If you haven’t been following this series, you don’t know what you’ve been missing (athough some might claim ignorance is bliss). If you are a follower, you may think the humor has been pretty juvenile. This first selection of Part 05 should assuage all concerns:

3 to 1 you now think this series is for the birds….but you ain’t heard nothing yet. Here’s a real turkey:

OK, I don’t need a straw vote to tell me the next selection has nowhere to go but up….

Now that’s what I call ending on a high note (as opposed to starting on a high chair). And so we come to the moment you’ve all been waiting for….

You’re welcome.



This post is JAZZ FOR LAUGHS — or, more to the part, the first in a series of JAZZ FOR LAUGHS posts. Just for laughs is my musical theme — when it comes to funny, I’ll stop at nothing. So, when you hear Nothing, it means something. Or Nothing At All.

So, what’s so funny about that song, you ask. Nothing. Nothing at all. But I needed a lead-in, and that’s the best I could do. Seriously. Speaking of seriously….

Well, that clip started out well, but I must admit it Peter-ed out after a while. (Did you get it — Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky “Peter-ed” out….hahahahaha.) So enough of the serious stuff. Let’s see what else drives Spike to drink….

As the horse said to the horse traitor who led him to firewater, “I’ll drunk to that” (with apologies to Dorothy Parker, who once said, “You can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make her think.” Horticulture has had a soiled reputation ever since.).


Having been a ‘square’ since round one of my life, I’ve never been too interested in the affairs of those of various and sundry sexual orientations. There are lots of ‘different’ people who aren’t on the same wavelength and/or don’t meet with other people’s approval, but I can’t help that — I’ve got my own problems. My mantra has been: To each his own. Live and let live. Whatever rattles your cage. Etc.

You may think the reason I’m writing this is because I have just experienced a sudden conversion and intend to become a zealot for the causes of the transsexual, transvestite, transgendered….etc. Not so. I’m still an old-fashioned, “You go your way, I’ll go mine” kind of gay — er, guy. But issues surrounding the foregoing have come increasingly to the fore in recent years, so I’m finally taking the trouble to educate myself a bit. How much time can it take to see if you can put yourself in the other guy’s/gal’s/gay’s shoes for a moment? They may not fit, but food for thought won’t make you fat.


Then there is the biblical story of the prodi-gal son (forgive me, Father, for I have punned) as a reminder that sexual duality is nothing new. It’s been around since long before Commodus was commodious and Nero fiddled around. Would they have not been tyrants if they had been straight arrows? Isn’t that like saying a magician would not be an illusionist if he had one less rabbit in his bag of tricks? (I just pulled that one out of the hat — no doubt you can come up with a better analogy.)

And on that venture into the androgynous zone, I will close with this:

There’s a gender in your brain and a gender in your body. For 99 percent of people, those things are in alignment. For transgender people, they’re mismatched. That’s all it is. It’s not complicated, it’s not a neurosis. It’s a mix-up. It’s a birth defect, like a cleft palate.” — Chaz Bono

Who is Chaz Bono? Click on this 2009 video clip, then click where it says Watch on YouTube:



I need to take liberties with U girl, because U girl songs are scarcer than u might think. There is a song titled URSALA (from the Latin ursa, meaning bear)….but it’s not an oldie, so I’m going to pass on Ursala. Bear with me as I try to make it through the pass before my puns become unbearable.

Our first song, UTAH WE LOVE THEE, is a reach, but a few girls have been named Utah in Utah, so I’m of a state of mind to go with it. Georgia On My Mind, eat your heart out.

Next is an even bigger reach, as I’m going with a Lady called Ukulele:

Isn’t Ukulele Lady lovely? Who’d ever guess that gal is 92 years old (‘born’ 1925) and can still do wicky wacky woo…not to mention inka dinka doo? It’s all good in the moonlight.

This brings us to the biggest reach of all — but the season is right and the singer is a U, even if the song isn’t:


It’s T time — time once again to take to the links and “T” off. Our first link, as I post this in the wee small hours of the morning, is a tune that goes through a roll call of maids-in-waiting. As you will hear, Frank’LL TAKE TALLULAH. (It dawns on me that come the Don, Frankel take her too, or I miss my bet*):

*referring to our friend Don Frankel, fellow unofficial member of the Frank Sinatra fan club

Four years after the above 1944 recording, another T came into Sinatra’s life:

As you may know, Tina is the name of Sinatra’s ‘other’ daughter (Nancy being the older and more celebrated of the two). So how did Tina really feel about her famous father?

