Sunday, October 24, 2010

An Introduction to Classical Music

Scientists have recently discovered strains of classical music that are directly responsible for outbreaks of opera.  Before another major opera pandemic erupts, causing needless and painfully loud singing, I feel it necessary to explain the pathology of this scourge before it is too late.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, scientist Phil Harmonic (16 Parkside Lane, Kelowna), defines classical music as music played mainly on instruments of the string family, which includes violins, jellos, wide-mouth bass and victrolas. When a number of these mutate together, it is called an orchestra, which should always have a positive conductor, a neutral conductor, and a ground. 

Actually, conductors have nothing to do with music – I was just looking at an electrical diagram.  Pay no attention. 

Other components of an orchestra include a brass section (French horns, strumpets, floozies, tubes, monkeys), your windywood section (oboys, baboons, bassinettes, accordions), and your permission section (drums, tiffanies, kettles, woods, irons, putters, snares).  Interestingly, ‘Iron, Putter and Snare’ is the name of my Uncle’s law firm.

Classical music got its start during the Broke period of 1622 when several people in idiotic wigs decided to play with their clavicles (ahem) to create an erotic dance craze known as the ‘polka’.  Composers in Spain simultaneously came up with a craze called the ‘Macarena’, for which they were immediately burned at the stake.    

Other notable times in classical music were the Romantic period which started in 1812 during the Battle of Overture, the Trashy period (1850 and up), Obese period (1910 plus service charges), and the Modern period (1929, marked down from 1975). 

Some of the men in wigs and stockings who started all this included such notables as Franki Vivaldi and the Four Seasons, Bock, Handle, Brahmins, List, Chevrolet, Lou Bait-Oven, John Strauss, and Moe Zart. These men were the rock stars of their time, trashing castle rooms between concertos, dreaming up new types of songs like your Sonatas, Camry’s, Areas, Ditties, Foxtrots, Jives and Heydudes. 

These songs were further sub-categorized into Soundtracks (Star Wars, Godfather, Simpsons), About To Be Devoured (when some moron in a scary movie wanders off alone), Overtones, Movements, Concerts, Plays, Church, Restaurant, Elevator, and Westerns.  Other mutations include cannons by Pickleballs, airline commercials, and marching band noise/music.  

So that is what classical music is in a general sense, but how is it played, you ask?  “With great difficulty,” I answer.

You see, classical music is a series of ‘scales,’ which are found on ‘fish,’ who are not deft violin ‘players,’ but are tasty in recipes of ‘note,’ ‘notes’ having something to do with ‘melody,’ which appear in great number on pages of ‘music.’ 

It takes years of diligent study to figure out how to print these pages, during which time the musician figures out how to put his fingers in his ears while his roommate practices his bagpipes.  He does this (plugs ears) to staunch the blood flow from his head, and also to occupy his fingers to prevent strangling the source of the dreadful sound assaulting his senses.   

The other way to learn classical music is to play piano in some tacky lounge or cruise ship (same thing), tickling out 400 year-old melodies to wretched alcoholics who pound back boilermakers in an attempt to understand why they are actually listening to classical music.  Something like that, anyway.

So there you go – classical music in a nutshell. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to take my kid to chopsticks lessons.  Then I’m going Chopin, so I’ll be Bach in a minuet.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another Win!

Well I'd like to thank the Academy once again for voting me the winner of America's Funniest Humor Contest again.  It's an honour just to nominate yourself, really. 

My entry, 'Abuzz,' pertains to the sex lives of bees.  Read it HERE.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Good Question

Actual question posed by a son who may have seen too many cartoons:

"Dad, when you get electrocuted, can you see your bones?"

This question came shortly after daughter said the reason she was running around like a maniac previously was because her "legs were full of hyperness!"

And you wonder where I get my material from?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

And Now: A short, rude Ditty

Sylvia Chlamydia (koala)
Got STD’s from Joe in Walla Walla
This Joe (koala) fella
Made her crotch burn lika hella
She’s onna penicillin now, ya falla?

I have no idea where this came from or why I wrote it.  I take no responsibility.


