Saturday, August 1, 2020

He ain't heavy, Father, he's my chicken

(Editor's note: The following meme is not original with me. It appeared for the umpteenth time today on Facebook so I decided to capture it and make it available to you. Why should I be the only one to suffer? It is supposed to make you laugh, or at least smile, or nod your head knowingly. This will be easier to do if you live in the United States. If you do not live in the United States, I can only hope that you recognize some of the individuals and then laugh, or at least smile, or nod your head knowingly. --RWP)

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

DONALD TRUMP: I've been told by many sources, good sources -- they're very good sources -- that the chicken crossed the road. All the Fake News wants to do is write nasty things about the road, but it's a really good road. It's a beautiful road. Everyone knows how beautiful it is.

JOE BIDEN: Why did the chicken do the...thing in the...you know the rest.

SARAH PALIN: The chicken crossed the road because gosh-darn it, he's a maverick!

BARACK OBAMA: Let me be perfectly clear, if the chickens like their eggs they can keep their eggs. No chicken will be required to cross the road to surrender her eggs. Period.

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: Chickens should not be forced to lay eggs! This is because of corporate greed! Eggs should be able to lay themselves.

JOHN McCAIN: My friends, the chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON: What difference at this point does it make why the chicken crossed the road?

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. The chicken is either with us or against us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken.

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white?

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he is acting by not taking on his current problems before adding any new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross the road so badly. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a NEW CAR so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way the chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price droped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR. SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ENEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

KING DAVID: O Lord, why dost the chicken cross the road And why art the chicken hawks beset around it? Surely in vain the road is crossed in the sight of any predator.

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart-warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2020, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents and balance your checkbook. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken2020. This new platform is much more stable and will never reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Friday, July 31, 2020

Blogger was not dicey, it was DuckDuckGo, plus an unusual reading assignment

At least I think it was DuckDuckGo. I stopped using it as my search engine and the quirk disappeared. I call it a quirk because I don't know what else to call it. It was very frustrating not being able to access one's own blog.

Be that as it may, your reading assignment for today, class, is this article from the loved/hated (choose one) Wikipedia on Peerage of the United Kingdom.

All of the peerages in the United Kingdom are listed, not alphabetically but by the date of their creation, which makes things a bit confusing if you are trying to look something or someone up.

In all, according to Wikipedia, there are 31 Dukes (although I read somewhere else that there have been 74), 34 Marquesses, 193 Earls and countesses, 112 Viscounts, and 1,187 Barons. I don't know whether that figure represents currently or historically. (Note that I continue to use the Oxford comma. Graham Edwards who lives near the town of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides Islands of Scotland will be so pleased, but Yorkshire Pudding, who is without peer, couldn't care less.)

If you absolutely refuse to read today's assignment, please stay busy by twiddling your thumbs until next time and try not to disturb the other students.

This is my 84th post of the year, which is 2020 but feels in many ways like the 1984 described by George Orwell. Since 2020 is now 7/12ths complete, my handy-dandy calculator tells me that if I continue on my current pace of blogging -- I can hear some of you saying "God forbid" -- I will have posted 144 posts by the end of the year.

One cannot know whether one will continue on one's current pace. One can only watch and pray.

Whether you pray for or against is entirely up to you.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Blogger is being dicey and I'm not feeling too peppy myself

Wouldn't you know it, just when I finally figure out how to create new posts and modify existing ones using my Apple phone, my desktop computer's version of Blogger has decided to prevent me from reaching my own blog, at least with the browser and search engine I use, which are Mozilla Firefox and DuckDuckGo, respectively. The only way I know of at present to get around this fine kettle of fish dilemma is by clicking on links to myself in the blogs of my friends who have added me into their bloglists.

