THE RAIN IN TWAIN FALLS MAINLY ON THE BRAIN

It is best to read the weather forecast before we pray for rain. –Mark Twain

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It’s funny — April is NATIONAL HUMOR MONTH, but soddenly I don’t feel very humorous. It’s coming down in buckets out there, and some of what’s in the buckets is making its way into my basement. I hope whoever’s praying for rain is satisfied — now how about praying for it to stop? It’s bad enough that Mother Nature keeps raining on my head when I go outside — I don’t need her to greet my feet as a dweller in my cellar when I go down in the dungeon.

‘s no use. No letup in sight. Keeps rainin’ all the time….

But am I going to let a reign of rain ruin what I’m doin’? No way! Others can be a Debbie Downer, despairing in the deluge. It’s in my Genes to be….

P.S. The title of this post is word play on a song from a hit 1956 Broadway musical later made into a movie starring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. Can you name the song?

 

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TAKE A WALK IN THE PARK DAY

March 30 is TAKE A WALK IN THE PARK DAY. Notwithstanding the condition of my feet (as you can understand from my March 20 FOOT TALK post), I thought I’d prepare ahead of the event by going for a walk on my post-erior, which is parked chair-side inside a blog somewhere in my PC, waiting to be liberated. So, let’s get a head start PDQ with a song befitting the occasion:

So you see, my fellow carcass parkers: as escapism goes, that really wasn’t so hard, was it? You might even say it was a walk in the park. Let’s keep it going with this humdinger:

Of course, if you’re a man’s-best-friend-lover, you wouldn’t think of taking a walk in the park without….

Speaking of walkin’ the dog, I’ll be doggone if I didn’t forget to bring along my pooper scooper — not to mention my dog. Wait a minute — I don’t own a dog. Nonetheless, my dogs are killing me, so it’s time to switch gears and leave the rest of the walking in park. When you gotta go, you gotta go. Like post-haste.

 

LIPS SERVICE

The title of today’s post is LIPS SERVICE — as distinguished from ROOM SERVICE — although I’m informed there are major hot-els and inns, both in-and-outside of iniquitous areas, where hot lips can be ordered (what one might call inn-clusive room service).

And then there’s Major Hot Lips Houlihan, which may be a stretch (what one might call post thematic stretch syndrome), but hopefully you can use the exercise as much as I can use the connection:

Coincidently (speaking of seeking hot lips), Robert HOOKER was the author of the novel MASH, on which the movie of that name (1970) and TV series M*A*S*H (1972-83) were based. HOOKER, born 2/1/1924, was the pen name of Korean War Army surgeon H. Robert Hornberger Jr. A very Happy upcoming Birthday to you, good sir, wherever you are.

Two years before “Hot Lips” creator Hooker was born, this red hot song was conceived by composer/orchestra leader Henry Busse:

So you see, friends, this post is not just paying lip service to LIPS SERVICE. This lips service is a hip service because it’s a ‘sound’ follow-up to last week’s THE KISSING POST. It’s in the groove. It’s on record.

Will my next post continue along the lines of this post and THE KISSING POST?

My lips are sealed.

 

 

 

THE KISSING POST

I am in favor of preserving the French habit of kissing ladies’ hands–after all, one must start somewhere. –Sacha Guitry, French actor, playwright and film maker

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The title of today’s post is THE KISSING POST– not to be confused with THE HITCHING POST, which would be a post about the ceremony of getting hitched (after kissing went to the hand-kisser’s head). Alternatively, THE HITCHING POST could be a post about a post to which you tether your horse….as opposed to your spouse (pardon my horse play).

Be that as it may, it may interest you to know that anthropologists believe kissing is a learned behavior. But they believe above all in science, so what competence could anthropologists possibly have in the field of kissing….with the likely exception of Parisian anthropologists, who are said to have French kissing down to an art….in the interest of science? C’est une bonne planque!*

Knowing that many of my readers are serious about science, you would no doubt like to know where I came up with what “it may interest you to know” — so, just so you know:

https://people.howstuffworks.com/kissing2.htm

As for the romantic barbarians among you, far be it from me to kiss you off. Kiss on!

*Nice work if you can get it!

SCAT!

Wait — don’t scat! Stay where you are and let scat come to you — scat singing, that is — and who better to lay the scat on you than two of the best: Mel Tormé, whose birthday (9/13/25) we celebrate this month, and the First Lady of Scat, Ella Fitzgerald:

Man, if that didn’t knock your socks off, you’d better put your shoes on and scat back to Squaresville, because you’re just not with it! To say scat singing is little more than vocal jazz improvisation with nonsense words is like saying The Donald is just improvising when he lets loose with nonsense tweets (to use a reverse perverse metaphor).

