Saturday, October 2, 2010

PDA – Public Display of ART

Prologue: Thanks are once again in order to Raker for holding down the 'fort' in my absence.I think some of Raker's incapable ancestors filled in at the Alamo (where I was hiding this week) awhile back and look how THAT turned out. I guess then I should consider myself lucky, as the blog does not seem to be broken or worse for the wear. Now that I'm back however, I intend to FIX that problem and screw up this blog once and for all! So on with today's topic ...

Though I really do love quality art and creative and interesting uses of materials, I am actually not a big fan of public displays of art OR affection. What will really turn me off, is if you are kissing on top of a public art display. Even for an open-minded person, that is just too much to stand … so being closed-minded myself, I often will SIT and watch.

Now don’t get me wrong, on occasion like most folks, I enjoy a stroll through a park or city plaza to visit my tax money strewn on the lawn. In many towns, that is where they invest any extra revenue to buy some kind of BIG abstract public art piece. I want to like these ‘so-called’ sculptures, but most of the time I do not think they are ‘THAT’ meaningful or unique. Apparently I am not the only one who feels that way given the special kind of ‘art’ that the birds and squirrels do on top of the public works too.

Most of the problem is that I am jealous of all forms of PDA. I always believe in my heart, that I probably could make better artwork for less money or even ‘kiss’ better for hardly any money at all. The secret for these big-shot artists is that they simply make their stuff really, really HUGE and that is supposed to impress the taxpayers of its significance. If I had a forklift, crane, and random collection of materials, could I throw that stuff out on the lawn and impress people too? Where I come from that is called ‘Trash Day’!

If people are so impressed by big concrete, metal, and glass edifices, why don’t they just go stare at downtown buildings and fall in love with them for their artful significance. Unlike typical public art, those structures are highly interactive, and at least serve some purpose by (usually) keeping the rain off the people are inside. Unless really freaky, most public displays of art and affection don’t encourage people to climb all over them. So as a taxpayer, I have to ask – other than photos, what enlightenment am I really getting for all those public art displays? It can’t be culture, because I still seem to scratch n’ sniff in all the wrong places regardless what I’m looking at. Hmmm, I guess I should learn from those birds and squirrels – when it comes to PDA, they seem to have the right idea after all?

Friday, October 1, 2010


That title might sound silly to you. If so, you’re right. But I’ll explain the brilliant reasoning behind it: Several years ago I read about a survey of American reading habits. It said the four topics that would attract the most American readers were “Lincoln, Mothers, Doctors, and Dogs." Gee, we must have been straight-laced back then! Now it would probably be more slanted to movie and sports stars plus debt and taxes. Dogs still might make the list. Even in supposedly tough times I see more people with two or more dogs, most stopping to leave tributes on my lawn. I don’t mind the lawn-defiling so much, but scraping my lawnmower tire treads could make a dirty stick my Man’s Best Friend!

Now since lots of writers read blogs, let’s think about this: How many times do we find titles that give us FOUR chances to write a Best Seller? So why not use that title, just as-is, (or as-was) and write your own version of Lincoln’s Mother’s Doctor’s Dog? Most people don’t even know much about his mother, and less about his doctor and nothing about any dog he might have had. Or the stick he used to. . . well, you know. And we will ALL know all those people and dogs when you enlighten us with your tale. No fear of perjury, as titles are not copyrightable, unless you’re usurping a famous one and trying to pass off “Gone With the Wind” as your own.

I’ve already messed with the “Dog” part, which I hope will get you started ‘scraping up stuff’ for the three human subjects. Anything you might find that Lincoln said or did should likely come next. His mother and doctor are harder, so I leave that up to you. I do see a framework for a soap-opera plot there, because what mother isn’t attracted to doctors? Even if no more scandalous than only for their sons to become or their daughters to marry.