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Getting to No You

"Dad, can I get a BB gun?"
"Can I get a knife?"
"Can I get some new, baggy jeans?"
"What about this toy?"
"Dad, is 'No' all you ever say?"
"Have you ever said 'Yes' to one of my requests?"
"Will there ever come a time when you say yes to one of my boyhood desires?"
"Yay!  I got a yes! Will you be answering yes to all my questions from now on?"
"In a different part of the mall, maybe?"
"Later today?"
"Come on, Dad, these conversations are becoming predictable.  All I ever do is ask for stuff and all you ever say is no.  I don't even know why I try anymore.  Do you?"
"There you go again.  I can't win, can I?"
"I still think it's cruel to only say 'no' all the time, don't you?"
"Can you at least give me some hope, something to look forward to?  Will you ever say yes to any of my polite requests?"
"What if I give you one of my patented, adorable, pouty child looks?"
"Dad, I have an important question.  Do you love me?"
"Yes.  With all my heart."
"Then why do you always say ‘No’ to me?”
“It’s an economy thing.  Saves energy.  And money.”
“I’m glad you love me, Dad.  Can we go get some ice cream now?"
“Dad, let’s switch to ‘Yes’ mode – it’s much more positive.  I am a growing boy and I need positive influences in my life.  It will help with my self esteem.  So – do you think we can start saying ‘Yes’ now, Dad?”
“Good.  Now – about my requests – are you prepared to exert a more positive attitude towards my development?”
“Does that mean saying ‘Yes’ from time to time?”
“Are you going to say ‘No’ to me the next time I ask for something?”
“Let me re-phrase that last question.  If I were to ask you for a new bike, would you answer the question with a ‘No’?”
“I’m confused.  Did you just say Yes or No to my question?”
“You’re tricky.  I messed up the question didn’t I?  I asked for a bike, and I asked if you would answer the question with a no and you said yes, right?”
“So I blew it didn’t I?”
“You grown-ups are cruel, you know that?  You always twist around what we’re trying to say.  Are you going to do that until I’m in college?”
“Dad, do you ever say no?”
“I want to go home, where you’ll probably tickle me while we watch manly car shows, won’t you?”
“Any way to avoid being tickled?”
“You’re puckering up your lips again, Dad.  Do I have to kiss you out here in public?”
“Can I ever refuse to give you a kiss?”
“Will you kiss me when I’m a sullen teenager?”
“In public?”
“Really?  Will I get all embarrassed?”
“You haven’t figured out a way to end this column, have you Dad?”
“Maybe just give me a kiss and we can go home.”
“Aww, do we have to go home?”
“Yes, Dad.”
“Can’t we stay a little longer?”


Some animal was out of control on Vancouver Island, wreaking havoc on suburban gardens.  Shrubs had been nibbled.  Vegetables eaten.  Prize strawberries consumed. Nothing was safe from this wild predator. 

Strangely, ominous music played whenever it was about to appear.

A wildlife expert named Cooper accompanied me and closely examined some chewed up bits of vegetation - all that remained from the latest attack.  When he finished he tore off his glasses and remarked “This was no field mouse.  It wasn’t a Rototiller either.  It was an ungulate!”

Residents held a town hall meeting to see what could be done about it.  Tempers were flaring and people were yelling back and forth when an ungodly screech sounded.

People fell silent, the crowd parted, and there at the back of the room was a weathered man slowly scraping a set of deer antlers down a blackboard.  He was seated, munching on a cracker, an old, orange ball cap on his head. 

“I’ll catch this deer for ya." he said.  "But it ain’t gonna be easy.  It’s a bad deer – a rogue.  Not like going down to the petting zoo and giving his ears a scratch.  This deer – he’ll swallow your strawberries whole.  And your cedar trees.  We’ve gotta do it quick if you don’t want to miss out on the farmers market season.  You’ll have to ante up if you want to save your berries and herbs.  If you want to go cheap you’ll all be on welfare the whole winter.”

As Police Chief I had to reply.  “We’ve got a budget of two thousand dollars Mr…what did you say your name was Mister?”

“Quaint.  The name’s Quaint.   I value my neck at a lot more than two thousand bucks, Chief.  I’ll catch him for two.  But I’ll gently tranquilize and transport him up island and organically release him for ten.  Ten thousand dollars – fluffy white tail and everything, all wrapped up with a cute bow on top.”

He stood, smiled knowingly, and walked out.

We knew we had to use him.  The other proposed methods, such as issuing strongly worded letters or introducing predators into the area, would not work.  It was ludicrous to think that bringing bears and coyotes into Oak Bay would work any better than the lawyers and lobbyists already living there

So it was that I found myself loading up a truck with supplies – food, sleeping bags, tent, ribbons, wrapping.  The wildlife guy, Cooper, brought along some fancy schmancy tracking gear.  Later, we hunkered down in a sea of grass on the edge of the city.  

I was throwing out handfuls of grain to draw our prey in closer.  In mid-fling I turned and there he was.  Two feet tall at the shoulder, huge, inch-high, fuzzy antler nubs towering over his head, big brown eyes, pale spots running down his side.  A butterfly circled his head and landed on his nose. 

This was our quarry.  This was our mythic whale, our great white shark, our living metaphor for everything wrong with our consumer society, and everything right about a hundred mile diet being destroyed by marauding ungulates, all somehow written into a strange and confusing analogy. 

It was…Bambi.

I lurched upright and walked slowly back towards my comrades. “We’re going to need a bigger bow,” I said numbly.

Cooper and Quaint sprang into action.  Cooper gently but firmly tied a tracking device around the animal’s neck.  Quaint took quick aim and shot several hundred photos of the beast.  Some of them missed, but some were good enough for a stock photo agency. 

That night, after telling several amusing scar stories, we went home.  We all have kids so there’s no way we’re touching Bambi or his ilk.  We’d be killed instantly.  Are you kidding me? 

Tough beans about your gardens, people.  Maybe put up a fence or something.

The End.