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THE NEW PALS CLUB WEB-LOG

THE NEW PALS CLUB WEB-LOG
improbable-looking limestone karsts in Guilin

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Classical Gas

The Disney corporation, ever sensitive to the winds of change, and (since at least the 1950s) ever willing to recut their old products up for present-day sensibilities, determined to get out on the cutting edge of kid appeal by folding flatulence humor into their classic releases. Leaked memo from 2008 reveals some of the specific ideas explored.

SNOW WHITE: 
While cleaning the kitchen, SW can't get the dust out of a large jug, so she has animal pals blow dust out. Bunny butt puff is insufficient, so she has a deer help out. Later gags showing reactions of dwarfs to jug: When Doc first opens it, small cloud comes out; Dopey interacts with the cloud, which reacts with alternate coyness and forwardness; Grumpy scowls it back into the jug, but it comes back, etc.

PINOCCHIO: 
Gags added to "Give a Little Whistle" number by simply substituting flatus sound effects for original whistles. Amusing echo business.

FANTASIA: 
Again, simply adding sound effect to existing scenes: "Dance of the Hours" when hippo lands on gator, "Toccata & Fugue" when big trapezoidal solid walks across screen, and in "sound track" sequence when it makes the big drippy noise. Ideas for adding bottom burps to "Night on Bald Mountain" and "Ave Maria" are nixed by humorless suits in front office.

BAMBI: 
Thumper's poem about eating greens is changed to: "Eating greens is good for your heart / There's vitamins in every part! / (But they always make me hafta fart! …I made up that last part myself.)"

LADY AND THE TRAMP: 
Jock taunts Trusty several times by expelling gas near him. Trusty, having lost his sense of smell, is oblivious until the last time, when he tells the abashed scottie "I ain't DEAF, ya know!"

SLEEPING BEAUTY: 
Joke is in "outtake" added at the end, when Prince Phillip bends to kiss his sleeping lady. Gas noise is heard. She giggles, and they both break up.

CINDERELLA: 
Faithful horse is given distinctive sound effect for flatulation, followed each time by horse laugh, and when he's turned into coachman, he still makes the noise and the laugh.

PETER PAN: 
It's no longer enough to shake Tinkerbell for fairy dust. Now you have to squeeze her. Wendy gets relationship off on wrong foor by mis-hearing Peter and calling her "Stink" the first time.

THE LITTLE MERMAID: 
Additional verse and many animated bubbles for "Under the Sea" number. 

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: 
Lumiere occasionally shoots a blue jet from the old afterburner and says "Pardon!" with Gallic charm and no sign of embarrassment.
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Repurposed from a 2008 post at rec.arts.animation.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Child's Garden of Robots [part 1]

from A CHILD’S GARDEN OF ROBOTS

An Optimal Morning

A robot with a blinking head
Stood beside my trundle bed
Took my vital signs and said
“Normal tolerances read.”


The Little Friend

I have a metal playmate Papa made when I took ill
He fetches things I cannot reach, and brings my morning pill
He tells me what’s on telly, and he wheels me on the green,
And he helps me keep my dining room and playroom good and clean.

When he stands right beside me, he comes just up to my chin,
But he can touch the ceiling when he squeezes himself thin
And he can lift my bed up just by spreading out quite squat
And he can make me go to bed, if I want to or not!

One morning, I woke up before the clock was telling five
And saw him there beside me, very still, his eyes alive.
He tracked each movement that I made, and hummed and clicked inside,
I asked if all was well. "Oh yes," my metal friend replied.

My metal playmate’s my best friend. He's with me every day
He's stood by me, although my other friends have gone away.
My life would be so dull without the truest friend I've seen.
And Papa says he’ll make a girl for me when I’m thirteen!


The Traffic Copper

The robot on the street tells all the autos where to go
And tickets robot cars who drive too quickly or too slow.
It’s terribly observant, and its eyes don’t miss a thing;
Its moves are like a dance so quick it makes you want to sing.

When I start walking 'cross the street, it holds its hand up high
To signal all the robot cars to part and let me by
But if I ask “How do you do?” it never answers back
But gives a friendly little wave to keep me on my track.