It is easy to find quotes from famous folk, whether they said them or not. Yogi Berra must be continually surprised when he reads brand new made-up quotes that sound like his “Poils of Wisdumb.” Will Rogers’ zingers could fill books, and does so. But Rogers made his living being a ‘communicator,’ while so many “great names” rarely said much worth archiving. Henry Ford’s statement that fascinates me the most was one he took a lot of guff about: “History is Bunk!” If you’ve ever read a news story of something you saw or experienced you will likely agree with him. I’ve found at least a name or a place spelled wrong, or a typo error in most events I witnessed -- and where the reporter didn’t seem to have been there! Now compare the new (and more expensive) copy of a high school or college history text. See how so many “facts” and heroes have changed to meet the new more trendy viewpoints of what academia wants kids to believe NOW, instead of “last year’s slant.”

But wait! Re-thinking the Henry Ford quote about History - - If it really IS bunk, then maybe he never said that! I am “History” myself! I am “Raker.” Welcome back, Willie!

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Since I, Raker, WCC’s 'sometime friend,’ am substituting,I wonder why this pajama-named blog has so little about pajamas . Also, I’m wondering how come the URL spells monoblogs without the “b,” as “monologs.” My guess is that WCC worked far into the first night to get this site launched. Being even groggier than usual, he just forgot the ‘b.’ Good thing he didn’t forget his pajamas. (He writes in a computer store window where he moonlights as a dummy.) Or, if you prefer, he IS a dummy, who doubles as a writer. I am not worried if he sees this. I get automatically fired whenever he gets back into town.

But I owe it to you, and to those professors of the future who will get million-dollar grants to research the lack of pajama facts herein. Worries me that this is far from the least vital subject which gets funded by giveaway money. But here is my unfunded attempt to remedy WCC’s ‘unfair labeling.’ I hope something I do will satisfy the hungry pajamophiles.

I know that in old movies everyone wore pajamas if they were in the same scene with the opposite sex. If women got up to answer a phone they instantly put on a bathrobe. We guess those old dial phones let in some cold drafts. In new movies adult pajamas are seldom seen, except on grandpas, (thankfully.) I have seen many cute “dorm pajamas’ for sale at Walmart. But my request to look into what college girls wear in the dorms is still pending, as it has been for several years. The Campus Police gave better service than the administration, however, when they called me in to discuss it. So I can’t see a thing from the 500 feet I am required to keep away.

I also know that in most hospitals you can’t wear pajamas. “Gap-View Gowns” are the uniforms of the sick. That’s so that nurses don’t have to paw around for a landing place to use for “shot spots." The health workers’ credo is “We open you up and see clear INSIDE you. So why worry if everyone else sees the OUTSIDE of you?" Makes you think that doctors and such don’t care about dignity...UNTIL you call one “Doc." He instantly looks very dignifed. “That’s Doc-TOR, Buster!" Best not to irritate anyone who holds the power of life and death over you, like doctors. Or waiters -- who are alone with your food.

Good news though. I saw that some British hospitals are using gowns with slits on the side to hide the split in the rear. Much better, but still the breeze can slip in and flop the flaps in a game of peekaboo. All of a sudden you are attracting the same attention as those slit-skirted women in Saigon bars.

But for the rest of us, the cry of the patient is still heard:

“Hey Nurse -- My gown has no rear end back there!”
“Hmm,” she says, I’ll take look.” She does, and laughs.
“Nope. You’re wrong. I saw a lotta rear end back there!”

-- The End. (A subject I just tried to cover.) --

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Buffy: “Oh look at this in our recipe book, Muffy. A CHEESE BALL! Why don’t you read it to me and I’ll follow your instructions?”
Muffy: “Goody! Gimme the book. OK, now first roll up some cheese into a ball."
Buffy: “I’ve got the cheese in a ball. What next?”
Muffy: “Now it says to crush some nuts very fine, pick up the cheese ball and roll in them.”
Buffy, minutes later: “OK Muffy. I’m all covered with nuts. Now what do I do?”

Apologies to all the blondes who are not dumb. I know one who is actually brilliant, wise, and, in fact, knows everything about me -- even things that aren’t true. Are you reading this, wifey dear? Is it safe for me to come out of my room?

But since I subjected my readers to that, I will reward them with a real recipe. All that nut-crushing made me think of one of my favorite treats. Maybe yours too. Those great PAYDAY® candy bars. If I can’t chance having Buffy I’ll take one of those sweet things rolled in nuts.

