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Lit Lovers Rejoice! Sir Archie Ferndoodle Rides Again.

28 Mar

by Roger White                                                                              

 

Fellow time/space voyagers and other occasional devotees of “This Old Blouse,” I am more tickled than a coffee can full of dung beetles to announce the return of my dear friend, back-porch expectorational master, and legendary raconteur of the obsequious and purulent, Sir Archie Ferndoodle (applause, applause, applause).

As I’m sure you remember, the esteemed Dr. Ferndoodle holds an associate’s degree in postmodern comparative limerick studies from the University of Southern Panama’s Correspondence College and has been featured five times in the American Anthology of Poetry. Just a few of his classics include “Oh, Staff Sergeant, My Staff Sergeant!,” “Why Is the Man Always from Nantucket?,” and possibly his greatest epic, “The Squirrels Stopped Talking to Me Today.”

Sir Archie has a rare treat for us in this installment. In his inimitable style, the Fernman has taken several classic tunes from the songbook of popular culture and rendered them as his own, with updated, shall we say, acerbic lyrics so pertinent to today’s manic milieu. Or something.

Disclaimer: The Spouseman—and the newspaper/periodical/bathroom wall compendium in which this diatribe appears—doesn’t necessarily agree with the views and opinions of Sir Archie. He is his own woman, and we bear no responsibility or legal burden for his espousings. So there.

With this heartfelt caveat (and sincere attempt to head off legal action), I give you Sir Archie’s renderings. By the way, it’s important to keep the tune of Archie’s specific song choice in your head for these to make any sense whatsoever. If that is, indeed, possible. So. Archie’s first offering is called “Ivanka in the White House”:

 

Ivanka in the White House

(to the tune of “Drive My Car” by The Beatles)

(verse 1)

“I asked my girl where she wanted to be,

In New York City or in D.C.,

She said Daddy, I wanna be near you,

In the White House with Jared the Jew.”

 

(chorus)

“Ivanka, you can have the West Wing,

We’ll set you up with all of your bling,

You can sell your furs and your rings,

And Dad will tweet for you.”

 

(verse 2)

“Barron’s got a floor to himself,

With a team of counselors for his mental health,

But Melania and I aren’t sharin’ a bed,

So you could move in with me instead.”

 

(chorus)

“Ivanka, you can have the West Wing,

Or you-know-where, I won’t say a thing,

Damn, it’s so good to be the king,

And Putin, I owe you.”

 

“Tweet, tweet n tweet, tweet, yeah!”

 

Um, ok. For his second favoring, the Fernman has rendered this ditty entitled “Perry in Charge”:

 

Perry in Charge

(to the tune of Tom Jones’ “She’s a Lady”)

(verse 1)

“Well, I’m the Energy Top Dude,

And now solar power’s screwed ’cause oil’s my cash cow,

Yeah, I ran for president,

I told Donald to get bent, but that’s all past now.”

 

(chorus)

“I’m Rick Perry, woah, woah, woah,

I’m Rick Perry,

Those rumors are false, ’cause I’m no fairy,

And I’m towin’ the Trump line.”

 

(verse 2)

“Well, I’m not sure what I do,

But I think I make the rules on nukular weapons,

But this can’t be as hard

As Dancing with the Stars, man, I was steppin’,”

 

(chorus)

“I’m Rick Perry, woah, woah, woah,

I’m Rick Perry,

Renewable power’s our adversary,

Let’s build that pipeline.”

 

And last, and surely least, Ferndude gives us “Lysergic Wood,” which he says is his ode to psychedelic substances:

 

Lysergic Wood, An Ode to LSD

(to the tune of The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood”)

(verse 1)

“I once ate a squirrel,

Or should I say the squirrel ate me,

He showed me his brain,

We baked it into a nice quiche lorraine.”

 

(chorus)

“We smoked purple crayons,

As the walls melted into the sea,

Then Timothy Leary appeared

And said why’d you take three?”

