Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Seaside Proposal for Marriage

While in a seaside bar in Nag's Head, NC, my friend Clarissa and I were accosted by a pair of Jersey Boys, Tony and Vinnie (no kidding); and we wound up having a mini-episode of Cajun Girls Meet Jersey Shore.

Yes, our stalwarts fit the stereotype, probably intentionally on their part: the deep tans, the wrap-around sunglasses, the slicked-down hair, and some tattooing [ugh!]  Anyway, they seemed interesting at first.

Then things went downhill.

"Hey, you girls talk funny.  Where you from?"

"We're from Louisiana."

"Oh, are Coonasses from the Bayou, or from Noo Orleans?"

I indicated that we were originally from New Orleans, and that "coonass" was an impolite term.

"Oh, sorry.  You're Cajun chicks, then."  We let the term "chick" slip.

Some time passed.  And conversation moved from chatting to their hitting on us.

"Oh yeah, we got some hot Cajun chicks here, Clarissa and Angel.  Tell me Clarissa, are you hot to trot?"

Clarissa pretended to not understand.

"Je ne sais pas?"  Clarissa spoke only passable French; but it was sufficient to confuse those guys that French was our primary language. 

So Vinnie made an obscene gesture using a finger being repeatedly inserted into his fist.  Tony did the same to me.  Clarissa and I got the message.  Tony nodded, so I got it too.  Too bad; just a pair of Yankee sex tourists who may have heard that Southern girls were easy.

Clarissa said, "That would be nice.  But we'll have to ask the permission of my parents."

This confused Vinnie and Tony.  Little wheels went off between their ears.  Did these girls come from a place in which you ask their parents when you want to have sex with them?

Vinnie:  "What you mean?"

Clarissa: "Did you not propose the marriage to me?  I accepted your proposal.  You're my fiancé.  If my parents agree to our marriage, then we may sleep together before.  Maman will even tuck us in."

Vinnie looked confused.  And worried.  Tony assumed that trapped look.

Clarissa said, "Your intentions were honorable, I hope?"

I stroked Tony's forearm.  "Mes freres, they will like you, yes!"

Vinnie and Tony made some lame excuse about having to meet someone.  I never got any further word on our being engaged.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Amorous Angel

This illustration is by Mihaly Zichy, a Hungarian artist.  It definitely fits into the academic art type of tradtion.  I find it charming.

The possibility of an amorous relationship between a mortal and a numinous being has been an occasional theme in both classical and vernacular media; the fact of its forbidden nature may well serve to piquant it further.  As long as the relationship the two have is Platonic, there is no problem; but when it lapses into the erotic, then that hidden boundary of decorum is breached.  And, what forces would be unleashed?  Are they akin to the eating of the Edenic apple?  Or is this another way of obtaining the Promethean fire?

Surely their having a prolonged deep kiss would result in no harm . . . .

I found a certain poetry and romanticism in this work.  I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rules for a Successful First Date

1.  First of all, to answer the first thing that you might be thinking.  The answer is NO!  Unless you are a career call girl.

2.  Have only one alcoholic drink on the first date; That is a good plan.  I know many have a tendency to drink more in situations where they feel nervous, but this is a no-no.  This is not necessarily because you might strip out of your dress and dance on the table; but because most people, like me, have tongues become less guarded when they've had more than one drink.  You don't want one of those "Oh my God!  Did I really say that?" moments the next day.

3.  Avoid ordering the most expensive entrée on the menu, even if the person you are going out with is highly prosperous.  Ordering that is very bad form.

4.  If you go to dinner, don't take your shoes off during the meal.  Once I did so; and could not find them to put them on again.  The guy I was with was startled at my movements, and thought that I was playing footsie with him.

5.  Speaking of shoes, don't wear stripper heels: falling on your face or behind is never suave and sophisticated.  Any bruises you acquire from that is easily misinterpreted.

6.  Don't play "snap the wishbone" or demonstrate that you can tie a cherry stem while using only your mouth.  He will wonder how you acquired this ability.

