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Ya Wanted More Fernie, Ya Got More Fernie

24 Apr

by Roger White                                                                              


Well, gang, it seems that the literary stylings of my old compadre Dr. Archie Ferndoodle have truly struck a chord with many of you. Since the appearance of Sir Archie’s poetic elucidations in a recent episode of “This Old Mouse,” the Oldblouse offices have been inundated with a letter heaping praise on the feckless Fernman and further beseeching the master muse for more obtuse observations. Well, who am I to deny my faithful the mental goosefeather that so tickles their collective ulnas?

You surely know this by now, but the Doodle Doctor insists I preface his epistles with the following: The esteemed Dr. Ferndoodle holds an associate’s degree in postmodern comparative limerick studies from the University of Southern Panama’s Correspon — oh, to hell with it. If you really want to view the good doctor’s curriculum vitalis, write me, and I’ll send you a mimeographed copy.

Sir Archie, in his own peculiar patois, has taken several classic tunes from the songbook of popular culture and rendered them as his own, with his edgy, pointy-like lyrics so pertinent to today’s roiling rambunctious rutabaga world.

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 creature, and we bear no responsibility or legal burden for his verbal effluence.

Taking that into account, I give you Archie’s first offering, called “Healthcare for Millennials.” Keep in mind, you have to know the popular tune to latch these lyrics onto or none of this makes any sense whateverso. But if you’ve made it this far, sense is something you know is a rare commodity in this time/space.


Healthcare for Millennials

(to the tune of “Teach Your Children Well” by Crosby, Still, Nash, and Young)

(verse 1)

“You under twenty-one,

Will be under the gun to pay for healthcare,

By the time you reach my age,

You’ll spend a year’s wage just to rent a wheelchair.”



“So keep your bodies well,

’Cause you’ll pay like hell to see the surgeon,

Think hard about having kids,

You’ll be on the skids, better stay a virgin.”


“No use in asking why, it’ll cost less to simply die,

Better yet you just might tryyyyyyy….

To move to Canada.”


Huzzah, Archster, well done. For his second favoring, the Fernman has rendered a little ditty he calls “Little Trumpy,” regarding the precarious existence of PBS and shows such as “Sesame Street” under the current regime:


Little Trumpy

(to the tune of Sesame Street’s “Rubber Ducky” )


(verse 1)

“Little Trumpy, you’re the dude

Who sent PBS down the tubes,

Because of Trumpy we are all royally screwed.”


(verse 2)

“Oscar lost the lease to his can,

Elmo’s turning tricks in Japan,

Little Trumpy, I’m not very fond of you.”



“Oh, every day when I see Big Bird in the gutter,

And I think about Kermit’s suicide I mutter,

What a motherlubber.”


(verse 3)

“Cookie Monster OD’d on crack,

Miss Piggy’s somewhere dealing blackjack,

Oh, Little Trumpy, life’s really the pits now,

Oh, Little Trumpy, me and Bert called it quits, and how,

Little Trumpy, it looks like I’m shackin’ with you.”


Bray-vo, bray-vo. And lastly, Ferndude gives us his take on the ramifications of oilman Rex Tillerson taking over as top guy at the US State Department:


Rex Will Survive

(to the tune of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”)


“At first I was afraid, I was petrified,

Kept thinkin’ my ties to Russian oil I could never hide,

Friends said, Rex, why take this job, it’s a massive pay cut,

To be Trump’s head of state, you must be some kind of nut,”


“But here I am, from Wichita Falls,

Make way for ol’ Tillerson, ’cause I got some big ol’ b*lls,

I’ll go easy on the Reds,

But North Koreans I will kill,

I got a tiger in my tank, my Exxon stock’s worth 100 mill,”


“Yes, Putin and I, we will survive,

Just don’t look too darn deep in KGB archives,

We’ve got such friendly ties, so don’t you be surprised,

When Moscow becomes home to the next Exxon franchise,

Hey, hey!”


