Archive for July, 2012

RAINY DAY POST

Just had another severe thunderstorm here in Escambia County, Florida this afternoon.  We have rain every other day, and a severe thunderstorm once a week.  As aforementioned, Florida is not the Sunshine State–that label is one of the biggest real-estate scams ever pulled.  In fact, it is literally the Thunderstorm State–Florida receives more lightning strikes per year than any other U.S. state. 

I hate rain.  As a child, I loved it.  Because every day, after school, my dad would force me to do meaningless yard work–as if we lived on a farm, rather than a suburban plot.  And when it was raining, I didn’t have to be his farmhand–I could actually play, like the other kids.  Yet now that I am no longer under his roof, this isn’t an issue.  So rain (and it rains volumes here on the upper Gulf Coast) is a nuisance–as much as lightning is a threat. 

But rain can be nice in some situations.  Remember that Prince song, Raspberry Beret?  I was reminded of that today–and I was also reminded of another story in the now-out-of-print book, 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories.  This one was written by Ralph Milne Farley:

THE MAN WHO COULD TURN BACK THE CLOCK

(This is a parable, with two alternate endings.  The reader can pick the ending which suits him.)

Once upon a time there was a man who had the power (whenever he found that he had made a mistake) to turn back the clock, and do the event over again in the light of experience.  Now it so befell that this man once took shelter from the rain in a barn, with a very beautiful and seductive young lady.

     And, when he told his wife about it afterwards, and she asked him rather suspiciously how he had behaved with the young lady, he replied in a surprised and hurt tone: “Why, perfectly properly, of course!  It never occurred to me to do anything else.”

     Whereupon his wife sniffed indignantly, and declared, “It was no credit to you to resist a temptation which never tempted you.”

     Then the man saw that he had made a tactictal mistake; so he turned the clock back a few minutes and tried the conversation over again.

     This time, when his wife expressed suspicion, he admitted: “It was all that I could do to keep my fingers off of her; but my deep and loyal love for you gave me strength to resist the temptation.”

     Whereupon, instead of feeling complimented at this evidence of devotion, the wife became exceedingly angry.  “No credit to you!” she snapped.  “You oughtn’t even to have wanted to touch her.  It is just as immoral to want a woman, as to get her.”

[First Ending]

     So the man spent a long time thinking.  There must be some way to please a woman! 

     Finally the solution dawned on him, and he turned back the clock for a third try.  Once more his wife asked him how he had behaved with the beautiful young lady.

     This time, with hurt dignity, he replied, “What!  That frump!  Please give me credit for some taste.”

     Whereupon his wife, who was nowhere near as attractive as the beautiful young lady, flung her arms around his neck, and murmured, “You darling!”

     All of which proves that you can please a woman, if you use a little tact.

[Second Ending]

     So the man’s miraculous power of turning back the clock did him no good.  Except, of course, to teach him that there’s no pleasing a woman, no matter what you do!

     Which he ought to have known anyway.

     Realizing which, he turned the clock back again, a little further this time, to the episode of the beautiful and seductive young lady, in the barn, in the rain.

FROM THE BOQ: LOVE & SEX #21

Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

Would you rather have everyone envy you because they admire and like your partner, who is actually not such a great catch; or have everyone shake their heads and think you could have done better, yet know yourself that your partner is actually wonderful?

I would rather have everyone shake their heads and think I could have done better, yet know myself that she is actually wonderful.

JUDE IN DISGUISE?

Another elusive actress is Jude Mussetter.  She can be seen in the Cheers episode, And God Created Woodman.  But there are almost no photos of her online. 

Remember A Day in the Life of… series of books?  There was A Day in the Life of America, A Day in the Life of the Soviet Union, A Day in the Life of Spain, and several others.  These were picture books, with accompanying text–most unique because all the photographs were taken on location within one 24-hour period.  I only have one of these in my library: A Day in the Life of Hollywood (1992), which I happened to find on sale at a bookstore.  Much is revealed in this book.  Not only do you see the renowned actors, but also would-be actors attempting to get their big break.  And what’s truly sobering is that the majority of people who go to Hollywood seeking fame find only rejection.  This is probably the main reason there are so many prostitutes in Hollywood.  Many would-be actors have even committed suicide in Tinseltown.  And we don’t think about this majority of dreamers, do we?  Truly sobering indeed.

