Almost Cut My Hair

An angel gave a promise and command to Manoah’s wife telling her that she would become pregnant and have a son whose head was never to be touched by a razor, because the boy was to become a Nazirite, which is an individual who has voluntarily dedicated themselves to God from the womb.  His legacy would be to take the lead in delivering Israel from the hands of the Philistines.  Her son was Samson whose strength allowed him to tear apart a lion with his bare hands and to defeat many Philistines with supernatural acts of strength.  Why, why, why would Delilah make Samson pay the ultimate price for love, well that is an easy one, as she was motivated by greed.  Here is a song from my second book which I wrote for the wedding scene.

Samson traveled to Gaza, and he met a prostitute.
Samson laid with her and then they had a dispute.
She wanted more money than Samson was willing to pay.
But when she saw Samson’s muscles, she said let’s hit the hay.
The people of Gaza knew Samson was there!
They tried to surround him but to their despair,
Samson broke loose and crashed through the city gate.
Samson was too strong, the citizens only made him irate.
Delilah was a woman from the Valley of Sorek.
Samson was a judge and he did not eat pork.
Samson fell madly in love with the beautiful Delilah.
He loved her so much, he said ‘I would like to buy ya.’
The Philistines knew that Samson possessed great strength.
Samson never trusted them, so he maintained an arm’s length.
The Philistines approached Delilah to become their spy.
They offered her shekels of silver piled up to the sky.
Delilah was paid to seduce Samson and make him tell.
Samson played with Delilah because he liked her smell.
Delilah said, if you love me, show me what makes you so strong, let me know.
Samson knew that if he told his secret, he may no longer be able to beat his foe.
Delilah nagged and prodded him day after day, until he could take no more.
Samson told her no razor has ever touched his head, then he called her a whore.
Delilah seduced and deceived Samson, because she wanted to collect the money.
She cunningly crafted her plan to cut off all of his hair and did he look funny.
Samson became weak, he was captured and taken to prison.
Samson prayed to God and hoped that He would listen.
The Philistines gouged out his eyes and kept him in jail.
Samson was devastated and he became very pale.
Samson’s hair grew back, which the Philistines ignored.
He gained his strength again as he prayed to the Lord.
They chained Samson up to the pillars on the temple foundation.
Samson could not break the chains, but he felt a holy sensation.
Samson was the strongest man that ever lived on this earth.
He pushed with all his might, he pulled for all he was worth.
Samson gritted his teeth and started to tear the building down.
The two support pillars shattered and ended up on the ground.
Everyone in the building died that day and Delilah was sad.
She knew that Samson was the best lover that she ever had.

Written for Melanie’s sparksfromacombustiblemind’s special edition of Share Your World which asks “Would you rather have a huge head of hair or be completely bald?  No middle ground!”

Juju Hand

Painting my hand with multiple colors serves to infuse it with magical powers, which is neither a good nor a bad thing, although once it is painted, it may be used for constructive purposes as well as for any nefarious deeds.  I had juju eyeballs before John Lennon sang about them and they were not hypnotic or mesmerizing, as this happened when I was completely smashed from drinking kamikazes and I am not doing that again any time soon.  The term juju evokes an image of African voodoo with half-naked native black men sporting bones through their noses, dancing around a large open fire, with a group of missionaries being boiled up in a large cauldron.  Juju was a pejorative term, signifying that there was no rhyme or reason to what might be selected for this religious devotion and some people feel this term was derived from the French word for toy (joujou).

Juju got a bad wrap and it was usually associated with death, but there is also a thing called good juju and that would come from a good or white witch and this might be used to bless a marriage with a pregnancy.  The painted hand was the mark of an escaped slave who would no longer be owned by a master, so the juju hand was a good juju and it would bring positive energy and warmth to anyone who it touched.  This juju hand was known for training a zebra to ride a bike that pulled an elephant around in a wagon that would play a piano and everyone enjoyed seeing that.

Yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand
Oooowwww! We got it now!