7.  Three topics it's prudent to avoid: religion, politics, and sex.  There are others that are risky, like opinions on the designated hitter in baseball; but those for sure.

8.  Before you go on the date, at least do a skimming of the sports news so that you can provide something to talk about in case of those awkward moments.  You probably don't have to do this is the guy you're going out with is majoring in English or history.

9. Dress mildly or discreetly sexy; but underplay your hand.  Don't offer to show him your new stockings bought specifically for that evening!  And tame décollété. if any.

10.  Don't order anything with barbecue sauce; it tends to stain at the most inconvenient times.  Anyway, when you go out with a Southern male, 50% of the time the barbecue sauce you specify is wrong, and it marks you as a barbarian!

11.  Leave your shootin' iron at home.  It fits very poorly in purses that you carry in the evening.  That is, unless you are going to shoot rats at the dump for the date activity.

12.  Typically, going to a dog track is not an acceptable venue for a first date; as is going to a dog fight.  Don't request either if you're asked what you would like to do.

13.  Topics to be avoided: your siblings, ex-boyfriends, neighbors who streak at 6 A.M. on your street, and so forth.

143.  Unless the date is to do roller skating with a sk8r boi [sic], wearing a t-shirt commerating a band and Daisy Dukes is not apropos.

15.  Don't ask him in for coffee.  This is very likely to be misinterpreted as an offer of you on the menu.

16.  Also, don't put him on the spot with questions like "Is my butt too big?, "How do you like my boobs?" or "Do you think I need liposuction?"

17.  Encourage him to talk about his interests, his sports, his pet, and so forth.  If he says that he's into discipline, you just found out a reason why you might not want date #2.

18.  If the first date is a movie, don't insist that he take you to a chick flick.  A light comedy sets a positive tone for the evening; but if he's cool, he might even take you to a Harry Potter one.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Humor is Not Like Ex-Lax

I have been told that there is a product called Ex-Lax intended to make children "regular," as if there is such a thing.  Simply said, it is a chocolate-flavored laxative that supposedly is made to be more palatable for children  My Mom told me horror stories of how when she was young, parents had a more interventionist view of digestive processes.

Like gunboat diplomacy; don't leave things to chance.  Make 'em poop daily.

But I digressed, I think.

Much of today's humor falls into the following categories:

(a)  Humor to serve as a bully stick handmaiden to politics:  humor is primarily to further partisan causes.  (Hey, Jon Stewart, you listening?)

(b)  Humor to ridicule categories of people (Aggie/Auburn/Washington State jokes, blonde jokes, much of racial and ethnic humor)  [BTW, I'm a Cajun blonde; and I'm okay to a point about either category.]

(c)  Humor to get cheap laughs based on the missteps of celebrities (Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, and Paris Hilton are real flesh-and-blood people who suffered anguish, however it might have been inflicted by others and themselves)

(d)  Humor to complain about the injustices of life.

But now let's look at humorists that I thought delivered the goods:

Mark Twain -- He was sometimes bitter and raunchy; but he could be funny and made it okay for us to be.

Jean Sheperd -- An underrated '60's author; best known for his classic, Christmas Story.

Lewis Grizzard -- Light, unhostile Southern humor and commentary.  They should erect a esquiterian statue of him on the courthouse lawn in Newnan, GA.

Dave Barry -- He ALWAYS manages to be funny.  No one deserved a Pulitizer Prize more than him.

Laurie Notaro -- Great chick humor.  She uses the device of being 'the idiot girl; but always manages to produce enjoyable writing.  No male bashing or other self-indulgences.

"Chick humor" should not be taken as a term of disparagement.  Guys don't get solely to make the rules any longer; and over 50% of the population carries two X chromosomes.

Scott Adams -- The Dilbert guy is very funny.

And world-class cartoonists: Dany (Olivier Rameau and assorted racy French cartoons), Dean Yeagle (Mandy cartoons), Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes), Gary Larson (The Far Side), etc. 