So to get even one appearance in a Hollywood film or television show could be considered quite an achievement.  As for me, the only role I’d like to play in Hollywood is that of the screenwriter.

Anyway, the following photograph is labeled as being that of Jude Mussetter–though she looks quite different from the character she plays in the aforementioned Cheers episode (a tiny picture of which follows the first):

DRUNKEN POST #10

So many comments on my posts tonight!  I really appreciate your readership and your comments!  If it weren’t for your readership and comments, I wouldn’t keep a blog at all!

Oooh, I’ve got a headache–well, at least I know I’m sufficiently drunk!  I was thinking earlier about DRUNKEN POST #9–how it began with “Another one?  Yes, another one!” In writing that, I was referring to another drunken post–not the shooting in Colorado, though I can certainly understand how it could be interpreted that way (i.e. the frequency of spree killings in the United States, in the last two decades). 

The Singletons ate at a seafood place tonight.  Good food, but slow service.  Still, I knew this–that’s why I served myself as much as possible!  It’s called Hall’s.  Over twenty years ago, I worked at the Mobile location of Hall’s Seafood (now closed down).  I worked as a host.  Boring job, but I got a free meal with every shift, so that was nice!  And there was a ravishingly beautiful woman there who shared the same surname with me–though I never had any luck with her.  There was also a young woman there I’d once gone out with.  She was beautiful too (can’t remember her name, but we’d met in church)–yet now she was steadily dating someone else, and was pregnant.  At that time, I didn’t have a car.  So I had to ride my bicycle to and from work every day.  The funniest thing I remember is this.  The restaurant had a decent manager, somewhat coarse, but decent–and he was constantly hollering at the cooks for eating the food.  He had to, because they did eat (especially shrimp) as they cooked.  Still, it was hilarious!

This evening, I listened to the aforementioned CD, The Kings and Queen of Qawwali, as I drank my Irish coffee.  I especially enjoyed the selection performed by Aziz Mian–man that beats any heavy metal in the world!  He has a different style than Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan–when he chants, all but one of the instruments stop playing (with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, all the instruments (and background vocals) continue while he sings).  I plan to get an entire album of Aziz’s music soon.  Of course I cannot understand the words–except “Allah” and “Muhammad”–but I prefer it this way.  I find lyrics distracting, when I can understand them (when they’re in English).  I consider the English Language the most beautiful in the world–but I can never truly enjoy it, because I am distracted by meaning.  How often I’ve wished I could temporarily shift my understanding to another language in order to truly appreciate the beauty of English!  Yet I cannot.  Nevertheless, my favorite dialects of English are standard British (as heard on the BBC), and standard Australian (as heard on Radio Australia)–especially when spoken by a woman!  Of course the Southern Dialect of the U.S. is notoriously beautiful (“…And the Southern girls, with the way they talk–they knock me out when I’m down there…”).  But having grown up with the Southern Dialect spoken all around me, it doesn’t charm me.  In fact, I find the Eastern Dialect (especially that of New York) the most charming of the U.S. dialects–especially that of the Radio City Rockettes!  It all goes to show one is usually most drawn to what is foreign (or repelled by it).  There are alot of xenophobes (people who are afraid of foreign things, and especially foreign people)  all over the world.  But I’m definitely the opposite, a xenophile (one who is drawn to foreign things, and especially foreign people).  In fact, all my life I’ve especially gotten along well with people from other regions of the U.S., as well as other countries.  One of my therapists once remarked that I should find a foreign girl to date–because my slightly eccentric personality would not show (she’d think all Americans behaved the way I did).  And he was definitely right!  In fact, the largest concentration of beautiful women, to me, is in Britain and Ireland!  I’d probably be a hit there–if I could ever afford a plane ticket and a passport!

I’m worded-out!  I’m in the mood for Teri Garr, so I’ll end this drunken post with her.

A BRIEF CONDEMNATION OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

This controversy over Chick-fil-A’s stance on “gay rights” is getting ridiculous.

Political correctness is ethically incorrect, because it attempts to control our thinking, not to mention our speech and writing.