I don't have a bloglist, at least not one showing on my blog. My bloglist is in my head, and I usually access my favorite blogs in alphabetic order by blogname, starting with Adrian's and then Neil's and then Michelle's and on and on through Graham's and kylie's and ending with Ian's and Tasker's. My old friends Remus and Carolina and Daphne and the other Ian have all disappeared from Blogland. For the longest time I continued going to both Frances's and Kate's places but they seem to have stopped blogging as well so I stopped going to their places. Pam still blogs occasonally so I have high hopes for her. I no longer read JG's as he tends to be too earthy for my tastes. In recent months I have added Bonnie's and Red's and Linda's and Rachel's to my mental list. I do check in at Sue's but rarely leave a comment. Lowell has slowed down significantly. Dr. John Linna in Neenah, Wisconsin, has been dead for several years.

Some of you know who these people are and some of you don't have a clue.

Maybe I am just talking to myself here, or into thin air.

I will come back when I am in a better frame of mind.

Don't take any wooden nickels.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Someone had a birthday a few days ago

...and she does not mind at all my telling you that she is now 85:

























(Editor's note. Ai this point in the post I originally included photographs of both of our sons and their families and of our daughter and her family, and I thanked them all for making this particular birthday of Mrs. RWP's so memorable. Because of the terrible things that can happen in today's crazy world, I have decided to remove the photographs in the interest of their privacy and safety. --RWP)

Moving right along...

In comments on the previous post, several people commented how green our neighborhood looks, but Graham Edwards who lives near the town of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides Islands of Scotland didn't. He said it looked verdant. (For readers in Alabama, verdant means green.) Graham went on to say that he was going to say green but then he remembered that this is a highbrow blog so adjusted accordingly.

This being a highbrow blog and all, my mind went immediately to the second stanza of "The King Of Love My Shepherd Is", a hymn written by Sir Henry William Baker in 1877 that uses an earlier English translation of a Welsh poem based on the 23rd Psalm:

Where streams of living water flow,
my ransomed soul he leadeth;
and where the verdant pastures grow,
with food celestial feedeth.

The hymn has had several musical settings, including the well known Irish folk melody St. Columba, and the one by Dykes that was sung at Princess Diana's funeral in 1997, but my personal favourite is the one by Harry Rowe Shelley (1858-1947), performed here by the First Baptist Church choir of Portland, Maine in 2004:

"The King Of Love My Shepherd Is"

Here are the lyrics in case you couldn't understand them all from the video clip. They are actually a combination of the 23rd Psalm from the Old Testament and the parable of the lost sheep from the New Testament.

The King of love my shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never.
I nothing lack if I am his,
and he is mine for ever.

Where streams of living water flow,
my ransomed soul he leadeth;
and where the verdant pastures grow,
with food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish, oft I strayed,
but yet in love he sought me;
and on his shoulder gently laid,
and home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill,
with thee, dear Lord, beside me;
thy rod and staff my comfort still,
thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spreadst a table in my sight;
thy unction grace bestoweth;
and oh, what transport of delight
from thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days,
thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house forever.

(end of song)

The Welsh really know how to write a poem and the English really know how to translate one.

Just think, if this were a lowbrow blog and Graham Edwards had not used the word verdant, we might all be singing "Lavender Blue, Dilly Dilly, Lavender Green" or "The Green, Green Grass Of Home" by now.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, but some neighborhoods are more beautiful than others

The image below is not a blow-up of a paramecium surrounded by green mold, nor is it a paisley-shaped creature atop a bed of broccoli florets.

No, friends, it is an aerial photo taken a few days ago of part of my neighborhood. The entire subdivision has around 400 houses. My house is included the photo.


From the air, the houses seem very close together, but they don't seem all that close at street level. Most of the lots are about 1/3 of an acre.

Not too far away, other people live in houses that are bigger than my entire lot:



Mrs. RWP has always said she wouldn't want to live in a big house. It is just more to have to keep clean, she says, and besides, you can only live in one room at a time anyway.

That's what Mrs. RWP says.

