Monday, January 23, 2017

Friend Zoned

When it comes to relationships between people, there is the dark night of the soul (or heart) where even the intrepid fear to be banished to -- The Friend Zone.

Specifically, this is where a person has enough positive attributes to be considered a friend; but without the spark that goes with a true romantic relationship. In other words, he or she is stuck in a Platonic relationship. (Poor Plato; he must have felt rejected.)

This can indeed be a lonely space. In part because in effect one's genes are deemed not sufficient for being passed down to other generations. Or, to use a sports metaphor, not being selected for the playoffs.

It tends to be unwelcome news; except with the "friends with benefits" possibility.  Some crass people might see that as a free ride without any heavy emotional lifting; but they are congenital freeloaders. For them, free sex without emotional burdens is what they want.

However, because some guys have low abilities to receive interpersonal cues, sometimes they have to be explicitly notified. Hopefully, not in such an extreme form as this notification:

We've all been there at some time or another. But here is a major truth to remember:

Friday, January 20, 2017

Who Should Represent English Literature?

I first took this story as a cosmic joke; thinking that absurdity was still alive and well in Pennsylvania.

At the University of Pennsylvania, a well-hung portrait of William Shakespeare was taken down after a protest by English students and a question was raised as to who should be enshrined in his place.

the English Department there replaced a portrait of William Shakespeare with one of Audre Lorde, who was a lesbian black woman who died of cancer. The choice of who to remove is understandable, given that Shakespeare is surely rumored to be a dead white European male. As kids say, "Shake, spear, kick in the rear." It remains to be seen how enduring this recent choice will be; but her selection checks several categories on the diversity checklist.

In fairness to U. Penn's older choice of Shakespeare's picture, at least they didn't hang a picture of James Joyce or Ernest Hemingway.

It's like legislative action to establish an official state song. Louisiana dredged up, "You are My Sunshine." Tennessee with "Rocky Top" and "Tennessee Waltz." Washington chose "Louie, Louie," and Ohio "Hang on Sloopy." The last one is a certifiable earworm. 

Do English students do better than legislators? The ball is in your court.  Bill Shakespeare must be rolling over in his grave in Westminster Abbey. Or maybe, like Sir John Falstaff, laughing uproarishly at this infinite jest.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Tammy, the Deacon, and the Party Bus

While Billy Bob and Bubba were away, Tammy the Red-Headed Schoolteacher got a job on a Mountain Party Bus on weekends and evenings to make some extra money. About this party bus: Badwater Billy back in Mount Brushy thought up a little scheme to make some spendin' money and so did some emulating of big city habits. He read that millennials and others spent money on such, and figgered that people in this neck of the woods were just as trendy as some Chicagoans! Yessir!

So he came across some old bus retired from a nearby school and refurbished it with everything the proper mountaineer would call for in a party bus: a bar, a stripper pole, comfy seats for some casual lovin' and other odds and ends. The persons using the bus could go for a bar tour in Asheville, go over the mountain to Knoxville, or just ride around aimlessly while partying and drinking. Of course, the bar was popular! And Tammy could strip while the party people watched; or a less inhibited partygoer could  use the pole if she wished instead. It made for a fun ride if done on the winding I-40 over the mountains!

Kind of a new twist on the "Meet Me at the Flag" routine, where some kids would gather at the school flag for some prayin'!

Anyway, the party bus really caught on. So much that even some college students from Appalachian State regarded it as on their collegiate do-list! But other groups found it to be a lark too. Like church deacons.

One day Tammy was on the party bus carrying a group of church deacons from eastern Kentucky needing some R and R from being stiff-necked and moralistic. Now that sounded like an uphill task! However, the deacons seemed to be open to try different things. For example, this party of older gents who came chose route US 129; otherwise known as The Tail of the Dragon. God knows why they chose that route, but Tammy rode as hostess and entertainer.

This being a classy party bus, it carried the best type of Jack Daniel Tennessee whiskey; and those Kentucky deacons literally got in the spirit of things! That is, they got tanked!

 it was soon time for Tammy to dance. She was having all she could handle compensating for the many turns on the Tail of the Dragon while doing her pole dance routine. It was all her poor arms could handle because the driver was speeding in order to satisfy a call of nature! And on one particularly sharp turn Tammy lost her connection and got flung into Deacon Wilcox's lap. And the deacon was a skinny l'il fella!

What do you say to a deacon when you are wearing a thong and wind up in his lap?

"Hi, Pops!" seemed like a weak start.

But then she offered him a free lap dance.

But first Deacon Wilcox swore everyone to silence. Hey, when you're a penurious deacon, then you don't pass up something free!

So this merry group of party boys had a happy time, especially the deacon! After all, not everyone can brag that he got a lap dance while riding on the Tail of the Dragon!

And the driver, bless his heart, finally got a chance to pee!

Friday, January 13, 2017

In a Bad Humor About Present-Day Humor

Some people, agencies, and corporations must have learned their social interaction skills from helicopter parents (usually moms, to make a dangerous observation) or tiger mothers.  It's tough love all the way.  Everywhere you might turn there is this mania to channel peoples' behavior in some direction.  Things cannot be left to chance or free choice; they must nudge someone in one direction or another.  Or an uplifting message, like they're channeling a Wonderbra or something!

