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November 06, 1977 - Image 12

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-11-06
Note:
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Page 2-Sunday, November 6, 1977-The Michigan Daily

The Michigan Daily--Sunday,

RA'MRLINGS/ jay
L AST WEEKEND, for the third last four years didn't go the route of
time in four years, Mr. and Mrs., the Ty-D-Bowl. I shaved. I was
Levin (alias Mom and Dad) drove all prepared.
the way from Queens to spend And just after 9 p.m. Friday, the
Homecoming with their youngest buzzer rang. I swung open the door
offspring (alias me). They broke that and there stood my parents, momen-
news to me during one of their tarily stoic, with shopping bags in
weekly telephone calls, explaining tow, looking like an urban version of
that they aren't getting any younger, American Gothic.
you know, and before they know it, "Son!" my mother burst, dropping
I'll be graduated and move away and her B. Altman's shopping bag on the
forget all about them when they're floor and running up to smother me
down sunning themselves outside with affection, Jewish Mama-style.
their Miami Beach condominium. So "Murray," she said, turning to her
that justified the trip. Besides, Dad chauffeur and husband, my father,
likes a good game' of football and "He put on weight!"
Mom likes a good round of nagging "Yes, son, you did put on weight,"
and prying, and both could get a my father affirmed. So we all walked
weekend's worth of their respective into the living room, its carpet picked
diversions when visiting their son in clean of fuzzies and potato chip
Ann Arbor. crumbs, and Mom proceeded to dig
So the day before they came, I into her B. Altman's bag the same
sponged the kitchen cabinets with way Santa plunges into his Christmas
Pine Sol and took out the trash and sack.
scraped the spaghetti sauce from the "I didn't know what to get you, so I
range. I made my bed and got down got you a few things. Altman's had
on my hands and knees to pick up this sweater on sale," she said,
fuzzies and crushed potato chips exhibiting a spiffy blue cardigan,
from the rug. I scrubbed the tub and "and God knows you need it. You
brought out a new roll of Charmin could plotz from that rag you're
and put a new Ty-D-Bol in the toilet. wearing now, for goodness sake."
I folded my shirts and I stocked "But Mom, this is my favorite
my milk crate with economics text- sweater," I protested, affectionately
books, just to make it look like the fondling the holes which symbolize

levin

S

three years of devotion.
"And I got you new gloves, too.
Just in case it gets cold, you shouldn't,
freeze your hands off."
THOUGHT THAT was the end of
it until I realized that underneath
the gloves and sweater Mom had
packed the corner deli. Entenmann's
crumb cake, New York's finest. Lean
slices of corned beef and tongue,
undoubtedly from the Pastrami King
(Perhaps the finest deli this side of
Tel Aviv. Dinners and sandwich
platters $2.95 and up. 124-24 Queens
Blvd., Kew Gardens, N.Y. across St.
Fr. Courthouse. American Express
accepted.) Kosher dills. Kosher kish-
ka. Kosher this. Kosher that.
"Oh, Mom," I sighed, kiowing
damn well that I couldn't wait to
slobber over the corned beef, "you
don't have to do this every time you
come out here. Leave some corned
beef at the Pastrami King so they can
sell some to other mothers."
"Nonsense. It gives me pleasure to
feed you, and why should you deny
me that pleasure? (Jewish mothers
sure know how to strike the guilt..
nerve.) "Besides," she said, saunter-
ing over to the fridge and peeking
inside, "You call this food? Look,
Murray, come here and look what

your son isbeating. What is this?
Lemonade, beer ... milk you can't
drink? Bologna ... God only knows
if it's kosher. Peanut butter, frozen
pizza, uggh! And sausages! Don't
you. know what happened to Pearl
Steinberg's daughter, Melanie, when
she ate sausages at that farkochte
Italian restaurant in Mineola ..."
"No, Mom," I said, struggling to
maintain my composure. "I don't
care about Pearl Steinberg's daugh-
ter. For all I care, Pearl, Steinberg's
daughter can take her sausage
and..."
"Hush, you! Pearl Steinberg's
daughter is a lovely girl! Nice girls
like that from good Jewish homes
you don't find anymore! My only
regret.. ." and I knew the conversa-
tion was taking a turn for the worse,
"is that you didn't get to know her a
little better."I
"Mom, I have no interest whatso-
ever in Pearl Steinberg's daughter!
She's an obnoxious, spoiled J.A.P.
and she's fat.. .."
"Hold your tongue! She's a delight-
ful girl. And I got news for you,
mister: if you don't take her,
someone else will. She's very big up at
school .'
"Mom," I shouted, wondering
See RAMBLINGS, Page 8

