Winsome Waggish Warbler of Wuv

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

I probably should be a little ashamed to admit this, but since I lack such good sense, I gleefully admit that I’ve been to not just one, but two Oz museums. The first as I was driving back home from a visit to Chicago. I saw signs begging me to abandon the highway and pay a visit to a little lonely house in Chesterton, Indiana.

“Oz museum?” I mused. “What could be more fun than that?”

Turns out, a lot. Mold, poisonous frogs, invading aliens, jagged rectal thermometers; they all would be more fun, I assume (especially that last one), than the Indiana Oz museum. Not because it wasn’t a clean and nice place–it was; nor because the people who ran it were vicious and carried studded whips–I’m fairly sure they didn’t; but because I was surrounded by schmaltzy movie memorabilia. Quite honestly, I don’t care much for the movie, and had wanted to see the original books and ephemera produced when L. Frank Baum was alive and churning out his turn-of-the-century fairy tales. That said, I did abscond with two mugs graced by the illustrations of John R. Neill, the Royal Illustrator of Oz.

A couple of weekends ago, on my birthday, I headed to the second museum in Wamego, Kansas. Wamego is a small, cute town with two museums (one dedicated to Wamego itself) and not much else. The museum I saw original prints of the books, the original color plates of the illustrations by both John R. Neill and W. W. Denslow (Denslow illustrated The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Neill took over the artists duties for the rest), as well as a 1901 board game, advertisements for stage productions of the day, and, of course, some schmaltzy movie memorabilia. Unfortunately, no mugs. But I did get a hat.

Which didn’t fit.

I forgot to take my camera with me, so all I had to grab a few quick shots was my phone. Which, of course, with the low lighting and lack of flash, didn’t produce masterpieces. (Not that you’re all clamoring to see a 1960s poster of some kid munching on Oz peanut butter.)

Here’s the thing, though: if it weren’t for the Oz books, I’m not sure I would have met and eventually married the Insta-Princess. When I first ran across the Insta-Princess, it was through an on-line message board; she had started a thread complaining about some e-mail she had received, and had listed her profile location as “Land of Oz”. Thinking that she, too, had read the books (although, these days, years later, I’m not sure what led me to that specific conclusion), I wrote the following as my very first words to her:

I wanna be your Phanfasm of passion, your Yookoohoo of yearning, your Tottenhot of tenderness, your Argonaut of affection and, most of all, your Winsome Waggish Warbler of wuv!

And if that doesn’t work, think I could bribe you with some silver shoes or a magic belt from an ex-Gnome king?

Rico, eh? Suave, no? To her credit, the Insta-Princess played along even though she had no idea what the hell I was talking about. I’m surprised, a week or two later, I managed to wrangle a first date out of her. Go figure.

It must be because I’m a Winsome Waggish Warbler of Wuv.

Danny Boy

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Aww, man, they killed Danny! (You bastards!)

Listen, God, I know I don’t believe you and whatnot, but that’s cool; we can still be buds, right? Nice. Rock on. So, anyway, as we sip on some gin, maybe some juice, I’m thinking we might be able to barter a bit. How’ bout you return Dan to us and I’ll give you, say, Sheryl Crow? She’s moderately attractive, not a great singer, and did I mention she’s not too difficult to look at?

Not enough? Okay, fine. I was going to offer up Bono, but the Insta-Princess would kill me, and no offense, Your Mightiness, but on a day-to-day basis I tend to fear her more. (See, you might send a lightning bolt and frazzle my fizzle in an instant, but she’d make my expiration date last for daaaays. Ever play Monopoly? Same thing, only with cheese graters.) So, I’ll give you that Crow dame, and you can also have Josh Groban.

I almost said Michael Bolton, but at the last moment I realized Groban’s afro scared me more than Bolton’s bald spot.

So, Crow and Groban? How about it? Truly, they are Leaders of the Bland.