I’ve met some closed-minded conservatives–but the most closed-minded people I’ve ever met were liberals.  Open-mindedness is not synonymous with liberalism.  Open-mindedness is considering all points of view–conservative, liberal, and otherwise–before coming to a conclusion as to what one believes.

And what about tolerance?

Refusal to accept opinions other than your own is the worst kind of intolerance.  Everyone has the right to his or her own opinions, no matter how contrary to public opinion they are.  For the court of public opinion is more unjust than any legal court could possibly be.  Because in the court of public opinion, one is guilty until proven innocent.  And guilt is determined solely on one’s own feelings and beliefs.

Tolerance works both all ways!

SUBMITTED FOR YOUR APPROVAL

I didn’t see The Twilight Zone as a kid, but once or twice–all episodes first aired before I was born.  The first Twilight Zone series (there have been three, so far) I saw regularly aired in the 1980’s.  It was called The New Twilight Zone.  Then of course I watched the third series, simply entitled The Twilight Zone again, at the turn of this century.

I didn’t see the original series until after I moved to this house, in 1998, and got cable TV.  Now I see an episode almost every day.  The original series is best, in my opinion, though the next two do have their original moments.  And I’ve seen some gorgeous, voluptuous women on these episodes (Suzanne Lloyd continuously appears among my search terms). 

One of the most mesmerizing is Mary La Roche.  She appears in two episodes actually, but the one in which she most shines is entitled A World of His Own.  It’s a whimsical tale of a playwright who can make his characters come to life.  And of course I can relate to that very well.  I’ve always had a highly active imagination.  As a kid, I had no imaginary friends–but I did live in imaginary worlds.

You can watch Part 1 of The Twilight Zone episode, A World of His Own, here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVHfJ3Kb61A

And Part 2 here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pfL8mdNtw8&NR=1&feature=endscreen

And though pictures of Mary La Roche are not as elusive as those of Barbara English, they are few.  Here are four, submitted for your approval.

FROM THE BOQ: LOVE & SEX #20

Another question from Gregory Stock’s book is this:

Have you ever felt jealous of the warmth and attention a partner has given to a pet or child?  If so, do you think he or she knew how you were feeling?

This is an excellent question–I think most of us can relate to it.  I knew a guy named Joe who was excessively fond of his cat–to the point that she mattered more to him than any human.  Joe had a gorgeous girlfriend named Mary who eventually left him.  And one of the reasons, as he admitted, was that he gave far more attention to his cat than to Mary.  And he didn’t care.  But some people are like that–they have such difficulty relating to other humans that they prefer the company of their pets.

As for me, the situation has often been the opposite–I’d have such a good time playing with a woman’s dog, that she’d get a little jealous! 

But I’ve never been jealous of a woman’s pet or her child.  There was one woman named Julie who had a very large cat that kept getting between us though.  This woman was very insecure with men.  Every time we went out, she’d spend the whole time complaining about her boss.  She showed no interest in my problems, or my life for that matter.  And when we’d get to her house, after a date, I’d sit next to her on her couch and try to kiss her.  But her cat always got between us.  Still, I wasn’t annoyed at the cat, but at Julie.  After all, it was Julie who let the cat interfere–obviously on purpose.

After several dates, and a few hundred dollars spent on Julie, I finally invited her to my parents’ house.  My parents had a porch swing in their backyard.  It was attached to a wooden support structure which was covered with a wisteria vine.  It was heavenly, especially at that time of year, when the wisteria was in bloom–the fragrance unmatched even by a woman’s perfume.  This was after dark, and I finally had a chance to kiss Julie without her guard-cat.  Yet when I tried, she tightened her lips, then said, “No.”  When I asked her why, she went into a long digression about how her last boyfriend had broken her heart, and she wasn’t ready for a relationship with anyone.

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard the same bullshit from how many women–almost always after spending a hell of alot of money on them. 

I’m digressing here, myself.  But what the hell is women’s problem?  A woman gets her heart broken one time, and spends the rest of her life avoiding a relationship–while a man gets his heart broken over and over again, and still pursues a relationship.  I’ve heard it said that women mourn, while men replace.  And I think there’s a great deal of truth to that. 

