Gracie Allen Reporting!

The Pittsburgh Press (January 11, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

I hope that news story about the dogs in Illinois eating up all the soybean auto license plates will be a good lesson for the scientists.

When science starts something no one, including the scientists, knows where it is going to finish. I understand it was a determined alchemist who was trying to turn lead into gold when he accidentally discovered gunpowder. And now where are we?

And I think Thomas A. Edison would have thought twice about inventing the phonograph if he had realized he would be known as the “father of the jukebox.”

Personally, the more I hear about the soybean the more it frightens me. Why, it could become a vegetable Frankenstein. It seems you can make anything from soup to steamships with it. You can eat the soybean, live in it, wear it, and make jokes out of it.

Already science knows how to make mechanical men. Maybe someday we’ll have a soybean husband. But the day I’m looking forward to is when some scientist figures out how to make a scientist out of soybeans. It will serve him right.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 13, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Well, I think it was nice that Mr. Roosevelt managed to cut the war budget $18 billion below last year’s estimate, but I do wish he hadn’t announced it just as I was trying to get George to increase my household allowance by three dollars. George says if the President can cut expenses, I can.

Well, there’s a difference. Gen. MacArthur is a lot closer to Tokyo that he was last year, but I’m still as far away from getting a lamb chop from my butcher as I ever was. And the cost of chasing Jap admirals may be down this season, but eggs are still on the way up.

Goodness, I can certainly sympathize with Mr. Roosevelt if he has to go through the same things to get money out of Congress that I do to get it out of George. Besides, I need a little pin money so that I may look pretty for my husband, whereas I don’t think members of Congress care whether Mr. Roosevelt loves them or not.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 14, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

If you ask me, the most confused critters in this entire war are the hens. Only last year, the poor things wanted to lay eggs and the OPA said “hold it!” And there were lots of hens walking around with a dozen eggs and no place to put them.

Now it turns out there’s a shortage of eggs today, and nasty remarks are being passed in Washington circles about the laying capacity of the American hen. Goodness, you can’t retool a hen for higher production like it was an aircraft plant.

And hens can’t read, either, so it wouldn’t help to issue a “produce or fight!” order to them. Personally, I think if we have the proper kindness and patience, all the hens in the country will put their white meat to the wheel and will come through with flying colors.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 17, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

I told you our new Secretary of State, Edward Stettinius, has more than just a handsome face. Now I hear he has ordered all frills out of the window at the State Department and that shirt sleeves and suspenders and hard work are going to be very fashionable there this season.

Well, Benjamin Frankin, whose birthday is today, was one of our best diplomats and goodness knows, he went around looking like an advertisement for a rummage sale.

Also, I understand Mr. Stettinius plans to bring young men into the department who have qualifications other than graduating from our most aristocratic colleges. He figures, I guess, that post-war diplomats may play a little rough. If he is looking for bright, aggressive young men, may I ask if he’s tried to buy a used car lately? Or a real estate plot in Los Angeles?

The Pittsburgh Press (January 18, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

My goodness, the Roosevelts are certainly keeping Cupid busy these days! First it was Elliott and now it’s Fala. The difference is that Roosevelts won’t disclose the identity of Fala’s wife. She must be a Republican.

I’m sorry they’re making it a secret wedding. A formal White House ceremony would have been so picturesque!

I can just see Mr. and Mrs. Fala trotting down the east steps under an arch of crossed bones while the well-wishers shower hem with kibbled dog biscuit.

Then as a honeymoon, the newlyweds could have strolled romantically among the cherry trees that line the Potomac.

Yes, I’m sorry they’re having such a quiet wedding. I do hope no Congressman finds anything to criticize about it.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 19, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Hollywood, California –
Well, some thoughtless war correspondent over in the Philippines has just cabled the news that all the Japs are starting to move out of their Manila hotels and apartments in fear of the approaching American troops. I say “thoughtless” because when word gets around that apartments are vacant in Manila an army of homeless American civilians is liable to enter the city before MacArthur does.

Well, it just goes to show the Japs can’t take it. You wouldn’t find any American vacating his apartment just because some old army was at the front door. Have you tried to find an apartment lately? Our forefathers complained because they had to fight Sitting Bull to find a place to live. The present occupants of apartments may not be Indians but believe me Sitting Bull couldn’t sit any tighter than they are doing.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 22, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Well, most of the news in the papers is so good again, you could eat it with a spoon. But don’t forget the old saying about when you have dinner with the devil, be sure to use a long spoon.