I’ve got an alligator claw and some booby dust
So you better do what you know you must
I got a lock of your hair and a bullfrog’s eye
And if you break my heart you better say “Goodbye”

I got a yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand
This yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand sure is grand
Makes your eyes turn red and your tongue turn green
It’s the strongest mess that you’ve ever seen

Mojo hand used to be real strong
It kept you straight when you did me wrong
As time went by you just got so mean
But the yoka mata huba bakwa is the thing

I’ve got a yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand
This yoka mata huba bakwa sure is grand
Makes your eyes look red and your tongue turn green
The yoka mata huba bakwa makes you scream:
Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Oooowwww!
Huba bakwa Huba bakwa

Mojo hand used to be real strong
It kept you straight when you did me wrong
As time went by you just got so mean
But the yoka mata huba bakwa is the thing

I’ve got a yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand
This yoka mata huba bakwa sure is grand
Makes your eyes look red and your tongue turn green
Its the strongest mess that you’ve ever seen

Oooowwww!

Yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand
Yoka mata huba bakwa Juju Hand

Written for Reena’s Xploration Challenge #200, where today she gives us a very colorful image and asks us to be creative and go berserk with it.

Paraphobia

My biggest fear is that of being touched by another man, because I get uncomfortable even when another guy gets too close while trying to talk with me.  This is not homophobia, as I don’t dislike or have anything against gay people, but I don’t want them touching me and I would prefer not to see them kissing each other.  The other day a male nurse did an ultrasound of my bladder to see how much urine I was holding and he slid his hands inside of my shorts to wipe off the gel after he was done.  I could have wiped it off by myself and he never asked my permission to put his hands inside of my shorts and underwear.  If it was a female nurse, I would not have minded that intrusion at all.  I guess this all stems from a negative experience that I had once when this guy cut my hair.

I went to this salon to get my hair cut and I used to only having females cut my hair, but they said that it would be a long wait and if this guy could cut my hair, I would be the next customer.  I got the creeps when he started rubbing the back of my neck and I almost walked out at that point, but I let him finish, but from then on, no matter how long the wait, I was never going to let another man cut my hair again.  I have a female dentist, a female doctor and a female eye doctor, because I don’t mind females touching me.  I don’t have a fear of intimacy and I enjoy hugging, kissing and touching women, as well as being physically close to any woman, but I get totally opposite feelings when I am around men.  My fear of being touched is specific to one gender and I love getting a massage every now and then, but I could never enjoy this if it was a man touching me.  I realize that my fear is irrational, but it is who I am, or who I have become.

I don’t know anyone else that suffers from this disorder that I have and maybe I am just a gynocentric type of guy.  The female body fascinates me, but I don’t enjoy looking at the male body, be it a Greek god or whatever.  I will take Aphrodite inside of her clamshell any day rather than looking at Hercules whatever he is doing.  I do not fear any man, but if they get too close to me, that will make me uncomfortable.  I am OK being around men, as long as no touching is involved and anything that falls outside the norm of heterosexual sexual desire will not work for me.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver – Fear – hosted by Stephanie Colpron of Word Adventures.

Coin Shortage

When I went to McDonalds the other day, they had a sign by the cashier window that said, “Please try to use change, as we are experiencing a coin shortage”, or something to that effect.  I have coins in my car and plenty of them in my house and years ago I would roll them up and take them to my bank, but I have become lazy and my piles of coins just keeps on increasing in size.  There actually isn’t a coin shortage, as this is just a bunch of people like me who are too damn lazy to roll them up and cash them in for paper money.  Maybe it is due to the pandemic, as we blame every other shortage on this, and I did go out and socialize a lot more before it began, but now I sit home and I am not spending money like I did before.  I buy things online using my credit cards, and there is no change in these transactions.

I see those Coinstar machines in the grocery store and I guess some people are using them to exchange their coins for cash, but I have never used one, because I think it is a rip off for them to charge 11.9% of whatever amount I am exchanging.  That would be almost $12 for each $100 and this is an extravagant cost for changing money.  Jesus drove the money-changers away from the temple, not because He had anything against them, but because He felt they should not be doing their business in front of His Father’s house.  The Romans ruled the Jews and everyone was paid in Roman coins, however since this Roman money contained images of Caesar and pagan deities, it was considered blasphemous to the Jews.  Herod struck his own Temple approved coins with Hebrew inscriptions and Jews often traded the pagan money for their own currency, thus making money changing a lucrative and respectable business of the day.

