Friday, February 29, 2008

Back to Madison Avenue

At long last, a lyric. Technically a lyric, anyway. To the tune of Sammy Fain's 1949 smasheroo, Dear Hearts and Gentle People. It's in honor of a pseudo-Brit drinking establishment at Liberty and Nassau Streets in Manhattan:

If you want beer, darts, and genial people,
Then come to Pound & Pence;
Because with beer, darts, and genial people,
It all begins to make some sense.

You've had a long day—they just aren't biting,
However hard you slave;
A soothing mood tune and recessed lighting
And ambience are what you crave.

And here's the sweet part: the prices they charge
Don't insult the clientele's intelligence.
So if it's beer, darts, and genial people . . .
You'll find 'em all at Pound & Pence.

Lyric © 2008 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov

I told you not to hold your breaths!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Alors! et Bugger

From an unexpected source, I learn that Miles Kington, the creator of Let's Parler Franglais, died on January 30, 2008.

Moi, j'avais only une de his books, but it's trop funny! And parling Franglais is a lot harder than it looks. Of course, a bit of O-level somewhere in one's past helps, I suppose.

An idea for a jingle came to me on Monday evening, but no quiet time to focus on it. Watch this space for further developments, but don't hold your breaths while doing so.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Story Vouchsafed to Us, Thus Far

All right. I've figured out this much:

People in sports aren't allowed to use steroids.

No one explained that to me; I divined it on my own by reading between the lines of a rash of pretty opaque newspaper stories. But it raises more questions than it answers.

Who invented this rule? Certainly not the sovereign, or law enforcement would be arresting jocks right and left, and they're not. On the other hand, Congress has lately displayed a morbid curiosity regarding steroid use, so perhaps there are criminal implications. But then, why isn't anyone going to jail? And so we go, 'round and 'round in circles.

Why does the rule exist? Steroid use doesn't seem to harm the players suspected of using them; on the contrary, it seems to create superstars who rake in the dough like nobody's business. On the other hand, if steroids are harmful, surely these players, with their brains, brawn and bux, are one class of persons who are the least in need of such paternalistic protection. Nor can it be a question of fairness, whatever the hell that is, for steroids are freely available to one and all.

Why does anyone care? This is the "Quiz Show Scandal" question. Who cares, if the game show is rigged? So's professional wrestling; what of it? Who cares if the DJ takes payola? Payola has oiled the wheels of entertainment since the 1890's. Who cares, if the ball player uses steroids? How does that in any way detract from the mindless pleasure to be derived from watching him play?

The whole thing resembles indoor smoking; one of those New Age sins that we've lately invented because we no longer disapprove of murder (say, O.J.), perjury (say, Clinton) or theft (take yer pick), and man is a naturally moral being who has to disapprove of something. But that's not really a very satisfying explanation.

If anyone could enlighten me, I'd appreciate it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Apropos of Kangaroo Shit . . .

. . . as a good friend of mine used to say:

What can we infer about the works of Gilbert and Sullivan from the fact that they appeal to so many prigs? Does it mean that the Savoy Operas have virtues beyond comicality, so that they please even the morbidly solemn? Or does it mean that they've so little substance, that they can't convey even the most elementary moral of humor--that we're wise to laugh at ourselves?

I cannot, cannot, cannot tell.

No lyrics lately, dammit. Sorry, folks.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Hail, the Conquering Heroes!

I arrived in the City today to find the joint inundated with bumpkins in outsized blue jerseys. I hauled my perspicacity out of the trunk in my mental attic, gave it a good shake, checked it for moths, and divined that a ticker-tape parade must be brewing for our own New York Giants, who recently did something-or-other.

O! how glorious!! Lindbergh, Glenn, the Greatest Generation, and now--football players.

To honor Our Boys, I betcha they rename The Canyon of Heroes The Canyon of Boys Who Never Grew Up. And in the middle of City Hall Park, where the parades end, they'll raise a statute of Sir James Barrie, signifying absolutely nothing to anyone who engages in . . . er . . . foo'baw.

Friday, February 01, 2008

"How Gay Is That?"

Hanging from the ceiling of one wing of the lobby of my office building are four umbrellas: one lavender, one white, one black, and one a bilious green. At first, I didn't notice them, since they were installed around last Thanksgiving, just as the building staff were putting up the Christmas decorations, and those camouflaged them pretty thoroughly. Once the decorations came down, though, the umbrellas became all too obvious. The impression they give is of some division of Citigroup suddenly saying to itself, "Oh, what the hell?" and deciding to camp it up.

A dear friend, after whom I was named, was passing through the lobby with me today. Indicating the umbrellas, he asked, "How gay is that?"

The question stunned me. And then I began to wonder: "How gay is that?" And I realized I hadn't the foggiest clue how gay it was.

Why, I mused, has no clever soul, aspiring to be the very Fahrenheit of sexual orientation, constructed a reliably calibrated device, wherewith mankind might thenceforth measure gaiety? For, indeed, in this Anno Domini 2008, we have naught but the grossest means of assessing local variations in that quality: Noel Coward gay; Arnold Schwarzenegger girlie-man gay; Village People gay; and so forth.

I therefore propose, to anyone who might chance upon this site, that such a device be invented without further delay. There could be big bucks in it; royalties and licensing fees, you know!

And why, you ask, don't I invent the device, if I'm so dashed gung-ho to have one?

Frankly, I can't be bothered.
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