Wednesday, July 4, 2012


“Atomic batteries to power... turbines to speed."
“Roger, ready to move out.”
This being the Fourth of July, I figured I ought to post something. Naturally, the first thing I thought about posting was a diatribe about how We The People of the United States of America have allowed the liberty our Founding Fathers won for us from England to be stolen from right under our noses; and how we have permitted the Constitutional Republic our Founders fashioned for us to be transformed into just another socialist dunghill headed for the dust bin of history.

But then on second thought, I thought: 

Oh, give it a rest just for today. There will be plenty of time tomorrow to return to the soapbox rants.

[In the spirit of full disclosure, the truth is that I just didn’t sleep very well last night and so I’m too tired to work my anger up into a good word-rage. So, y’all are off the hook...temporarily.]

Instead, I’ve decided to just post a few patriotic-tunes-with-twists. 

Last night, I received an Email from a friend who suggested I go outside and look up at the Moon. So I did. It was pretty cool – like one of those “grapefruit Moons” that Tom Waits likes to sing about. You know, “a yellow biscuit of a buttery cue ball Moon rollin’ maverick across an obsidian sky”.

Then as I was heading back into my house, I noticed a dark square shape perched atop my front porch mail box. I brought it inside to the light and discovered that it was The Bad Penny, which had come back to me yet again.

“The Bad Penny” is the name for the cardboard box that my buddy Sheboyganboy Six and I keep using to send each other stuffs. We’ve been using this same box for a couple years now, and it really shows. But it takes a lickin’ and keeps on shippin’. (At this point, I think sometimes Sheboyganboy and I like receiving the box as much as we like receiving whatever’s in it.)

Below is a picture I just took of The Bad Penny, displaying the message I wrote on it about the 4th time it was set to travel the distance between Arizona and Washington state. It’s made that trip a number of times since then:

[“This box is like a bad penny, huh?”]
So after looking at the grapefruit Moon, I opened The Bad Penny and discovered a 2-CD set titled ‘The Greatest Country Drinking Songs’, and eight audio cassettes of early Bob & Ray radio shows. I love Bob & Ray, and it was Sheboyganboy Six who introduced me to them.
Unfortunately, there aren't any ‘Tippy, The Wonder Dog’ skits on these tapes, but they do contain some of my other big Bob & Ray favorites: ‘Matt Neffer, Boy Spotwelder’ and ‘Webley Webster’s Book Reviews’ which are always swashbuckling pirate tales, even when the book under review is ‘Cinderella’.

“But ah can’t control the weather, Captain.”
“Why YOU!...” [*POW!*BIFF!*BAM!*]

Last night, I had a Bourbon & Seven while listening to all 20 songs on the ‘Country Drinking Songs’ set. There’s some good stuffs on there, like Roger Miller’s ‘Chug-A-Lug’, ‘Night Life’ by Willie Nelson, ‘Lord Knows I’m Drinking’ by Cal Smith, ‘Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee’ by Jerry Lee Lewis. And “you know what Merle Haggard sez”: ‘I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink’.

Also included is just the right Country Drinking Song for a day like the 4th of July: 

Rednecks, White Socks And Blue Ribbon Beer’ by Johnny Russell.

Too bad the best Country Drinking Song of all time wasn’t included (the compiler should have checked with me first). No, Johnny Horton’s song, 'The Battle Of New Orleans', doesn’t even mention drinking, but play it in a Country-Western bar just once and see if that saloon don’t come immediately to life:

Battle of New Orleans, In 1814

Alright, here’s a couple more patriotic-tunes-with-twists:
I loves me some Waylon . . .
Waylon Jennings - America
And I loves me some Bocephus, too . . .
The American Way
OK, tune in tomorrow - same Bat-time, same Bat-channel - for a new rant on the same old topic. (Like a bad penny, I keep returning to this blog to blow off steam. ZOK!)
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.


  1. My husband used to sing the Battle of New Orleans all the time .. just gotta love it! Thanks.

  2. The mention of "Battle of New Orleans" brings back some fun memories. Ah yes, the good ol' days of Amazon discussion threads. I suppose that discussion is still there with all your parts missing. Someone who would pop in on that one unknowingly must scratch their heads and wonder about that missing most important part of the dialog.

    Love the box idea.

    A Faraway View

  3. StMcC -

    Sending and receiving "the bad penny" is indeed a large part of the fun. I don't know how long it will last, but we'll keep going until some pencil-pushing bureaucrat tells us it no longer meets code or until the world ends, whichever comes first.

    I'm with you: I'd like to be able to order a Bob and Ray disc with things sorted to my preference. But fortunately for me, I already have all this stuff on CD also and listen to it on my Ipod, so I can sort it as I want in Itunes.

