EP1946s: Nightbeat: Girl in the Park

Frank Lovejoy

Randy tries to unravel the secrets of a fearful young woman in a park whose boyfriend is about to be executed.

Special Rebroadcast Date: April 23, 1950

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  1 comment for “EP1946s: Nightbeat: Girl in the Park”

  1. timbabwe
    July 26, 2016 at 6:19 am

    More literary analysis on Nightbeat’s writers

    That last phrase (before “Copy Boy!) struck me as odd:
    “You never know what goes on inside the best-combed heads”.

    It took me a minute to backtrack this phrase to its source.
    There was an expression from a book or movie popular in the forties:
    “You never know what goes on inside the best-kept homes,”
    relating to suburban shock at news of a divorce or domestic
    scandal inside a seemingly idyllic picket-fence existence.

    Randy turns this cliche on its head. The outwardly-normal villain
    has secret dreams and desires that turn into murderous actions when thwarted.

    This is an early example of a SnowClone[1],
    like the T-shirts with the crown that say
    “Keep Calm and …,” removing “Carry On” and
    filling in the blank with
    whatever annoying hobby you are promoting,
    like knitting tea cozies or breeding pit-bulls.

    Randy[2] maintains the rhythmic meter of the original
    (best-kept homes :: best-combed heads) and
    keeps the consonant arrangement (B-K-H).

    The Long-O vowel sound in ‘homes’ and ‘combed’
    swap places with the Schwa in ‘kept’ and ‘heads’.

    All-in-all, a very neat turn of phrase.

    [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowclone
    Snowclone is a neologism for a type of cliché and phrasal template originally defined as “a multi-use, customizable, instantly recognizable, time-worn, quoted or misquoted phrase or sentence that can be used in an entirely open array of different variants”

    [2]: I say “Randy” instead of the author, knowing full-well that
    Groucho SAID he shot an elephant in his pajamas,
    but S.J. Perelman WROTE it for him.

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