 

(verse 2)

“I played canasta with Jesus,

His Holiness beat me two games out of threezus,

Then me and the squirrel flew to Mars,

But squirrel wasn’t squirrel, he was Pat Benatar.”

 

(chorus)

“We smoked purple crayons

As robots made love to the cow,

Then Hunter S. Thompson said man you’re in big trouble now.”

 

(verse 3)

“And when I awoke,

I was in a cell with a large man named Mel.

He kept pinching my ass,

Dear God from now on, I’m sticking with grass.”

 

Roger White Sir Archie Ferndoodle holds an associate’s degree in comparative limerick studies from the University of Southern Panama’s Correspondence College. Sir Archie’s classics include “Oh, Staff Sergeant, My Staff Sergeant!,” “Why Is the Man Always from Nantucket?,” and perhaps his greatest epic, “The Squirrels Stopped Talking to Me Today,” For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.

 

 

Suburban Worldsick Blues

27 May

by Roger White

 

With a tip of the hat to a master chronicler of the American age, it must be noted that Bob Dylan never lived in a 3/2/2 with central heat/air and two and a half mortgages during a time when, by all appearances, our society is on the verge of utter decay—all viewable with the click of a mouse or touch of a pad.

 

So I give you “Suburban Worldsick Blues.”

 

Perry’s in the Capitol, railin’ against abortion,

I’m lookin’ at my taxes thinkin’ it’s extortion,

The man in the trench coat shootin’ up the school halls

Says he got bullied so everybody must fall.

 

Look out, dad, the economy is bad,

God knows what we did, but the country’s on the skids.

 

You better duck down, turn page, watch out for road rage,

Another mass swhyhooting, another senseless rampage,

Sterling’s on his cell phone reminiscin’ ’bout slavery,

Miley’s twerkin’ onstage, scandalous behavery.

 

Look out, mom, Gotta stay calm,

Soldiers in Kabul dodging roadside bombs.

 

Get sick, get well, they’re laying off again at Dell,

Are we winnin’ whatever war, it’s gettin’ kinda hard to tell,

Presidenidiotst says our healthcare system’s unfit,

All Congress says is where’s your birth certificate?

 

Well, Hormel, GM organizin’ recalls,

Bad meat, bad brakes, pickets down at town hall,

Daughter’s college fees call for medical sedation,

Building border walls to stifle immigration.

 

Look out, pop, no tellin’ where it stops,

Younger daughter’s boyfriend working at a head shop.

 

Mortgage underwater, excess beer consumption,

Viagra wants to help with that erectile dysfunction,

The factonoworkry just made a Chapter 11 declaration,

School board says it’s gonna teach divine creation.

 

Text tweet online, your selfie looking so fine,

Kids in Bosnia steppin’ on old land mines.

Icebergs meltin’, droughts killin’ all the wheat,

Just global warmin’ lies of the liberal elite.

 

Well, get dressed, get stressed, face the day’s traffic mess,

Oops, your job’s just been outsourced to Bangladesh.

Don’t follow leaders, take pills for all the cedars,

Find yourself a new position as a Walmart greeter.

 

Look out, mama, you’re dyin’ from the trauma,

Increase yer Prozac dosage, tune in the dalai lama.

 

Well, jump down a manhole, filibuster gun control,

thebardThink I saw a shadow up there beyond the grassy knoll,

Headin’ to the car, another day in the loony ward,

Shakin’ yer head ’cause the vandals keyed yer new Ford.

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.

143a.

