Danger to the Road

Michael is asking all of us to write about driving and that is difficult for me as this topic is too vast, so I will reminisce on a few of my old memories.  Back in the old days before seatbelts were standard issue in cars, my dad would let me sit on his lap, so I could pretend that I was driving the car, which was a lot of fun for a kid.  I failed my written test, so I had to take it again and then I failed my behind the wheel driving test 3 times.  Once was because the registration was out of date, and another time was because the front seat was not locked in place, so these had nothing to do with my driving.  The third time, I was at a stop sign and I pulled out in front of this other car and the driving test instructor felt that I should have waited, but I saw the opening and I took it.

I had several accidents and I got a few tickets, but I am not going to get into all of that here in this post, as I was kind of a wild teenager.  After several accidents and receiving a few tickets my parents suggested that I sign up for the Student Driver education class at the High School, but when I went to register for the class, apparently my reputation had proceeded me and they said, “Adams you are not going to wreck any of our cars.”  I think that I am a very good driver, although when I was younger, I was a bit reckless.  The first day I got my driving permit, my dad gave me his car so I could go out with my friends and most of them were wild.  We picked up a few six packs and had several joints and a pipe going around in the VW, when I got on the highway and it started raining.  It was kind of a trial by fire learning experience.  I had to be a multi tasker, because it was hard to keep an eye on my friends as they started throwing golf balls out the window to watch them bounce around and I still shift gears at the same time.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt hosted by Michael.

Cats Are On the Upgrade

Jethro Tull’s fifth studio album Thick as a Brick, was released in March ‘72, a year after Aqualung came out.  Many people thought that Aqualung was a concept album, as it contained characters and themes which continued from one song to the next, but Ian Anderson denied that and he said, “I will show you what a concept album is”, so he wrote this fun album that encroached on mocking the whole concept of a concept album.  Ian drew on his own childhood and early experiences for ideas for sections within the overall work and this album became one continuous track spread across two sides of an LP that turned into an epic poem by a fictional eight-year-old genius Gerald Bostock, filled with absurdity.  Ian wrote this very natural, organically evolving piece of music, that had sort of a Monty Python quality to it, that came from an idea in his head of this parody approach by creating this idea that this album would become the mother of all concept albums, which he wanted it to be.  It presented the preposterous notion that an eight-year-old boy had won a prize for writing this saga in a poetry competition.  The young boy sees two career paths for himself, either soldier or artist and he chooses to become a soldier.  The prize was rescinded after a panel of psychologists determined the poet was unbalanced, as the poem revealed an extremely troublesome attitude toward life, his God and country, so the governing body disqualified him on moral grounds.

Some people viewed it as it was a real story, thinking that it was actually written by a schoolboy and Ian turned these thoughts into an album.  The album became what this youth might be able to accomplish and essentially, it’s a possible future of what might happen.  A single ‘Thick As A Brick’ was released in April 1972, by editing and skimming the best parts of the album, reducing a three-quarter-hour masterwork into a 3 minute song, but it failed to make the charts on either side of the Atlantic.  This was an odd thing for Jethro Tull to do as this continuous long song featuring Side 1 being Thick as a Brick part 1 ran 22:31, and Side 2 was part 2 which clocks in at 21:05, thus this never had any chance of ever getting played on the radio.  As far as concept albums go, it is awesome, unless you can’t stand the flute.  The album did make it to #5 in the UK, and in the US, it topped the Billboard chart for two weeks.  It remains Jethro Tull’s second-biggest seller in America, and critics and fans generally adored it.

Anderson composed this album believing that progressive rock had become a touch too arrogant, and that they needed to be pulled back down to earth.  “Thick as a brick” is a phrase that means stubbornly dumb, slow to understand just not getting it, remarkable stupid, possibly dimwitted, as if your head is so thick that no new thoughts can ever make their way into it.  I love this line, “And you wise men don’t know how it feels to be thick as a brick”, as it has this condescending tone to it, like there are a lot of people out there who think that they are smarter than they actually are.