I sometimes stand and watch it from the bus stop’s comfy bench.
It’s never tired or angry, and it has no thirst to quench.
It does its job all day without complaining of sore feet.
Why can’t we all be like the shiny robot on the street?
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Friday, March 23, 2018

Josie and Fred and Make Believe



This is an edited rehash of a stream of tweets I made around 2013 or so, revisited today on the occasion of so much interest in Fred McFeely Rogers, one of the greatest Americans I know of. I'm watching him right now, streaming on Twitch TV. I was an early mocker of Rogers, based on a slight amount of attention I paid his show around 9th or 10th grade. Later, my friends Randy and Torger communicated their admiration for him to me, and for the last year I lived in Colorado I made it a habit to watch the show with them every day after I got off work.

Fred Rogers was a multitalented saint. In '59, he & Josie Carey made  an LP based on their Pittsburgh TV show. For a while, this was available at Way Out Junk, whose proprietor had obtained a copy of my rip of the soundtrack LP, by way of a tape I made in 1983 from the girlfriend (at the time) of my cousin. Thanks, Kathy B., for assuming I would be interested in this and arranging a time for me to dub it. The LP had no cover, but Way Out Junk came up with photos of front and back. The tracks are now available (but for how long?) on YouTube, and I will link to the first part and trust that readers have the tech savvy to find the rest. (Hint: They're in the sidebar. If they aren't there, they may be gone completely, or they may turn up for a search.) 




I made up many of the track titles, which appear to have been sufficiently descriptive or obvious that they were used by Way Out Junk and by the helper (in the Rogers sense of the word) who kindly put them all up at YouTube. As you can see, we now know the real titles, and some of my guesses don't comport with reality. If it happens that you need to search for the tracks some day, consider using both sets. This is the page of results I get searching for the album name and the first track and youtube. Forgive me for not embedding each and every track here, but things change on the net, and by putting all the eggs in this basket, I might find it easier to change this post if it should pass that it gets pulled from there.

Before the tracks begin, let's look at a short video from 1969, in which Rogers testified before a Senate subcommittee which was hastening to do Nixon's bidding in de-funding public television's $20M budget. Speaking to Senator John Pastore (D-RI), Rogers communicates quietly and earnestly, and in a few short minutes, he saves NET (or whatever the network was being called at that moment in time) from the axe, and probably gives an angel its wings. It gets me every time.

Now for my guided tour through the tracks on this album of wonders. I can't count how many times I've listened to the whole thing. When I listened to tapes, this tape was always in the ones I carried to and from work and such. It was one of the first things I ripped to mp3, and has had a place on every music player. It's on my phone now. I am in the tank for it, and in my opinion it is a work of genius—genius in the service of a good heart. (Did you watch the Senate video?) In editing the tracks, I tried to start each one with the song portion. There may be instances where I just couldn't separate a song from its intro, but that was the plan, anyway.


“It’s Morning” has a familiar tune to those of us who’ve watched his Neighborhood. Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians back it. All the songs were written by Rogers, an underrated composer. His outstanding musical collaborator, Johnny Costa, played the music on the show with his trio live every time, including opening and closing themes. His album of songs from the show is well worth seeking out. Costa based the very familiar lead-in to the opening theme on a passage from a Beethoven sonata, according to an interview that is also on YouTube. This album comes from before the Costa years. "It's Morning," sung by Josie, sets up a mood of joyous anticipation that is so very Rogers.

Rogers, incidentally, is not heard as himself on this LP, but every voice that isn't Josie being Josie is the sound of Rogers, and he wrote every word and note, so he's not exactly unheard.

“I Like You” shows Rogers’s acceptance of his listeners and viewers. He really does like us just as we are.

“What Would You Like” and “There’s a Smile” are upbeat booster songs. What would you like to do today? We are offered a number of possible options, all cheerful. There's a smile in your pocket, and it would like to be on your face. 

Ah, but we’re approaching the castle of King Friday XIII! He's a very busy man; a very busy man!