Stephen Dixo.
Y~An in,
Stephen Dixon, author of Work and No I
widely published fiction writers today., For the
has been working very closely with Street Fictii
Ann Arbor publishing house. A native of New
Ann Arbor last week to give a reading in Resider
crowd. Prior to the reading, Dixon spoke with
following interview:
Q. Your fiction is fairly new to most people. How
and where did that begin?
A. I started writing as a political news reporter i
years ago, and that's where I began writing fiction.
during the day, then I'd'come home at night and wi
first short story three years later, received a fellows
soon publishing 75% of my work. In the last two yel
have been published, probably more than any writer.
.. ,Q. Almost all of your stories take place in the city
that evolve there. Is this your way of expressing your
A. I live in the city and obviously all my relati
write about average city dweller, about people I se
sympathetic to people, and therefore, I don't like tc
Daily Photo by ALAN BILINSKY - See DIXON, Page 8
'WORK'
An endless searchor satisf

sunday magazine cR STECPUZZLE

A. Star of Sherlock Jr. and
The Naviltor
B. Put forth: wielded

C. Habitats supplying factors necess
for existence of an organism
or species
0. Soporiferous
E. 1933 Hedy Lamar Czech nude film
F. Feline moles
G. Well-known movie gossip
columnist (Full name)
H. Appended; enlarged
.-interconnected systems
J. Director of Intolerance
K. Digression that contains an
exposition of some point
or topic
L. Sown or planted again
M. Blonde bombshell of the 1930's
N Star of The Flapper; suicide wife
of Jock Pickford
(Full Name)

1975 172 125 149 200
9 134 140 90 100 159 165
sary
- - -
4 22 137 158 170 31
65 72 79 97 104 114 190 214
1556607413899206
21 146 2 77 143 157 117
33 44 54 86 % 118 126 139 193 209 180
3 .14 58 95 110
105 131 144 153 179 206 184 1
37 49 194 73 112 211 121 130
20 10 2 52 68,85 122 88
34 24 53 59 80 106 133..156
38 176 123'168 199 115
- -
13 47 111 189 128 135 148 167 178 186 202

O. Famous sister; star of La Soheme _
(Full'name) 7 18 150
P. Moon vehicles, for short -_-
12 107 23
0. "_.Meant For Me," hit song from
Broadway Melody of 1926 - -.-
(2 words) 92 154 36
R. Known as the "King of Paramount."
he died in a padded cell - -_
(Full Name) 83 101 151
S. Name of Hearst ship where Thomas
Ince met his untimely _ - -
end 26 196 93:
T. -13..3 1934 Marion Davies/ - .-
Gary Cooper film 35 212 63
U. Departure from life -
5 64 195
V. Early motion picture company _. - -
162 197 91'
W. Early comedy figure whose career
was destroyed despite acquittal
of rape/murder charges 6 82 127
X. 1928 MGM smash hit starring John - - -
Gilbert (2 words) 28 50 166

163 48 57 132 141 183 191 203
120
175 181 108 215
182 188 198 46 62 69 113 169
213 45 201
71 78 89 142 147
i81 161 29 109
173 102 116 207 192
40 66 205 187 174
11 67 76 84 94 164

BY
STEPHEN J.
POZSGA I
Copyright 1977
INSTRUCTIONS
Guess the words defined at the
left and write them in over
their numbered dashes. Then,
transfer each letter to the cor-
responding numbered square
in the grid above. The letters
printed in the upper-right-hand
corners of the squares indi-
cate from what clue-word a
particular square's letter
comes from. The grid, when
filled in, should read as a
quotation from a published
work. The darkened stluares
are the spaces between words.
Some words may carry over
to the next line. Meanwhile,
the first letter of each guessed
word at the left, reading down,
forms an acrostic, giving the
author's name and the title of
the work from which the quote
is extracted. As words and
phrases begin to form in the
grid, you can work back and
forth from clues to grid until
the puzzle is complete.
Answer to Last Week's
Puzzle
"History proved to be
on Miller's side. Twentieth
century life was leaving the
world of individual effort,
liquor and tragic wounds
for the big-city garbage can
of bruises, migraines, static,
mood chemicals, amnesia
absurd relations and cancer.
Norman Mailer
Genius and Lust