See there, a man was born and we pronounce him fit for peace
There’s a load lifted from his shoulders with the discovery of his disease
We’ll take the child from him, put it to the test
Teach it to be a wise man, how to fool the rest

We will be geared to the average rather than the exceptional
God is an overwhelming responsibility
Oh, fluffy duck
We walked through the maternity ward and saw two hundred and eighteen babies wearing nylons
It says here that cats are on the upgrade (upgrade?)
Hipgrave, downgrades are rare, it’s got that fat and old cat

In the clear white circles of morning wonder, I take my place with the lord of the hills
And the blue-eyed soldiers stand slightly discoloured
In neat little rows sporting canvas frills

With their jockstraps pinching, they slouch to attention
Whilst queueing for sarnies at the office canteen
Saying “how’s your granny?” and good old Ernie
Coughed up a tenner on a premium bond win

The legends worded in
The ancient tribal hymn
Lie cradled in the seagull’s call
And all the promises they made are ground beneath the sadist’s fall

The poet and the wise man stand behind the gun, behind the gun
And signal for the crack of dawn, light the sun, light the sun
Do you believe in the day?
Do you believe in the day?

The dawn creation of the kings has begun, has begun
Soft Venus, lovely maiden brings the ageless one, the ageless one
Do you believe in the day?
Do you believe in the day?

The fading hero has returned to the night, to the night
And fully pregnant with the day, with the day, wise men endorse the poet’s sight
Do you believe in the day?
Do you believe in the day?

Let me tell you the tales of your life
Of your love and the cut of the knife
The tireless oppression, the wisdom instilled
The desire to kill or be killed
Well, let me sing of the losers who lie
In the street as the last bus goes by
The pavements are empty, the gutters run red while the fool toasts his god in the sky

So come all ye young men who are building castles!
Kindly state the time of the year
And join your voices in a hellish chorus
Mark the precise nature of your fear

Let me help you pick up your dead
As the sins of the father are fed
With the blood of the fools and the thoughts of the wise
And from the pan under your bed
Well, let me make you a present of song
As the wise man breaks wind and is gone
While the fool with the hour-glass is cooking his goose and the nursery rhyme winds along

So come all ye young men who are building castles
Kindly state the time of the year
And join your voices in a hellish chorus
Mark the precise nature of your fear
See the summer lightning casts its bolts upon you
And the hour of judgement draweth near
Would you be the fool stood in his suit of armour or the wiser man who rushes clear?

So, come on ye childhood heroes!
Won’t your rise up from the pages of your comic-books, your super-crooks
And show us all the way?
Well, make your will and testament
Won’t you join your local government?
We’ll have Superman for president
Let Robin save the day

So where the hell was Biggles when you needed him last Saturday?
And where were all the sportsmen who always pulled you through?
They’re all resting down in Cornwall writing up their memoirs
For a paper-back edition of the Boy Scout Manual

So you ride yourselves over the fields
And you make all your animal deals
And your wise men don’t know how it feels
To be thick as a brick, yeah

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt hosted by Michael where he asks us to respond to the phrase “In the thick of it”.

My Day in Court

I had the oddest feeling of apprehension as I entered the courtroom, as you never know what to expect in there.  I was pulled over for failing to come to a full stop at a stop sign and it wasn’t the fine that I was worried about, I just didn’t need any more points going on my license, so I made an appointment with a lawyer to discuss my case.  My lawyer informed me that if I was guilty that this could result in a $200 fine and up to 15 days in jail, as well as 2 points being assessed to my driving record.  I couldn’t afford those points. as I had just passed the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Services driving school which was run by the State Troopers.  I was forced to attend this after having accumulated 21 points on my license, but this prevented my license from being suspended.  I got a few speeding tickets and I was pulled over for reckless driving and drag racing and this would have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.