It is a pain in the ass, sorting and rolling up coins and let’s face it, money is filthy and you never know who touched it before you got it.  Coins are heavy and lugging them to the bank is a chore, so mine keep piling up.  If the banks had these money machines, which you could use at no charge, as I don’t see a reason why they would need to make a profit on converting money, then I would put all of my coins back into circulation, but mine are sitting in jars at home, instead of being inside of cash register drawers.

Metal coins are still being produced, it’s just that they are not being passed through the economy at the rate that they used to be, which causes problems for some businesses.  The Fed is producing enough coins, minting 14.8 billion pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, 50-cent pieces and dollar coins in 2020, a 24% increase from the 11.9 billion coins produced in 2019, but businesses and banks around the country are having a hard time getting a hold of that metal currency.  A lot of coins are collecting dust when they should be continually circulating through the economy.  I guess I am partly to blame for making less transactions at retail stores, not using vending machines as much as I once did, but if I didn’t feel like somebody was trying to pick my pocket, I would do my part to keep the coins flowing again.

Written for KL Caley’s Thursday Write Photo – Money – Image by KL Caley.

Deadhead

I grew up in a town where all of my friends were Deadheads, these are fans that listened to and went to Grateful Dead concerts.  We listened to other music also, Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin, Cream, CSNY, Joni Mitchel, Hendrix, the Band, the Allmans and many other groups, but nothing beat the Grateful Dead for pure party enjoyment.  We learned the lyrics and sang along with their music, even if we had some of the lyrics wrong.  Of course, drinking and smoking pot was also always involved when we listened to their music and we could never get enough of them.  When the Grateful Dead toured the East Coast, we would try to get as many tickets to see their shows from Boston down to Washington DC.  Many of my friends quit their jobs when the Grateful Dead were in town just to go to all of their concerts.

Being a Deadhead was a big commitment, as you had to know all the members in the group, what instruments they played, all of the songs that they covered and what songs they played at their shows, but this was fun for all of us.  I used to bring my tape recorder to the concerts and on the ride home from the shows we could listen to them again.  I went to 35 Grateful Dead concerts and the best show ever was Watkins Glen where they played with the Band and the Allman Brothers.  I brought my tape recorder to that show and I got the clearest recording of Jerry Garcia singing ‘Tennessee Jed’, as it sounded like he was singing directly into my recorder.

I had Grateful Dead posters on the walls of my room and I had this very rare double poster that had eric Clapton on one side of it and Jerry Garcia was on the other side and I always displayed the Garcia side.  I was lucky enough to get to shake Jerry’s hand once after he played a show at Douglass Collage, which was part of Rutgers.  I told him it was a great show and he said, “Far out man.”

Written for Throwback Thursday which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Maggie’s turn and her topic is Music Memories.

Nobody But You

‘Happy Together’ is the title track from The Turtles’ third-studio album, which was released in 1967 and it reached #1 on the US Cash Box Top Box as well as the Billboard Hot 100.  It took the top spot on the charts away from the Beatles’ classic, ‘Penny Lane’ when it moved into that position.  It also marked the only time that The Turtles ever managed to reach the top of the Hot 100, although another song ‘She’d Rather Be With Me’ written by the same songwriters reached #3.  ‘Happy Together’ also made it to #12 in the UK, #2 in Canada and #3 in South Africa.  This track was certified gold in the U.S., which by 1960s’ RIAA standards meant it sold at least a million copies.  Chip Douglas the Turtles’ bassist arranged this track which helped to shape it into a hit.  His work with the group, was so impressive that he was later recruited by The Monkees.

I see this as being a happy song like the title implies, however others say this song is a wishful imagination about being happy with a girl that the guy will never have, so this is a love which is unreciprocated.  The initial idea for ‘Happy Together’ came to Alan Gordon at a candy store in Brooklyn, New York.  Gary Bonner wrote the song with Alan Gordon, and although Songfacts a music-oriented website that has articles about songs, and other sites say it is about unrequited love where a man’s feelings of love aren’t returned, none of this darkness appears in the lyrics.  The singer desperately wants the girl to imagine how the world could be so very fine if they were together, and it is possible that she is not moved by his plea.  I think these lyrics are overanalyzed when the guy starts talking about the weather and is said that he did this because he realized that they will never be anything more than passing acquaintances, so he gives up hope of getting the girl.  Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon were the bass player and drummer of the Boston area group The Magicians, a New York-based quartet active between 1965 and 1966.

