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CSotD: Random responses

Moderately Confused mostly got a chuckle today because, while I don’t play the fiddle, or even the violin, I am convinced that “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” is probably an annoyingly simple song to play.

I base this theory on the number of clearly crapola garage-country bands that feature it, and the fact that, while it has some really fast parts, the players who get through those really fast parts show no particularly outstanding skill on their instruments the rest of the evening.

And I base it on having been in a band and the way the whole bar will applaud like crazy for some tune that is fast or loud but fairly elementary and then, when you play something that is actually kind of intricate, you get nods from a few people in the audience whose approbation is actually worth something.

So I put it on the list along with “Amazing Grace,” because I’ve known so many pipers and I am fully aware that the song has two benefits:

One is that it is one of the few mainstream songs that happens to fit the limited range of war pipes, and the other is that, if you have learned how to keep the bag inflated, you have all the piping skills needed to play “Amazing Grace.”

I also have a fantasy of building pianos that are programmed to explode if anyone plays “Heart and Soul” on them, so don’t mind me.

But if anyone decides that I need to be piped to my grave when the time comes, play this old tune instead, not because I particularly like it but because I’d enjoy seeing its name printed in the little funeral program they hand out.



And I don’t know how far in advance Bunny Hoest and John Reiner work, but the flood of “Don’t accept friend requests from me” messages on Facebook coincides nicely with today’s Lockhorns.

This may be the most annoying Facebook fraud since that time when everyone was posting that they owned their copyright and nobody on Facebook was allowed to share their information or photos, according to some irrelevant clause in the Universal Commercial Code plus something that had to do with international trade.

If you’re listening, Mark, what Facebook needs is filters like email has, so that you can remain “friends” with people but screen out the nitwittery they post.

Years ago, I had a filter on my email set to delete anything containing the phrase “Twas the night before,” which came in very handy throughout November and December.

More recently, I had one set to delete any email containing the word “Linkedin,” which cut down on the unwanted invitations to join.

Then, several months later, I discovered it was deleting press releases from a woman who had her Linkedin address in her sig file.

So I deleted the filter, but it turned out I hadn’t been missing much.

Which is where I’m at with people who post this latest annoyance. I’m starting to “Snooze” them until it’s over.


You don’t see this very often

Last month, Michael de Adder posted this.

So yesterday, Matt Wuerker posted this update.

To which De Adder responded informally with this.


All of which made me think of this uncredited WWII-vintage cartoon from Yank.


Finally, Rex Morgan is in a story arc that doesn’t seem to involve Rex but I suppose will.

Here Rex’s nurse and her boyfriend (whom we knew back when he was providing security and basic assistance for an old fellow with Alzheimers) have been through an attempted mugging.

Two things got my attention, the first being that we knew the first names of everyone in school because there was always some tight-ass teacher who refused to use nicknames.

I had a good friend — still do, when I head up that way — who drove these teachers crazy because his legal first name was a pair of initials and they really, really wanted to know what they stood for.

It did not soothe their souls that his legal middle name, and the name everyone knew him by, was “Butch.”

So they called him by his initials, because “Butch” wouldn’t come out of their mouths.

The other was that I did know a middle-aged guy named Delmer, or, at least Delmar, known as “Dancing Delmar,” because he was one of those people who hung out on the street scene in Boulder despite being completely straight, very conventional looking and kind of square, except that he shuffled around to music only he could hear and sang most of what he said to those same indistinct tunes.

I suppose he was a sort of village idiot in that everyone not only tolerated him but was protective of him. I don’t know where he slept or how he ate, but I can promise you that anyone who thought it clever to mess with him would have found themselves in a difficult position.

Boulder had a lot of highly eccentric people wandering around, but Dancing Delmar fell under a different category and I sometimes wonder if the street still protects folks like him.

A decade later, there was a similar fellow down in Colorado Springs named Stan who was given a job as a busboy at a local cafe/bookstore. Sometimes Stan bused tables and sometimes Stan gave loud, impromptu speeches in the middle of the restaurant and always Stan had balloons in his pockets for kids.

When Stan got completely out of control, the owner would steer him to some chores in the back, but, mostly, Stan was part of what made the place home, and it was amusing to watch uptight parents react uptightly, because their kids saw through it all and adored Stan.

I don’t know where Rex Morgan is going with this, and desperate muggers do need intervention.

But I hope the real world still has room for loosely-hinged people whose madness does not harm anybody.

If for no other reason than that it’s a dangerous line to start drawing.


Community Comments

#1 Brian Fies
@ 9:09 am

“In May the Rock Bottom Remainders performed at a party in Los Angeles at the annual convention of the American Booksellers Association. It went very well. The audience members were receptive, by which I mean they had been drinking. Some people got so receptive that they demanded an encore, so we decided to play Gloria, which we like because it’s even simpler to play than Louie Louie. You can throw a guitar off a cliff, and as it bounces off rocks on the way down, it will, all by itself, play Gloria.”

–Dave Barry

#2 Mike Peterson
@ 10:16 am

Exactimundo. I’d thought of Louie, Louie but hadn’t thought of Gloria. Glad I didn’t, since Barry’s analysis is so much better than mine would have been.

#3 Mary McNeil
@ 3:10 pm

BJ Honeycutt once explained that he was named for his mother, Bea, and his father, Jay.

#4 Hank Gillette
@ 9:14 pm

Sorry, but I am pretty sure that it is a requirement that pianos be wired to explode to “Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms”.

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