Sir Archie Ferndoodle’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,” Roger White is a Ferndoodle protégé or else owes him big time. For further adventures, visit


Amityville Ain’t Got Nothing on Me

14 Nov

by Roger White

Those of you who follow along with the home version of This Old Spouse are surely aware of my fondness for all things Rod Serling, Alfred Hitchcock, and even a trifle Stephen King. However, just because these guys are my personal heroes does not mean for one minute that what I’m about to lay on you is fictional, counterfeit, or even a tad exaggerated.

What I’m about to tell you is as true as Abe Lincoln’s golf score, I promise. The tale that shall henceforth unfold is, as Johnny Carson used to say, some weird, wild stuff, so I suggest we all gather ’round the campfire and turn off our flashlights. Feel free to hold hands with the person next to you, if you wish. Wait, did you hear that? Probably a coyote.

Okay, here goes: My house is haunted. The end.


No, just kidding. Just kidding about the end, not about my house being haunted. I’m serious. My wife and girls will vouch for me. It started some years back when little things began to move around in my daughter Lindsey’s room. It all began with the Barbie car. When Linz was little, she had a pink remote control Barbie car, which went with the pink Barbie house and all the pink Barbie accessories and pink Barbie dog and pink Barbie dog poo and pink Barbie clothes and all that other cute pink stuff. And I guess there was a pink Barbie in there somewhere, too. Anyway, one day we noticed the cute little pink Barbie car running around in slow circles in Lindsey’s room—and Barbie was not behind the wheel! (She was passed out from her little pink Barbie happy hour she had with Ken, Midge, Kanga, Tigger, and Polly Pocket the night before.) We figured the remote got stuck face down somewhere, so we hunted for it. When we found it, none of the cute, little pink buttons were pushed – the car was supposed to be off. And there it was, running around and crashing into furniture, making me wonder if somebody sold little pink Barbie liability insurance. It happened a couple more times, too. (Although one time, I must confess, while I observed the ghostly little pink Barbie car traveling by itself all over the room, I discovered Lindsey hiding, snickering, and working the remote. Very funny, Lindsey.)

Seriously, Lindsey’s room — and the garage beneath — host some sort of poltergeisty presence. It may be a little pink poltergeisty presence, but I’m not sure. I could just be hung up on the Barbie thing. Lindsey her own self has noticed things in different places from where she left them in her room, and at times when she was certain no one else had entered her room. Well, except for the cat. But I don’t think Max the cat would be able to move Lindsey’s nail polish from her bed to her closed dresser drawer, unless someone’s been training Max to open drawers—and appreciate the finer aspects of nail care. I have noticed, however, how shiny and polished Max’s claws are of late. Naaaah. I’m more willing to believe we have a ghost than believe that our male cat has gone metrosexual. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

And the garage beneath Lindsey’s room? Let’s just say Amityville has nothing on our little domicile. My wife’s cousin, Karen, came to visit one time, and she can bear witness to the following: We were all getting ready to go out to dinner one night when Karen, my wife Sue, and I noticed Sue’s car in the garage locking and unlocking itself. It was as if someone was saying, “Don’t go out to eat tonight. Ooooh.” We went anyway, but our poltergeist was right. The dinner was lousy and way overpriced. But that’s not the end of the story. When we got back from going out to eat, as we came to a stop in the garage, Karen spied something unusual sitting on top of her purse. It was a Phillips-head drill bit, from my power drill I keep on the shelf in the garage. No one admitted to putting it there, and I’m certain it was my drill bit because when I checked, sure enough, it was missing.

The thing of it is, this is the power drill I inherited from my father-in-law, who passed away years ago, when Sue and I were dating. As cousin Karen held the drill bit up, we all eyed each other with that Rod Serling feeling climbing all over us. Doo doo, doo doo, doo doo, doo doo.

“So what’s the message?” I asked.

“It’s obvious,” Sue replied. “It’s my dad. He’s saying, ‘Don’t screw around on my daughter.’”

Aha. I hear ya, Ed. And I’m walking the straight and narrow.

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

Whatever Happened to Yesterday’s Tomorrow?

