Friday, October 27, 2017

Bubba and the Traffic Cop

Officer Smith was out patrolling on Main Street the other day, when he spotted Bubba driving along and weaving all over the road. Knowing how Bubba liked to indulge in some "liquid refreshments" at all hours of the day and night, Officer Smith figured he could add to his ticket count, and get a good D.U.I. "bust" at the same time, so he pulled Bubba over.

 Officer Smith walked up to Bubba's pickup truck, and advised him that he will have to take a breath test.

Bubba said, "I'm so sorry, but I have asthma real bad, me, and if I blow too hard, I'm gonna have me a real bad attack."

But Bubba said, "Oh, I'm so sorry, but I have hemophilia, too. If you take some blood, I could bleed to death."

So Officer Smith told him, "Well, OK, then I'm gonna give you a blood test."

Officer Smith, getting just a little frustrated, told Bubba, "Well then, I will need a urine sample to test."

Bubba said, "I am truly sorry, but I also have diabetes, and if I do give up my urine, my blood sugar will drop real low."

Officer Smith then said, "Well, OK, then come over here and walk this line for me."

Bubba replied, "Gee, I'm sorry, I can't do that either." 

Officer Smith, really now mad, screamed, "And why not?"

Bubba answered, "Because, I'm too drunk!"

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Antoine "Fats" Domino, R.I.P.

Yesterday, Antoine "Fats" Domino died; he was 89. "Fats" was a cheerful pioneer in rhythm and blues and had a musical career of over 60 years. No musician more exemplified the unique New Orleans style of popular music than Fats Domino.

It's no exaggeration to say that he will be missed. His first language was Louisiana Creole. His musical career began in the late 1940's. It spanned from then to the time of Hurricane Katrina.

Here are a few of his big hits.

Rest easy, Fats! Heaven now has a great piano player and man of good cheer.

"Blueberry Hill"

"Blue Monday" 

"Ain't that a Shame"

Here Fats is doing a duet with Doug Kershaw of an old Rockin' Sidney song. David Carradine and Edwin Edwards also make appearances:

"My Toot-Toot"

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

What Guys Think About Women's Swimwear

I won't pretend otherwise: young women's choices in swimwear are partly determined by how attractive or even how sexy they look in them. But what kinds of swimsuits do men really like?

As is my wont, I did research. I found an article in Marie Claire which reported on what 100 randomly selected men felt about different styles of women's swimsuits. Here's some findings regarding specific examples of swimwear:

String bikini: 74% of the guys like them; 26% feel they are too revealing or they make observers feel uncomfortable. Maybe it's the string. Are they more comfortable when they're double knot-tied? Maybe seeing the top tied with a single bow can be anxiety-invoking for some fellows! One told me so directly!

Standard bikini: 93% like them; and only 7% find them too revealing. This one seems to get the highest approval ratings and is a safe bet, in most cases. And this type of suit seems to be compatible with moderate exercise.

Bandeau top bikini: 89% of guys like them; 11% don't. This is also a safe bet.

Monokini: only 22% of guys like them. These are seen as kind of weird. 

Standard one piece: 61% of guys like them; but they don't like retro styles so much. Ditch the 1940's look.

High fashion bikinis just did not thrill guys at all. Plus I wonder about the bizarre tan lines that go with some.

Unfortunately, the Marie Claire article did not go into details about their sample of 100 guys: their ages, marital or parental status, or other dimensions that could bring a bearing on their responses. As a researcher, I like those little details.

With this in mind, I thought it would be sweet to ask my fiancé his opinion regarding the type of swimsuit he would prefer me to wear shortly after we we got engaged,  I figured that if we were to be a couple, then he definitely deserved to have input into what I wear.

A nice hybrid bikini style

A safe swimsuit style that can be worn for heavy exercise.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Ubiquitous Bird

There's a gesture that is generally regarded as rude; and that in itself might contribute to its widespread use. We do live in crude times; but the days of yesteryear had their crude moments as well.

I'm talking about the bird; whether used as in shooting the bird, or flipping the bird. Anyway, no avians are hurt by that gesture, so nature lovers can rest easy! This gesture is widespread in Western cultures; and recorded examples of it go as far back as in the plays of Aristophanes where a minor character righteously flips off Socrates. (Now Aristophanes was a frequently raunchy playwright; he wrote Lysistrata.

The English and the French find solace in saluting others with the bird; so do the ill-bred of the Fourth Ward in New Orleans.* And, no, mes amis: its origins had nothing to do with English longbowmen proving their middle fingers were not removed! That's a myth.

Our current unfriendlies, the North Koreans (supposedly AKA to themselves as Best Koreans) apparently were unfamiliar with the gesture when it was made by captured U.S. sailors from USS Pueblo years and years ago. In fact, they mistook if for the Hawaiian shaka sign!

But let's consider the high water mark for flipping the bird: When the Las Vegas shooter killed more than 50 innocent people attending a concert, one intrepid person in the crowd flipped him the bird. Apparently the photograph appearing in the New York Post was real. (Thanks to New Orleans's best T.V. station for that information.)

