Peter Sellers as Mandrake:
"Now look, Colonel... Bat Guano, if that really is your name, may I tell you that I have a very, very good idea, I think, I hope, I pray, what the recall code is. It's some sort of recurrent theme he kept repeating. It's a variation on Peace On Earth or Purity Of Essence. E. O. P.
O. P. E.
It's one of those!"
To anyone familiar with Stanley Kubrick's classic "Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb", the solution to the cryptic recall code to send to the squadron of 34 B-52's to stop them from dropping their payload (some fourteen hundred megatons worth) on Russia, is a variation on the initials P. O. E., which only General Jack D. Ripper, played by the excellent Sterling Hayden, has.
General Ripper is a completely paranoidal, psycho-sexual, psychotic lunatic, and the nutty, obsessed General who has found a scapegoat for his own sexual inadequacies in the Russkies, Commies are unaffected by the plot to pollute the water of the world because they drink vodka:
Mandrake: Yes, Jack?
Ripper: Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?
Mandrake: Well, I can't say I have.Ripper: Vodka, that's what they drink, isn't it? Never water?
Mandrake: Well, I-I believe that's what they drink, Jack, yes.
Ripper: On no account will a Commie ever drink water, and not without good reason.
Mandrake: Oh, eh, yes. I, uhm, can't quite see what you're getting at, Jack.
Ripper: Water, that's what I'm getting at, water. Mandrake, water is the source of all life. Seven-tenths of this earth's surface is water. Why, do you realize that seventy percent of you is water?
Mandrake: Uh, uh, Good Lord!
Ripper: And as human beings, you and I need fresh, pure water to replenish our precious bodily fluids.
Mandrake: Yes. (he begins to chuckle nervously)
Ripper: Are you beginning to understand?
Mandrake: Yes. (more laughter)
Ripper: Mandrake. Mandrake, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure-grain alcohol?
Mandrake: Well, it did occur to me, Jack, yes.
Ripper: Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation. Fluoridation of water?
Mandrake: Uh? Yes, I-I have heard of that, Jack, yes. Yes.
Ripper: Well, do you know what it is?
Mandrake: No, no I don't know what it is, no.
Ripper: Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?
Whether fluoridation is a sinister plot or just another, ahem, "cost effective" way to dispose of deadly toxic materials, well the jury's still out, and the reason I started this entry with the Dr. Strangelove stuff- "strange love stuff", sounds posi+ively pornographic -was because of the reference to Poe, as in Edgar Allen, not fluoridation.
I had the opportunity in 1992 to go day tripping and journey down South to Baltimore's "Inner Harbor" to see what prospects (if any) were for me to obtain a General Vendor permit to become an "Araber" an itinerant street vendor of produce, or goods, typically using a decorated wagon drawn by a pony. The term derives from the 19th-century term "street arab" and has no connection with Arabs. The remaining arabbers in Baltimore are all African-American.
Except of course for me, that's if I could get the license.
Now you may ask, why and what the Hell am I doing in Baltimore, Maryland, trying to get a license, why not N.Y.C., Newark, etc.?
Well N.Y.C. at the time had a moratorium with no new licenses issued until further notice, and I did already have ones for Hartford, Connecticut, Newark, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA.
I would take advantage of travelling to places most people would only go on perhaps a vacation while I would routinely go weekly or bi-weekly and make some money to pay for the trips as well as briefly enjoying the local sights and scenes, cuisine and ambience- on a budget.
X-Mas 1992 was fast approaching and the window for sales as every merchandiser knows is only from November to December, as musc as 50% of the years sales are crammed into the Holiday Season, and in many small businesses it's do or die, feast or famile, depending on the outcome.
So looking for new ground selling women's accessories, mainly costume jewelry, it was imperative for me as all the styles were finite and my regular clientele in Newark and Philadelphia already had most of them.
Every day all over the world working women wear earrings when going to their jobs as part of their outfit, and during the all too brief holiday season these same ladies purchase extra pairs to replace the inevitabe lost or damaged ones, not just for themselves, but as gifts for their daughters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, lovers (if lesbian), etc.
Men also buy these as well since these are affordable "stoffing stuckers" at only $5.00 a pair.
(as transvestites and transsexuals love 'em too as nippple and cock rings)
Why only $5.00 a pair?
Because experience has shown that most costumers- customers who wear costumes -will pay that amount as it is perceived to be the fair market value of this item, and falls within the consumer product price threshold, whatever that means.