Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Beware of the Blob!

Each year at this time I fall off of a cliff. One minute I’m walking with my family through The Apple Farm, out in Fairfield, bathed in golden autumn light.
Then, a minute later, all the leaves have been blasted out of the tree by a Nor’easter, and it gets dark at four in the afternoon and there are guys in the woods with shotguns.
And there’s no more baseball.
The only thing that raises my spirits is the thought of the blessed holiday season ahead. Christmas, you think? Nope: Halloween.
Sometimes it seems as if Halloween and Christmas have swapped places.
I don’t mind the fact that Halloween is getting more Christmasy all the time; that’s fine with me. But the way in which Christmas is getting to feel more like Halloween? I’m less crazy about that.
I have one neighbor who puts more effort into his Halloween display than his Christmas one. He places a Grim Reaper in his front yard, complete with scythe.
At Christmas, he puts one austere yellow light in his two upper windows.
Last Saturday I went over to my friends Tom and Laura’s for the all-night jam in their barn. I wore a gorilla suit for the occasion, which was hotter than you’d think. We all sang songs together, and then we took “a cup of kindness, yet.” For Auld Lang Syne.
On Tuesday night, I was up at Colby, just as I have been each October 31st for the last 19 years, reading ghost stories for the students with my friend Charlie Bassett in Lorimer Chapel. This year, in addition to Charlie and me, there were a number of singing groups, who joined me in a group performance of the theme song from The Blob.
Beware of the Blob! It leaps and creeps
And glides and slides along the floor
Beneath the door, it’s over on the wall
A blotch, a splotch, Be Careful of the Blob!

By the morning of All Saints, the Boylan household was exhausted from a month of disguise and celebration and the ingestion of a mountain of Kit Kats and Mars Bars and Chunkies. We love Halloween.
Christmas, meanwhile, is a macabre holiday when the dead come back to haunt us.
It was Dickens, of course, who most famously observed that Christmas is the most haunted of holidays, and the older one gets, the more haunted it gets. It’s impossible for me to set up the tree in my mother’s house, for instance, without thinking of the Ghosts of Christmas Past—the father who isn’t there, the sister who doesn’t speak to me any more, all the memories of being a child, back in the prehistoric 1960s, when virtually all of my Christmases were Christmas Futures.
It’s become a cliché, now, for people to speak of their depression at Christmas, but it’s true. So many of us at this time of year, wind up haunted by the ghosts of our younger selves, laid low, as we approach the end of another year, by a sense of the speed with which time slips through our fingers.
The only thing missing from Christmas, sometimes, is a Grim Reaper in your front yard with a scythe.
I love Halloween, and I love how happy my children are at this time of year. Their wild energy makes me feel young again.
But is it too much to ask of this season, that Halloween return to October, and let Christmas be a season of light instead? Would it be so crazy if this year, Christmas was a time of joy, of looking forward, of people celebrating peace, and love, and singing songs together?
It’s a nice wish. But I have a funny feeling I already know what carol I’m going to hear, when I start, once more, to decorate the tree.

Beware of the Blob! It creeps and leaps
And glides and slides along the floor
Beneath the door, it’s over on the wall
A blotch, a splotch…

Be careful of the Blob.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Seasons Greetings

a poem by James M C Davis
" SHIT It's Cold ! "

Monday, October 23, 2006

Joke of the Week, Vol.#17

In the interest of satirical 'bipartisanism', since last week's joke was more or less at the expense of the Republicans, I will slant this weeks a bit to the left.
Q- What do you call the Democratic members of the Senate, in their chamber, drinking diet soda, eating fruit and singing?
...wait foooor it...
A- The Moron Tab n' Apple Choir

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Salad Days, Volume 86: the 'Bunny-Jo Tyler 'Incident