For some reason, his defiant act spoke for all of us when crap like the shooter pulled comes down: "Hey, we're Americans! Up yours, Asshole!"

The passage from the Henley's verse, "bloody but unbowed" comes to mind.

*Guess from which ward I came from!

Apparently not having a beautiful
day in the neighborhood.

Friday, October 20, 2017

How Locals Pronounce Some Street Names in New Orleans

No shit, dear readers. One of the reliable markers distinguishing long-term New Orleanians from others is how we pronounce local streets and neighborhoods.  Here's a sample:

Tremé - Tre-may.

Marigny - Mar-in-yee

Calliope - Cal-ee-ope. 

Melpomene - Mel-po-meen. This street is now Dr. Martin L. King Boulevard.

Therpiscore - Ter-pis-core.

Clio - C. L. Ten.

Erato - Ee-rat-oh

Urania - You-rain-e-ya

Thalia - Thal-ya.

Carondelet - Ca-ron-de-let.

Euterpe - You-terp

Iberville - Eye-ber-vill

Bienville - Bee-en-vill

Charters - Char-ters

Conti - Kawn-tie

Dauphine - Daw-feen

Kerlerec - Ker-ler-ek

Thoupitoulas - Chop-a-tou-las

Classical scholars may roll over in their graves; but these pronunciations are the modal ones actually used by Orleanians. Sometimes it is due to the peculiarities of the languages originally used by different ethnic groups; sometimes it's to be funny; and some is due to sheer perversity. C. L. Ten, indeed!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Sex and Marriage Talk

One of the hazards of encountering organized religion when being a teen is having to experience the Mandatory Sex and Marriage Talk.  Now, first of all, this is always delivered to a single sex audience: either all boys or all girls, since parents are often remiss in this duty, according to educational authorities.

The dramatis personae for this painful entertainment can be:

a)  A priest or nun, for Catholics; a hip minister for Protestants;
b)  A doctor;
c)  A not-so-hip married couple.

Obviously, the slant is going to be in the direction of "don't do it until you're married, and only to him/her, and not too often, otherwise he will get ideas."  Never mind the hormones . . . .

Catholic teens are supposed to get the message that the only acceptable form of birth control is the rhythm method, but most priests have long ago accepted the idea that not all God's children got rhythm.  And there's the prohibitive cost and maternal wear and tear from having too many bambinos!  

Anyway, these sessions almost always have to include time for some anonymously written questions:

1.  How many times per week do married couples, you know, do it?

2.  After a heavy makeout session, my boyfriend complains that his testicles hurt.  Is there anything I can do to help?

3.  Is it a sin to go commando if you're not in the British Army?

4.  What is a reasonable amount of submitting to your husband?

5.  Do husbands have to submit to their wives also?

6.  How do you resolve differences over disciplining your children?

7.  (For priests)  Do you think that Kim Kardashian is hot?

8.  (For the doctor)  Is there any physical harm from getting good vibrations?

9.  How do I get my girlfriend to stop nagging me?

10.  How do I tell my boyfriend to shower more often?

Not surprisingly, the doctor tends to give the most matter-of-fact information.

The members of the audience can include a number of snarky girls.  I suppose guys refrain from snarkiness and are totally polite.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Polite Clickbait, as Opposed to the Other Kind

Clickbait is a common accompaniment to featured sites. Their purpose is to attract readers to additional sites to further advertisement or persuasive goals. Some clickbait is rather raw, promising wardrobe malfunctions or scandalous doings or perhaps revealing secrets that people might find embarrassing!

From the start I'll define the term polite clickbait as sites that are generally inoffensive, yet one squanders time pursuing. Conde-Nast Traveler, for instance, has lists of the ten friendliest and ten least friendly cities in the U.S. Where does your city fall? Which places are friendly; and which are unfriendly? Is Nashville a friendly place? What about Baltimore? I'll give you a freebie: C-N cites Charleston as the most friendly place.  

No, not the ones in West Virginia or Massachusetts.

Not surprisingly, the least friendly place cited is in New Jersey. You wanna make something of it?

We now consider the Most Boring Cities. Forbes magazine lists the most boring cities. Apparently, there's not a lot of love for California, Arizona, and Nevada. 

And there's web sites that allow you to scroll among old pictures. These are typically mundane, yet described in sensationalistic ways. You can tell the links to this kind of click bait by suggestible come-on lines as "you won't believe what she was doing." 

What can be said of these sites? They're harmless; but are sort of open-ended wastes of time. At least you don't come away from them feeling icky, like the semipornish ones or the fake news ones. Or, especially, the ones that have viruses attached.

Friday, October 13, 2017

On the Sunny Side of Discreet

Today is a special day to be marked privately by women.

This is an occasion for discreet independence from one usual convention. October 13th is National No Bra Day. It's time to free las niñas!

However, for politeness's sake and a little less conspicuousness, then you can get some breast petals so as not make a fashion statement:

Who knows: you might also find a reason to celebrate National No Bra Day + 1 and +2!

For lasses of Hibernian ancestry, there's also Saint Patrick's Day.

Monday, October 9, 2017

What's With the Falsettos?