We started with a WW II era song from a movie, and we’ll close with another: Johnny Mercer’s TANGERINE, from THE FLEET’S IN (1942). The orchestra this time is Jimmy Dorsey’s (brother of Tommy, who took Tallulah aboard Ship Ahoy in the first clip):

If the last clip, in particular, shows its age and looks/sounds quaint to us today, remember this is what your parents or grandparents listened and danced to in their day ….and you would have done the same in their place. Truth be told, aren’t most of us captives of the culture we’re in? I may be spitting into the wind, but it strikes me that we’re stuck in shallow water if we think there is only ‘now.’ Why so many have so little interest in where we came from is beyond me. It might tell us how we got here. It might even help tell us where to go (not that I would ever do such a thing).



Noble goal like chasing rainbow — beautiful while it lasts.

If the above quote sounds familiar, you have the memory of an elephant. It — the quote, not you or the elephant — appeared in my previous post as a Charlie Chanism which I made up after a trip to the latest local library book sale where my returns are becoming re-nowned and their books are becoming re-owned….and one of my new buys was titled CHARLIE CHAN — The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History, by Yunte Huang.

If you’re an old movie buff like me, you’ve probably seen a number of 1930s-40s Charlie Chan films (based on the 1920-3os novels by Earl Derr Biggers) in which Charlie chanted such gems of wisdom as these:

Hasty deduction, like ancient egg, look good from outside.
Mind, like parachute, only function when open.
Trouble, like first love, teach many lessons.
Facts like photographic film — must be exposed before developing.
Advice after mistake like medicine after funeral.

You will find these, and many more, Chanisms in Appendix I of the book. But that’s just a bonus — the real story of this book is “The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective”…. a story I can’t tell you because either I would have to kill you (leaving no clues), or it would spoil the story and leave you without a motive to buy the book. But I will tell you that the fictional Honolulu detective Charlie Chan was based on real-life Honolulu detective Chang Apana, who was a character in his own right and whose career included jobs ranging from gardener to gumshoe. So get the book, plant yourself in your favorite chair, and enjoy the read.

Speaking of flowery characters, Earl Derr Biggers was no shrinking violet. Before turning novelist, Biggers (a Harvard grad)) was an outspoken newspaper columnist and drama critic. In one of his columns, he wrote of “a citizen of Mingo, Okla., [who] whipped out his trusty six-shooter the other day and shot the mustache off another citizen. We sincerely hope that the gentleman who lost the mustache appreciated the fact that he had a mighty close shave.” Shades of such baldfaced punsters as Dorothy Parker, Oscar Wilde and mistermuse! (The latter includes himself in such company on the grounds that the dead can’t object.)

But enough about me. Here’s Charlie!



In his comment to 20/20 BEHINDSIGHT (my May 20 post which contained a look back at TWENTY QUESTIONS), long-time blog buddy Don Frankel mentioned WHAT’S MY LINE? (another old TV game show). It so happens that one of the regulars on that show, humor writer and publisher (co-founder of RANDOM HOUSE) Bennett Cerf had chosen the 25th of May (1898) to be born; thus, today I honor his birthday by posting a selection of favorite Cerf puns and quotes (and high time I returned the favor, considering that lo, some twenty-plus years ago, RANDOM HOUSE published several of my poems in THE RANDOM HOUSE TREASURY OF LIGHT VERSE).

But first, let’s take a look back at one of the WHAT’S MY LINE? programs from the same year as the TWENTY QUESTIONS clip shown in my previous post:

There is little question, I think you’ll agree, that WHAT’S MY LINE? was a step up in class compared to TWENTY QUESTIONS…..so it’s time to hit the Cerf (as beach bums refer to the swells) and ride the wave….to wit:

Gross ignorance is 144 times worse than ordinary ignorance.

The confused young man couldn’t decide whether to marry Kathryn or Edith. Try as he might, he just could not make up his mind. Unwilling to give up either, he strung them along far too long. This indecision continued until both women tired of the situation and left him for good. Moral of the story: You can’t have your Kate and Edith too.

Then there was the young female comic who was promised good roles in a hit TV show. All she had to do was divide her favors between the star and the producer. But it was just a sham; she never got any air time at all. You might even say she was….shared skit less.

There once was a student named Bessor
Whose knowledge grew lesser and lesser.
It at last grew so small
He knew nothing at all
And today he’s a college professor.

The Detroit String Quartet played Brahms last night. Brahms lost.

I shouldn’t be surprised  — it was four against one.

And on that note, I bid thee a fond fare well.