Bill Moeller Commentary: Springing Forward With a Lewis County Curmudgeon


It’s curmudgeon time again, folks.

Contained here are a few things that have caught my attention in the last six months or so. You may add to the list if you want, but that entails being assigned to membership in The Lodge of the Universal Malcontents of Lewis County.

Have you noticed that some of the pictures of automobiles on TV ads these days are crunched down just a bit so that the car will appear more streamlined and therefore more enticing? I put that into the category of false advertising, don’t you? I guess there are a few vice presidents of automobile companies who — over their three-martini lunch breaks — figured nobody would notice.

It reminds me of the matter of rearranging aircraft seating that I exposed last year. Well, I wonder what they’re drinking so I can avoid it when my bottle of 2017 Bombay Gin finally expires in the back of my refrigerator.

I prefer a small amount of cheap rum with a little splash of sweet vermouth just before I go to bed. Just one, which is a sure sign of advancing years.

Another sign is my reaction to the speed at which young people talk today. Did we rattle away like that when we were young? Probably not, but our own speed probably irritated the generation that existed before us. On the other hand, people — young and old — get a funny look on their faces whenever I try to convince them that I just don’t listen at the speed I used to.

Having gone through almost a complete life span, I’m firmly convinced that the brain — mine and yours — slows down when enough years have been compiled. I haven’t any backup to that belief, but I’ll stick with it just the same.

I’m pleased when I watch a few new TV shows and I realize that “canned laughter” — as it’s called — is being eliminated in a couple of new shows.

I think that the producers of such programs actually came to the conclusion some of us had already arrived at, namely with the prohibition of large gatherings, there is nobody in the studio audience anymore.

I’ll tell you that the few shows I’ve seen that have taken that road are more of a pleasure than, say, a show such as Saturday Night Live. I briefly saw that show recently where the laughter sounded awkward — but was still present — in what I imagine was an empty studio.

Before I go any farther, I’d planned to make a comment about springtime last week before the column about Ogden Nash kind of took over the computer keyboard.

I disagree with the calendars which tried to convince us that the first day of spring was March 20. To this observer, it was actually three days later on March 23.

I hold this statement to be true because that was the first day this year that I stepped outside during daylight hours and heard the annual chorus of frogs filling the air. I can only believe that their concert came from the gravel pit not too many blocks to the north from my listening post. And, on a related theme, I am forced to confess that — even at this late date — I have yet to spot the first skunk cabbage of the year.

I’m sure that Russ Mohney — whose book, “A Simple Song,” is in the process of completing my winter’s reading schedule — would agree.

Finally, you’ve probably already qualified to receive your shots for that nasty virus if you remember laughing your head off at Dr. John McCord’s hilarious antics in a play I once directed at the Evergreen Playhouse called “Bullshot Crummand” based on the very dated plots in a series of mystery novels from the 1930s featuring detective Bulldog Drummond. I feel another column receiving space here eventually depicting the early days of Evergreen Playhouse.


Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at