“I’m Busy Being Busy,” sings the self-harried King of Calendar Land, who drops a bombshell: Tomorrow is… missing! Daniel Striped 

“Where Did You Go, Tomorrow?” echoes the central concern of the adventure, with canonic polyphony. Josie and Daniel are hurriedly deputized as royal detectives to find Tomorrow! (She is to be National Peanut Butter Cookie Day, so you can see how very important it is.)

“I’m Looking for a Friend” is so vivacious it makes us almost fear Josie’s quest for friendship, so similar to our own search.

"It Makes Handsome” is a charming calm-down from Grand-Pere, in English with French syntax. Daniel stays with him as Josie goes on.

“Find a Star” slows Josie (and the story) down some, but she's still finding some nice clear notes to bring out. Make a wish!

X the Owl enters, baffling Josie with harmless, friendly sarcasm. “Fine Feathered Friend” is a tribute to friendship. We meet X's right-wing neighbor (literally: she lives on his right, and he has wings, not hands), Henrietta Pussy Cat, aka Hen. ("What should I call her? Henry?")

Josie cues her own song, “Smile,” anticipating a lesser song in “Annie.” Say, these songs would make a swell Broadway show. Just take the whole album to the stage. I'd watch it.

“Meow, Mister Rogers” is an explanation by Henrietta. Oh, yes, Mr. Rogers has a telephone! A very short epic, worthy of multiple listenings.

X honors Josie in “You’re Special”: “You’re an ice cream cone / You’re a lollipop…” As a bonus, X recites his poem about Y: “Y, by X.” We will hear this tune again.

"Where Did You Go?” is a different song which reprises Josie's growing frustration at the lack of clear progress so far. But who's this, hanging by her toes from the ceiling?

It’s Lady Elaine Fairchild, who drops down for “I’m Special,”  a socko (self-) parody of X’s song. This is the best number on the album—a real showstopper:

"I'm a grapefruit crate
 I'm a rusty can
 I'm a piece of wax; I'm a box of tacks; I'm a glass with cracks
 I'm a frying pan...
 I'm special!

"I'm a leaky pipe
 I'm a garlic bud
 I'm a soggy match; I'm a burlap patch; I'm an itchy scratch
 I'm a sea of mud...
 I'm special!

"I heel and toe it when I walk,
 My nose grows, oh so charming
 My friends all say I'm like a clock
 Because I'm so alarming

"I'm a case of mumps
 I'm a crooked boot
 I'm a pile of rags; I'm a chair that sags; I'm a paper bag
 I'm a broken tooth, darling!
 I-I-I-I'm special!"

The microtonal singing is worthy of Darlene Edwards. It may be one of the most awesome puppet solos recorded, and I've heard a few.

Daniel leaves Grand-Pere in a sweet, bilingual “Nocturne Duet” that reminds us that Mister Rogers, like Sparky, was a man of faith.

Fait accompli, Josie & Daniel are back “At Friday’s Palace” with respectful four-toothed smiles to receive an exciting reward. 

And there we are. Adventure over, we look forward, not back: “Finale: Tomorrow!” anticipates more delights to come, and comes closer to the familiar version of the song that ended each day's visit to "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." I'm hearing him sing it right now as he puts on his outside shoes and exits another show at Twitch. And here comes Costa's daily improvisation to put a ribbon on it.

I love this record. Once again thanks to Kathy B.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The New Ozymandias

.
I met a farer from a far-off strand
Who said, “Two giant feet of bronze, gone green,
In water sit, bedecked with broken chains
That show their maker well did understand
That bonds of former slavery, still seen,
Convey defeated servitude’s remains.

Near by, a broken torch lies, dead and dark
In grimy water’s tide that, fitful, passes,
And on the base, these words my eyes did mark:
‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses
Yearning to breathe free—’ Here ends the poem,
The rest is swallowed in the rising water.
Along the shore, starved, feral humans roam
Whose brandished weapons offer naught but slaughter.”