After this song was turned down by a number of groups, Bonner and Gordon recorded a demo at Regent Sound Studio with some session musicians, including guitarist Ralph Casale and bassist Dick Romoff.  After the song was turned down by a number of groups, Bonner and Gordon recorded a demo at Regent Sound Studio with some session musicians, including guitarist Ralph Casale and bassist Dick Romoff.  Casale came up with the right concept for this tune which gave it a Lovin’ spoonful feel setting the direction so the vocal arrangements could fall into place.  When Gary Klein at the Koppleman/Rubin office heard this song, he immediately knew the song would be perfect for the new and upbeat image being created for The Turtles, and it was his continued enthusiasm that convinced the group to record it.

The Turtles were formed by Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan.  They were saxophone players who did whatever was trendy in order to make a living as musicians.  They played surf-rock, acoustic folk, whatever was big at the time, and in addition to their own bands, played backup for The Coasters, Sonny And Cher and The Righteous Brothers.  Volman started coming to see Kaylan’s band the Nightriders and he began carrying their instruments for them.  The first night they played, it was a fraternity party and Mark carried the instruments down the stairs of the frat house and he fell down with all the drums and the amps and everything.  After a while, they gave up sax and became singers, signing a deal with White Whale Records as The Crosswind Singers.  When British groups like The Beatles took over America, they tried to pass themselves off as British singers renaming themselves The Tyrtles.  The record company made them change the name to The Turtles, and tried to make them sound like The Byrds, who were leaders of the folk-rock trend.

The Turtles were together for only five years, they scored only three more Top Ten hits and they disbanded in 1970.  Volman and Kaylan joined Frank Zappa And The Mothers Of Invention as “Phlorescent Leech and Eddie.  After a few years with Zappa, they started recording as Flo And Eddie.  By 1984, the Turtles’ name had reverted back to the group, and Volman and Kaylan began touring with a new lineup as the Turtles.

Imagine me and you, I do
I think about you day and night, it’s only right
To think about the girl you love and hold her tight
So happy together

If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me and ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be, so very fine
So happy together

I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you
For all my life
When you’re with me, baby the skies’ll be blue
For all my life

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

I can’t see me lovin’ nobody but you
For all my life
When you’re with me, baby the skies’ll be blue
For all my life

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba
Ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it had to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together

So happy together
How is the weather
So happy together
We’re happy together
So happy together
Happy together
So happy together
So happy together (ba-ba-ba-ba ba-ba-ba-ba)

Written for Thursday Inspiration #127 You’ve Made Me So Very Happy.

Thursday Inspiration #127 You’ve Made Me So Very Happy

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word happy, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy’, or by going with another song by Blood Sweat and Tears, or anything else that you think fits.  This song is Blood Sweat and Tears most popular tune and it was released on their 1968 self-titled album which was their second album.  This song charted #35 in the UK and it went to #2 in the US and it was the last song that Blood Sweat and Tears played at Woodstock.  Brenda Holloway cowrote this song with Berry Gordy, Frank Wilson and her sister Patrice Holloway and she recorded it in 1967 where her version reached #39 on the charts, becoming her third top forty pop single.  This musically gifted ballad singer, songwriter and violinist from Los Angeles was considered to be the female face of Motown when Mary Wells left the label in 1964.  Brenda opened up for The Beatles in 1965 when they played at Shea Stadium.  In 1969, Brenda at the age of 22 announced her retirement from the music business, and she sued Berry Gordy over the Blood, Sweat & Tears’ cover version of her single, and eventually Brenda won her case.

Brenda’s love was rejected by her boyfriend who had quit dating her, and she thought that she should write a song about being happy, because she felt this man was crazy for leaving her and she wanted to show him that he made a mistake.  She was determined to recover from being dumped, so she called Berry Gordy, who put her in touch with Frank Wilson, a key member of Motown’s West Coast creative team and Wilson had worked with Holloway before, writing her two previous hits, ‘Together ‘Til The End Of Time’ and (with R. Dean Taylor) and ‘Just Look What You’ve Done’.  Frank wrote the bridge part while Patrice and Brenda wrote the verse, and Berry was the producer and he owned the company.