Famed Actress and 'Gentleman's Club' Entertainer,
Bunny-Jo Tyler, 50F
It was, as it usually was, sometime in the eary-mid '80's, and me, in my natural prime, was living on the cushy outskirts of Boston, living la vida mocha, doing the construction worker thing by day, and the savoir-faire jet-setting dance-club denison by night. It was the best of times, it was the best of times, as Chas. Dickens used to say. It was Friday afternoon, and our long week of toil had just ended. Me and some of the team were sitting around the pad after a refreshing swim and cocktail, pondering our plans for the fine summer evening. My cousin I-Dog comes up with the idea to head down to Providence and hit the 'Foxy Lady'. The Foxy Lady, if'n you weren't aquainted, is a 'Gentleman's Club extraordinaire, an establishment of the highest Bulesque, Tittilating Tavern of Temptation: a Strip Club, basically. Now, I wasn't the biggest fan of Strip clubs per se. Not that I was a prude. Neither was it that I didn't enjoy seeing babes naked. I wasn't one of those guys, either, who only said they disliked those places to appear to be sensative. I don't know what it was. Maybe it was just my cheap Scottish streak that found it distasteful to dish out my hard earned Dollar Bills down the garter of some harlot 'working her way through college' at my expense.
But, in the long run, I-Dog and my Penis were pretty persuasive, and we eneded up deciding to go down to the Foxy Lady. We pick up two of our esteemed cronies, I's best buddy Jake, and ol' Joe Pace, the 5' 1" Italian stallion, son of a Brick Mason, and possibly the funniest bastard you'd want to meet. So we get our pans all greased up and about 10 o'clock we find ourselves in the sleazy, smoky environs of Providence's best 'Hootchy-Kootchy'. Ian and Guiseppe, of course, head right to the front of the stage, fistful of crinkly dollar bills eagerly grasped between their sweaty mitts. It's go time for them. With in five minutes, the stallion is right up next to the stage, in a veritable hammer-lock betwwen the thighs of one of the dancers. I-Dog is beside him, waving his bills, having his 'picture taken' by one of the other 'entertainers'. Now me and ol' Jake, we're a bit more practical. We're not going to shoot our wad all at once, so to speak. We're waaay up back at a table against the far wall, sipping our drinks and smoking and joking about the whole affair. We're having a grand time watching the action, but from as safe distance, far from the solicitous sensibilites of those greedy Hootchy Mamas up on stage.
So things are going swell. There are some great opening acts, doing their sexy things to the strains of Rick James, or what-not . But the main event, eagerly anticipated, and just about to come on: one Miss Bunny-Jo Tyler. Bunny-Jo's claim to fame, as it were, was her anatomical measurements. This young Lady was a 50-F bust size! Talk about your Mother, Jugs and Speed! The girl was a marvel of nature. Anyway, the music starts, the lights go down, and the smoke rolls across the main stage. Out into the spotlight glides the biggest set of boobs this young reporter had ever seen. Bunny-Jo was wearing this outfit like the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, with high boots, chaps, a Cowboy hat and the whole works. But the piece-de-resistence was that she had, in her hands, some sort of bottle rockets or something, kinda like she was shooting 6-guns or something. As she strutted about, boobs-a-blazing, she would shoot out balls of fire that would disperse into the darkness of the club before going out into thin air. Seemed kind of contrary to fire code, but hey, it was Providence. Anyhow, me and Jake are sitting at our table, guffawing about Miss Tyler's Ginormous members, slapping each other on the back, when, all of a sudden, I look up toward the stage just in time to see on of B.J.'s balls of fire coming straight toward me. Onlty it wasn't going out. The petulant pyrotechnic hurtled toward me at a speed to fast for me to escape. I ducked as best as I could, but the flaming bullet of love whacks into the mirrored wall just above my head and bounces onto my skull. Immediate sparks and flame ensue on my unsuspecting cranium. The music stops. Jake quickly dumps his Gin and Tonic onto my head and pats out the flames. A short pregnant silence follows. Everyone in the bar, including Miss Tyler , turns toward me and my still smoldeing skull. After my life flashes before my eyes, the first thing I think about is 'lawsuit', then 'naw, that'd never work, how'bout 'free drinks all night'. After all, I could have been killed, after all. Bunny-Jo, ever the consumate professional, strikes up the music immediately, and struts on over to my side of the room ,where me and Jake sit like deer in the headlights. Now, I don't know if you've ever been approached by a sexy stripper, sporting a come-hither look and a 50" bust, but brother let me tell you, it was quite a fright. Miss Tyler approached my table and looked like she was about to give me the treatment. The dollar bills in my pocket set aside for emergency were not needed, my friend. As the music strobed, Bunny applied her mammoth mammalian protuberances to my head and upper torso in a manner, which, I could only assume, was to act as some kind of salve to my singed hair and burned scalp. As I was enveloped by her engorged melons, the bombastic sounds of the night clubs faded and all I could hear was the sound of the Ocean. "Just like a Conch shell" I thought to myself. Darkness enveloped me, and for a few seconds, I felt serene and peaceful, liken to being in the womb. Then, suddenly, I rejoined the world of light and sound, and hundreds of screaming and cheering patrons of the Foxy Lady. I was a hit! Miss Tyler had turned a possible tragic incident into the highlight of her show. Guys were cheerng and going 'Yoo-yoo-yoo-yoo-yoo'! Every time I went to the Men's room, I was slapped on the back and congratulated. I never did get my free drinks for the night, which I thought was unfair, but I did receive an 8-1/2 -11' autographed publicity photo of Bunny-Jo, and a brief tete-a-tete. My hair was a complete mess, but I never spent a dollar out of my stash of bills. Bunny-Jo couldn't have been more nice about the whole thing.
Anyhoo, I've never been back to the ol' Foxy Lady since ( well, wait a minute, that's not exactly true, there was a certain bachelor party a few years ago, but that's another story), and I've never seen Miss Bunny-Jo Tyler either, though I've subsequently found out she's a somewhat noteworthy actress and adult entertainer (google to the rescue again). But that night, I was the story at the Foxy, for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thank God for Jake's quick thinking and sacrifice of his G and T, or I might not be here to tell this story. And, for that matter, thank God for Bunny-Jo Tyler and her fantastic 50-F's. To think I could have stayed home. Or worse yet, to think I could have been working.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