KW 20180310
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Sunday, February 18, 2018

New Phases and Unrelated Matters

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1 New Phase

I'm into a new phase. Where I had been reading at the gym during the hour I'm on the Futile Cycle and the Trudgemaster, I am now listening at the gym. The new storage card on my audio player is so darn big, I loaded hundreds of hours of radio shows (Gunsmoke, Marlowe, Johnny Dollar, Shep, ISIRTA, Hitchhiker, Lux, Lampoon, and anything by Welles seem to make up a lot of it). 

I've enjoyed my recent reading of screenplays, Doc Savage books, and whatever else I could find, but I haven't enjoyed the days when the scale showed me gaining weight back that I'd been keeping off since they sawed out my gallbladder, and I noticed after a couple of days of audio narrative that I seem to be able to keep the heart rate higher and cover more phony miles when I'm not taking info in through my eyeballs.


It took a couple of days to get used to not reading. It helps to not turn my tablet on at all, obviously, but then I start looking at the screens at the front of the gym. Closing my eyes works for that, at least often enough to break the spell. Even with that, I ended up comprehending the last half of some drama about agents (FBI, I guess) getting the last laugh on a mad bomber who killed six redshirts under our hero's command in the backstory. I almost looked at the guide to see what series it was when I got home, but then realized it just didn't matter and never would, so I did other things.
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2 An Unrelated Matter

In an unrelated matter, I got some help with ignoring the voices in my head from a surprising source: the voices. Most of the time, they're no problem—they're entertaining, and a rich source of crazy ideas A, B12, and D3. When I'm playing or practicing piano, though, it gets to be a bit much. As I explained once, it's a little bit like practicing while Robin Williams stands just off to the side, quietly but audibly free associating the whole time. 

I've long been aware that something has been acting as a wall that I regularly would hit while trying to execute some piece of music. I'd be doing fine, then bammo! Mr. Fuckup strikes again! Well. One day I was playing along, and the second internal track was doing its usual distracting thing, and a voice on that track actually said something very much like, "You know, these voices are probably part of what's keeping you from playing better." BINGO.

Having a brain that thinks it can multitask isn't always a bad thing. A while back, I made a big improvement in my playing one day when I noticed that I was mentally sending a directive to one of my hands along the lines of: "Okay, if Right Hand doesn't peg the melody in the part, just outline it in the thumb line." In other words, I was designating imagined entities for specific tasks. So I created an invisible henchman (I should give him a name—he's earned it) and tasked him with always knowing where I should be looking in the score. Looey (there you go) stepped up to his job admirably, and my playing was noticeably better.

So I had this resource, and I needed to figure out how to make it work for me, given that even if I pay close attention to a measure and get it just right, my subsequent thoughts (Got that just right! Oh, if only X was listening right now! It would go a little… like… THIS:…) would take me right off the rails again. 

I ended up with something like the bit in my 1970s Transcendental Meditation™ training where the instructor (Jeff Peckham) said, "From time to time, your mind will want to wander. This is okay. Just gently put it back on the track and resume your meditation." (I dropped Jeff's name up there because I saw a news story a mere handful of years ago about how he was being a gentle thorn in the side of some local movers and shakers, and that made me proud to have briefly been his pupil.) What I decided to do was to put a question foremost in my mind that I would return to again and again, like the protagonist in MEMENTO reading his tattoos in the mirror. That question is "What do I have to be doing RIGHT NOW?" It became my new mantra for practicing. Heck, maybe I should use it for everything, along with my philsophy of life, "Left foot. Right foot. If not there yet, repeat." 

So I use it, and I think it helps that I've been playing with the Irish group now for about three years, and that I'm in my fourth semester of music theory and aural skills. The answer to that question is always a combination of words ("Next comes a chord with A at the bottom and a C# under your middle finger"), and the look of the notes, and the feel under my fingers of how the correct combination will be. It's a description that should include every note to be played (though if one hand knows its part well enough, I can expend most of the energy on the weak one). 

So far, so good. It's like I'd been around 65% of where I felt I should be, and have now gotten up to 80%–85%. When I'm playing something I know intimately, even if I haven't done justice to it in execution, the figure feels even higher.