Awaitin’ Your Thumbs-Up,

Skippy

Skippy Go Zooooooom!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Skippy go zooooooooooooooooommmmmmm!

Officer go: “Stop!” (Sadly, not in the name of love.)

Skippy go: Um, yikes.

Officer go: Busted!

Skippy go: “A ticket? But I was only going 76 in a 60!”

Officer go: “Haw-Haw. Puny man.” Tweet!

Skippy go: “Awww!”

Skippy goes s-l-o-w-e-r… until officer go away. Then, zooooooooooooooooommmmmmm!

(We won’t mention the exhorbitant fees it’ll take to get this pled down to a harmless, we-won’t-screw-with-your-insurance-rates, charge, mind you. Because that just takes away from my rebel-like demeanor. You can’t very well tell The Man to go to hell when you’re paying him for the pleasure of doing so. Also, yes, my rough-and-tough leather jacket is lambskin… why do you ask?)

Winky-Dink

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Oh, Rubber Ducky, you’re the one.
You make bath time lots of fun.

Especially when you whip out the handcuffs and ball gag.

Quack!

An old high school friend of mine recently opened up a shop devoted to the wares that bind and titillate and hum and zig and zag and slather and vibrate as if powered by Marquis de Energizer Bunny. It’s a ye olde shoppe devoted to exploration and education of delectation and tawdriness, and as far as I could tell when I hung around (stop it!) for a half-hour waiting for my friend to return to the store, its patrons seem delighted with the items on sale, and the knowledge for gratis.

So, if you’re in Kansas City and need something to help push your buttons (or someone else’s), take a stroll down to Wink, where you can squeal for delight at the great number of toys within, or do so with the help of a vibrator with, at last count, three motors and three million settings. (I might be off by a hundred. And you think I’m joking…)

Aside from the oils and other sybaritic delights peppered about the store, it was good to see Elizabeth again. Over the years, long past graduation, we’ve run into each other a handful of times, and each meeting is always memorable and a hoot. Elizabeth is definitely a one-of-a-kind, sweet gal whose presence always stirs up a cheery and charming je ne sais quoi. A fierce and dedicated compadre, it’s a delight to have known her this long, and I’ve little doubt that her little boy will grow up to reflect having such a groovy mom. So, I hope her new pleasure pad of play serves both her and her customers well for years to, um… come.

By the way, she’ll always be “Liz” to me. That’s how I first new her, and how I remember her the best. “Elizabeth” is a flow of fun syllables, no doubt, but “Liz” is a celebration of the zed, the omega of a seductive and serpentine dance all short and sweet.

You know, like her.

Bob Theory

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Well, now… I found this oldie but (questionable) goody from yon days of early high school. Do you recall those youthful days of seven hour periods (the class kind, not the flowing variety) when you and your peers started branching out from more sanctioned, conventional comedy and trying your hands at the surreal and unexpected? To some, this meant discovering Monty Python or Tom Robbins; to others, it meant trying to be funny, which often lead to not being funny at all. But, you tried, and that’s what’s important. Or, that’s what’s important in today’s post because I feel sympathy for my young self–who never foresaw the Internet, or that his attempt at humor would be seen by such a wide audience.

I don’t exactly recall what prompted The Bob Theory, but I do know that its origins are tethered to a middle school discussion where Brian Knarr and I were musing over the name “Bob”. (This was many years and numerous beers before we discovered J.R. “Bob” Dobbs.) No one, we figured out, would ever be afraid of a monster by the name “Bob”.

“Look out! Rampaging down the street, it’s… Bob?”

See? Wouldn’t work. You can’t be scared of Bob. You can be frightened by a Robert who tries to pretend to be a Bob, but we all know the truth in the end. Monsters are Roberts, not Bobs.