Here's what I say:

Be it ever so humble, or not, there's no place like home.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Funny, we all act like monkeys sometimes

Yorkshire Pudding, bless his black heart, has introduced me to "The BOB Song". I don't know how it escaped my attention before, but it did. Here is Willie Nelson's recording of it for your edification consternation listening pleasure:

The BOB Song (4:15)

Just in case you (a) never click on links or (b) had difficulty understanding all of Willie's impeccable diction, here are the lyrics:

The BOB Song

Well I once knew a pirate named BOB
B-O-B Bob was a drunken old slob
B-O-B Bob, 'bout as dumb as a rock
But Bob, he made it to the top

He said, You swing from your tree and I'll swing from mine
You have your lemons and I'll have my limes
Funny we all act like monkeys sometimes
So you swing from your tree and I'll swing from mine
I'll swing from mine

He said, I'd rather make love than war
And I'd rather have millions than to ever be poor
But I'd rather be happy than to have any more,
Guess I'm a little tangled in the vine

Oh, You swing from your tree and I'll swing from mine
You have your lemons and I'll have my limes
Funny, we all act like monkeys sometimes
So you swing from your tree and I'll swing from mine
I'll swing from mine

Funny, we all act like monkeys sometimes
You swing from your tree and I'll swing from mine
You have your whiskey and I'll drink my wine
You save your dollar and I'll spend my dime
You swing from your tree and I'll swing from mine
We'll all be happy sometimes
And we'll all be happy sometimes

(End of song)

Please consider answering the following questions in the comments:

1. This is a really (good/lousy) song. (Choose one)
2. This (is/is not) more evidence that Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution is true. (Choose one)
3. This song (describes/does not describe) dear rhymeswithplague to a T. (Choose one)
4. This blog has reached a new (nadir/zenith) with this post. (Choose one)

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Now it can be told

Here are the original songs whose titles I attempted to parody in the previous post. On some of them I have included an artist who made it popular. If you want to know the year, you will have to look it up yourself.

  1. I Left My Heart In San Francisco (Tony Bennett)
  2. Chicago, Chicago, That Toddlin' Town (Frank Sinatra)
  3. Big D (Little a, Double l, a, s)
  4. A Foggy Day In London Town (Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald)
  5. By The Time I Get To Phoenix (Glen Campbell)
  6. California, Here I Come (Right Back Where I Started From)
  7. I Was Born In A Trunk In The Princess Theater In Pocatello, Idaho (Judy Garland in A Star Is Born)
  8. The Last Time I Saw Paris
  9. Shuffle Off To Buffalo
  10. Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis (Judy Garland in Meet Me In St. Louis)
  11. As I Walked Out On The Streets Of Laredo (Marty Robbins)
  12. Autumn In New York
  13. Swanee, How I Love Ya, How I Love Ya, My Dear Old Swanee (Al Jolson in Rhapsody In Blue)
  14. Moonlight In Vermont
  15. Carry Me Back To Old Virginny
  16. Oklahoma, Where The Wind Comes Sweepin' Down The Plain
  17. Mention My Name In Sheboygan (It's The Greatest Little Town In The World)
  18. Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be In Carolina In The Morning
  19. Pardon Me, Boys, Is This The Chattanooga Choo-Choo?
  20. There'll Be Bluebirds Over The White Cliffs Of Dover (Vera Lynn)
  21. It's A Treat To Beat Your Feet On The Mississippi Mud
Also, Rachel's contribution in the comments, "24 Hours From Camden, New Jersey", was a parody of "24 Hours From Tulsa" (Gene Pitney).

kylie in Australia commented, "I don't know how you think this stuff up" and I replied honestly, "I don't know how I think this stuff up either. Maybe I'm just a product of our rotten culture".

In any event, you heard it here first.

He ain't heavy, Father, he's my chicken

(Editor's note: The following meme is not original with me. It appeared for the umpteenth time today on Facebook so I decided to capt...