AN EMBARRASSMENT OF RICHES

Water, water, everywhere, / [And not] a drop to drink.
–Samuel Taylor Coleridge, THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER

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So much I could write about, but of nothing can I think.
Oh, fie on my dilemma, scheduled post day on the brink!
Such embarrassment of riches is an albatross ’round my neck….
All this water all about; sound the call: all rimes of “riches” on deck!

An embarrassment of BITCHES: complaining to the max
An embarrassment of DITCHES: the downside of digging, sore backs
An embarrassment of GLITCHES: my computer is prone to upheaval
An embarrassment of HITCHES: my computer is a necessary evil

An embarrassment of ITCHES: too unreachable for scratching
An embarrassment of KITCHES: bad taste beyond patching
An embarrassment of MITCHES: too many friends named Mitchell
An embarrassment of NICHES: easily found places that hide a missile

An embarrassment of PITCHES: throes of what The Donald doth tout
An embarrassment of RICHES: what this post is all about
An embarrassment of STITCHES: what I hope this post’ll leave you in
An embarrassment of WITCHES: wicked ones melt; they are inhuman

NOTE: I didn’t want you to think I’m too big for my BRITCHES, so I left them off — the list, that is — WHICH IS cool with me and, no doubt, with you.

 

SUMMER SOUVENIRS

In a way, this post is a retroactive prequel to my EARLY AUTUMN post of Sept. 24, 2014 which recognized such classic old songs of the season as AUTUMN IN NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER SONG and (aptly enough) EARLY AUTUMN. I don’t know where you are, but where I am, tomorrow is the last day of summer, and I am off again on another seasonal trip to music’s halcyon days, before SUMMER HAS GONE:

Doris Day, as some of you may remember, was a top movie star in the 1950s-60s. A native of my home town (Cincinnati), and still with us at age 92, she started as a big band singer in 1939. Though never one of my favorite vocalists, I think her rendition of the above is so spot-on that a FADED SUMMER LOVE curtain call is warranted:

May your June-September memories be warm ones as autumn falls upon us, leaving behind SUMMER SOUVENIRS that live on (speaking of which, this song’s singer, 99 year old former big band vocalist Bea Wain, makes Doris Day look like a spring chicken):

MARRIAGE TO A-MUSE

Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution? –Groucho Marx

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My wife and I celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary yesterday. You may think that, unlike the 50th, a 48th wedding anniversary is no big deal — and I wouldn’t disagree. But, being in need of an idea for this post, I wasn’t about to look a gift source in the mouth; thus, yesterday’s anniversary became my inspiration to write about….divorce.

Ha ha — just kidding (my wife might kill me if I were serious). This post will, of course, be about MARRIAGE….a fate which, as fates go, beats being killed (almost) any day. Ha ha ha. Just kidding again! Lest there be any doubt concerning my true feelings about marriage:

Yes, just as in the song, ask the local gentry, and they will say it’s elementary. But why stop with the local gentry? I believe my readers are nothing if not broad minded:

Marriage is the most licentious of human institutions — that is the secret of its popularity. –George Bernard Shaw

Getting married, like getting hanged, is a great deal less dreadful than it has been made out. –H. L. Mencken

It’s no disgrace for a woman to make a mistake in marrying — every woman does it. –Ed Howe

A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband. –Michel de Montaigne

Marriage is like paying an endless visit in your worst clothes. –J. B. Priestley

When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife. –Prince Philip

Marriage is a feminine plot to add to a man’s responsibilities and subtract from his rights. –Evan Esar

Before marriage, a man declares he would lay down his life to serve you; after marriage, he won’t even lay down his paper to talk to you. –Helen Rowland

The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutan trying to play the violin. –Honore de Balzac

I haven’t spoken to my wife in years. I didn’t want to interrupt her. –Rodney Dangerfield

Ha ha ha ha….I mean, Yes, dear — I’m listening. Seriously.

 

IN NO MOOD TO KNOW NEWS

Tomorrow, Sept. 11, is NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS DAY, which celebrates a truism that isn’t necessarily true….but, if we apply it to covering this Presidential campaign season in America, no news would be good news every day until election day: No more being subjected to The Donald’s incessant Barnum-esque babblings, or to Hillary trying to overcome being Hillary. No more spin from their political shills on cable TV. No more polls. No more any of it. Let’s just vote and get it over with. I’m ready. I’ve been ready.

Now that that’s settled, I am going to start the celebration a day early by not mentioning either candidate for the remainder of this post. Furthermore, I’m not going to subject you to my babblings for the rest of this post; instead, while I’m off celebrating, I’ll let what others have said on the subject of news take it from here. Is that good news, or what?

But first, the news: The House of Commons was sealed off today [while in session] after police chased an escaped lunatic through the front door. A spokesman at Scotland Yard said it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. –Ronnie Barker

It’s not a 24 hour news cycle, it’s a 60 second news cycle now, it’s instantaneous. It has never been easier to get away with telling lies. It has never been easier to get away with the glib one-liner. –Malcolm Turnbull

We all want to get the news objectively, impartially, and from our own point of view. –Bill Vaughan

Public opinion is the God of democracy, and the journalist is his prophet. –Evan Esar

We are in the same tent as the clowns and the freaks — that’s show business. –Edward R. Murrow (broadcast journalist)

It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper. –Jerry Seinfeld

The American news media has lowered the bar for all of humanity. British news media is definitely trying to stoop down to that level. Everyone is stooping to the lowest common denominator. –John Oliver

I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true. –Katherine Hepburn

Some people commit a crime for no other reason than to see their name in print. –Gustave Flaubert

Live long enough and nothing is news. ‘The News’ is ‘the new thing.’  That’s fine, until a hundred years go by and you realize there are no new things, only deep structures and cycles that repeat themselves through different period details. –Glen Duncan

 

 

 

SET IN STONE

I think, therefore I am. –René Descartes

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You will (hopefully) recall that my last post, STONE COLD DEAD, featured some of my favorite epitaphs published 4 years ago on SWI (a blog due to bite the dust in November). Ah, but the best laid plans….  The SWI editor announced on 9/1 that he would now need to pull the plug first thing on Sept. 6; thus today becomes SWI’s last full day on this earth.