Goodness, a lot of people are starting to guess again when the war will be over! I never heard of anybody with his house on fire pulling out a watch and saying: “Well, I guess the fire will be out by 11:27 p.m.”

I don’t think any of us should take good news too seriously until a “Los Angeles City Limits” sign is planted outside the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, and we see Hitler, Goering, Himmler and company standing out in the Wilhelmstrasse singing the German version of “Don’t Fence Me In” to Gen. Eisenhower.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 23, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Well, thank goodness, things seem to be getting back to normal at last.

Mr. Roosevelt is back in office as President. A volcano is erupting in Mexico, and Harold Ickes is getting ready to follow suit.

The Russians, whose favorite song is “Dark Eyes,” are back at their favorite pastime of giving black eyes to the German High Command.

That old established firm of Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill has taken young Mr. Stettinius into partnership. Now when the discussion gets too heated, they can cool off with a round of bridge.

Everyone seems to be more cheerful now that the sun is shining again. For a while the whole sky seemed to be overcast with flying Roosevelt dogs. And Congress had plenty to say about those dogs, just as I predicted. Yes, things are certainly normal again.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 24, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Medical statistics show that there are more than 20 million colds in the United States right this minute. Twenty million! That’s about 10 million colds for every available piece of sanitary issue.

It’s amazing that with all the progress medical science has made, the common cold still has them stumped. Sometimes I believe that grandma’s cures were the most effective after all – rub yourself with goose grease, hang a bag of asafetida around your neck, and a cold wouldn’t come near you. Neither would people.

Here in sunny California no one worries about a cold. They just slap you into an oxygen tent, load you with sulfa and penicillin and if you’re healthy the climate will pull you through.

The Pittsburgh Press (January 29, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

HOLLYWOOD, California – Goodness, it’s certainly amazing the way women will fall for a uniform!

Have you been reading about the little San Francisco streetcar conductor who outdid tommy Manville and got himself some 11 wives or so and no divorces?

Manville may not be a streetcar conductor but at least he gets a transfer now and then.

How times have changed! It used to be every woman dreamed of a handsome Lochinvar who came riding out of the West on a big white horse. Now they seem to prefer a San Francisco motorman who comes clanging down Market Street in his little yellow trolley.

I don’t know how many of these fellows are hoarding large pools of women, but at least we know one answer to why the streetcars are so crowded these days. It’s probably just the conductor taking his wives out for a ride.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 2, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Mark Twain once said “everyone talks about the weather, but no one ever does anything about it.” That’s not true. Here in glorious California, we always fib about it.

Fortunately, I’m glad to say we don’t have to tell any untruths about the month of January that just ended as it was one of the driest Januaries in Weather Bureau history here. Of course, several hundred people almost froze to death but they all lived on the shady side of the street.

It was so cold here that Betty Grable was getting gooseflesh instead of giving it. And there was a rumor that every morning, frost would form on the windows of the Los Angeles weatherman’s bulletproof car.

Ah! But it’s still the most wonderful climate in the world. You never have to get up in the middle of the night to fire your furnace. You’ve already been up all night taking care of the smudge pots.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 5, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Well, ladies, in case you haven’t already heard it, let me warn you – they say that men’s beards are about to sweep the country. And with the shortage of vacuum cleaners, it’s possible.

It seems the fad started with our submarine crews and soldiers stationed in northern climes and now it’s spreading to civilians. In fact, a salon for the exclusive care of beards has just been opened in New York. I hope it doesn’t catch on.

Somehow, I can’t picture Sinatra crooning “Amor, Amor” through a bushy beard, and you know what Crosby would do. He’d dye his red, blue, green and yellow and wear it for a shirt.

Why, if the men grow beards, they’d all look alike. It’ll be terrible. I won’t be able to tell George from Charles Boyer.

Wait a minute; that’s not so terrible.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 6, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

I’ve always heard that Molly Pitcher and those pioneer women were much braver and hardier that we women today. Don’t you believe it. True, they had to fight off Indians and wolves, and they took ordeals like having babies during Indian skirmishes right in stride.

Well, we may not have the Indians to fight, but the wolves today are much faster – they have cars. And just a week or so ago a woman in Los Angeles had a baby during a traffic jam.

For your information a Los Angeles traffic jam is much more bloodthirsty than any old Indian attack, and as for fighting ability, did you read about those women in Everett, Washington? They were attending a sale of sheer stockings and the store caught on fire. Well, those women stood off the firemen until every last pair of stockings had been sold.

Molly Pitcher… huh.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 7, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Well, the latest rumor has Hitler seeking refuge in a Bavarian monastery and looking very innocent about this nasty old war. Believe me, you’re going to see some a real academy-award acting all over Germany from now on.

