Friday, August 10, 2018

A Problem With Golden Oldie Music

It seems like an unbeatable idea: have a radio station that specializes in classical popular music, often referred to as 'Golden Oldie' or 'Classical Rock' music.  Now, a casual reader of this concept might figure that anything in the pop/rock era that isn't on the current playlist might qualify.

However, in practice radio stations do this in a more time-restricted fashion. One station (WMTY) cites its range from 'the British Invasion to the Hippie Generation;' that is, from about 1960 to 1974, I guess. Others lean more to 1950s music. But even within those time frames there is some choosiness. I would guess that few older listeners would stand to listen to 'Yummy Yummy Yummy'! I swear; the lyrics were 'Yummy yummy yummy, I've got love in my tummy.' They call the subgenre bubblegum music. It's like swimming in molasses.

More recent music tends not to make the playlists. No 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' or "Baby One More Time.' Kid Rock and Christina Aguilera are not heard from. As a matter of fact: there's no stations that specialize in oldie music from 1995 to 2010, to my knowledge.

The golden oldie concept creeps also into restaurant background music. For dining establishments that don't use classical selections, it usually transpires that show tunes or adult-oriented songs constitute the noise-masking sounds. But, seriously, how often can we stomach "My Way"?*

I think that legislatures should require that each play of "My Way" should be followed afterwards by "The Thong Song."

I know you can take this as a squawk from another millennial with a sense of entitlement. However, we have our own Golden Oldies. For  God's sake, play some 1990's and 2000's pop also!

On the other hand, some Golden Oldie music is remarkable because of its badness. Years ago, Dave Barry wrote a Book of Bad Songs. Among those receiving dubious kudos were these gems: 

*If you're near a karaoke player, you're sure to hear someone stumble through this one. Some legislatures mandated that each karaoke session include this song, as if the original was not sufficient in its vileness!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The School Board Had a Thorny Problem

Sad to say, the Balsam Hill School Board had to take up a serious issue -- more serious than the after-school pickup parking or even fees for the lunch rooms. It seems that a solid citizen found something to complain about one of the teachers. Horrors!

Specifically, it was about Tammy, otherwise known as the Red-Headed School Teacher. 

Now Miz Grady noticed that she was shacked up with that feckless duo, Bubba and Billy Bob. And this interested her enough to get a good head of steam about the scandal of it all. And, moreover, she wore scandalous shorts or nightgowns on the porch: sometimes see-through and leaving little to the imagination. Miz Grady's brain conceived of threesomes goin' on, and other affronts to proper Balsam Hill morals! Truth to tell, she thought that Balsam Hill's moral climate had taken a turn for the worse lately and she was singlehanded going to set things right and proper. Yessir!

So Miz Grady, the community scold and in charge of everything proper, came before the School Board about a morals complaint regarding one of the teachers. The School Board, in its tried and true Southern fashion, ordinarily ignored such things: figuring that if things are running okay, then don't try messing with it.

Still, Miz Grady put things out in the open, on record. Gol-darn it! And that annoying local journalist Arthur Christy was in attendance, so they couldn't just ignore her complaint. So Chairman Jones declared that everything would just have to be discussed in executive session: School Board members only. This got rid of the newspaper reporter.

Mr. Parker was one of the deacons who took part in the infamous Party Bus ride with the strip show and lap dance that Tammy did while they took that bus ride over the Tail of the Dragon (US 129 south of the Park). He was not about to censure that high-strung little gal.

And Miz Wilma allowed that maybe she was just tryin' guys out before settling down. A wise move: don't get one that drinks too much or snores. 

Tom Rebbards opined †hat maybe Tammy needed both Bubba and Billy Bob to get enough feck between them. Those boys wouldn't call "sooey" to keep from being et by hogs.

And Miz Clara remembered when Bubba pulled her car outa the ditch after she had a few at a afternoon tea party (or so she explained it). 

Anyway, to make a long story short, the School Board came to a resolution.

The resolution was to buy Miz Grady a Paint-by-Numbers set, maybe to help her fill the extra time she had on her hands!

Now that's hill folk bein' subtle. Tellin' Miz Grady that she needed to take up a hobby.

Do you have any better solution?

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Flying Spaghetti Monster in Tennessee

Several years ago, Crossville, Tennessee had a display of some religious artifacts, and other symbols, that were displayed on the Courthouse lawn. One of those appearing was the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Apparently most of the local people took it with a sense of humor.

And its appearance made national news.

Alas, his Noodley Appendage is no longer on display. 

But Cookeville, TN has a giant bikini-wearing pink elephant on water skis.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Progress Sort of Comes to Balsam Hill, but Chickens Out

"Political progress grows out of the barrel of a gun."
                                                  -- Mao Zedong

Balsam Hill, Tennessee was experiencing some cultural changes due to outsiders moving into the general area.

Now earlier there were city types from Nashville, Louavul (sic!), or Rolly (sic!) who found a mountain cabin to be to their liking. Now these in-state or nearby state types did not cause no ruckus, nohow! They were content to spend weekends and a week or two in summer in their cabins. And Billy Bob and Bubba, our not-so-dynamic duo, served as handymen/watchmen to their cabins when they weren't around. 

And some entrepreneurs brought pain relieving drugs to compete with that local polio weed (marijuana). And, bless their hearts, these city types had tastes for better wines than the local package store had been carrying. Things were good.

But Yankees also discovered they joys and unspoiled territory of Balsam Hill. And they also came - bringing along some foreign notions less welcome: zoning restrictions. And rules about decoration.

