“The Great Gatsby” movie: Pretty good but too long. The most pretentious salesperson ever. And a deer jumps through a bus window

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“The Great Gatsby” was one of my favorite books I ever read as a kid, and a few years ago I re-read it to see if it still held up in my mind as one of the best books I had the pleasure of reading.
Happily, it did. The terrific writing of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the drama with Nick Carroway and the Buchanans and the rich, mysterious fellow named Gatsby were just as fantastic as they were when I was a teenage.

I was worried that the new movie starring Leo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire wouldn’t live up to the book. And it doesn’t, exactly. But that’s a really high bar to set.

I saw the flick Saturday night and liked it quite a bit. Three stars, I would say. DiCaprio, who’s good in everything, was a bright, vibrant Gatsby, full of color and charm. Visually the movie was mesmerizing, the colors jumping off the screen and smacking you in the face, and I thought the supporting characters were well drawn and for the most part, pretty faithful to the book.

But the movie was at least a half-hour too long, and if you hadn’t read the book there’d be plenty in there that would leave you scratching your head (How Gatsby truthfully got all his millions is pretty muddled in the flick.)

Still, I had a good time and left the theater smiling that I got my money’s worth. Which is all you can ask for.

**So you may have seen this over the weekend; it’s a pretty remarkable piece of video. A white-tailed deer jumped through the roof of a moving bus in Johnstown, PA and was completely freaked out.

What’s amazing, and what made me at first think this was a fake, was that the deer didn’t seem to get hurt.

I dunno, I would think going through a windshield would’ve left some blood, but apparently not.

My favorite detail about this whole bizarre incident is this sentence: “The driver then stopped the bus and let the deer get out.”

Well sure, if he pushed the button asking for a stop, the driver had to stop.
Best bus-driver video since this scene (“You kept making the stops?”)

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**Finally, a quick story about a really, really obnoxious salesperson. I don’t go clothes shopping much, so when I do, I like to buy lots of stuff so I don’t have to go shopping again for a while.
Last weekend my almost-wife and I realized we needed some shorts, bathing suits and shirts for our impending honeymoon, so off to one of the biggest malls on Long Island we went.
After hitting a few other stores, I wandered over to J. Crew, a store I love for many reasons, but mostly because they are just about the only brand of pants that fit me right. I’d say 80 percent of my pants I wear regularly are from J. Crew, even though they’re more expensive than they ought to be.
So anyway, I head into J. Crew and gather a few shorts in my arms and then go looking for pants. I need a nice pair of black pants, and I explain to the 20-something sales dude name Justin that I know it’s mid-May and everything, but do you have any black pants I could see?
He gives me a brief look of disdain and replies, “Yeah, we don’t really carry black pants much at all. See, J. Crew’s a real preppy store, and black is so not a preppy color, ya know?”
He paused, waiting perhaps for a nod of agreement from me. When I just stared at him blankly, he continued and made me hate him instantly.
“It’s like, black just isn’t something I’d wear when I went to Martha’s Vineyard, ya know? I just wouldn’t ever wear black like that.”
I stood there wondering if this was indeed the most pretentious salesperson I’d ever met, or if Justin was merely in the Top 10.
Believe it or not I DID find some black pants in the store, as apparently Justin hadn’t had time to burn them all or convince the higher-ups at the company how un-cool they were.
Ah, Justin. I really hope you and your pretentious friends have a wonderful time wearing white pants at the Vineyard this summer.
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