The Blood, Sweat & Tears 45 was certified gold for a million sales, while their LP took the Album of the Year Grammy© award beating out The Beatles’ Abbey Road and it spent eight weeks at #1 on the Billboard chart.  Blood, Sweat, & Tears combined rock, blues, pop, jazz, and classical music forms with guitars and a horn section to create a hybrid sound that came to be known as jazz-rock.  Blood, Sweat & Tears founder and keyboard player Al Kooper came up with the idea to cover this song, but he left the group before they recorded it.  Al Kooper left after their debut album Child Is Father to the Man to concentrate on producing.  Randy Brecker and Jerry Weiss also left the group when Al Kooper did, while Steve Katz who played guitar, harmonica, and sang vocals, Jim Fielder on bass, Bobby Colomby on drums, Dick Halligan on keyboards, trombone, flute and Fred Lipsius playing alto saxophone, and piano all stayed with the group for the first two albums.  Jerry Hyman was brought in to play trombone, Lew Soloff for trumpet, flugelhorn and Chuck Winfield on trumpet, flugelhorn and they became the replacements along with David Clayton-Thomas who sang lead vocals, and played guitar.  This second Blood, Sweat & Tears LP had three huge hit singles, ‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy’, the David Clayton-Thomas song ‘Spinning Wheel’, and the Laura Nyro tune ‘And When I Die’ and all three of these songs reached #2.

You treated me so kind
I’m about to lose my mind
You made me so very happy
I’m so glad you came into my life

Forced To Choose

I am being a good sport and playing along with this impossible decision of whether I would rather live without the internet, or live without air conditioning and heating.  My choice is that would rather live without the internet, because I know that I could live without the internet because I have done that most of my life.  I have never lived without air conditioning and heating and I wouldn’t want to start doing that now or any time in the future, but people have survived that also.  If I have to live without either one, that would be a bitter pill to swallow and I would rather have both in my life, because I consider them all to be necessities, and they all provide comfort to me.  I have been in a lot of cars that never had air conditioning, but every house that I lived in had both air conditioning and heating.  When a person is forced to make a choice between two equally unpleasant alternatives, that becomes a dilemma, which can only be solved by reasoning.

I didn’t get my first home computer till 1990 and it had Windows which was around for a few years by then, but there wasn’t all that much you could do with it yet, as most of my early applications ran on MS-DOS.  I had a dial up modem that could be used to connect with the outside world and the internet had been around a few years longer than Windows.  The only time I used my modem was to check my email as there wasn’t that much information on the internet back then.  There were some early search engines around, but Google didn’t kick in till 1998 and that is when the internet started to move into high gear.  Thus, the first 45 years of my life were spent without the internet, but today it is an integral part of me and I would hate to have to live without it.

Written for Fandango’s Provocative Question #136 which asks, “If you were forced to choose, would you rather live without the internet, or without air conditioning and heating.  Why?”

Blitzen Interview

If you want to know what is the real Santa is like, we got it straight from the reindeer’s mouth and this little cutie is not holding back any punches, giving us the dope on the guy in the red suit, how his wife doesn’t really bake any cookies and how Rudolph got his nose to be so bright.  Blitzen is here with us today on Channel 3 as we take a trip up to the North Pole and everything is melting because of global warming.  It appears that Santa is down in Bermuda today on a well-deserved vacation, but he is keeping to his schedule, by having his sleigh in for repairs and a tune up.  He is also having a hole repaired in his magical toy sack, but Blitzen isn’t letting us know how that thing actually works.  Mrs. Claus is busy purchasing sugarplum cookies that are actually made by Donkin Donuts, but don’t let anyone know who let the cat out of the bag on that one.  Blitzen revealed that Rudolph has a high density of mucous glands in his nasal passages and that when his nose isn’t shining brightly, it is dripping snot all over the place.  Thanks for ruining my lunch today, Blitzen.

Written for Stine Writing – Poetry, Positivity, and Connecting!, Simply 6 Minutes hosted by Christine Bialczak.