Gol-dern! Soon it was going to be against the law to have garden gnomes or plastic flamingoes or bottle trees. Now old grandpa Jethro's painstakingly collected Old Crow bottle tree would became illegal. And it took Old Jethro the better part of ten years' serious drinking to fill that tree! Neighbors considered it to be legendary!

And Miz Thomas. Now in honor of her five daughters, she had a bra tree in her front yard. Yessir . . . . them bras would have to go too. Anyway, the preacher Brother Bob argued that such things were showing the sin of pride. Especially Esmeralda's.

It took two men and a boy to look at Esmeralda, y'know.

And parking cars on cement blocks, such as they were, would be illegal. So the pride of Balsam Hill: the replica of The General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard would have to go.

This comes from the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess success. Although no one dared to erect a chapel in her honor. Too bad; it would have made a nice tourist attraction much like Crossville's Flying Spaghetti Monster monument.

However, things were not all bad: there were cheeses! Suddenly, hillbillies discovered the joys of brie! On crackers, no less!  Not to mention gorgonzola. Even if no one could spell it right. And some entrepreneurs brought pain relieving drugs to compete with that local polio weed (marijuana).

But getting back to the story. The locals were not diligent in exercising their right to vote (a local problem), so the outlanders got a majority on the County board and they decided to consider some ordinances restricting tacky property decorations. Yessir . . . . nothing dangling from trees, no indoor furniture on porches, no cars on cement blocks, no plastic flamingoes or garden gnomes. Not even little Disney mermaids in bird baths. Balsam Hill was going to be spruced up - neat as a New England village, you betcha!

Was Baslam Hill about to turn into a Connecticut town?

Well, on the evening those repressive measures were to be taken up by the council persons, it just also happened to be the first date of snipe hunting season. And there was lots of trucks parked by the Town Hall with loaded gun racks in their rear windows and sacks and sticks in the trunk.

It didn't even take a word to the wise. No, a word to the stupid would suffice.

You don't mess with the rights of people who tote guns. Even if they came to hunt snipe.

The town council tabled those repressive measures. Grandpa Jethro's Old Crow tree was safe.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

That Scene from Outlander

Last year the Starz television version of Outlander featured the famous (or infamous) spanking scene in which Claire gets spanked twelve times on her bare behind by Jamie for disobedience in a famously erotic power struggle. Apparently this particular episode attracted 1.2 million views, mostly women and girls, despite being in head-to-head competition at the time with the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. I guess they would rather see Claire's butt spanked than University of Kentucky's!

Since spanking is a recurrent motif in some bodice-rippers (women's slightly erotic historical fiction), it produced the occasional feminist complaint or interpretation. But 1.2 million viewers don't lie. I won't bore you with my interpretation of BDSM processes in that kind of scene.

Anyway, Tee Tina and Tee Boudreaux watched it; and some of the basketball as well. (Tee Boudreaux was really good to her to do that.) Anyway, losses by 'Nova and Kentucky pretty much wrecked their brackets.

Tina asked him afterwards if she annoyed him sometimes did he then ever felt like doing that to her (Cajun princesses can be prima donnas), and Tee Boo gave her a totally weird and puzzled look, with a W.T.F. written all over his face!* He denied it, and asked her, "What kind of question is that?"

Tina replied, "Oh, I was just curious." Girls do ask weird questions.

Tee Boo later confessed that he wondered whether Tee Tina had gotten a weird yen for that kind of treatment from having watched that scene, and went "Oh-oh . . . . trouble!"

Tina indicated no, and no trick question besides. Both of them were glad to clear that matter up!

Tee Boudreaux looked relieved that his girlfriend hadn't developed a kinky side out of the blue. Normal guys don't want to pretend to act like a jerk. Sometimes jerkiness just comes out anyway, but that's a horse of another color. 

They ended the evening like any civilized young couple by going out to have coffee and chocolate croissants.

*Guys look particularly cute with that W. T. F. look.

[No picture today: that one would be, like, ishy!]

Friday, July 20, 2018

The Legend of the Grunches

New Orleans has scads of legends, many from the 18th and 19th centuries which you can pursue if you have an interest. 

One of very recent origin (probably) is the story of the Grunches.

According to local legends, there is a race of misshapen albino dwarves (or lizard-like creatures) who prey on goats and dogs and sometimes humans. Their supposed hangout is in East New Orleans in the Little Woods area. Reports of seeing them come from time to time; often from teens who elected to park off a shell road for necking or serious fooling around and seeing a goat tethered or being eaten by one of these. The story is, if you see a tied-up goat, then get outa there pronto!

Supposedly these were creatures that were frightening enough that people tended to shy from them; and they became increasingly reclusive and dangerous with time.

After Hurricane Katrina and people began to move back into Lakeview and Gentilly (two New Orleans neighborhoods close by Lake Ponchartrain), stories began to circulate that you should not leave pet dogs or cats outdoors at night lest they be carried off by one of the Grunches. Probably those pets merely took French leave. Pets tend to do that sometimes. And there's always possible malevolent neighbors. No Grunches need apply as those who carry away pets.

These stories are like the spooky stories told elsewhere about the homicidal maniac with a hook on one of his arms. Anyway, the warning stands: Don't park along Grunch Road.

Gannon Road in Little Woods is the locale often referred to as Grunch Road, in case you're interested. Personally, I'd stay away due anyway to the often dangerous members of homo sapiens that to be around in that section of the city.


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Grave Humor

A little beyond the grave humor. Some of these might be apocryphal. Others have been shown in Find a Grave*, for what it's worth.