Thanks, voice. That was useful! I haven't shut you out of my head, because you've been useful to me more than twice, and you're entertaining when I'm mowing the lawn or washing dishes. Also, I probably can't. You're still there when I'm sequentially depressing those keys, but you're not the boss of me, and you're way less distracting. So far, so good.
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

THE PURPLE FRUIT OF OMAR KHAYYAM

Remorse! for I, within the dead of Night,
Have eaten Plums you’d saved for your Delight.
 And Lo! away I slink, and leave this note:
So cold were they, so sweet, so right.

Pacing the Kitchen as you slept in Bed
I paused: a Voice within my Stomach said
 “Refresh, my hungry one, and fill me up
Before Life’s Ways leave you too long unfed!”

And, as my Pangs grew, the Voice within me cried,
And yea, it shouted— “Ope thy Fridge Door wide!
 You know which Shelf holds Dish of Tupperware,
And what Delights your tongue shall meet inside.”

Come, fill ye up, then in thy Rapture sweet
A post-Meal Garment of Repentance meet:
 The Owl of Opportunity has but inches
To go—and Lo! rises already to its Feet.

There with a Dish of Plums beside the Stove,
A Glass of Beer, a Magazine—ah, Love!
 By your quiet snoring in the other Room—
The Kitchen was as Heaven far above.

O! my Beloved, fill your Heart with Tears
TO-DAY of my Regrets and guilty Fears—
 TO-MORROW?— Why, To-morrow may not come
And I’d regret those Plums not eaten all my Years.

Ah, drain the Dish:—it foots not to repeat
The Provenance of this or that cool Treat:
 Unpicked LAST WEEK, gone off TO-MORROW,
Why sweat it, if TO-DAY be sweet!

In Vision, by the Westinghouse struck dumb,
Beheld I—in the Dusk a Shape did come,
 Bearing a dish in Angel’s Hands; and
He urged me sample it; and ’twas—a Plum!

The Munching Jawbone chews; and having chawed,
Gulps down: nor all thy Remorse, nor God,
 Shall lure it back to undo half a Bite,
Nor all my Tears wash back a morsel of the wad.

Ah, Light of open’d Door who shine’st e’er bright,
Past Jugs of Milk, they meet my Sight:
 How oft hereafter, rising shall you look

Through this same Fridge for Plums and find—no Bite!
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Friday, December 01, 2017

Some plum verses

2013
EDDIE POE STOLE YOUR PLUMS

Last night, as I wandered weary
Bored of teevee chatting cheery,
Eyelids gummy, optics bleary,
Drearily with rigid stare,
Forth my mind went glumly, dumbly,
To a small container, plumbly
Full of purple fruit, so comely
Lurking in the Frigidaire

Dare I eat them? Would it matter?
Could they make my figure fatter?
Eat I must, or be a hatter,
Madder than a marching hare!
Grabbed I they, did fairly huff them,
Cooked them I did not, nor duff them
Merely did I seek to stuff them,
Stuff them in my face, just there.

Only then my conscience teased me,
Though the stolen bounty pleased me,
Pangs of guilt straight after seized me,
Feazed me in the frigid air.
Thus, this note of explanation
Begging for some expiation
Of my sin of annexation
Of those sweet, cold fruits, so fair.

By this note, I full do blame me.
Stoop ye not to mock or shame me
Promise you will not defame me
For this midnight treat so rare!
For I suffered in that second,
Racked with purple pash unreckoned,
At those plums that lewdly beckoned,
Wishing I could grow a pear!

2011:
i
Your bag of fruit is but a pile of pits,
My feast of joy is but a pang of guilt
My still small voice is in a plague of fits,
The sweet blue juice pooled on the plate is spilt.
My snack is past, and to the trash heap comes,
And now you know that I have et your plums.
ii
Waste not your time, nor hunt in vain pursuit
Peruse, instead, this humble witness mute,
That I, regardless of your own intents
Did raid the fridge for sweet and purple fruit.
O Thou, who sought, both cleverly and wise,
To save your plums and hide them from my eyes—
Know that I—I did consume them all—
And taste them still, as I apologize.
iii
Little boy hides in the pantry alone.
Fingers and mouth of a purple-y tone.
Hush! Hush! Silence your gums!
Christopher Robin is eating your plums.
iv
Blah blah blah plums, blah blah fridge,
Blah blah blah blah sweet blah cold.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