These are my heroes.  I try to write humor for humor's sake.  Occasionally successfully; after all, sometimes a blind hog finds an acorn!  No hidden sales message intended.  In the most radical sense, generating and appreciating humor is a device for enjoying the sweet mystery that is human life.  It can stand on its own merits: it doesn't have to be justified as a proper stewardship of time that might be called for in the Protestant Ethic.  Don't make it Ex-Lax humor!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bunga Bunga

No, that's not something a drnken Yalie would sing; it's an erotic ritual which involves a powerful leader and several naked women.  Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi allegedly had these soirees in which he and certain boon companions availed themselves of, er, professional women of negotiable morality.  Here's some quotes taken from tapes:

“Last night I had a queue outside the door of the bedroom… There were 11 … I only did eight because I could not do it anymore.”

What a guy; showing a willingness to conserve energy and austerity and not waste prostitution resources:

“Because now I want that you have yours, otherwise I will always feel I am in your debt. Then we can trade. After all, the p***y needs to go around.”

I'm glad he believed in conservation and recycling.  That makes him a Green Prime Minister.

He also had some ideas about what is good enough for government work:

He boasted to one TV showgirl that he was only “prime minister in my spare time.”

What a charmer!  Or is he?  Somehow, I have this image of a dozen doxies waiting in line to take the place of the current one in play.  What do they talk about?  How are they selected?  Is it like baseball, where there's a batter's box for the one to wait a turn?

It seems very disrespectful to the strumpets to treat them this way.  And, obviously, our 74-year-old Lothario is not likely to be concerned with their orgasms or even comfort.

He's a douchebag of Jersey Shore magnitude!

There was another player in this saga, an Italian woman politician.  CNN asked her if she ever appeared topless before Silvio Berlusconi!  Now there's a saving grace that we have in the USA.  I don't think the odious Nancy Pelosi was ever asked.  Need some brain rinse for that idea?  S.B. is B.S.; I mean Bravo Sierra!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It's Time to Put Pants on Vulcan!

Skippy, the Evil Twin Attorney-General of Alabama, was thinking dark thoughts.

Sadly, the Heart of Dixie had severely strayed from the straight-and-narrow. This could be seen by the movement to legalize video bingo, draft beer in certain cities, losses of church attendees, and the increased boldness and lewd dress on public beaches!

Even though the oil spill news had appeared nightly on the news, it seemed that the debauchery on the beaches had increased and the swimsuits had become increasingly skimpy. There seemed to be a consistent local reluctance to do anything about it, perhaps thinking it was bad for business.

He thought, "There ought to be a law . . . . " when the problem was that the state legislature has become increasingly moribund.

Clearly, it was time for a moral crusade; one to whip up fervor and to serve as a clarion call for action.

But what?

Now at that particular moment he was driving in Birmingham, and he saw the giant iron statue of Vulcan.

Ahhh! He was inspired! Alabamians need something to be worked up about. Aren't they offended by Vulcan's pantslessness? If there's any obvious example of what not to follow, the Big Iron Guy is it!

Maybe Vulcan simply mis-read the Biblical injunction to turn the other cheek?  No matter; have them issue a citation for Vulcan's public nudity. Make him put on trousers. Maybe Belk's or Macy's or Rich's could come up with a suitable pair. Checkered pants would look nice!  Since Birmingham is a University of Alabama city, maybe a red-and-white pattern would do.

"Now maybe that will show those little trollops that dare to go topfree at Gulf Shores," he thought.

Monday, September 12, 2011


It seemed far-fetched at first, but apparently there are a small number of people that get bothered about yoga. They see it as some esoteric religion; and regard the mantra Om or the greeting Namaste with suspicion. The fact is, most people who are into yoga treat it as an exercise, and that's that. For them, it's not a religion; never was for them. In fact, sitting in the half lotus position, breathing regularly, and chanting Om is a great way to clear the mind and gain relaxation. Who should find fault with that?  Likewise, I fail to see any catastrophe being caused by people becoming more supple and toned.

It may be that some Fundies are hypersensitive to things that are unfamiliar to them. It's true: there is an element of comfort in the commonplace. But it goes beyond that. If it's beyond their range of experience, there is an automatic departure into suspicion.