 

They’ll Take My Lawn Darts When They Pry Them from My Cold, Dead Hands

26 Nov

by Roger White

Every Christmas season, right on cue, under the guise of “the public interest,” some Grinch-worshiping cults masquerading as nonprofit research groups publish their annual lists of the most dangerous, evil, and malicious child-eating toys of the year. I have a toy bone to pick with these guys—not a large toy bone, just a small one. In fact, it’s small enough to lodge in the throat and necessitate a trip to the emergency room. But nevertheless…

Don’t misunderstand, I acknowledge the need for watchdogs in our society, especially when it comes to the safety and well-being of our tiniest community members. There is surely no call for manufacturing and marketing such items as Mister Mickey’s Mini-Molotov Cocktail Set or Captain Smiley’s Fun with Asbestos Removal. But some of the selections for the naughty toy list are a bit nitpicky, if you ask me.

Take this year’s U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) survey of toy safety, for example. The PIRG Nerds spent all of their time from September through November hanging out in toy stores and malls playing with all the toys, games, and gadgets. (Side note: I want a job at PIRG.) According to the PIRG report, “Our investigation focused on toys that posed a potential toxic, choking, strangulation, or noise hazard.” The report mentioned nothing about all the obnoxious, overly-sexed, street-walker-dressed dolls aimed at the preteen set—but then, maybe I’m being a prude.

 

No, PIRG’s pet peeves involved amounts of lead, tiny magnets in toys, little toy pieces that kids could swallow, loud toys, and toys that contained something called phthalates. Not only do I not have the foggiest idea what phthalates are, I don’t even know how to pronounce them. Trying to pronounce phthalates produces enough spittle as to discourage me from even investigating them, and I recommend the same for you. This is the “if you can’t pronounce it, it can’t hurt you” school of consumer protection. I will note that the PIRG study reported that the state of Washington had the toughest phthalate protection laws on the books—they went as far as making toy manufacturers that used phthalates spell out the amount of phthalates on the toy. This, I’m sure, caused toy manufacturers in Washington to increase the size of their toys just so the word phthalates could appear on the toy.

As for the rest of the hazards on the list, come on. We’ve become a nation of coddlers. As far as lead goes, I found out after the fact that all of my beloved Hot Wheels cars of the late 1960s were slathered in lead paint. I never ate one of my Hot Wheels cars. I crashed them a lot, maybe even burned one or two to see how neat it would look, but I don’t recall ever licking or munching my toy cars. And I turned out fine. No, really, I did. The dangers of magnets, choking, poking, burning, toxins, all that? Let me just say that when I was a tyke, we had Creepy Crawlers (basically an open hot plate used to cook plastic goo); giant lawn darts, which my pals and I would use as WWII bombs on our toy tanks and soldiers (we wore makeshift helmets on the battlefield); BB guns, which we would fire at each other to reenact famous battles throughout history; stingray bikes with no safety helmets or silly pads; and junior chemistry sets complete with instructions on what to do if you caught fire. And we all somehow made it through to adulthood with nary a scratch.

Well, I wouldn’t say nary a scratch. There was that incident with Jimmy Peterson’s left eye. And, oh, yeah, Bobby Scoggins never could catch a ball again after that one time—and jeez, I forgot all about poor Stevie Blackwell. He was a fun guy, rest his soul. OK, OK, never mind. I suppose some of the old toys are best left in the old days. Who’s up for some Slip ’n’ Slide?!

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.

It’s Official Now: We’re Part of the Big, Bad City

25 Jun

by Roger White

 

Is anyone reading this? I can’t be at all certain, my free-ranging earth mates, that my dispatches of late are not being intercepted by the local gendarmes. So send up a flare, if you would, if I’m getting through.

 

As I pen these nuggets, you see, my house—in fact, the whole neighborhood—is under police lockdown. Nobody in, nobody out without proper identification. Road blocks, complete with all sorts of uniforms and squad cars and news trucks, clog all exits from our little subdivision.

 

I’ll begin at the beginning, which is always a good place to begin. It started out like any other normal suburban Sunday—I’m up at the crack of 10:30 a.m.; the wife’s sipping coffee and reading the paper; I’m searching for my pants and trying to remember if I wore pants the previous night. Then the wife takes our dog out to do his business. When she returns, Sue has that look on her face like the time my mom and stepdad showed up at the door unannounced, with luggage and pets.