His Dinosaurs

(Unaware that someone had gone with something similar, though different enough that I don't feel guilty now, I wrote this filk song to the tune of a radio hit by the Irish Rovers, and written by the great Shel Silverstein. It's been going through my mind, so I'm posting it here, where it will be safe from the view of all humanity. I tinkered with the words in small ways just now, because there's this thing called "scansion.")

Six thousand years back, as King James portrays,
The Lord of all created earth, in just seven days.
Made stars and trees and moons and men and animals galore,
And the biggest of them all was the dinosaur.

[chorus]
  There was mean Allosaurus, and small Dilong,
  The eagle-eyed Raptor and Pteranadon,
  The horny head Triceratops; a whole lot more:
  Almost 2k genera of dinosaur.

The Lord said to Noah, "I have to confess,
I'm going to wipe the world out, since it's turned out such a mess.
But if you'll make a boat before it rains for days two score,
You can save Man and Animal and Dinosaur."

[chorus]

The Lord told Noah to build a barge
To hold a lot of animals, some small and some large,
Said He, bring lots of kibble and build in some big doors
Tall enough and wide enough for dinosaurs...

[chorus]

So Noah cornered all the world's gopherwood
And studied God's plans and started building real good:
A boat three hundred cubits long of sturdy four-by-fours
Praying he could fit all those dinosaurs.

[chorus]

Then Noah looked and looked, and found the oddest thing
The dinosaurs were marching off in time with "Rite of Spring"
The rain commenced to falling with a mighty roar
And he just couldn't wait for no dinosaur.

[last chorus]
  So now there's mammals aplenty, and reptiles too
  Amphibians and fish and even me and you
  But if you don't include the birds that over us do soar
  You're never ever gonna see a dinosaur.


ttto: The Unicorn (Shel Silverstein)
new lyrics (c) 2007 by me

Thursday, June 08, 2017

For Thursday, June 8, 2017

Gotta type fast before this is old news and forgotten by the fickle public. 

Something detected,
Something infected,
Something for everyone:
A Comey day, tonight!

Fakers and ringers,
One with short fingers,
Something for everyone:
A Comey day, tonight!

Nothing with class, nothing with sense,
Bring down the braggart, dirty and dense!

Old situations,
New explanations
Words lose all meaning with the Right!
Tragedy tomorrow,
Comey Day tonight!

Frenzied and bitter
Bleating on Twitter,
Soaked in emoluments:
A Comey day, tonight!

Bleakly depressing
Info suppressing,
Something for columnists
A Comey day tonight!

Nothing makes sense
Nothing feels fair
Short-sighted lies pour out of his hair.
Facts leaked from trials!
Fact-free denials!
Agents from Russia in plain sight!

Bullies and whiners!
Intel and diners!
Oilmen and huskies!
Wingers and Russkies!
Sleeping dogs!
Alt-right frogs!
Cupidity!
Turgidity!
Newsbreaks!
Fakes!
Cries!
Lies!
Spinners!
Bad winners!
Mopers!
Gropers!

A COMEY DAY…
TONIGHT!

[by Kip Williams, after Stephen Sondheim]
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Toon River Anthology, part 17

CASPER

You look like someone who could use a friend!
But never mind. If there’s one thing I’ve learned,
It’s not to go down that road. The only times
I thought it was going to work, I still got the shaft.
They went to Heaven. Yeah, Heaven! And I’m still here.
How long has it been? A century? A millennium?
So pardon me if I'm just a little bit down today.
It’ll pass. It always passes. I’ll be cheerful again. 
I’ll be a real Pollyanna, and I’ll have adventures.
As to that stone and what it implies, all I can say is:
I WISH!