The world must, to them, be a dark and scary place. Actually, it's not just the Fundies. Fear of The Other is a common human failing on both sides of the political spectrum.

It's true that sometimes there are monsters out there such as Osama bin-Laden; but there's no need to manufacture more.

By the way, namaste is a departing gesture given in respect to the other person: it's a recognition of the divine within another.  Why should this be troublesome?  For those that might be troubled by it, I suggest some typical male-oriented substitute, such as "How about them Dawgs" or "Hook 'em Horns"!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jambalaya Recipe

Here is a traditional Acadian recipe from Louisiana.  It's hearty, easy to make, and satisfying.

Seasoning mix:
2 whole bay leaves
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. rubbed sage
Jambalaya prep:
2 tbsp. butter
1 lb. andouille or keilbasa sausage, cut into bite size slices
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces.
2 diced onions
1 stalk diced celery
2 diced green bell peppers
1 tbsp. minced garlic
12 oz. canned diced tomatoes in sauce or 12 oz. tomato sauce (not tomato paste)
2 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 1/2 cups (converted) uncooked rice
Combine all ingredients for the seasoning mix in a small bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until meat starts to brown.  This should take about 3 or 4 minutes, more or less. Add the chicken and cook it until the chicken turns brown, about 3-5 minutes. Keep it stirred frequently. Stir in the seasoning mix and 1/2 of each onion, celery, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook until vegetables become tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and sauce and cook about 1 minute.  Stir in remaining vegetables, and take the mixture off the heat. Now stir in the chicken stock and rice, and mix well. Transfer mixture to an ungreased baking pan and bake uncovered at 350 for about 1 hour or until all liquid has evaporated.  Stir periodically.

Before serving jambalaya, remove bay leaves. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Add Tabasco sauce for further hotness.  For God's sake, don't screw it up with some off-brand hot sauce.

Serve with a nice beer, like Abita Turbo Dog or Blue Moon.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Faux Purity Ring

While in a discussion with other female grad students, the topic of purity rings came up -- with hilarity and skepticism.  In fact, two other girls did have one, but mine was exceptional; it came from the French Quarter in New Orleans!


Teens are often subjected to social pressures; and they sometimes don't handle them very well.  Case in point came when I was sixteen.  Some friends who attended a Baptist church and their fathers were induced (read arm-twisted) into undergoing a Purity Pledge ceremony, during which the girls pledged to abstain from doing it before marriage.  As a token of their pledge, their fathers gave them silver purity rings inscribed with "True love waits."

Apparently, they were very pleased to announce their virgin status, and carried it a step further:  they raised questions where other peoples' rings were. 

When will they have their Purity Ring ceremony?  Or, were they . . . . sluts!!?  Thus is teen logic; or what passes for it at times.

You can imagine the effect this had on sixteen year old me, since I was a Catholic and our church didn't go in for that sort of public ritual.  (May crownings and flying novenas are okay, though.)    The fact that one implied that "all Catholic girls are sluts" didn't help.

So I went for the easy solution.  I lied.

It so happened that I was in the French Quarter the previous weekend, and I bought a cheapo ring from a touristy store, the kind so loved by mid-adolescents.  It had a pink glass (?) stone and was of a shiny silver metal.  Yes, dear readers, I told them it was a Catholic Purity Ring.  I was a good enough liar that I seemed convincing.

But God gets at you for lying.  She doesn't buy the mental reservation defense.

Specifically, since I lose things, soon I lost my "purity" ring.  (Oh.  My. God.  They'll think I lost my virginity.)  My brother commented once about my tendency to lose things by saying that I would probably misplace my virginity someday.  I threw something hard at him.

Panic City.  I needed it, like the next day.  Really, really, the next day!

Fortunately, my parents came through.  I explained the situation to them, initially circumspectly, and Daddy drove me down to the souvenir shop to buy another one at 10 P.M.  Actually, I bought a spare at the same time.  I was taking no chances.

Furthermore, at no time did either parent ask whether I merited a purity ring!  My Dad, however, did express privately his relief at not having to participate in such an ishy ceremony.

Monday, September 5, 2011

An Anime Girl for America!