 

“Ralph got the runs again?” I inquire.

 

“No. Cops. Everywhere. With German shepherds. And guns. Lots of guns.”

 

Our first notion was yet another kegger gone wild at the rent house down the block, but no, this was much more serious. Our youngest daughter then relayed a text message she got from her pal one street over: “Sta in yr hous. Kllers loos” or something to that effect. Sure enough, we found it on our local news web site: The police found a guy croaked in his car in our little neighborhood park right behind our house. Right behind our house! And it wasn’t natural causes, if you know what I mean. This was a homicide! A 10-12, or 687, or BLT, or whatever the cops call it. This is stuff that happens on the east side, in places that exist only on TV—not in our quiet, covenant-protected enclave! Holy Peyton Place!

 

For the rest of the day, we perched at our windows, eyeing helicopters circling low overhead, watching all types and sizes of uniformed men combing the greenbelt behind our house, walking the streets, carrying all types and sizes of Rambo-looking weaponry. I briefly entertained the notion of taking my Swiss pen knife in hand, but then I figured if the constabulary needed my help, they’d ask.

 

Rumors began flying, via Facebook, texts, and the neighborhood cell phone grapevine. It was the Mexican Mafia; it was crazed hippies from Arizona; it was the guy’s wife; it was the guy’s girlfriend; it was the guy’s girlfriend’s husband; it was the guy’s wife’s boyfriend; etc. Eventually, the best information we could get was that it appeared to be a carjacking that began outside the neighborhood but somehow ended up here.

 

As tragic and frightening as this event was, the aftereffects were almost as disturbing. As the manhunt went on, suspicions mounted. Everyone became a suspect.

 

“Who is that?”

 

“Where?”

 

“Right there! Walking down the street. I haven’t seen him before. He looks kinda dodgey. Where’s that police chopper when you need it?”

 

“He lives down the street, hon. He plays with our kids. He’s 12, for crying out loud.”

 

“Oh. Well, he could use a haircut.”

 

By afternoon, it got to the point where we were jumping at shadows. I was in the den, watching England try to hang on in quiet desperation against the Italians in the Euro 2012 soccer tournament, when something flicked rapidly across our back deck.

 

“Hon!” I screamed. “Get the Swiss pen knife!”

 

Then I heard the plaintive meow, signaling that Max our cat wanted to come in.

 

“Never mind!”

 

“You thought Max was the murderer?” Sue teased.

 

“Killers can be very small, you know.”

 

Oddly enough, as we became more accustomed to the siege mentality, we soon realized that this “house arrest” was actually not any different than any other summer day. I mean, who’s leaving the house when it’s 104 degrees outside? By the way, as of this writing, the suspect or suspects remain at large, so if you don’t hear from me again, find out the number for 911.

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.

Public Notice: Now Seeking Repumocrat Party Supporters

26 Jun

by Roger White

            Enough! Enough, already. Attention, all dogma-driven talking heads, all self-serving politicos, all idiotically uncompromising ideologues—and, yes, all fallow-minded followers: shut up. Please, please, shut the hell up.

            In this high-wire act of a column, in a squeaky office chair some two and a half feet off the ground (without a net, mind you), I am going to attempt one of the most dangerous, possibly career-ending maneuvers ever risked by an aging, pot-bellied freelancer with two mortgages. I am going to ruminate on politics without straying one iota from the fence. I vow to roundly box the ears of both donkey and elephant alike.

            In fact, it is my goal to shred these stubborn creatures to the point that, when I am finished, there will be only pieces left to fashion one political animal: the donkephant. Could make an elekey, I suppose, but donkephant sounds better.