HOT STUFF

Born a devil, lived a devil, died a devil.
No, not one of those tall devils, or the fat ones—
Just a little one. Cute, harmless. An imp, really.
Sometimes unexpectedly good, never evil.
Mild pranks, hijinks, tomfoolery, a hot foot or two.
I used to think I’d grow up and get big,
I’d be a regular Mephistopheles!
FEAR ME!
But no.
If anything, my belly got rounder,
And my head got cuter. Just don’t pat it, Bub,
You’ll burn your hand! (That’s devil humor.)
There was my life: It was OK. I hung with my friends,
Swiped an apple or two.
Not too good, not too bad:
Born To Raise Heck.
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Friday, January 27, 2017

another filk

From a few years back…

YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE

You only live once, that’s how it goes.
One life and you’re gone, most evidence shows.

You live for your years, you turn your wheel
Some say you get more years; that’s not the deal 

Your life is the least the world puts on your plate
Be fast to the feast, or be late for your fate!

One life all your own, and you’re the price.
One more would be nice, but you don’t live twice

(ttto: You Only Live Twice, DUH)


[slightly revised, 2017]
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a swinging holiday

There's a blackboard in one of my classrooms—actually both, since I take both classes in the same room on different days—with some writing on it about snowmen and whatnot. Down near the bottom, in mixed-case cursive, it says "Jungle Bells," like someone was doing the "i" and made two peaks instead of one. In a situation like that, I could (1) just ignore it, (2), fix it, or (3) do something else. I chose (3). Today, as the rest of the class was filing in, I was scribbling away:

JUNGLE BELLS

Swinging through the trees
With a holly jolly ape.
Music's on the breeze.
Native children gape!
Lights on green fronds cling
And shimmer in the heat.
Let's dance and sing till tree frogs ring
With a yuletide jungle beat! Oh—

Jungle Bells, Jungle Bells,
Through rain forests green!
Carols hum on a wooden drum
From hands that can't be seen, oh—
Jungle Bells, Jungle Bells,
Tinkle through the swamp:
Festive chimes that hang from vines
For a sultry Christmas romp!

So have a happy. The time is out of joint anyway.
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Monday, January 23, 2017

way down upon Toon River

Freckles Friendly

A lot of people, when they talk about their life,
Say, “Sure, I did what I did. I had no choice.”
I’m not judging them, but that describes me:
The poor friend of the richest kid on earth!
What else can you do when one family
Owns everything in the county, in the state,
And the pampered heir decides that he
Has to cultivate the poorest of the poor
To show that he has the common touch?
You going to put your foot down, show your pride
And listen to your kid brother cough all night
In the leaky room you share with your folks?
So you listen to his golly-gee platitudes
And you thank him for everything you get,
No matter how trivial or useless it is.
And try your damnedest to save a little,
Shopping at the company store: lotsa luck!
And one day, maybe, you survive it all
And you escape him and go to another state,
Start your own business, and tell folks
That your last name has always been Welloff.
.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

we need a new label

I've written a reel. Wrote it on January 11, 2017, and on the 16th, I took it to my regular Monday Irish jam group, who liked it and played it. Now I must write more, and now I have a new label for such items.

Look Away (by me)

It's copyrighted. I was going to go with Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA), but Wikipedia seemed to say that these could lead to a legal thicket, which seems like a lot to put on a poor little reel.
.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Toon River Anthology Excavates Comic Books (continued)

DOROTHY “DOT” POLKA

Names are destiny. You have to choose carefully.
Dad and Mom loved to dance. They were the Polkas!
They thought I’d be a dancer too, but I wasn’t like them.
My aunts thought it would be cute to dress me in dots,
Like my name! I was surrounded by dots as a baby.
I couldn’t get over them. They became my life.
Dots here, Dots there. It drove Dad to distraction,
And Mom eventually left us, crying. She still loved us,
But she couldn't cope with it, and she fled the state.
I hardly noticed when she left. She wasn’t a dot!
Partnerless, Dad soldiered on. When I was fifteen, I had an accident,
Fell off my polka-dot bike, hit my head. I was okay. 
But when I realized that I could see spots, beautiful spots, 
Any time, anywhere, just by hitting myself on the head,
My doom was sealed.
.