I always like Paydays, even as a kid. But I learned to respect them in the Army. They were the only candy bar that wouldn’t melt in your pocket or pack on a long, hot march. I even slept in a pup tent and did a “Buffy thing” by rolling over on one in my pocket during the night. Good as new. We weren’t allowed to bring candy on maneuvers and guys who showed chocolate stains soaking through their pockets got in trouble. Not us with our Payday contraband!

Now here is your BONUS RECIPE. Just for putting up with my tasteless, sexist, blondist (?) joke. Well, not tasteless!


Payday candy bars too big and expensive lately? Too many calories? But no problem for you! Now recreate almost the taste you love whenever you get the urge. HERE IS HOW:

Candy Corn is mainly the same mixture and taste as the inside of a Payday®. And any peanuts taste like any other peanuts, as long as your pet puppy or raccoon has not licked them. So you simply mix both together. (The candy corn and peanuts -- not the puppy and raccoon.) Use either plain or salted peanuts as to your taste. Combine the two fixins in whatever percentage tastes like the real, good old-fashioned Payday you are too cheap to buy.

Note: to make them into shapes like candy bars, you will have to do something like Muffy was reading, minus the “body roll.” Otherwise, just eat this mix by the handful. Either way you are set to enjoy even SMALL PAYDAYS!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I enjoy those outdoor church signs. If they’re not too wordy and I’m not driving too fast I have time to read the whole sign. I laugh so hard at the really funny ones it wiggles the steering wheel. So it’s no longer just the sign that’s funny, my driving becomes funny. But a cop wouldn’t think so.

Here’s one that got me gurgling by surprise: “Try Jesus. If you don’t get along together the Devil will always take you back.”

Instead of my long list, I’m betting I’ve stimulated you into remembering your own favorites. If so, let us hear 'em in the comments section.

There are at least two kinds of funny communications. FIrst are statements that are intended to be funny, like the above. But often even funnier are statements meant to be serious that get twisted into the opposite. Just a bit of inept wording can do it. “We chose our winner due to her poise and personality.” That looked OK when typed on the speaker’s notes. But hearing it left the audience wondering who and how died because of her lethal personality . Best to read aloud stuff you mean to be spoken unless you’re aiming for that kind of a laugh.

Foreign language throws humor curves at us too. I once was in a Germanic-mock-up Rathskellar Tavern. I decided to forego drinking and just ate the peanuts. No desire to open up the wrong restroom door until I figured out the ‘Damen and Herren” signs. I tried using ‘reason,’ like our teachers tried so hard to instill in us. It worked, but backward ... “Herren’ had “Her” in it. And any mobster might dash through the other door he read as “Da Men.” Poor jerk.. Cuz dose men wasn’t in dere.

But the church signs will have to do until the once-famed but now almost forgotten Burma Shave road signs come back. Driving across the USA before the interstates replaced our more leisurely highways, you’d find them. Sets of separate signs spaced for easy reading of a poetic phrase at a time. They were ever-changing. Written by clever, even brilliant rhymesters. Here is one I saw blooming among the prairie wildlflowers of southern Wyoming:


...were the first four signs. Then always ending with
the last sign: BURMA SHAVE.

Hoping that even if you’re too young to shave you pay heed to the first four signs. Then you might live to BE old enough!

Monday, September 27, 2010


Some of you will be sorry to hear that blogger WCC is off on a trip again. Some of you WON'T be sorry that I, 'Raker', am back, judging by the raves I got when I filled in before. Not bragging. I was raved at by several of WCC's followers.

As for the title of Bedbug Immunity, I confess that was a ploy to pole-vault into higher Search Engine Ratings. But so as not to disappoint any reader who is "itching" to know, here's the secret: To avoid becoming a Slurpee to a bedbug, or messed with by anything (or anybody) that craves to cozy up to you in the night, try this: Sleep completely zipped up IN A BODY BAG. If you are into multi-tasking and want to sleep and breathe at the same time, a couple of soda straws up the nostrils should suffice. But don't worry -- the odds of one or two bedbugs finding the straw holes and sliding down inside are too big (and ghastly) to even consider.