Lemme get on track, peeps.  This is what gets my nonspecific knickers in a wad.  It is the insistence that humor must have a point transcendent to the desire to entertain, create a little more happiness, and joy to our little corners of the world.  Let's face it, cruel political humor abounds nowadays.  This is partly because of our interminable continual news coverage of politics, and because people are continually running for office. Also, we went through the nastiest election ever that we should be ashamed of!

Maybe there's Clausewitzian logic involved: Humor is a continuation of politics by other means.

But why should everything have a transcendent reason? Why not humor for humor's sake? Ars gratia artis. This painting from the Boston Public Library captures this. I don't think it had a point besides a good belly laugh:

The Widow, Boston Public Library

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Mountain Outhouses and Cathouse Decorum

Quentin, traveling reporter from Gotham, was back in western North Carolina to report on hillbilly life especially in terms of the bathroom controversy. You know, the one with the infamous HB 2, where the state decreed that you must use the restroom in accord with the sex designated on your birth certificate.

Anyway, his slant on things was this: Do mountain businesses follow the state mandate with separate outhouses in accord with one's birth sex?

He was fortunate to find his old informants, Billy Bob and Bubba. They were working (much unlike them) to add additional compartments to the outhouse in back of Vance's Diner and Bar to satisfy the requirement of the law while accommodating new categories of people, like 'Female, but Curious" and "Don't Remember, but Too Embarrassed to Ask." Not to make fun of the issues or the people involved. Anyway, Ole Clyde Vance wanted to keep his customers happy. You know....

Actually, Ole Clyde simply told them, "Build numerous outhouses so they won't pee in the parking lot out front and smell it up."

So our guys built a double-decker outhouse for the various possibilities!

But while dialoguing with the good ole boys he discovered something else unexpected: the local cathouses had a dress code. The good ole boys in that neck of the woods, if they wanted some lovin' for hire, they would have to tuck their shirts in, comb their hair, shower, and not wear hats indoors.

Quentin expressed his surprise; but Billy Bob put it this way: "Well, honest workin' gals don't want no more of those rowdy New England Patriot fans to come in and mess up things. When they go slumming, they really let things go."

Billy Bob said it with a deadpan face; and Quentin swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. A New York City readership loves nothing more than a jibe at those pretentious Bostonians.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Tee Boudreaux Goes on a Date

Tee Boudreaux, bless his heart, grew to be a teen and got them hormones stirring towards things that teen boys get interested in. For sure he found Little Tina to be interesting now. Maybe it was that she showed some changes in her chest; maybe it was her new 'do; Really hard to figger out. Maybe it was the scent she had bought at the mall in Lafayette.....Anyway, Tina suddenly became more than someone to play basketball with....but Tee Boudreaux hadn't gotten it down pat as yet.

So he asked his pal Thibodaux about these things. Tee Thib said, "You ain't doing that, are you? You will have to confess to Father Pierre in them old confessionals where we can hear what the sinners are bragging about.

No, Thib....I reckon I jest wanna ask Tina out. What can I do with her?

So Tee Thib told him.

"No, mon ami....I mean I want to take her out on a date."

"Okay, Boo. Take her to the show and make out with her there."

It was obvious that Tee Thib had only one thing on his mind.

But Tee Boo figured out some things. "Well, mon ami, I could take her to eat Chinese food. She would like that. 

"Yeah, but she would want more in an hour."

"Okay, take her to listen to Cajun music at the Roadhouse. And then some chocolate malts......And make out afterwards."

"Boo, just don't get her home late. Her old man has got a temper."

So Tee Boudreaux took her to the Roadhouse. Then they got some malteds. But Tina said she had a notion to go netx o see the submarine races on Bayou Teche.

So they went. Boo took the blanket along for comfort, and they watched. And they somehow got distracted. For a long time.

In a way, things worked out. But....

The next day Tee Boo met Tee Thib, who asked him how it went. Boo told him.

"Well, I thought it went okay, but mebbe Tina was a little disappointed. The submarines weren't running last night. But, she's giving me and the submarines another chance next Saturday night! I wanna see them too!"

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Neo-Punk: Fashion for the 2010s

Any year's fashion will come into the fore for a while, then be remembered in the future with a mild shudder or worse. Consider the padded shoulders look of the Eighties; in which women emulated football players, for some reason. But their ensemble rarely included bright helmets with logos on them. Or some archeological evidence suggests that guys wore buckles on the rears of their pants; presumably with a folk belief that they had gotten their s*** together. Occasionally a tribal elder will wear these old pants while doing the gardening.

Here's the Neo-Punk look of today: featuring such as stressed or holey jeans, Daisy dukes or shorts, slinky looks with yoga pants and tube tops, camisoles, jackets, and sullen looks. A sashay completes the style; not a mosey or a galumph! People who are not au courant with fashion might see this as evidence that the wearer was trying to go one more day before wash day due to not cooking red beans and rice.* Or maybe that the person is an exotic dancer in mufti. 

It did have a positive side: many women trying for this neo-punk look tried serious dieting and exercise.

It is not considered something that you would wear to a church service.

*True Orleanians eat red beans and rice on Monday, wash day. These models are probably not likely to.

Here's buckle-back pants from the 1950's; was this an ironic fashion statement, or just an attempt to keep things together?

Just so zoot suits don't make a comeback.