By Constance Ennis
WORK
By Stephen Dixon
Street Fiction Press, Inc.
Ann Arbor, 189 p. $5.95
WE LIVE IN AN AGE when there is perhaps no social dilemma which
permeates our lives as deeply as the American job scene. Work is not
only a constant harrassment; it is, in an even deeper sense, our source
of survival. As jobs become less permanent, our physical and emotional stability
continues to grow increasingly temporary. While 10% of the labor force is
unemployed, the labor statisticians claim that another 5-8% of the popula-
tion has given up looking for work at all. Jbb insecurity proves to be a threat to all
aspects of our lives. And not only our income, but our personal growth as well, is
dependent upon an industry that is often dissatisfactory, unreliable, and de-
humanizing. What was once a lifetime endeavor is now temporary and transient.
At the age of forty, with over twenty years spent in the cities on the odd-job
scene, Stephen Dixon, author of Work, gives us much more than statistics. Unlike
most accounts of the current labor market, Work deals with employment from the
inside. It is a direct confrontation with the relationships that evolve in a work
situation, and while always focusing on the absurd side of life, the accounts remain
completely realistic. Dixon is not only sensitive toward people, but entirely sym-
pathetic; the result is fiction which is humorous and enjoyable, as well as being a
vital reflection of our culture today.
Work takes us through, across, behind, and inside the job grind through a cen-
tral character, Claude. He is an unsuccessful but determined actor who's life in New
York City revolves around the rigorous routine of job-hunting:
"I am looking for work., I'm an actor so I take all kinds of jobs when I can't find
work on stage or in television, movies, or commercials to live on.
"The job I depended on most over the last five years was substitute teacher
three days a week for the city's school system. The other two weekdays I used for
making rounds and auditions and taking dance and voice lessons and an occasional
acting workshop to keep the skill at ready-go level, if I hadn't had an acting job or
even a commercial for a long time.,,
From the outset, we are immediately immersed in the paradoxical struggle
between an honest man -who is searching for work in a competitive, dishonest
world. The more honest.Claude is, the more difficult his task becomes. He is caught
between union and boss, manager and worker, insensitive interviewers, unmet ap-
pointments, and a long list of manipulative, inhumane employment exercises. After
being referred as a friend of a friend of a friend to someone who knows someone else
in a hiring position, Claude is prodded, and eventually refuses to sell himself as a
personality he is not. "I'in sorry," says Claude, "but to me even a little bit of lying
diminishes the man somewhat."
After workin every job from department store organ demonstrator to artist's
'model to waiter, VIaude tak41atBur bes t e kk

Drew restaurants in New York City. Like most jobs,
fronts him with an endless series of complex relatioi
Dixon plays with these relationships constantly, an
pression, in a spectrum that spans the dishwasher in
street with a gun. Dixon's characters illustrate the
ferences that keep people apart, the incredible mag
and consequences that performing a job, while at
being, entails. "Hold on sir," says Claude, "I can ui
I'm a human being too, so you don't have to speak to
reply: "You're a waiter first, then a human being. D
the hell out of here?" The situations are endlessly su
into a much larger expression of a world we are inevi
T THE SAME TIME Work encompasses a
ships, it also cleverly picks and weaves
meaningless, yet indispensable aspects of c
beginning of Claude's on-the-job training: "We'll tet
two days, for there's nothing to it. First off, third of
whatever, half shot of lemon mix, teaspoon of sugar
once you learn it you think you don't but never forget
"Also, from now on I want all of you to read the
off. News and Post, those are the two required ones
events day-to-day. Who kidnapped who lately and wl
We are immediately immersed
struggle between an honest man m
work in a competitive, dishonest wi
est Claude is, the more difficult t)
bombing, air crash and multiple murder took place
divorces, romances and marriages and reconcilia
movies and cars and awards and trials ... And no re
politics when it gets complex, serious books, really a
the customer originates it."
Dixon's style rises up out of the sidestreets, bars
His sentences are long, winding and never ending,
times, is surprisingly abrupt. His characters are all
and what they say can be either poetic or startingl)
important ingredient-humor.
,.,onstnce Ennis is a senior

Y. Ketch and yawl
Z. He played Judge Hardy in the
Hardy Boys series (Full Name)
AA. Eccentric: unconventional

152 204 210 43 129 8
17 55 103 119 136 177 41 51 171 185
39145 160 25 87 30 42

$B. Scored; achieved -Y-a-.-
124155 261 98 70 16

f l:},p ; ±;.;1; t ^_ pr i i .ilari °a Fi c a "i z'.:l }.

a

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