            Seriously, folks, the middle path is the only way out of this terrific mess we’re in today. Don’t you think? Never in my [mumble] years on this little planet have I witnessed the viciousness of partisan politics as it exists now. The oft-used cliché is “rancor.” Oh, the partisan rancor. Kids, this puny word falls far short in describing what’s transpiring in D.C., on the talk-and-shout shows, and in state capitol buildings of late. This is akin to calling World War II “a bit of rancor among the countries.” A more appropriate term for today’s political divide might be unlimited nuclear warfare.

            In the nasty climate du jour, compromise is a dirty word. Negotiation is a black mark on a Congressional resumé. Truth is an opinion, either red or blue. And progress is sacrificed. We have not only the politicians and money-grubbing media to blame; we have to hold ourselves accountable, too. But who am I kidding—it’s approximately 97 percent politicians and the media.

            You can basically lump your elected officials and the news hounds in the same group: They’re both out for No. 1; they’ll say just about anything to keep their ratings high; and they wouldn’t tell you a real truth even if they had an intelligent grasp of what it is.

            How’m I doing so far? I’m a little queasy from the view up here.

            Real people—Redcrests, Bluetails, Independents, and every other feather in between—are sick to death of nothing of real consequence ever being accomplished in Washington because the two major factions under the big dome are too busy bashing each other like Punch and Judy.

            And we follow along, don’t we? Brainwashed to the point of demonizing the party we oppose instead of trying to see the other side, even for a minute.

            Think about it. (Here’s where it’s going to get tough. My chair’s getting a tad wobbly.) Let’s look at guns. As I launch into this, understand that I’m painting with a broad, flat, over-generalizing brush, so bear with me. By and large, conservatives believe guns are necessary for self-protection; liberals think the proliferation of guns means more deadly violence. The real thing we’re after here is personal safety. In the larger picture, both sides would rather not have a criminal kick down their door and savage their family—it’s the means of achieving the same goal we’re debating. Mostly.

            Abortion? (Boy, it’s getting tougher. A crowd’s gathering below me. Helloooo down there!) Conservatives say this is taking a life; liberals say what about the desperate life of the unwanted child? Bigger picture—both sides, if they’re sincere, are wrestling with the issue of basic human rights.

            Government. Hmmm. Let’s pick just an aspect here; this is a big, steaming hunk of rancor. How about social welfare? Let me just say I believe in my little ol’ heart of hearts that both factions don’t want to see weathered stick figures on the roadside carrying “Will Work for Food” signs and old ladies dining on Alpo. Some see it as the government’s role to provide; some believe it is the purview of private enterprise and charities. Again, means, not end, is the rub.

            There must be room for, gulp, compromise. Hey, I said it! Felt good, actually. Look, if the Israelis and Palestinians can make noises about peace talks, maybe Republicans and Democrats can, too.

            Remember the big Congressional “prom” at President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address? When members of opposing parties sat together to show unison in the wake of Representative Gabrielle Giffords’ ghastly shooting? I think some wore corsages. As laughingly transparent as that move was, it made me think. We should form a new party—not independent, not extremist, but one that seeks common ground whenever possible.

            We’ll call it the Repumocrat Party. Our mascot, of course, will be the donkephant. Our color will be purple (red + blue, natch). We shall not use the words “staunch,” “never,” “always,” “left,” “right,” or any term including the words “wing,” “trending,” or “spin.” Our goal will be the greater truth always, our motto: “Ends matter, means are negotiable.” We’ll start a TV channel that features only good news. Station NAGS—News About Good Stuff.

            I’m thinking we’ll need a fundraiser to get us off the schneid. Hundred bucks a plate perhaps, payable to oldspouse.com. We’ll need a party chairman—that will be me, thank you very much. I’ll work away from the spotlight, in the wings, and I vow never to stray from our staunch principles. I promise that the Repumocrats will always seek what is right and that no one will be left behind. How are we trending thus far?

            OK, I’ll shut the hell up. The fall from my chair has me in a spin.

 

Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit oldspouse.wordpress.com.