There's no Crying in Baseball...except in New York

I was up to Hunting and Fishing camp the other day, with my Father-in-Law and his brother. We had just enjoyed a splendid day of Grouse hunting, basking in the crisp Autumn air and Golden sunlight of possibly the finest October day in recent memory. We were sitting around the wood stove, aglow from cheap Carlo Rossi wine and too many carbohydrates. We had just settled in to talking politics, when, suddenly, I remembered: the baseball play-offs. Of course, as you know, the beloved Olde Towne team is currently out of the picture. But, the next best thing was on: the Yankees of New York possibly going down in flames against the Tigers of Detroit. I just had to tune in. Which is easier said than done. Being within a Moose's sprint of the Quebec border, most respectable English speaking radio stations are way out of range. But thank God for AM Radio. I tuned in to 880 WCBS just in time to hear the last few innings of what turned out to be the latest play-off choke from Steinbrenner's overpaid minions of the mitt. I thoroughly enjoyed, all too much, hearing all the gory details of the latest melt down, and dire ramifications for next years' team. I could almost hear over the radio, the faint rumblings of Mount Steinbrenner, about to erupt, like Joe Pesci in Good Fellas, waitin' to fuckin' whack Joe Torre as he stepped from the clubhouse, after the loss.

I'll admit I felt a bit ashamed and petty sniffling back my baseball tears of joy, unwept since the miraculous Bosox banner year of '04. It seems, if the Red Flops cannot win, the next best thing would be for the Yankees to lose. As the saying goes, I root for two teams: the Red Sox and any team opposing the Yanks. I maintain that if you don't know what I'm talking about, if you don't feel the same petty way, you are not a true Red Sox fan. We're not used to winning, I'll admit it. But we are used to vendetta, revenge, curses: bizzare ways to explain why it is the baseball Gods are so unfair to us, Red Sox nation. I remember back when I was a kid, at my Grandparents' house, years ago, we were watching the Red Sox play the Yankees at Fenway. It was the bottom of the 9th, tie score, and my old Italian Nanny put the 'Mal Och', the fucking 'evil eye', on Thurmon Munson, a veritable Red Sox killer. "So it's down to this", I thought to myself, "the evil eye. Okay, I'm in".

Anyway, let me put it to you in terms you kids can understand. Let's say your Kevin Federline. And you're married to Brittany Spears. You've had your run; you've cut your album. You've been to all the A-List parties. But eventually, you know it's going to be over. So you and Brittany split up. You hop on the next train to Lonesometowne and watch on TV how Brittany is on tour in Australia, how Brittany is on the cover of People magazine, how Brittany is spotted at Spago's with George Clooney. It eats your fucking heart out. Wouldn't you rather hear that Brittany was dumped by Clooney? Wouldn't it be great to see her get caught for lip-synching on Saturday Night Live? Wouldn't it be awesome to hear her latest album is going down the toilet, especially after how hard you worked on your CD, and how it bombed so miserably? Look, for whatever reason, people seem to think Brittany Spears is hot, even though she is vaccuous and banal, where as you, Kevin Federline, are an aquired taste, a true original. You see where I'm going with this? I thought not. But nobody likes to see their ex- doing well, and I'll be damned if any Red Sox fan wants to see the Bronx Boners do any thing but choke like Mama Cass on a fuckin' chicken sandwich. That's just the way of the world. Pretty or not.

