair calling it a film. It feels like Alfred Sole working out some private issues in a very ugly and expensive way.
December’s a big meal of a month to write about, so I’m not going to overdo it in each of these installments. This is the only free installment this month, so if you liked what you read, you know what you have to do now…
It’s a great deal, and your support will help keep the project going. We’re almost done with this first year. Just three more installments in December, including the next one that you’ll get on June 18th. I’m not going to tell you what’s in it. I’ll just tell you that it was a very busy second weekend of the month, and it yam what it yam.
See you in three days!