31 Aug

by Roger White 

It sideswiped me as I was watching the movie “Blade Runner” the other day: We, as human types, tend to either fantastically overestimate ourselves or woefully underestimate ourselves. We don’t have what you would call a crystalline view of just who we are. Or maybe we do, and we simply don’t like what we see. So we embellish a bit.

Let me splain, Lucy. If you recall the premise of Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi film noir, Harrison Ford was a Los Angeles cop in the year 2019, tasked with tracking down rebellious human replicants who had escaped the offworld colonies and were terrorizing people, spraying graffiti everywhere, and generally wreaking futuristic havoc. LA was a rainy, crowded, grimy mess, but we did have nifty gravity-defying Jetson cars, all sorts of cool robot toys, and apparently four-bedroom villas on the moon. And Darryl Hannah had great legs. For a replicant.

Kids, 2019 is only about seven years down the road (assuming the Mayans simply ran out of writing utensils and 2012 is not the ultimate calendar), and I really don’t see a gravity-defying Honda Civic hovering over my driveway anytime soon. Interesting, isn’t it, how badly we miss the mark when conjuring the future? We either envision that we’ve made such tremendous advances that we have a Wal-Mart on Neptune in a few decades or we’ve somehow erased ourselves from the cosmos entirely with (pick your poison) nuclear war, mutant avian flu, ozone layer neglect, overpopulation, underpopulation, zombie attack, alien invasion, bedbug pandemic, or End of Days Wrath incurred from The Big Guy. The one thing many religious texts and Hollywood have in common is the opinion that we’re not quite measuring up to The Head Honcho’s standards, if ya know what I mean. Personally, I think we’re being a little hard on ourselves, but that’s just me.

Let me give you some more examples. The Twilight Zone episode “The Long Morrow,” which aired in 1964, presented the dilemma of an astronaut in 1987 who was deliberating on whether he should be placed in suspended animation for his 40-year voyage to a star system 141 light years away. In reality, do you remember where we were technology-wise, as a civilization, in 1987? The only significant events I could dredge up from that year were the invention of the disposable contact lens, the launching of the Fox network on primetime television (oh, joy), and the world land speed record set by a diesel-powered locomotive at a mind-boggling 147 miles per hour. Oh, I almost forgot, “The Simpsons” debuted that year as a short film on “The Tracey Ullman Show.” And there was much rejoicing.

On the flip side of this—again using Mr. Serling’s master work for reference—the Zone episode entitled “The Old Man in the Cave,” which aired in 1963, gave us a post-apocalyptic view of an American wasteland, burned to dust after a nuclear holocaust that occurred in 1974. Everyone was going hungry; even the canned goods were irradiated. Then James Coburn came along and told them all it was okay to eat the food. No!!! Don’t do it!! Anyway, let’s compare to the reality. My research shows that there was a soccer stampede in Cairo in 1974 that killed 49 people, but I wouldn’t term that an apocalypse. A Hungarian guy invented the Rubik’s Cube that year, which is pretty horrible (you’ll concur if you’ve ever tried to solve one of these devils), but still, this doesn’t stack up to nuclear holocaust.

What I’m getting at, people, is that we’re all just regular guys, doing regular stuff, putting the cat out, brushing our teeth, going to bed, and doing it all over again the next day. And we will go on like this, our lives a gradual bell curve of existence, until the one that left us here returns for us at last. (Tip o’ the hat to The Youngbloods.)

Sorry, Rod. Our apologies, Mr. Wells. Condolences, Ridley. We’re not sinking foundations into the soil of Venus for residential development and neighborhood Starbucks franchises in the near future; but then again, we haven’t allowed our nasty little cockroach cousins to take over Wall Street by extinguishing ourselves, either. Maybe I should rephrase that. Anyway, we’re just muddling along, still waiting for the green left-turn arrow, still raising chickens for food, still tunneling into our planet for energy and treasure. Guess it is a tad boring, going by yesterday’s prognosticators.

Perhaps 50 years from now, when future types look back on us from the helms of their intergalactic starships, they’ll laugh at how silly we were. Then again, laughter may have been abolished by then. Who knows? (Insert Twilight Zone theme music here.)


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