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Monthly Archives: September 2008

Song of the Earworm Sufferer

The song that sticks inside my head   would never win a Grammy. It’s not the Stones, The Grateful Dead   or even Frank or Sammy. It’s “Brady Bunch” or “Man Named Jed”   or Shatner singing “Mammy!” The worst of rock or folk or pop! Dear God in heaven, make it stop!

The Retronym

The retronym’s a useful word, A favorite of the language nerd. It’s coined when innovation’s done And then refers to Version One. To wit, our mail was simply mail Till e-mail forced the added “snail.” I had to wait till I was grown To learn a phrase like “land-line phone.” And no new tricks for [...]

In Memoriam: Paul Newman

“Farewell to Mr. Newman!”   cries the nation with a groan. As an actor and a human   he could move a heart of stone. While his “Hud” could be distressing, In “The Sting” he kept us guessing. If your salad needs a dressing,   what compares with Newman’s Own? Hats off to Mr. Newman!   Bells in Tinseltown [...]

Clean & Green

The public restroom’s paper towels   are made from murdered trees. But what’s the green alternative?   Electric dryers?  Please! It’s not the “cleanest” coal that’s burned   to run the power plants. The eco-friendly choice is clear:    I’ll  just “wipe hands on pants.”  

Putting My One Cent In

“Next year, the penny will be getting not just one new look but four of them, the first changes to the one-cent coin in fifty years.” –Associated Press  They’ve redesigned the one-cent coin,   that worthless hunk of copper. That leave-one-take-one albatross,   the bane of every shopper! In these sad economic times,   though I don’t mean [...]

To Campaign or Not to Campaign?

Oh, what will be the fate Of the Friday night debate? We were primed for verbal venom, jeers and odium! “There’s a crisis!” cries McCain. “I’m suspending my campaign!” Will Obama be left standing at the podium? If they both should stand their ground, The results could be profound, And one could come out smelling [...]

Smooth Operation

Although it’s neither lean nor mean, My bod’s a bona fide machine. It does its work efficiently, Converting coffee into pee.  

Where’s MY Bailout?

With seven hundred billion   I could quit the daily grind. I could fund a new foundation   for the handicapped or blind. I’d support the arts and learning   from New York to Mozambique. At my dear old alma mater   I’d endow a chair in Greek! I could pay the debts of millions   when the banks would [...]

Howl of the Hirsute

It wasn’t all that long ago   that manly bods were hairy. A guy without some fur was thought   a creampuff, wimp, or fairy. But now the virile types, I’m told,   are shaving by the billions. They pluck, they wax, they depilate,   they undergo Brazilians! Perhaps it sounds unhip, but still   if that’s the price of [...]

The Virtuoso

The man who plays the fiddle   has a gift for the sublime. He fingers with precision    while he bows in perfect time. He can handle tricky rhythms   and the toughest double stops. He commands a lengthy repertoire   from classical to pops. His legato (full vibrato!)   yields a tone that’s quite complex. He’s in it [...]