    I knew you'd enjoy the drinking songs. You enjoy drinking and you enjoy country music, so what's not to like?

    For those of you unfamiliar with Bob and Ray, I am pasting in a couple of YouTube links below. They are my favorite comedians of all time by far. They have a very gentle and non-profane style, which just lightly pokes at the media, often in the form of boring interviews with mundane people thrown into the spotlight.

    Komodo dragon interview:

    Low Jumper skit:

    Slow Talker bit:

  4. THEA ~
    Thanks for commenting. And, yeah, I agree with you: "just gotta love it!"

    In fact, the two friends who commented below you - Arlee Bird and Sheboyganboy Six - both became aware of my existence a few years back at where I had started a discussion thread in which I speculated that 'The Battle Of New Orleans' might be the most universally liked song in America. How many people really dislike it? No one I know!

    Your name, Thea, is interesting. Is that short for "Althea" by any chance? (One of my favorite possessions is a little silver cup given to me at my birth by my Paternal Grandmother's good friend Althea.)

    Ask and you shall receive: The One Song Every American Likes?

    Evidence of Amazon's utter stupidity still clutters the Web.

    I will definitely check out those URLs you posted here.

    I will always be grateful to you for turning me on to Bob & Ray. Nappy and I quote them frequently.

    Nappy loves to say that line I used in this blog bit: "But I can't control the weather, Captain!" And BOTH OF US are constantly saying, "Come to think of it, I WILL have that beer". That's a line from Bob & Ray's 'Mannix' spoof called (if I remember correctly) 'Blimmix'. Very, very funny skit! We alter the word "beer" sometimes, adapting it to whatever the situation calls for (e.g., "Come to think of it, I WILL borrow your money", etc.)

    And I would guess that anyone who doesn't appreciate the off-the-wall, nonsensical comedy of the 'Matt Neffer, Boy Spotwelder' skits would likely never appreciate my own brand of humor. Who says it has to make sense to be funny? (Do "The Knights Who Say Ni" make any sense?)


    Consarn it all, 'Tippy, The Wonder Dog' rules forever!

    ~ Stephen

  5. I'm smiling, no actually laughing.

    I won't even comment on 'The Battle of New Orleans' except to say I do know all the words, but you would have to be pretty drunk to want to hear me sing it.

    Can you get Sheboyganboy, or can you, post those links so they will work with 'just a click'. You know me and technology, especially of the copy and paste variety. It's simply beyond my kin.

    Oh, and best 'moon line' ever. Thank you Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Waits.

    Ask and you shall receive:

    Komodo Dragon

    Low Jumper
    My favorite part is the usual, standard Biff Burns sign-off line: “This is Biff Burns saying, ‘Until next time, this is Biff Burns saying, “So long, fans”.’ ”
    [Did I punctuate that correctly? Who can say? But, really, that right there is a fine example of Bob & Ray’s comedic genius: If you get lost trying to punctuate it, you're dealing with geniuses!]

    The Slow Talker
    [This is the best o’ dis bunch, in my opinion.]

    I did a YouTube search for ‘Tippy, The Wonder Dog’, ‘Webster Webley Reviews...’, and ‘Matt Neffer, Boy Spotwelder’ [“Up here, Todd, on the third floor landing!”], but unfortunately, I got nuttin’. Not surprised though, as I imagine Sheboyganboy Six had already conducted the same YouTube searches before posting the above URLs.

    ~ Stephen

  7. OK, you know it's funny when you're rolling on the floor before they deliver the punch line. STOA, maybe I should join. Ha, ha, ha. I LOVED that Komodo Dragon piece! Thanks yous guys.

  8. FAE ~
    Glad ya liked these. But Sheboyganboy Six just Emailed me a couple of MP3 downloads made from his iPod audio files and if I can figure out how to forward them to you, I will.

    There's Webley Webster's book review of 'Cinderella', and 'Just Fancy Dan, The Barber'. Both of them make me GOL, and the latter one perfectly illustrates how completely wacky and nonsensical Bob & Ray could be. You definitely need a wacky sense of humor to dig 'Just Fancy Dan'. (I loves it.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  9. STMc & SB6

    The downloads came through great. Yesterday was a real s#*t of a day, so there are only two words for this bit of humor; 'mighty grateful'.

  10. FAE ~
    SB-6 just sent me MP3 files for a couple episodes of 'Tippy, The Wonder Dog'. 'Tippy' is one of my favorite recurring Bob & Ray skits, so I will forward them to you soon. (Just as soon as the Chinee stop watching bad TV in the other room and my computer returns to normal speed.)

    ~ Stephen


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