Brian eventually moved away, but not before the name weighed anchor in my hormone-laden adolescent mind. So, a few years later, caught up in a fit of attempted high school humor, I rushed to the Apple IIgs lab and dashed off the following masterpiece:

The Bob Theory

Rules for BOB:

1. Bob is everything.
2. 1 + 1 = Bob.
3. Bob hates all gifted people, but they equal Bob, anyway.
4. Skip created Bob, therefore Skip is the Creator.
5. Skip = Bob
6. Bob never = Skip
7. Always spell Bob backwards.
8. Bob is always right.
9. When Bob is wrong, see Rule #8.
10. Bob expects presents on his birthday, which is every day. (Caretaker of presents = Skip.)
11. Bob does not like you.
12. Bob loves you.
13. George is Bob’s second-in-command.
14. George is a phone.
15. Bob disproves the Zebra Theory; Bob is the Zebra.
16. Disciples of Bob play the plastic harmonica.
17. You are all disciples of Bob.
18. Bob claims Welsh is the language of the future. If you disagree, see Rule #8.
19. Bob can make up new rules whenever he pleases.
20. Bob syas that J.F.K. was killed by a magic bullet sent by the Wicked Witch of the West.
21. Bob proves that chemistry does not exist; instead, everything is made up of tiny particles of Bobectrons, Bobtons, and NuetrBobs.
22. Dragons and unicorns are real.
23. Bob is better looking than Axl Rose.
(See Rule #24 under #28.)
25. Bob is Jeannie’s boyfriend, therefore Bob does not exist.
26. Only Skip and Kyla can make up Bob Rules (with Skip as the final authority).
27. People against Bob are communist spies.
28. Chris Lytle is the only person who can equal Bob, but Bob cannot equal him unless Chris chooses so. Chris is a non-Bob Bobber.
24. If you have any questions, refer to Rule #1.

F.A.Q.s

  • Who was George?
  • George was a phone. (Duh.) George, was the first phone I ever truly owned; it was given to me along with my first private phone line. One fateful day my step-father, angry for some reason long since forgotten, grabbed George and threw him down two stories and onto our marble entryway. George, alas, didn’t survive. Thereafter, he was known as “Drop Dead Fred”.
  • What was the Zebra Theory?
  • Aww, geez. I don’t know, exactly. At least, I don’t have the details in memory. I do recall, however, that the Zebra Theory was a competing theory created because mine wasn’t entirely funny. Was it funnier? Probably. I hope whomever created the Zebra Theory burns in hell.
  • Plastic harmonica?
  • Dude, I owned one. Probably got it out of a Happy Meal, and it was the first thing I thought of when I was trying to persuade Bob to play an instrument. I own numerous harmonicas now, by the way, and some of them are even real.
  • Welsh?
  • Yeah, Welsh. I never did get beyond some basic phrases: Mae fy hofrenfad yn llawn o lyswennod. (“My hovercraft is full of eels.” It’s very useful if you’re ever running about Wales in a hovercraft and get attacked by a roving band of eels. Study up on your foreign languages, kids.)
  • Axl Rose? What’s an Axl Rose?
  • People have been asking that question for years. He couldn’t sing, couldn’t dance, and couldn’t help but be swamped by hordes of gorgeous young women who wanted to give him booty and booty. At any rate, some young female acquaintance of mine must have made a positive comment concerning Axl’s heroin-chic looks and thus cemented his place in the theory.
  • Rule #24.
  • Rule #24 must have been where the theory originally ended, but I believe I was cajoled into adding more rules. Rule #24 remained the last rule, though, no matter the number of edits.
  • Did Jeannie ever find a boyfriend?
  • Of course. Bob exists.
  • Who’s this Kyla chick?
  • Best friend of one of my girlfriends.  So, when she told me to add her as an authority, why, I did such a thing. What can I say? I’ve always been weak.

I’m leaving Chris Lytle’s full name in this entry. Maybe, one day, bored at work, he’ll whip up a quick Google vanity search and run across this page. In that case, “Hi, Chris!”