With my "bait promise" fulfilled, I'll move on. Stop cheering! I mean move on in subject matter, not move away!. But I sense your preference to hear about WCC, your spoiled, and perhaps soiled, little favorite, so I'll spill the beans. Or "flop the frijoles," to fake a bit of Southwestern lingo. But WCC is rather a messy eater. Instead of a BIB, his momma made him wear a MOP.

No driving the Ozark-Okie-Texas Autobahn for him this time. He flew on the modern travelers' magic carpet -- a cutrate ticket. That means he won't be needing the heavy-duty forklift he used at those Fast n' Friendly Food-filled Diners on the roadsides. Just a tweezerful of peanuts (maybe) for each coach passenger. And free drinks IF you retained a cheekful at the water fountain back at the terminal. Sure keeps airliner restroom traffic down.

Why subject himself and his wife to this? Mainly to jump up and irritate other patrons by yelling "Groovy!" when their violinist daughter goes into a soft and sensitive passage Amazing how that girl transforms a piece of 18th century wood, horsehair and rosin-on-a-stick so magically to life! Almost as ear-opening as a jalapeno on a stick ... IF you accidentally shove it in your ear. No, they don't serve those hot peppers at classical music concerts even in Texas -- no matter how hard LBJ and G.W. Bush legislated for them.

I'll be back to fill you in, or UP, on more of WCC's adventures. For now, we can just imagine him bursting with pride as the other concertgoers point him out as the father of the brilliant violinist. "Which one is her dad?" asks one guy. "Oh," says his wife, "I believe he's the one wearing the mop."

Thanks for listening to me -- and for thinking of WCC. -- Raker.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

AIRBAGS should be un-seen and un-heard

Well no doubt I will offend some of you today. Given the fact that even my family thinks of me as a big ol’ bag of wind, you might be surprised to know that I am not a fan of bagpipes or accordions. Who wants to sit around and listen to an instrument that sounds like it is wheezing all the time?If I wanted to embrace the melodic respiration of heavy breathing, I would simply run up and down the stairs a couple of times or call the counter girl at Dunkin Donuts with my regular sensuous phone order.

Yes the only good thing ‘bellows’ are good for is stoking forest fires or making an urgent plea for Walrus mates at the zoo, but nobody should have ever attached them to pipes and reeds.Now don’t whine to me about how much skill these instruments take to play. Don’t you think everyone in the world already knows that? The reason bagpipes and accordions are so difficult to learn, is the world decided long ago that we collectively DO NOT WANT people to master these ‘honkers’ quickly, so get a clue!

Nobody EVER gets wistful for the throaty sound of a New Year’s Eve party horn mixed with a kazoo and that squeezebag, Bea Arthur’s bark. Even if you do - forget the hot ‘air bags’! You can get the same odious results by simply running out to any lake and fervently squeezing geese until your ears bleed, or one of you lays a rotten egg.

Especially in the case of bagpipes, I completely understand how this instrument has become associated with funerals and death. What is really ‘AMAZING’ to me is how the dearly departed have the ‘GRACE’ to stay in the grave when all the caterwauling starts. Here in Missouri, on occasion an accordion will play a graveside service as well. Believe me, I try to behave, but by the third painful stanza if you ‘REED’ my body language, it is obvious that I am trying mightily to refrain from ‘POLKA da fingers in my ears!’

Ok enough musical discontent – we’ll let the rappers do THAT heavy lifting from now on. It is clear that I must pay penance for this horrible, mean-spirited post against bagpipes and accordions. Like all the sensitive yet great men that have walked before me, such as Napoleon, Mel Gibson, and Richard Simmons, I intend to go into self-imposed isolation for the next week. Since maybe two and a half people ‘religiously’ read this blog, who am I to stand in the way of warped personal beliefs? Therefore I have conscripted the mighty pen of my dutiful substitute (and clearly unemployed) friend, code named ‘RAKER’, to fill-in during my rehabilitation. I am trusting you to be gracious and generous little blogophiles in my absence, and treat Raker with the same respect that Michael Vick treats his dogs. So play nice, have fun, and I’ll haunt you all next week! W.C.C.