Anyway, no–I’ve never felt jealous of the warmth and attention a woman has given to a pet or child.  In fact, the company of a woman’s pet or child has often made my time with her even more enjoyable.

THIS JUST IN

I was planning to answer another question from Gregory Stock’s book today, when I was pleasantly interrupted by this email, forwarded to me by one of my Singletons friends.  I would say I wish could come up with something like this, but I don’t think anyone could make this up.  And it would be downright selfish of me not to share it with you:

Men are from Mars…

Here’s a prime example of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.  It is offered by an English professor from the University of Colorado as an actual class assignment:

A Creative Writing professor told his class one day: “Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story.  The process is simple.  Each person will pair off with the person sitting next to his or her desk.

“As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story.  You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me.  The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending a copy to me.  The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.

“Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent.  There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail.  The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached.”

The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:

Rebecca (PINK)

Bill (BLUE)

THE STORY

(first paragraph by Rebecca)

At first, Laurie couldn’t decide which kind of tea she wanted.  The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile.  But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl.  His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again.  So chamomile was out of the question.

(second paragraph by Bill)

Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago.  “A.S. Harris to Geostation 17,” he said into his transgalactic communicator.  “Polar orbit established.  No sign of resistance so far…”  But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship’s cargo bay.  The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.

(Rebecca)

He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him.  Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4.  “Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel,” Laurie read in her newspaper one morning.  The news simultaneously excited her and bored her.  She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her.  “Why must one lose one’s innocence to become a woman?” she pondered wistfully.

(Bill)

Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live.  Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu’udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles.  The dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the Congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race.  Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu’udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet.  With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan.  The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded.  The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized even poor, stupid Laurie.

(Rebecca)

This is absurd.  I refuse to continue this mockery of literature.  My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.

(Bill)

Yeah?  Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium.  “Oh, shall I have chamomile tea?  Or shall I have some other kind of FUCKING TEA???  Oh no, what am I to do?  I’m such an air headed bimbo.  I guess I’ve read too many Danielle Steele novels!”

(Rebecca)

Asshole.

(Bill)

Bitch!

(Rebecca)

FUCK YOU – YOU NEANDERTHAL!

(Bill)

In your dreams, Ho.  Go drink some tea.

(TEACHER)

A+ – I really liked this one.

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF DARKNESS

One of my favorite books is 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories.  Now out-of-print, this book contains some of the most fascinating–and often darkly amusing–stories I’ve ever read.  It was edited by Isaac Asimov, but every story is by a different writer.

Ever feel like the whole world revolves around you, in the most negative way?  Like the whole world is closing in on you, and you will soon be crushed by it?  I certainly have. 

And sometimes reading a good story is cathartic for such a feeling.  The following story is in the aforementioned book.  It was written by Laurence M. Janifer and Donald E. Westlake.

THE QUESTION

The room was very quiet, which disturbed Rossi.  But, then, anything would have disturbed Rossi: he was trying to correct term papers for an English I course, and he had reached the state where the entire room had begun to grate on his nerves.  Soon, he knew, he would have to get up and go out for a walk.  It was the middle of the afternoon, and if he went for a walk he would meet every housewife in the development.  That, too, would be irritating: but all his life, he had begun to realize, was a choice between irritations.  He sighed, picked up the next sheet and focused his eyes.

     The comma is used to mark off pieces of a sentence which . . .

     The telephone rang.

     . . . pieces of a sentence which aren’t independent so that . . .

     It rang again.

     “God damn,” Rossi said, to nobody in particular, and went across the room to answer it, breathing heavily.  As he reached the receiver he had won the battle for control, and his “hello” was almost polite.

     “Hello, there,” a voice on the other end said, a bright and cheery voice.  “What kind of weather is it outside?”

     There was a brief silence.

     Rossi said: “What?”

     “I asked you,” the voice said, just as cheerfully, “what kind of weather it was outside.”

     Control snapped.  “Who the hell are you?” Rossi said.  “The Weather Bureau?  Of all the damn fool–”

     “Mr. Rossi,” the voice cut in, quite without rancor, “I’m quite serious.  Please believe me.”

     “Now, look–”

     “Please, Mr. Rossi,” the voice said.  “Relax.”

