Subtle Hints To In Your Face

Dick Grayson was the ward of Bruce Wayne and some comic books showed them both sleeping in the same bed, which may have insinuated that something was going on between them.  Dick was a minor who was thought not to be capable of managing his own affairs, so Bruce served as his guardian.  Robin wore a flamboyant costume and he was being raised by a single, older bachelor and back in the day this was not percieved as being inappropriate.  In his late teens Little Richard became a member Doctor Nubillo’s traveling show, and he started wearing capes and applying makeup which shocked some of his fans, but it opened up the door for Glam Rock.  Hollywood came out with Brokeback Mountain, a story of a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys and after this, politics and same sex relationships were out of the closet and they would never be the same.

Today it seems like there are new gay characters popping up in comic books all the time.  Is this new wave of in your face gay comic characters indoctrinating impressionable young minds into thinking that a gay lifestyle choice is normal and desirable?  Gay rights are becoming more and more mainstream, and as the gay lifestyle becomes more acceptable, featuring interesting LGBT characters in comic books has become the new trend.  The new cartoon shows are pushing diversity, acceptance, and subconsciously this desensitizes people towards it.  Comics have featured social outcasts, mutant heroes and these stories will always exist on the social fringe.  In Riverdale Cheryl Blossom is dating Toni Topaz and Kevin Keller kisses his boyfriend Moose, which makes me wonder if we will soon be seeing Archie kissing Jughead, well at least they are not wearing spandex.

DC Comics Legends of Tomorrow features Sara Lance and Ava Sharpe in a romance and Alexandra Danvers Supergirl’s sister has developed a love interest with Detective Maggie Sawyer.  Has all of this become too much for anyone else, having gone from being trendy to becoming something that needs to be forced into every comic that I watch?  Is this segment of the market now being over-represented?  Why are the producers of these new comic shows shoving this down our throats?  On Flash Nora West-Allen, nicknamed XS seems to be attracted to women and on Arrow, Oliver Queen’s son William came out as being gay.

My purpose for writing this is not to control what is being shown in the comics and the last time I approached this similar subject for one of Fandango’s Provocative Questions I got a lot of negative feedback, but I do wonder if this is ephemeral or if it is just going to become more plentiful.  I do not want to be a referee and get in the middle of this, or tear anyone’s world apart with this post.  I am usually very chill and I repress my desires to strike out at others, or to shog anybodies world.  Perhaps I am displaying my insipience about the LBGTQ community with this post, as I don’t really understand it.  I do understand the allure of being dressed up in drag, as men have been wearing women’s clothing probably as long as human beings have been wearing clothes, because this makes them feel sexy.  I never saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show and even though it is dark and outrageous, it looks like a lot of fun.

I am not going through a mid life crisis and I am not ready to trade in my pants for a skirt just yet, because that would not look good on me.  I would much rather dress up as a wispy ghost for Halloween and hope that I could collect enough Granny Smith apples to fill a large basin, so I could go bobbing for them.  With a bit of luck, I could keep from getting wet, which would make me feel stupid and probably cause me to stutter.  I was just thinking about the last apple that I started eating and it contained a beetle and my best friend went on the intercom and told everyone which was real embarrassing.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Control, for the Daily Spur prompt – Tear, for FOWC with Fandango – Referee, for Ragtag Community – Ephemeral, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge – Pants beetle intercom, for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Similar and for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #139 prompts- Chill Ghost Shog Repress Wispy Insipience Stutter Strike Dark Granny Smith Apples Drag Wet.

Dam Failure

Harry just finished inspecting the dam and he found it to be structurally unsound.  It was a matter of weeks, or days, or hours before it would collapse, although he could not ascertain the exact time, inevitably it was going give way and flood the town.  Harry sold his house last month to sever any ties he had to this town after his previous inspection revealed the possibility of an impending catastrophic failure was likely.  He wrote a report and sent it to the mayor which stated that a sudden, rapid, and uncontrolled release of the impounded water contained by the dam was probably going to kill everyone in the whole town, but his report was dismissed.

Harry packed his bag, gassed up his car and it was adios amigo, hasta la vista for him.  Harry blamed Trump for supporting the coal industry and ignoring Global Warming warnings that predicted all the severe weather and this was linked to the increased rainfall.  It had been coming down in buckets all year, as the town received Biblical amounts and this was soon going to bite the town in its ass.  Harry was a meteorologist as well as a structural engineer and he knew that the warming planet caused more evaporation, increasing more and more as the world warmed up.  He tracked the intensity of downpours and he saw that they had increased, and he knew this was because the air was only be able to hold so much water at a given time and this was tied to the risk of floods.  This higher rate of evaporation was contributing to more extreme rain and snow events.