My Gott, we were such goobers back then.

Hoppin’ Over the Sweeper

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

… or, better yet, jumping the broom. A good friend* of mine recently got engaged, so I thought I’d spend a little time today passing along advice about being married. I’ve had tons of experience,** so I’m clearly qualified to hand out the words o’ wisdom.

Skippy’s Marital Advice:

And, I really, really mean it. So, take that advice to heart.

Wait. You wanted something sagacious? Something meaty, something you could stick a matrimonial fork into? Well, here’s the deal: I know nothing, except each day the Insta-Princess takes one of her dainty feet and kicks me in the direction she wants me to go. She has all these rules I gotta follow, and I must say—just between you and me—that some of them are pretty durn selfish. For example, I’m not allowed to date anymore. Not even first dates, where, statistically-speaking, chances of getting any are the lowest of any date, numbers 1- 10.

“You’re also not allowed to cheat,” she warned me. Oh, sure, take the fun out of it. I mean, if there’s anything I learned from Lifetime movies, it’s that men are supposed to cheat and otherwise be bastards. (True, I’m also supposed to be a doctor and drive a BMW, but I figured we were just reading from a different script.) I can’t cheat, I’m not even allowed to date, so I don’t know what else she can do to—

“The serial killing? Stop it. Stop it now. It’s embarrassing.”

What? Geez, now I can’t even have a hobby.

So, there you go, my pretty, betrothed friend. My advice to you is to not take away his hobby. That can really kill a relationship.


* She’s pretty. There are, admittedly, two hundred (and six) other qualities that help make a good friend, but “she’s pretty” ain’t too shabby a start. Unless you’re a male. Then it’s a toss-up.


** Just over four years. Plus, I used to watch The Cosby Show a lot. (Which is why I’m occasionally surprised to remember that the Insta-Princess isn’t a lawyer with vague lawyerly duties. And that Lisa Bonet isn’t my daughter… which is good, ’cause I probably shouldn’t feel that way about any daughter I might have. )

Buffy’s Decidedly Unphony Euphony

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Buffy, El Sing-O!

 

I readily, willingly and unabashedly admit it: I’m a Buffy fan.

Close your mouths. It’s not pretty.

I used to be a little more reticent about such a personal revelation, but it’s been ten years since the show first aired, and since then I’ve successfully managed to convert a few girlfriends and a wife into fans. So, if I go down, I’m bringing them with me. (Speaking of which, my lovely wife, The Insta-Princess, even performed a magic trick or two and abracadabra’d a poster of Buffy (and co-horts) into a framed poster of Buffy (and co-horts). I know, I know… she’s mystical like that—ya gotta be in awe of her. She’s even allowed me to hang it up on the wall. In full view of friends, relatives, guests, child protective services, and everyone. Obviously, she is gracious as well as beautiful and powerful.)

So, while I’m comfortable with my own personal Buffy lurve, I admit that I’m afraid of the rest of Buffy’s fans. See, you’d think that come this Friday, waiting in line to see the musical episode on the silver screen, we’d have something in common. But, we don’t. I bathe, for example; I can’t guarantee the same about them. Normally, I don’t bake a cake for the creator of the show on his birthday; again, I make no promises about the rest of the fans. They pass food along to each other, down from one end of the line to the next; I demur. They, it seems, are happy; me, I’m old and grumpy. I can’t even stand it when they sing songs in line.

But, the Insta-Princess? She loves them. Absolutely adores them. Of course, I’m sure it doesn’t hurt her feelings any that the men love women—any women, but especially the pretty ones—and are immediately solicitous when the girls show up.

“May I buy you a soda?”

“Maybe some popcorn?”

“How about a car?”

“Please look at me. I’m lonely.”

So, why am I going to a Buffy sing-a-long with the Insta-Princess this Friday?

Because, alas, I’m also a fan. And, stupid.

Sigh.