So, who was the cat who ‘invented’ scat? There seems to be no definitive answer, but some say it began 2/26/26 when Louis Armstrong supposedly forgot the words to this song and began improvising a little more than halfway through the recording:

Let’s wrap it up with this recent scat-iteration (which, I kid you not, ends with tweets):

And now you can scat! Come back any time.

BLANK

Normally, when I write a post, I think about what I want to say — the body of the post — and at some point during this labor of love (after considerable cogitation), a title is born. With my last post, the title came first and I then had to work to shape the body (after considerable consternation) in language of the what-have-I-gotten-myself-into kind. Believe me, friends — it’s a pain in the brain to be boxed in by a title, so with this post, I decided to leave the title BLANK. I feel better already.

But, now that I have a blank canvas, one would think I should be able to paint a word picture; yet it’s like I can’t see the blog for the fog. Have I become color blind?

So it’s just the time of day, a mere matter of mind over time. Tomorrow the fog will clear and this will seem like a black and white dream….

And you know what they say about a clear day….

LET US TURN BACK TO THE WRIGHT, BROTHERS AND SISTERS

PROLOGUE:
We had to go ahead and discover everything for ourselves.
–Orville Wright, 1901

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Friends, Readers, Countrymen —

If you have spent many a sleepless night
tossing and turning ’til dawn’s early light,
wondering if I’d e’er host another post,
take such worries off thy plate — they’re toast.

Yes, Brothers and Sisters, thy long wait is o’er.
I’m back, and who of you could ask for more
although I must confess
that most may ask for less. 😦

Never-the-less, Brothers and Sisters,
it is written in the stars that I must return to the scene of my rhymes and other crimes. It’s Kismet.

Notwithstanding the never-the-less, Brothers and Sisters, I digress.
I come here not to berhyme the Wrights, but to praise them.

Thus this follow-up to my May 17 post, THE DAY THE WRIGHTS DONE ME WRONG, because, by ancient axiom, it’s the Wright thing to do (If at first you don’t succeed, fly, fly again). And if this discourse has the unintended consequence of being the sleep-aid you need to catch up on those zzzzz, the added benefit comes at no extra charge.

But I doubt that will be the case with THE WRIGHT BROTHERS, which, it so happens, is the title of a book I just finished reading (by my favorite historian, David McCullough). It’s no less than you’d expect from a Pulitzer Prize winning author: a masterful biography which (quoting from the dust cover) “draws on the immense riches of the Wright Papers, including personal diaries, notebooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence, to tell the human side of a profoundly American story.”

The Wrights spent years of trial and air working to construct the world’s first ‘aeroplane,’ but as reader Don Frankel noted on May 17, America paid scant attention even after their successful first flight Dec. 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (and Don wasn’t just whistling Dixie in his comment). Finally, in 1906, after numerous improvements (including a more powerful engine) and many test flights, “much of the scientific world and the press [began] to change their perspective on the brothers”, and they started to attract commercial and government–especially French, not American– interest.

To the latter point, President (and fellow Ohioan) Wm. Howard Taft spoke as follows in presenting the two brothers with Gold Medals on June 10, 1909, in Washington D.C.:

I esteem it a great honor and an opportunity to present these medals to you as an evidence of what you have done. I am so glad–perhaps at a delayed hour–to show that in America it is not true that “a prophet is not without honor save in his own country.” It is especially gratifying thus to note a great step in human discovery by paying honor to men who bear it so modestly. You made this discovery by a course that we of America like to feel is distinctly American–by keeping your noses right at the job until you had accomplished what you had determined to do.

There are many stories within the story of THE WRIGHT BROTHERS, many twists and turns and mishaps along the way. The Wrights weren’t ‘stick’ figures with no interests and little to commend beyond their mechanical genius. Wilbur, for example, wrote home from France in 1906 of long walks and “the great buildings and art treasures of Paris, revealing as he never had–or had call to–the extent of his interest in architecture and painting.”

Read this bio and you will surely be taken along for the ride, as was I, by “the human side of a profoundly American story” of two men most of us know only from dry history books.

So fasten your life jackets and come fly with me.

EPILOGUE:
We dared to hope we had invented something that would bring lasting peace to the Earth. But we were wrong. We underestimated man’s capacity to hate and to corrupt good means for an evil end. –Orville Wright, 1943 (during WWII)