Harry hoped that Trump would be impeached in the wake of the flood, or at least that he would not be reelected in 2020.  A trillion gallons of water would soon be moving as quickly as it could out of the reservoir descending on the town in a river like a huge tsunami of water.  Harry hoped that he would make it out in time and he felt bad for those that did not listen to him.  He put on his water proof boots, hiked his pants legs up and headed out of town before the inundation occurred.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #19.

Pin The Tail On The Donkey

My Spirit Animal is the donkey, because it is an understated symbol of determination and they represent strong will.  The donkey encourages me to help others, lending a hand to those in need and being available for them.  They are very dedicated, and they don’t tire easily.  They are used for their milk, meat, shoe leather and transportation, because donkeys are very strong and durable, but if the burden becomes too much, they will grow tired.  Samson slew the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass, and Jesus made His very dramatic entrance into Jerusalem riding on the back of a donkey.

My destination was to attend the festival of Vestalia, a holiday feast that celebrates the ass.  Vestalia is a weeklong festival, where the women of Rome take gifts to the Temple of Vesta and it is also a holiday for bakers.  The inner sanctum of the Vestal Temple is opened for all women to visit, once they remove their shoes.  The Vestal Virgins make sacred cakes to serve to all the visitors.  They use water carried in consecrated jugs from a holy spring.  This water is mixed with sacred salt into the specially refined grain.  This holiday is for all the people who work with grain, such as millers and bakers.  The people in Rome will hang flower garlands and small loaves of bread from their millstones and shop stalls to honor their hard-working donkeys that are used to grind the grain, so it can be made into bread.

Grain is used to make bread and the donkeys are used to grind the grain, so the first day in the festival pays tribute to these tireless animals who allow the Romans to bake bread.  No work is done on this day, giving all the donkeys a day of rest.  The donkeys were all decorated with garlands and they followed the Vestal Virgins at the back of the parade, as no one wanted to walk behind the animals, in case they had an accident.  My job was to clean up anything that they left behind.  It is a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

I was being punished for messing up at last years’ festival, as the people in charge of the parade received multiple complaints that I had done a bad cleanup job.  I was selected to locate the tail of a donkey, or else I would be sacrificed in the Coliseum, but this was no ordinary donkey, it was the donkey-god Pales, the consort of Vesta.  Someone had taken Pales’ tail and I needed to find it and reattach it.  Pales had the body of a human with the tail and the head of a donkey.  I needed to find it by tomorrow, as that was when the festival started.

I figured that I should begin my journey by interviewing Pales and asking him what he thought happened to his tail.  He told me that he was out traveling yesterday, when he got stuck in a hole for hours and finally a picaroon came along and said that he would help him out in exchange for his tail, as he wanted to use it to flavor his soup.  Pales went with me and we found the scoundrel, just outside of Rome as he was finishing his soup and he was about to bite into the tail.  I gave him 10 denarius for the tail and I was able to paste it back onto Pales with this glue that the warriors used to hold their helmets, shields and other battle gear together.  I was happy to have accomplished my mission, but before I completed my journey, on the way back to Rome I stepped into some poop left behind by one of Hannibal’s elephants and I learned that the world is full of shit.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “Spiritual Quest” hosted by Yves. The challenge is to Pick A Spirit Animal, Pick A Destination, Pick An Activity, Include An Obstacle and A Lesson Learned.

Two Men Were Gambling

Billy Lyons was murdered by a St. Louis, Missouri pimp and gambler named “Stag” Lee Shelton in a saloon on Christmas Eve in 1895.  The lyrics for this traditional song were written by Ray Lopez and they were published in 1911, and it was first recorded in 1923 by Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians.  The story in this song has drifted from the facts somewhat over the course of its many lives but it has lasted over 100-plus years.  A few days after this murder the headline, “Shot in Curtis’s Place”, ran in the St. Louis Daily Globe-Democrat.  It began, “William Lyons, 25, colored, a levee hand was shot in the abdomen yesterday evening at 10 o’clock in the saloon of Bill Curtis by Lee Sheldon, also colored.”  Billy Lyons and “Stag” Lee Sheldon were drinking when they got into an argument over politics, and Lyons snatched Sheldon’s hat from his head after he was dead and coolly walked away.

