Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I was trolling around, er, reading some articles on yesterday. I do that frequently and occasionally get some good riffs to write from. Witness the 

Am I a Fearless Actor?  

“Nic Cage in Bear Suit,” from “Wicker Man.” In the awesome times awesome post “The 7 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Movies of the Decade,” written by RiffTrax. That bit about ol’ Nic caused me to damage my laugh. That was the start of the owie. 

Hmm, I Wonder If I Ate My Briefcase? 

“Executive Lion,” the riff that I went off on in my post, that damned lion looks so serious, like he's going to a business meeting. This is Robert Brockway’s wonderful article “15 Old Photographs That Prove the World Used to Be Insane,” was when I had my very first apoplexy and hernia. I’ve had several since then. Apoplexies, I mean. I haven’t had hernias, just a lot of pulled tummy muscles and sore cheeks from laughing. There may be some small danger when all my senses fire at once. I literally started to pass out during the “Lion Drome” thing when I read that shit, it was that funny. JC caught me just as I was starting to slide out of my chair; all the synapses had blown at the same time. My laughter had gone from ha-ha-ha to that shrill steam-kettle thing, that’s how he knew I was about to go under.

I’ve also decided that this is going to be the new name for my next string quartet: “Apoplexy and Hernias.” I once had a string quartet named “La Cord Fromage,” which translated from the French and meant, “The String Cheese,” and boy, did we play some cheese. Everything from “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” pizzicato all the way, to every stupid Disney tune. Ever. Written. The only "high art" we ever got a whiff of at the time was “Eine Kliene Nacht Musik,” by Mozart, where my soul died a little more, every time we played that bastard. It finally got to the point, where these idiots at quartet “do’s” would request this fucker, and I would take off out of the gate and play it as fast as I could to the finish line. I win! Now, don’t request that piece of shit again. I only play Mozart for money and I don’t play it happily; I try to play it as fast as I can, even the slow Mozart. My quartet members were well aware of my tendency to race through it all at a Presto-like pace. Mozart just plain sucks donkey dicks. Give me Beethoven or kill me.

Our black, gay cellist, who was very cultured, used to drawl in his best homie voice, “Mar' don’ be playin’ no Mozar’”, just before the downbeat, to make me snort in front of an audience. And off we’d go on a frantic race to the end. “Eine” loses again! People actually paid us money for this shit. Well, “La Cord Fromage” actually got good, and we tackled all the Beethoven quartets, opus 18 were my favorites, Debussy, Ravel, and Shostakovich. We played together for several years; I’m proud of the work we did; string quartet work is probably the hardest of the entire string literature to master. I can’t say we mastered it, but we sure did some fine stuff. So, we quit being cheesy and got good. We kept the name because no one in Florida speaks French. They all thought it was lovely and classy.

Anyway, my next quartet “Apoplexy and Hernias” will be more rock-oriented. But back to I’ve been a rather sad thing, kind of lately. I could chalk it up to Parkinson’s Disease. It’s always here. Lately, it’s been more in my face than usual. It’s truly a pain in the ass and everywhere else. It’s like just about every cliché about any state with weird weather; i.e. “wait five minutes and it will change.” Yup, that sums up PD. It’s something different, it’s nothing, it’s pain, weird taste, weird feeling, weird sleeping, weird emotions, all in 3 seconds. It’s curled up toes, then stasis. It’s a stampede of thoughts, then complete vacuousness in your head; not even cobwebs. It’s DEFCON5 in your vision, then 1000-yard stare for hours.

The other night, I was sound asleep. Some joker took a stick and pushed my left big toe all the way up to make my knee hit my chin. What the fuck is that? About 5 minutes or 5 hours later, the same joker yanked my right wrist hard enough to make it hurt and startled me awake. What the fuck?

And PD fucks with time; I’ve always lived by the clock. My careers demanded it; now, I have no idea how much time has passed. If it’s 10 minutes, 10 hours, who the fuck knows. That’s okay. I’m not doing anything anyway, except giggling over So, yesterday it was “7 Things You Won’t Believe Science Says Make You Happy,” by XJ Selman. I think he’s onto something. Sad movies, like “Braveheart.” Now, I always recuse myself from weighing in on “Braveheart” being as how Sir William is a member of the family and being as how the movie is to me, boring and there are lots of inaccuracies in the thing. But Selman is onto something. He writes of “Atonement,” best described as “every sad movie ever made, for two hours.” “Theater staff are required to keep water and salt tablets on hand to stem the dehydration death toll.”

Researchers found that participants had moods elevated after seeing their favorite sad movies; participants were happier “after getting taken in by the wailing opera of despair, because they had subconsciously compared their own close relationships with the horrible tragedies onscreen.

This whole article is chock-a-block with these pithy observations. I hadn't read Mr. XJ Selman before, but intend to read more of his funny and informative articles. Number 7 on this list is a doozy. You can follow XJSelman on Twitter, too. Mr. Robert Brockway, who is always hilarious and one hell of a writer hangs out on He has a book, a novel "Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity" available now at, which I would dearly love to get my sweaty, PD-ridden, shaky mitts on and will, being that sort of stubborn asshole that I am. But, this isn’t about me. Robert Brockway’s hilarious!

Read more: Robert Brockway |

Post a Comment