     Even as you and I, Rossi was sometimes prey to the impression that the universe was aimed, like a pistol, straight at his head.  Everything, everything, was part of a conspiracy directed at Rossi, and everybody was out to do him harm.

     “Relax?” he asked the receiver.  “Now, look, whoever you are.  I’m working here.  I’m trying to get some work done.  I don’t need anybody calling up to ask stupid–”

     “It is not a stupid question,” the voice told him patiently.  “Please believe that I–that we really must know your answer to it.”

     Somehow, even through the red fog of anger, Rossi believed the voice.  “What is this, then?” he asked thinly.  “Some kind of TV program?”

     “Why–no,” the voice said.  “And it isn’t a research poll, a psychiatric game or a practical joke.  We are quite serious, Mr. Rossi.”

     “Well,” Rossi said, having come to a decision, “the hell with you.”  He began to hang up.  But the voice continued to talk, and curiosity won out, briefly, in its battle with anger.  The whole world was, admittedly, after Rossi: but he had his choice of irritants.  It was the phone call versus his English I class.

     He put the receiver back to his ear.

     “–must insist,” the voice was saying.  “It will really be much simpler, Mr. Rossi, if you just answer the question.  We can call again, you know, and continue to call.  We don’t in the least want to bother or disturb you, but–”

     “It would be a lot simpler,” Rossi told the voice, “if you’d let me know why you want an answer to a question like that.  What kind of weather is it outside–my God, can’t you look for yourself?  Or call information, or something?”

     “I’m afraid I can’t tell you any more,” the voice said, with a trace of what might have been real regret, and might have been only the actor’s version of it so common among television quiz show announcers.  “But if you’ll just–”

     “Some kind of a nut,” Rossi muttered.

     “What was that?” the voice asked.

     Rossi shook his head at the phone.  “Nothing,” he said.  “Nothing.”  And then, possibly under the spur of embarrassment, he bent down from his position at the telephone and took a look toward the front window of the room.  “It’s a nice day,” he said.  “Or anyhow it looks like a nice day.  Is that what you want?”

     “Exactly,” the voice said, and Rossi thought he could hear relief in its tones.  “Can you go into a little more detail?”

     “Well,” Rossi went on, feeling even more embarrassed–the way things had gone all day, now was the moment when someone would walk in on him and find him describing the weather to a strange voice on the telephone–“well, it’s a little cloudy.  But nice.  I can’t see the sun because of the clouds, but there’s plenty of light and it looks warm.  Kind of misty, I suppose you’d say.”

     “Ah,” the voice responded.  “You can’t see the sun, you say?”

     “That’s right,” Rossi told him.  “But it’s a good day, if you know what I mean.  A little cloudy, but–say, look, what the hell is this, anyhow?”  The thought of someone suprising him during so odd a conversation gave rise to one last sudden spurt of irritation.  “Calling up strangers to ask stupid questions like–”

     “Thank you, Mr. Rossi,” the voice said smoothly.  “Thank you very much.”

     And then–and then–it said something else.  Obviously not meant for Rossi’s ears, it reached them nevertheless through pure accident, just before the stranger on the other end of the line rang off.  Just a few words, but in those few words Rossi realized that he had been right, right all along.  Everything centered around Rossi.  Maybe he would never know why, or how.  But the world, the entire world, was–truly and completely–aimed right at the Rossi head.

     Just a few words, heard distantly, the few words a man might say as he was hanging up a telephone receiver, to someone else in the room . . .

     “It’s okay, Joe,” the voice said casually.  “He can’t see it.  You can take it away.”

MORE FROM PAUL HARVEY #3

And here’s another timeless item from Paul Harvey’s For What It’s Worth:

Manager Tommy Lasorda of the Los Angeles Dodgers has confessed to our For What It’s Worth Department; he told on himself what I am about to tell you.

     On the road in Cincinnati . . .

     Went to Sunday morning mass . . .

     And whom should he see just across the aisle but his rival manager, John McNamara of the Reds.

     Their two teams were to play later that day.

     They eyed each other but neither spoke.

     When the service was over, McNamara knelt to pray–then, on his way out, lit a votive candle.

     Lasorda–on his way out–blew it out.

June 4, 1982


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