Subsequent musical renditions of this story would depict the dispute as one over gambling, but all versions preserved the detail of “Stag” Lee Sheldon’s wearing a Stetson hat.  John B. Stetson was born in 1830 to a “master hat maker”, Stephen Stetson, of Orange, New Jersey.  He invented what is now thought of as the classic Stetson about 1850, a large hat with a broad brim and a high crown for protection from the sun and rain.  Lyons died of his injuries, and Shelton was charged, tried and convicted of the murder in 1897.  He was paroled in 1909, but returned to prison in 1911 for assault and robbery after breaking into a man’s home, and murdering him.  By 1912, Shelton received yet another pardon, apparently due to political pressure.  Before he could be released, the infamous Stack-O-Lee died in prison of tuberculosis.

The song which has several different names and different lyrics has been recorded by many artists, from Ma Rainey, Duke Ellington, Mississippi John Hurt, Furry Lewis, Woody Guthrie, Lloyd Price, Professor Longhair, The Black Keys, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Wilson Picket, Taj Mahal, Fats Domino, Bob Dylan, Dr Hook, Cab Calloway, Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown, The Clash, Beck D. Hansen, Elvis Presley, Samuel L. Jackson, Ike Turner, the Isley Brothers, the Grateful Dead and a great many others.  In 1910, legendary Library of Congress musicologist John Lomax received a partial transcription of what was called “The Ballad of Stagalee”, from a woman in Texas.  She claimed that this song was sung by the Negroes on the levee while they were loading and unloading the river freighters.

In 1958, Lloyd Price released his version called ‘Stagger Lee’, which exploded in popularity and became #1 on the Billboard Pop Charts and his first million seller.  The original version included raunchy lyrics about Mr. Lee and Billy playing cards in an alley. A toned-down version was released later, but when Price was encouraged by Dick Clark, so he could performed the song on American Bandstand, he agreed to re-cut the lyrics, removing all offensive references to violence.  This was the first rock ‘n’ roll record to hit #1 despite being censored.  ‘Stagger Lee’ doesn’t sound like a murder ballad, it’s a total blast of a song, a spirited New Orleans rumble with a honking sax solo that includes joyous oooh-wah backing singers chanting, “Go, Stagger Lee!”.  Price conjures up a clear night with a yellow moon and then all hell breaks loose in this Louisiana swamp blues song, as seven quick horn blasts and vocals (da-da da-da da-da da) shatter the calm.

West Virginia songwriter Harold E. Logan often collaborated with Lloyd Price and he arranged the music for this song. Price’s longtime partner Harold Logan was born in 1924 and murdered in May of 1969 and the case was never solved. Harold Logan formed L and L Records (Lloyd and Logan) in Detroit and they put out Wilson Pickett’s first hits.  Logan got shot with two bullets in the same hole, smack between the eyes at the Turntable Club in NYC.  Price was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2010.  On June 16, 2019, a facebook hoax reported his death, but thankfully, Mr. Personality is still alive and well.

The night was clear
And the moon was yellow
And the leaves came tumbling down

I was standing on the corner
When I heard my bulldog bark
He was barkin’ at the two men who were gamblin’
In the dark

It was Stagger Lee and Billy
Two men who gambled late
Stagger Lee threw seven
Billy swore that he threw eight
Stagger Lee told Billy
I can’t let you go with that
You have won all my money and my brand new
Stetson hat

Stagger Lee went home
And he got his forty-four
Said, I’m goin’ to the barroom just to pay that
Debt I owe

Stagger Lee went to the barroom
And he stood across the barroom door
He said, nobody move and he pulled his
Forty-four

Stagger Lee, cried Billy
Oh, please don’t take my life
I’ve got three little children and a very
Sickly wife

Stagger Lee shot Billy
Oh, he shot that poor boy so bad
‘Till the bullet came through Billy and it broke the bar
Tender’s glass

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is Cards/Dice/Gamble/Lose/Win.

Games Of Chance

Try your luck and place a bet, it is a risk, but you cannot win if you don’t get in.  A good friend of mine had a pretty serious gambling problem and he became the bookie for a group of us that liked to gamble on football games.  I hit a lucky streak that year and won 15 five time parlays in a row.  Since a five time parlay paid $70, I won just over a grand.  I was golden, whatever team I picked covered the spread.  He paid up, but he became really depressed, because he thought that the house always wins, but luck was not on his side.  This guy named Billy went to a Gamblers Anonymous meeting, seeking help for his problem.  While he was at the meeting, someone picked his pocket and stole his wallet.