As I have sometimes alluded to, I'm a sometime fan of classical rock; though sometimes making cracks about some examples that I thought were excessive.

However, there's a phenomenon that seems confusing to me: periodically, male groups came out with songs suns wholly or partly in falsetto. What's with this odd practice? Frank Valli and the Four Seasons were particularly notorious; with songs like "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Sherry." But even the Beach Boys have gone the falsetto route, with "Sloop John B." Others include Lou Christie, Beck, and The Bee Gees.

I have two possible theories for this:

(1) The occasional male group singing in falsetto is a kind of psychic rejection of puberty; with for boys no less than with girls puberty has a mixed bag to go with it.*

(2) The persistence of falsetto singing guys might be a cultural longing for castrati. As barbarous as it sounds, for several hundred years prepubescent boys were castrated to maintain their voices in an alto or soprano range.**

Anyway, I'm really puzzled. Does anyone have an idea for why male falsettos occur so often in popular music?

*Things suddenly got more serious; and there's no way out. I admit to having been ambivalent about it all at the time.

**A fictional example of this is found in Anne Rice's book Cry to Heaven. Warning: it is explicit; and not among her best. In my opinion, you might enjoy Feast of All Saints more. It's a novel about the Free People of Color in old New Orleans.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Why Do Witches Ride Brooms?

It's a common Halloween image, a witch riding on a broom.

But where did this notion come from?

Well, apparently there were a few individuals back in the Medieval times and later who practiced witchery; and sometimes this included the use of Witches' Brews.

Now among the ingredients used in these Witches' Brews included some psychoactive substances such as belladonna, henbane, mandrake, and nightshade, and others. These substances are rich in powerful alkaloids such as atropine. These were often used in their 'flying ointments,' so-called because they gave users a sense of flying.

These Witches' Brews were also highly toxic if ingested. However, they can also be absorbed into the skin in locations such as underarms, the rectum, or the vagina. The mode of application was to have the substances in an ointment that was in turn applied to the handle of a pitchfork or broom. 

Atropine can be poisonous in stronger doses. However, this method of application avoids some of the negative symptoms that oral intake would provide.

In short, by being astride a broomstick, and a little judicious friction, the witches could really get airborne in their witches' sabbats!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Passing of Hugh Hefner, Editor of Playboy

Last week Mr. Hugh Hefner, former editor of Playboy magazine, died. The magazine, in its heyday had millions of subscribers and newsstand purchasers. had since been eclipsed by others that featured semi- or completely nude women in a less slick and high-rent tone.

He was credited with being a major figure in the sexual revolution and in Civil Rights; yet was largely retrogressive in the rise of feminism. The magazine, except for in its last two years, featured a nude centerfold, excessively airbrushed and sometimes technically augmented. Each fall, Playboy magazine featured articles on college girls by conference

I suspect that a major reason why Playboy stopped using centerfolds is because of the times. Specifically, nudity and porn became so commonplace and easily accessed that, for many guys to indulge their fantasies, it became less of a big thing. It is also my understanding that the nature of porn has changed; Playboy's nudes now seem tame, as compared to what kinds of porn are available today.

Sometime in the past of the magazine, he launched a Playboy Philosophy. This translated into free sexual license (sometime back then effective birth control means were developed and marketed) coupled with consumerism. All of this was packaged into a  hedonistic lifestyle. He also established several Playboy Clubs in large cities where keyholder members could gain access to drinks and sophisticated entertainment. Finally, he lived in the Playboy Mansion in Chicago.

To many feminists, the most offensive aspect of his endeavors came in the form of the Playboy bunnies; young, attractive women dressed in satin swimsuit-like costumes with cotton tails on their tushes and bunny ears.* I personally find them offensive too. 

If there was a truly saving grace to Playboy magazine, it was in the cartoons. Many of the best cartoonists of the time drew for Playboy, and they were regarded highly. Some of the cartoons were truly funny in a risqué way.  However, a less-publicized editorial change that accompanied the elimination of the centerfold was the elimination of Playboy cartoons. This made it just another publication, despite its still-omnipresent consumerism and hedonism orientation. Kind of like Martha Stewart for guys.

Oh well, Captain Billy's Whiz Bang had its day too.

*Curiously, the bunny ears became a common motif in anime girls cartoons later on.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Retro Origins of a Horse's Name

The rock group America tiresomely sang about riding the desert with an anonymous horse. Was that a terminal case of procrastination on the horse's owner or parents?* 

Now there's Limousine Liberal, a horse with a funny name.

A limousine liberal tends to talk a good game of supporting liberal causes while being largely exempt from their impact. Specifically, they support environmental causes while using limousines or private jets, or ostensibly supporting public education while sending their children to private schools or Ivy League universities. 

This year, the winner of the Churchill Downs Stakes was a five-year old gelding horse named Limousine Liberal. It is not known whether this unfortunate horse supports liberal causes but is unaffected by them. It is also not known what are the politics of its owner.

This is not like a charley horse.

Poor Charley. Is he doomed to ride the M.T.A. also?

*I change stations with this one on WMTY.