So now, I set my sights on the only other New York team that has a shot at greatness, the Metropolitans, and I remember with great bitterness the World Series of '86. I remember Buckner's Bungle, and I remember Mookie Fuckin' Wilson. I say now what only true Red Sox fans would yell out in a situation like this: GO TIGERS!!!

Oh yeah, and YANKEES SUCK!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Joke of the Week, Volume #356

I happen to be purely bipartisan in my loathing of politics, but it just so happens this time, the party caught with their 'pants' down so happens to be in the Republican party. Don't blame the messenger. I'm a Whig Party supporter.
Overheard at the Massachusetts Senate chamber Steam Room this morning, between Senators Ted Kennedy and John Kerry:
"Mistah Kerry, ah, what is the, ah, diffarence between the fine representatives of the , ah , Democratic Pahty, and ah , our esteemed collegues in the, ah, Grand Old Party?
"I don't know, Mr. Kennedy, what IS the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, oh Sultan of the Senate?"

"The, ah, diffarence, my distinguished collegue, is ah, that the Democrats , ah, generally use a bookmark, where as, ah, the GOP prefer their Pages 'bent over' "!
"Hiyo..You are co-RECT sir"!

Why did the Chicken Cross Party Lines?

I opened the door and found one Abby Holman, Candidate for State Representative, standing on my porch.
She was about my age, blonde, an intelligent face. Abby gave me one of her campaign brochures. “I hope you’ll be voting in November,” she said.
“I always vote,” I said. “Are you a Democrat or a Republican? You look like a Democrat.”
I can’t tell you exactly what I meant by that, but surely it’s not a very nice thing to say to someone you’ve only just met.
“Republican, actually,” she said.
“Oh, what a shame,” I said. “Okay, well so long!” I began to swing the door closed.
“Wait,” she said. “You’d never vote for a Republican? Ever?”
“Of course I’d vote for a Republican,” I said. “I used to BE a Republican. But you know how it is.”
She raised an eyebrow. “How is it?”
“Well,” I said. “Let me ask you some questions. Your position on abortion?”
“I’m pro-choice.”
“Civil rights and legal protections for gay, lesbian, and transgendered people?”
“I’m for civil rights for everybody.”
“The war in Iraq?”
“A disaster.”
I took another hard look at Abby Holman, Candidate for State Representative.
“Dude,” I said. “You’re a Democrat. Didn’t you, like, get the memo?”
“I’m a Republican,” she said, “because I want to improve the business climate in Maine. Because I want us to be more responsible with the taxpayers’ money.”
I rubbed my temples. “You heard about the budget deficit, right? You know that when Clinton left office, we had a surplus? And now we have the biggest deficit in history? Cause they just HAD to give Bill Gates a tax cut?”
She nodded. “I’m running for the Augusta State House. Not Washington.”
“I don’t know,” I said. “You still sound like a Democrat to me.”
“I used to be a Democrat,” she said, in kind of the same voice a woman might say, I used to drink a lotta tequila. “But then I left the party in the 1980s. You can be pro-business and still take socially progressive positions.”
I thought about this. “Ya think?” I said.
“What do you think of Olympia Snowe?”
Well, to be honest, there are times I am kind of fond of Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins too. It’s discouraging for me, as a dyed-in-my-pajamas Democrat, to know that they contribute to the Republican majority in the Senate, but then there are other times I’m delighted that my home state has two moderate, female Republican Senators. There have been plenty of times that Snowe and Collins have been all that has stood between their own party and something I disapprove of, like that time, for instance that the Republicans thought it might be clever to actually impeach a sitting President on account of him having yanked on somebody’s thong underwear.
Not that I’m for that, actually. I just didn’t think he should have been impeached for it. I also wasn’t crazy about having to listen to everyone talk about the man’s kielbasa for a year and a half, considering that there were, like, other things going on in the world that were just possibly more important.
“I like Olympia Snowe all right,” I said.
“I was her press secretary,” she said.
I was getting pretty tired of not disagreeing with her. There were Democrats I had less in common with than this Abby Holman. I’d VOTED for Democrats I had less in common with than the woman on my porch.
“Okay, fine,” I said, a broken woman.
“Thanks,” said Holman, and headed back to her car.
I don’t know who I’m voting for in November. I’m kind of hoping the Democrat turns out to be a single mom who has all of Abby Holman’s positions.
Did I mention she’s a single mom?
But as I stood there, I wondered this: What’s more ridiculous, a woman with all of Holman’s positions, running as a Republican?
Or a woman like me, who wouldn’t consider crossing party lines, even to vote for what she believes in?