My lawyer told ne that I didn’t need him and that I should represent myself in court, which meant that he was not charging me for the consultation.  I showed up in court wearing a shirt and a tie like the lawyer recommended and the police officer who gave me the ticket testified that I ran the stop sign.  It was my turn to talk and I said that if the officer said that I did not stop, then he must have been driving without his headlights on, as I came to a full stop and since nobody was coming, I pulled out and made a right turn.  The whole courtroom cracked up laughing when I said this about the cop.  The police officer was discredited and the judge ruled in my favor dismissing the case.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt hosted by Michael while Yves is taking a well-deserved rest and today the prompt is write about something using a variation of two of the given choices in the following sentence, “I had the oddest feeling of elation/fear/apprehension as I entered the courtroom/restaurant/ghost train.”

Canned Laughter

I always hated those comedy shows that featured artificial audience laughter inserted into the show, as when it is time for me to laugh, I will and I don’t need to be reminded.  WTF, Major League Baseball shown of Fox now has fake fans, and they can make them boo and cheer, do the wave, and they dress them in team colors.  Has baseball lost its mind, as I don’t need virtual fans with fake fan audio piped in.  This is the weirdest season ever as teams are trying to find ways to remain engaged with fans during a pandemic-delayed season in which games won’t include spectators.  Seriously having fake cutouts of people in the stands is not doing anything for baseball and who let that dog in.  I guess it is pretty cool watching a foul ball knock off the cardboard heads in the stands.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt hosted by Yves where the prompt is Lockdown.

My Lost Dream

I had a dream that I wrote a poem.
I was sleeping in my bed at my home.
All the verses were clear in my head.
The meaning of life was about to be said.
Life and death would soon be told.
The secrets of the universe could unfold.
Passions were to be revealed.
My lips would not be sealed.
I tried to wake myself up, so I could write it down.
I kept on struggling, I felt like I was about to drown.
Then I lost all of my thoughts and my words were no longer clear.
My mind was blank, the story was gone and it would not reappear.
I woke up crying and worried about the poem that I had just lost.
I felt awful, as I knew what not waking from my dream had cost.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “Dreams” hosted by Yves.

Silence is Golden

The phrase “silence is golden” is an encouragement to silence, that comes from a Swiss inscription dating back to the early 1800s.  Keeping your mouth shut is a great virtue and saying nothing may be preferable to speaking.  There is an old proverb that says, “Speech is silver and silence is golden.”  The poet Thomas Carlyle translated the phrase from German in Sartor Resartus, in 1831, where a character expounds at length on the virtues of silence saying, “Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule.  Not William the Silent only, but all the considerable men I have known, and the most undiplomatic and unstrategic of these, forbore to babble of what they were creating and projecting.  Nay, in thy own mean perplexities, do thou thyself but hold thy tongue for one day: on the morrow, how much clearer are thy purposes and duties; what wreck and rubbish have those mute workmen within thee swept away, when intrusive noises were shut out!  Speech is too often not, as the Frenchman defined it, the art of concealing Thought; but of quite stifling and suspending Thought, so that there is none to conceal.  Speech too is great, but not the greatest.”  If you have nothing of value to say, then just shut up!

The Tremeloes are an English rock and roll band, founded in 1958 in Dagenham, Essex.  They had fourteen UK and two U.S. Top 20 hit singles.  They first got together in 1958, when the original members were all in their teens and the original line-up consisted of Brian Poole (vocals, guitar), Alan Blakely (drums), Alan Howard (saxophone), and Graham Scott (guitar).  Blakley switched from drums to guitar (which Poole relinquished) after Dave Munden joined to play the drums and Howard switched to bass at this time.  In May of 1966 Howard was replaced by Mike Clark, but he only lasted a mere three months.  Chip Hawkes joined in 1965 as singer and bassist.