Goering probably will appear as Little Eva in Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Heinrich Himmler, with a shawl over his head and a kindly twinkle in his eye, will do his best to look like Whistler’s Mother.

Then all the big Prussian generals will point after the Nazis and say to the Allies: “They went thettaway, sheriff.”

Believe me, factories in Germany are working overtime these days, but they aren’t producing planes and tanks. They’re all busy turning out halos for the Nazis to wear.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 8, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

I’ve always thought that the California Chamber of Commerce did a pretty good job of attracting travelers, but apparently our local boys can’t hold a candle to those Berlin ballyhooers.

Why, every single newspaper I pick up has a story datelined Stockholm, or Madrid, or Lisbon which starts like this: “Travelers arriving from Berlin report that – etc., etc.” Honestly, that is the most visited city I have ever seen.

You just watch your newspaper – you’ll see story after story credited to “travelers arriving from Berlin.” Now honestly, if they can attract tourists to that bombed, battered, overcrowded spot, then Californians should hang their heads.

But, as usual, those Germans have done too thorough a job. They’ve gone and made their capital so attractive that about eight million Russians have decided to move in for the season.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 9, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Today I’m going to dispense a bit of advice to all the nice young war brides our boys have been sending home from Australia, Scotland, Ireland, Egypt and all the other countries overseas where we have bases.

I’m afraid you girls will find America a bit different from your homeland. Those of you from Egypt will miss the camels, both for riding and smoking purposes.

You lassies from Scotland may be surprised to find that men don’t wear skirts here, but in our part of California neither do the women.

You girls from England and Australia will find that bobby sox aren’t worn by policemen but by members of a strange cult given to the practice of swooning and collecting autographs.

And you will certainly be at something of a loss in a domestic argument as you can’t threaten to go home to mother, particularly if she lives in Sydney, Australia. But your husband will be happy because it will mark one of the first times the mother-in-law can definitely be said to be down under.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 12, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

I’ve been doing a lot of serious thinking about those new statistics that show there are three and four-tenths women for every man in the country. I’m especially worried about that four-tenths woman because my husband George always did go for tiny girls.

The shortage of men is annoying but it does have its advantages. Nowadays when a woman is kissed, she gets a double thrill. Not only does she enjoy the kiss but also the fact that she’s beating the law of averages.

And another thing, think of the political power we girls could wield if we all voted together. We could pack the halls of Congress and pass whatever laws we thought nice, such as “A Mink Every Monday,” or a “New Frock Every Friday.” The government could save money, too, especially on its old-age pension laws. What woman would admit she is old enough to receive a pension?

The Pittsburgh Press (February 13, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Well, this is about the time of year that everyone in Hollywood starts to get excited about the nominations for the Motion Picture Academy Awards.

Speaking of awards, I’d like to hand out a few Oscars myself, for the best dialogue writing of the year: the American General who said “Nuts” at Bastogne; for the best sound effects: the roar of B-29s over Tokyo; for the best story of the year: MacArthur’s reconquest of the Philippines; for the best screamplay: Joseph Goebbels; for the best comedy writing: almost any communiqué from the Japanese Propaganda Office; for the best travelogue: “My Trip Through Poland,” by Gen. Zhukov.

Oh yes, and as a grand booby prize, for the worst supporting performance of the year – Benito Mussolini.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 14, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Well, happy valentine greetings to all and in particular here are a few special ones:

To my husband George: Don’t fence me in, come turn me loose to buy a hat likle Clare Boothe Luce.

To an American general: George Patton, pudding and pie hit the Nazis, and make them cry.

To my grocer: My love for you I cannot utter when you produce a pound of butter.

To the Senate committee: A loving cup of lots of solace to Jesse Jones and Henry Wallace.

To the Nazis: Russians are red, Hitler is blue; victory is sweet, but it’s not for you.

The Pittsburgh Press (February 15, 1945)

Gracie Allen Reporting

By Gracie Allen

Well, the flags are flying at half-mast over all Chamber of Commerce offices in California this week. California has landed the next United Nations Conference. If Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt are coming to San Francisco, I hope they have a little influence as rooms there are awfully hard to get.

Of course, we’re a little blue here in Los Angeles as we would have liked to have it, too, maybe it’s lucky, as the United Nations are going to have enough real estate problems without some local lot salesman trying to sell them view of Catalina Island on a clear day.

Then, too, officials are probably worried that the delegates to the conference might spend more time here trying to get Betty Grable’s autograph than they would each other’s.