Here's an anime girl for American guys' tastes: skimpy outfit, assault rifle, and hamburger.  Isn't America grand?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Goonz for Jesus

Buford Murray had received the calling; and wished to establish his influence as a worker for the LORD. However, the local area had a surfeit of Baptist preachers, and the best that he could obtain for a congregation he would serve was one of 75 members. Still, that was 75 souls for the LORD; and Lord knows he loves us all. But Buford wanted to spread that lovin' more effectively.  Especially among the well-to-do middle class!

In short, he aspired to be the minister for a megachurch in some urban setting. That was his career goal.  But that seemed at first like an impossible dream.  [No, don't think of that syrupy song!]

But how to do that? Buford believed that the LORD helps those who help themselves; and not just to the post-service buffets in the Meeting Hall. Buford did like the fried chicken dinners, though.  And he liked consoling the housewives during golfing weekends.  And they appreciated Buford's ministry to them!

No, he concluded that he needed a gimmick: something that would impress upon congregations his unique calling and its gifts for persuasion and soar him into the stratosphere of ministry! He remembered reading a few years before about the Chaplain of Bourbon Street; a tireless worker for the LORD who labored in the unpromising vineyards of the drunks, strippers, bartenders, and tourists on that street of ill fame.

Why not develop a ministry for the professional underworld of New Orleans? After all, the pushers, the pimps, the hookers, the numbers runners, and the garden variety thugs needed salvation too!

So Buford Styled himself the Chaplain of the Goons; and established a meeting hall for he organization he organized: Goonz for Jesus!

Strangely, his target group and him hit it off. Perhaps he mellowed out a bit, and became less judgmental of them. He gave them a safe, valued feeling, unlike many of the self-righteous. And, besides, Brother Buford liked a toke now and then, and he was subject to the temptations of the flesh. When he strayed from the paths of righteousness, both he and the strumpet fell on their knees and prayed. (Previously, she was the only one on her knees.)

The fact that he served also daiquiris during the brief prayer meetings gained him a receptive audience. However, there's another fact: Thugs and riff-raff need to be loved also. Brother Buford understood that. And he provided them with a ministry to do just that. He didn't harp on the sinfulness of their occupations, but was sincere in his support. His little ministry gave them a spiritual coffee break from their toil of crime!  It also gave them a sense of cohesiveness; you could see their "Goonz for Jesus" gang signs on overpasses and in tunnels. 

Brother Buford became well-known. And a result of that was that donations came in. However, Buford channeled the money into worthy uses: a soup kitchen for the homeless, a shelter for abused children and wives, anger management for the goons, and money grants that he provided in the eventuality that the underworld members wished to leave the life. Some did.  Others did not; but many showed a moderation in their antisocial behavior; for example, the drug dealers sold only pot, rather than crack or roofies.

Along the way, he gave up his ambition to be a megachurch minister, and instead cared for his unlikely flock.

Yes, Brother Buford saved souls, including his own.

Sometimes the LORD works in strange ways.


Best wishes to LSU Tigers against the Ducks.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

An Encounter in a Barnyard

Contrary to my natural milieu, I found myself in a barnyard. I did not know how that came to pass; too often the events in my life unfold as if I am in a Eugene Ionesco play.  Anyway, while gingerly going around amid the noise and other matters, I encountered a pack animal with a supercilious attitude.

"Miss, for what purpose have you come?  Have you received entry papers from our owner?  This is most irregular!"

I indicated that I really did not; but that maybe I could be excused this time, as "I had come a far piece and wanted to see things, or whatever."

Thereupon he criticized my grammar, and my dress.  (I was wearing Daisys, a baby tee, and flip-flops.)  He suggested that visitations to the barnyard were by appointment only; and that they were booked well through October.  He further accused me of impertinence in continuing the conversation though we had not been properly introduced.  He informed me that the farm had a dress code, and visitors were expected to follow it.  Finally, he faulted me on my perfume; declaring that the barnyard was "a scent-free environment a la San Francisco."

Finally, it dawned upon me: I was dealing with a pompous ass.