The band was originally known as the Tremilos, but thanks to a misspelling, they got a new name.  They made a recording of an old Four Seasons’ B-side to ‘Rag Doll’.  ‘Silence is Golden’ was written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio and for the Tremeloes this went to #1 in the UK and reached #11 in the US.  It was released on their 1967 album Suddenly You Love Me.  All the group’s members shared vocals in this song, although most of their songs featured either ‘Chip’ Hawkes or drummer Dave Munden as the lead singer.

Oh don’t it hurt deep inside
To see someone do something to her
Oh don’t it pain to see someone cry
How especially if that someone is her
Silence is golden
But my eyes still see
Silence is golden, golden
But my eyes still see
Talking is cheap people follow like sheep
Even though there is no where to go
How could she tell he deceived her so well
Pity she’ll be the last one to know
Silence is golden
But my eyes still see
Silence is golden, golden
But my eyes still see
How many times will she fall for his lines
Should I tell her or should I be cool
And if I tried I know she’d say I lied
Mind your business don’t hurt her you fool
Silence is golden
But my eyes still see
Silence is golden, golden
But my eyes still see
But my eyes still see
But my eyes still see

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “Shut Up” hosted by Yves.

Skinny Dipping

In 1428, the founder of the Tudor line of British kings was a servant. Owen Theodore was a Welsh squire who worked as a servant in Catherine of France’s or Catherine of Valois household, and she was the wife to the late Henry V.  Owen used to enjoy bathing nude, he went skinny-dipping in the secluded magic garden at Windsor Castle and enjoyed this simple pleasure quite often.  Owen worked in the stables taking care of the horses and it was a dirty job which he always had to wash up from at the end of every day.  He would take off all of his clothes and walk down a narrow path to get to this isolated part of the property, where he always felt free.  Owen was trained in court etiquette, music and dancing, and he often sang while he was skinny-dipping.  He had a nice physique, as his muscles were structured from lifting all those heavy bales of hay.

Catherine heard about this naked activity going on in the magic garden from one of her maids and she used to go there to spy on him through the reeds and eventually after he discovered that she was watching him, they began a secret relationship.  She was so impressed with Owen, that she wanted to marry him.  Of course, all hell broke loose when she made this intention public.  Parliament reacted to the rumors about this relationship by forbidding Catherine from marrying without consent of the king and the council.  Catherine stood by Owen through it all and finally their marriage was official.  His surname Theodore was changed to Tudor and history was made.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “Magic Garden” hosted by Yves.

Able to Feel Free

Having sex with another person may be the most intimate and beautiful way to express your love, but engaging in this act, does not proof that there is love.  Real intimacy involves having a partner that allows you to see exactly who they are.  Only trust can bring you closer to another person, and as the poet and writer Ranata Suzuki said, “True intimacy is a state in which nothing exists between two people; no space, no inhibitions and no lies.”  When you have no inhibitions around another person, there is nothing that you can do or say that will be embarrassing to you and you will be confident enough to relax and do or say whatever you desire, while you are in their presence.  Some people have a fear of being nude in front of others or accidentally passing gas in front of another person as this can be embarrassing if not devastating for them, but people who share intimacy can work through these obstacles.

Once you feel secure enough to become intimate with another person, you will be close enough to share your ideas, because you will sense what the other person is feeling.  This should allow you to spend more quality time free from distractions.  Be kind, respectful, loving, and compassionate towards your partner and allow you to explore new things and activities that you can do together, which should lead to an even more fulfilling and satisfying relationship.  Sex is not the only way where people can give and receive love, as couples can be intimate with each other without engaging in sexual activities.  There is a difference between intimacy and passion, as intimacy involves feelings of closeness, being connected in a special way, and the shared bond that comes from a loving relationship, while passion refers to the drives that lead to romance, physical attraction, sexual consummation, and related phenomena in loving relationships.

