When I went to the Piedmont Triad Bloggers meet-up last month, I was thrilled when a couple of people immediately picked up on where I got the title for my blog.
You see, I was looking for something a little punny that started with the word "slow," because of my fascination with the Slow Food movement and the idea that I was planning to write about my garden and my life changes as a result of embracing this philosophy. And, I just happen to be a big Three Stooges fan.
All I could remember was a routine in one of the Three Stooges films in which Moe says "Niagara Falls! Slooowly I turned. Step by step, inch by inch..." Then, predictably, something violent happened.
Well, my life is a bit complicated, and I can't tell you just how APPROPRIATE this title has been! I really picked it because my life is improving step by step, and I have confidence in the idea that we can all change the world inch by inch, one choice at a time. It was good to have a descriptive title that had a bit of subversive humor in it, though, because there have been quite a few times since I began this blog when I would have just loved to poke somebody in the eyeballs. Whenever I get a bit too serious about my "mission" or depressed about politics, I get a little reminder of slapping Curly upside the head, and I smile.
I did a little research on Google, and learned that this is an old vaudeville standard. The Stooges built one of their shorts around it in the movie "Gents Without Cents" in 1944. The same year, Abbott and Costello performed the bit in "Lost in a Harem." Bud and Lou used the trigger word "Poko Moko" instead of "Niagara Falls." I understand that Lucy Ricardo also did a version of the routine in Ricky's club where she was attacked by a man when she said "Martha," but there are differing accounts of this. I'll let a Lucy expert correct me in the comments.
Here's a link to the Abbott and Costello script. And the Niagara Falls Reporter wrote a good article on the overall history of the routine.
Googling "Slowly She Turned" turns up all kinds of torrid romance, however.
Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.