Gambling is fun only when you win.  This week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme should be real easy, as there are a lot of songs that involve Cards/Dice/Gamble/Lose/Win and I am sure that everyone will be able to find something.  Try to find a song that fits the prompt, then write your post and please be patient, and wait for me to approve your pingbacks, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

Here are the “rules”:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Ping back to this post will eventually work, as long as you are being patient, but you can also place your link in the comments if you don’t like to wait.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Have fun and enjoy the music.

I am writing about the song ‘Stagger Lee’ a traditional song made popular by Lloyd Price this week. Next week I will write about the song ‘When I’m Sixty Four’ by the Beatles. The upcoming prompts will be:
June 30, 2019 – Who/What/When/Where/Why/How
July 7, 2019 – Zodiac animals those being a Rat/Ox/Tiger/Rabbit/Dragon/Snake/Horse/Sheep/ Monkey/Rooster/Dog/Pig
July 14, 2019 – Haunted/Magic/Mystery/Supernatural/Trick
July 21, 2019 – Wedding/Marry/Diamond/Ring/Cake

Post 1500

I don’t usually go around blowing my own trumpet, but this is my 1,500 post and every now and then I feel like people want to know about my achievements.  It is not a real big deal and there is no reason for anyone to celebrate, as I am not leaving WordPress.  This is my fourth post today and I need to write another one later for Song Lyric Sunday.  It is hot out today and besides jumping into the pool later, I will be here blogging or watching Netflix.  I write for my own enjoyment and I will continue doing this, as it keeps me busy and out of trouble.  I actually have no idea how to blow a trumpet, or how to play any musical instrument.  I have no dancing skills and nobody wants to hear me sing.

I usually get a minimum of 75 views per day, but I never get many LIKES.  That seems odd that people will look at what I write, but they don’t like it.  It makes me feel like the Howard Stern of blogging, as many people listen to his show, even those who don’t like him.  A month ago I went just over 250 views for a single day and for this year I have been averaging well over 3,000 views per month.  On May 19th, I got 81 LIKES, but I usually only get about 20 LIKES per day.  In my first month of blogging I only had 13 views, but now I am averaging 129 views a day.  My two most viewed posts are, Sloopy Hang On which received 5,663 views and Colder Than a Well Digger’s Ass which got 4,741 views.

This year has been good for me as I took over as the host of the popular challenge Song Lyric Sunday which is a lot of fun and the theme for tomorrow is Cards/Dice/Gamble/Lose/Win, which should be a lot of fun.  I am not doing that well on the other challenge that I am hosting, but great expectations can lead to great disappointments.  I joined the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie writing staff in the middle of April this year and I became the host of the MM Music Challenges, which takes place every other Friday.  Next Friday I will feature the Rolling Stones song ‘19th Nervous Breakdown’ and there will be plenty of topics for anyone who chooses to participate to write about.  I have previously discussed ‘Eli’s Comin’, ‘Teach Your Children’, ‘The Mighty Quinn’, ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ and ‘Rocket 88’.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Saturday Mix – Mad About Metaphor, 22 June 2019! – Blow one’s own trumpet.

Things Moved Fast

Her clothing was arranged to display enough skin, but I did not considered it to be blatantly erogenous.  We met in a dance club in Cincinnati which featured a very energetic DJ.  Our eyes met and I asked her to dance with me, and she said yes because she wanted to make her boyfriend jealous.  I told her if that was what she really wanted then she should leave with me and I would take her back to my place.  When we arrived at my apartment, she asked me to undo her zipper and I was more than glad to give her a hand.  She was warm and soft and she smelled amazing, which made me want to howl at the moon.  Her dress dropped to the floor after I undid her zipper and I took a quick inventory and saw that she was just in her heels, stockings, bra and panties.  To me a woman who is still partially clothed is more interesting than a woman who is already naked.  I made my move nudging the straps of her bra from her shoulders and then I kissed her neck.

She told me that she had never been with a guy as old as me before and she thought that I might even be as old as her Dad.  I told her that the way we age is determined by nurture, as John Locke wrote about in his Blank Slate essay.  I said that I used to be a hippie years ago and all I wanted was peace in the world.  Then I told her that it’s only natural to want to look good and feel young and that I eat at least one fig a day to help me do just that.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Jealous, for the Daily Spur prompt – Energetic, for FOWC with Fandango – Inventory, for Ragtag Community – Peace, for Swimmers prompt – Dad, for Paula’s Three Things Challenge – fig Cincinnati zipper and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Nurture.