This sudden passing prompts me to salvage another of my previously published posts from that body of work: a poem which poses a question I believe naturally arises out of STONE COLD DEAD. Unlike that post, it ain’t funny, but perhaps the poem’s saving grace is that what it lacks in humor, it makes up in brevity. It’s the least I can do on Labor Day.

LUCKY STIFFS

Are the faithful
dead better positioned
to be saved
than those who
lived with doubt?
Even a God
can’t help being
what He thinks.

 

 

STONE COLD DEAD

Alas! He is cold, he cannot answer me. –Mary Shelley, author of FRANKENSTEIN

Because I could not stop for Death — He kindly stopped for me. –Emily Dickinson

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *    grave stone 2Have you given any thought to what you want on your tombstone after you’ve gone to that great big pizzeria in the sky? I wouldn’t wait until the last minute if I were you, because ye know not the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36, or thereabouts), and once ye’re at the pearly gates, it’s too late. Now, it’s possible, before getting the gate, that your spirit may remain a while in the grave to consider what far-out gems of wit you might have come up with — but dream on. Afterthoughts aren’t written in stone….and if you don’t write your own epitaph, others may use the occasion to pick a bone “After you’ve gone.”

All of which brings me to SWI and its impending death. SWI, the blog for which I wrote many posts up to a few years ago, will bite the dust in November, according to its editor. Two of those remaining posts (published in early 2012) deal with real epitaphs not deserving of being left to vanish forever into the cold November ether or….wherever. Here are some of my favorites:

Here lies the body
Of poor Aunt Charlotte.
Born a virgin, died a harlot.
For 16 years
She kept her virginity
A damn long time
For this vicinity.
–DEATH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

Here lies Butch,
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger,
But slow on the draw.

Beneath this smooth stone
by the bone of his bone
sleeps Master John Gill;
By lies when alive
this attorney did thrive,
And now that he’s dead he lies still.

Here lies Anna Mann
Who lived an old maid
But died an old Mann.

MARGARET DANIELS
She always said
Her feet were killing her
But nobody believed her.

SIR JOHN STRANGE
Here lies an honest lawyer
That is Strange.

This is the grave of Mike O’Day
Who died maintaining his right of way.
His right was clear, his will was strong
But he’s just as dead as if he’d been wrong.

Beneath this stone my wife doth lie
Now she’s at rest and so am I.

JOHN BROWN, DENTIST
Stranger! Approach this spot with gravity!
John Brown is filling his last cavity.

Here lies the body of W. W.
Who never more will trouble you, trouble you.

Here lies the body of Mary Ford
Whose soul, we trust, is with the Lord;
But if for hell, she’s exchanged this life,
‘Tis better than being John Ford’s wife.

Owen Moore
Has passed away
Owin’ more
Than he could pay.

I’ll close with one I wish one and all could say in the end:

Been Here
and Gone There.
Had a good time.

 

 

GARBAGE IN — GARBAGE OUT?

I consider myself reasonably wise in the ways of the world, but the more I think about it, the more I realize there’s been a lot of stuff going on that I’m not aware of. For example, every man-of-the-house knows that he’s the one who takes out the garbage (as my wife is sure to remind me if I forget) — but how does that work when two gays live together?

                                                     Garbage out

Then there’s the question of taking out the garbage in a high rise apartment building. I’ve never lived in one, so it never occurred to me to wonder how that works. Let’s say I rent a 30th floor apartment and, by the by, my cache of trash reaches a truly disgusting level of odoriferousness — do I open a window, look down to make sure ground zero is relatively clear, and submit to the gravity of the situation? What if the windows don’t open — do I look for a laundry chute? Do buildings even have laundry chutes anymore? Oh, for the good old days when you fed garbage to the hogs and buried what they did not eat behind the outhouse. (Don’t ask why they did not eat behind the outhouse — you’d think if they’d already made pigs of themselves, what goes in must come out, and what better place to be near than an outhouse? It just reeks of convenience!)

Anyway, the nice thing about writing a post on this subject is that it may be a bunch of garbage, but it’s not like it stinks….and even if it does, what did you expect? It’s not every day that I get to talk trash with imp.u.nity. And who knows what I could win if the awarders of the P.U.litzer Prize get wind of it? It’s clearly a wind-win situation.

So much for my take on trash. Now let’s see what rubbish others have put out there:

If you ever wonder whether or not someone is too good for you, I’d advise going through their trash. Really. No one looks superior after that. –Ally Carter

A simple pecking order has always characterized mankind’s relationship to waste: The wealthy throw out what they do not want, the poor scavenge what they can, and whatever remains is left to rot. –Dan Fagin

Waste not, want not. –John Wesley

Here’s a no-brainer that religious extremists/certain politicians can’t seem to wrap their heads around:
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. –Arthur Fletcher (Ya think?)

I’m surprised when I walk right into yet another abandoned hunters’ camp. Tattered plastic sheeting still hangs askew here and there. Blackened aerosol cans of Cheez Whiz sit in the fire pit, which sits in the middle of the trail. Assorted Styro-ware…. Where are these people? –Rick Bass

And with that, my gun — I mean, gum — is losing its flavor, so it’s time to stick it under my chair and call it a day. Lady-of-the-house, where are my nightcap and trail mix?