Wednesday, December 26, 2007


That's what my recent life seems to contain everything but. Up till 2:00 ack emma the past two nights, and up at 6:00 ditto the past two mornings. I'm getting too old for this routine.

Running around Christmasing hasn't stopped me from finally fixing an error in scansion in A Kickback From You. The original release runs as follows, and all good Porter fans know:

I get a kick ev'ry time I see
You standing there before me;
I get a kick, tho' it's clear to me
You obviously don't adore me.

To which I wrote:

I get a kickback for making calls
To line up girls named "Lola";
I get my cut, just for having balls
Enough to extort payola.

The problem was the usual: I had relied on my own lousy memory for the melody of Porter's release, instead of consulting the sheet music, as God and the United States Forest Service intended.

For what Porter (the li'l rascal!) did was to put the last syllable of obviously on a downbeat, of all things; followed immediately by a cakewalk-like accent on the second beat for don't. Absolutely wrong by every rule in the book, and yet so obviously right. One more drop in the sea of The Master's genius.

My parody, in consequence, had the singer EX-torting. As soon as I discovered the screw-up, I substituted a hasty line up for extort, but I was never happy with it. How could I be? Line up only served to hide my Secret Shame.

Well, after weeks of intermittent brainstorming, I've come up with the following substitute. It's a pedestrian gag, but the scansion pleases my ear:

I get a kickback for bribing knaves
With babes like Babs and Lola;
I get a kickback for hosting raves
With coke that ain't Coca-Cola®.

Lyric © 2007 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

As a final note, Happy Boxing Day, folks! And don't forget that today (or was it last night?) is the anniversary of the day on which Good King Sauerkraut looked out, on his feets uneven. (Thank you, Churchy La Femme, wherever you are!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Used to Have More Time on My Hands

Cleaning the ol' hard drive this afternoon, I chanced upon the following purple passage from an imaginary travel brochure, written many, many years ago:

At Hurling Street Station, across from the Cathedral of St. John the Repeater, we board the Porcelain Goddess Express, which carries us nonstop from the sprawling City of Regurgitopolis through the shady suburbs of Vomitsville, Barfsburg, Puketon and Whoopshampton. As we follow the course of the turbulent Rio Emetico through arid Dry Heave Gulch, we pass the mouth of the fabled Lost Cookie Mine. Up, up, up we climb to the very pinnacle of Mount Projectile, which affords a spectacular view of the entire County of Upchuck.

Eheu! fugaces, as the man said.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Latest Throwaway

The first three lines of the following presented themselves last night, to the tune (obviously) of God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen; but this morning's conclusion is makeshift, at best:

God damn you, merry gentleman!
You're making too much noise!
You act as though you've never had
A night out with the boys.
A little more decorum, please;
A modicum of poise!
That's enough Southern Comfort,™ sweetie-pie.
(Comfort, my eye!
Just how many Southern Comforts™ did you buy?!)

Lyric © 2007 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

O Fame! Thou Bitch

I googled Have Yourself a Mercenary Christmas today, and a couple of pages popped up, whereas there were none at all when I first penned the thing. Could this be fame's first trickle?

Alas, no! The other uses, quite clearly, are picking up on the Blackwater scandal. Not my take on the carol at all.

* * * *

Last night, dragooned by Cap'n Queeg, I donned a monkey suit and attended a lawyers' do. Too noisy; too crowded; nowhere to sit; no one to talk to; no attractive women; indifferent cuisine; and no wine with dinner (at a yard-and-a-half per diner, if you please!). I ducked out before dessert, but that doesn't mean I didn't suffer the smug speechifyin' coming from the dais, for the organizers very cannily scheduled it before the food arrived. The bastards!

Now, you must excuse me. My child has just professed an ignorance of John Philip Sousa, and I must go administer the rod.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Stir-Up Sunday, and a Throwaway

Today is Stir-Up Sunday, after the first words of the collect for the First Sunday in Advent, as given in the Book of Common Prayer.

Such being the case, the Young Idea and self made a quadruple batch of plum pudding, a pious work if ever there was one. We began at high noon. and they weren't ready to steam until 3:30. Steaming takes six hours, and even with a modest quadruple batch--it was sextuple in my heyday--the steaming has to be done in two rounds. Whatever will I do when she goes off to college, an evil day which fast approacheth? Perhaps take the following Monday as a personal day thenceforth.

To get us into the spirit--not that yesternight's inch of snow hadn't already done its wee bit to put us in festive mood--we turned the Kid's retro radio to a station playing nonstop Christmas music. It's surprising how often the station repeated certain songs, while ignoring others. It's not that they omitted all reverent music; O Holy Night got its fair share of airtime, for instance. But I'll Be Home for Christmas is a bit old-fashioned for a folk that no longer can remember living through the real thing. And Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas have been played so often, they've become the subject of parody (ahem).

It was during the second or third performance of Winter Wonderland that the following lyric popped unbidden into the brain. For those of my readers who missed my college career, I ought to mention that, while the student body was populated almost entirely by Pecksniffs, two in particular stood out as self-important, pretentious pigs: one Bahar (accent on the second syllable) Gidwani (hard g; accent on the second syllable), of Columbus, O., and one Tom Magnell, of Scarsdale, N.Y., who would have lost his shirt if he'd ever betted anyone he knew the lyrics to The Nightmare Song. Unfortunately, I met both of them within a week of arriving at college, and they soured the subsequent four years for me.

But their names! For reasons too deep for words, Bahar Gidwani and Tom Magnell struck me as names to conjure with; I've used them ever since for dummy lyrics, to fill lacunae in works-in-progress.

Today's off-the-cuff lyric, to the tune of the release of Winter Wonderland:

I abominate Bahar Gidwani;
He, in turn, abominates Magnell;
By the Law of Transitive Abhorrence,
I detest the latter pig, as well.

Later on, we'll perspire, etc.

Lyric © 2007 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

Meanwhile, I'm working on something to the tune of It's Still Rock and/or Roll to Me, which is bogged down at the moment, owing to my lack of familiarity with the original song and the tedium of the subject I've chosen. I was going on about it to my Muse the other day, when she suddenly shouted, "Oh, f'God's sake, who gives a rat's ass?" I'll bet she never spoke to Arthur Guiterman that way!
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