Intimacy is about making a connection with another person that allows you to communicate with each other.  You will share a personal space with them, and you may hold each other’s hands, or hug, or kiss, or caress, or fondle, or even have sexual intercourse, and this emotional sensual touching is meant to decrease feelings of loneliness and sadness and increase your desire to remain together.  As two people become closer to one another they are at ease in each other’s company and free to display their affections for each other, which might include, intimate touching, cuddling together, caressing each other, tickling or giving each other a massage.  Intimacy may often lead to sex, but it is possible to have one without the other, however sharing a close intimacy with multiple people is probably going to be too difficult to pull off, as one person is bound to become jealous of the other.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “Intimacy” hosted by Yves.

Goddess of Love

The goddess of love and reproduction for the Greeks was Aphrodite, the Babylonians called her Ishtar and she was called Astarte by the Phoenicians, but to the Romans this goddess was Venus.  Venus figures into a lot of myths and she came about because the goddess Terra hated her tyrant husband Caelus after he had all the Hecatoncheires Hundred-Handed Giants who were her children thrown into Tartarus.  Her son the Titan Saturn responded to her call, and one night he hid under his parents’ bed waiting for his father to fall asleep, then he castrated him with a sickle and then he promptly threw his genitals into the sea.

Terra took in all the bloody drops that spattered off of Caelus, and as the seasons of the year turned, she bore the seeds of the Erinnyes, the Gigantes and the Melian nymphs.  As the genitals drifted over the water in the sea of Paphos in Cyprus, the blood and the semen that issued forth from the severed flesh of Caelus mixed with the sea water.  The resulting foam slowly transformed into the child who would become Venus, the goddess of Love and Beauty.

Venus had a minor part in the story of Pandora, but she played a major part in the story of Pygmalion and his statue and also Trojan war.  Juno queen of the gods, the wife and sister of Jupiter, hated the Trojans because of the Trojan Paris’s judgment against her in a beauty contest.  This beauty contest took place between Juno, Venus and Minerva, where a golden apple was to be the prize to the fairest goddess.  Aeneas was a son of Venus and he became a very strong and popular Greek soldier, who was one of the few survivors of the siege of Troy.  Venus was the mother of Cupid, the guy with the love arrows and she was also the great-grandmother of Semele who slept with Jupiter.  Venus was also the mother Priapus, a dwarfish man with a huge penis, but nobody knows who his father was, as Venus got around an awful lot.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “Greek Love Story” hosted by Yves.

Inner Beauty Lives Forever

When people get old their outer beauty will probably fade, and even though this may be looked at as developing character, they get wrinkles, suffer hair loss, and lose their mobility and get out of shape, but their essence, their core will not change, because this is their inner beauty.  A person’s inner beauty is what makes every individual unique.  Inner beauty is not something that ugly people say to themselves so they can feel better, this is a real thing.  Beauty will always remain in the eye of the beholder, but real beauty is much more than a visual thing, as it comes from within and it makes up your personality.

I did not get a lot of dates when I was in High School and it was because I lacked confidence in my appearance, having warts on my hands and pimples on my face was not a good look.  I did have confidence in my ability to make others laugh, so I was not a total loser.  My mom took me to a doctor who was able to freeze the warts and they fell off which made me feel better.  My sister introduced me to Noxzema skin cream and she told me to try and avoid touching my face, because my hands had germs on them and that was aggravating my skin.  This helped and my completion cleared up a bit.

Some kids had worse acne than mine and this one kid in particular looked really bad.  I remember eating lunch at the pizza parlor one day and this guy walked up to him and told him to leave, because his face was making everyone so sick that they couldn’t eat their pizza.  He actually said, “Your face looks like it was on fire and someone beat it out with a chain”, which made the kid leave.  I felt bad for that kid, but I was also glad that he was not sitting next to me anymore.  I was never belonged to the IN crowd, but I wasn’t a complete outcast either.

Growing up is difficult on most students and trying to fit in can be real rough for some.  Physical beauty plays a big part in how you will fit in with others.  Everyone wants to date the girl that is the most attractive and when you are young, nobody considers inner beauty.  I don’t have any message to share with others about beauty other than maintaining a positive attitude towards yourself could go a long way to fixing your self image.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt “Inner Beauty”.