Wednesday, July 25, 2007

OCTOBER SEVENTH (2004)

Once there was a man who decide to put an elephant in a tutu. This was easier than he thought. And once he did that, he decided to take the elephant to a museum. “I will expose him to Delacroiz, Matisse, Magritte and a number of the established masters,” he thought to himself.

This was even easier than putting an elephant in a tutu.

For the ride was very quick (as they travelled by trolley) and the weather was holding: sunny with a touch of feathery clouds in the air that were cheery rather than threatening. The elephant, too generously proportioned for the trolley, cheerfully declined the man’s preferred method of locomotion. “Don’t worry, I will meet you there,” he said, politely.

Which is exactly what he did. (Remember: elephants never lie unless they have to protect a family member or a herd or a member of their species in general.)

Later that day, in fact, much later, the elephant arrived at the museum, hot and bothered and out of breath and feeling slightly guilty because he had trampled an elderly man who wasn’t looking where he was going as he crossed the street as the elephant charged ahead, anxious as he was to see artwork of the masters, especially, for some strange reason, Delacroix.

The man, unaware, greeted the elephant with the customary gusto with which he responded to the sight of a majestic animal such as an elephant.

“Top o’the morning to you!” he exclaimed. (He did this because he simply adored Irish greetings of good will, as do many elephants.)

The man’s hospitable manner soothed the somewhat tortured elephant and he began to feel increasingly like his old self until he forgot about the trampling and devoted his attention to art exclusively, which, as he fell under its spell, he felt was increasingly more sublime a pursuit than anything that had ever captured his attention before. In short, the elephant was in love, as was the man; especially, for some reason, with Magritte.

“Kind of makes you want to smoke a fine cigar” the man said as he examined the subtle trompe-l’esprit of the oily masterpiece.

“What’s a cigar?” the elephant asked, being from a small and desolate region far from the more urbane areas such as Kenya, where it was not commonplace to smoke or even know of cigars, although killing the elders of a tribe or herd was a common if not even sacred and customary ritual.

“A cigar, well...it’s like...” the man hesitated and his thoughts began to drift, as he simply did not seem to light upon a apt comparison.

“Is it like a sacrificial bonfire?” the elephant suggested, “where the smoke rises to the heavens? An experience that you can
carry with you in your heart?” He absentmindedly examined the blood stains on his trunk, which distracted him from the hat floating in the air in THE HUMAN CONDITION 1.

“Heavens no!” the man replied. “Or yes, in a way, the best way to describe a cigar is to say that like ... hmm...well, that it is like a cigarette.”

“Ah yes, “ the elephant said, “a cigarette...” staring into space, as though he were listeing to a beatific jazz melody in a smoky afterhours joint, or even closing his eyes and hearing the sound of a Matisse painting in the summer in, perhaps in, Callioure, basically, trying to seem a little more worldly than he actually felt. “What a glorious sound that would be!” he exclaimed, with relish.

“I couldn’t agree more!” the man said. Being a lover of fine contemporary art, he was extraordinarily sensitive to the feelings of others, especially the elephant, not because of any particular intimacy that they share, but simply because the elephant was not particularly skilled at concealing his most intimate and tender feelings and therefore the man didn’t actually need to be very sensitive in this case but he didn’t mind, he liked knowing what was going on, elephant-wise and most elephants were rather forthcoming with their feelings and in this way he was a very ordinary elephant, but certainly no less precious to the man or to humans in general.

“Grrr” said the elephant.

Clearly, this intrusive comment did not sit well with the elephant. He had expressed his displeasure in a very typical way: an expressive pique, flavored with a note of annoyance. Was the man able to read his mind? Did he know about the trampled elderly man? Did he sense the elephant’s deep feelings of insecurity? Did the man know that the elephant did not know what a cigarette was and merely demured on the subject as as not to appear too rustic?

Did the man know that the elephant was actually pretty angry about the tutu?

“Don’t worry,” the man said, easing back into a nearby comfy hammock as he adjusted his straw boater, “you have nothing to worry about.”

The elephant paused for a moment. Soon he realized that the man was right. Even if the man did know all of these things for some weird reason, it was OK. All the elephant had to do was to give him one good stomp. It didn’t even matter if the man knew this–or even if he was elderly–after all, he would only remember it until he had a good stomping and after that, I mean, what are you going to do? Whatever it is, no matter how you look at it, it is really nothing.

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

SECRET AGENT BEAR: SEE 'DEATH'

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

ALL THAT MEAT AND SOME POTATOES: A CRISPY GUIDE TO CLASSIC BLUES

When I was asked recently for a list of the 25 best blues songs ever written, I got a headache and went to bed. When I woke up, I couldn't tell if it was day or night *, because it was so cloudy. So, 'day' it is, I guess, because of the clouds. And then my stomach hurt. And then the library called to say that I had SEVEN overdue books! What was on TV? Darryl Hannah in 'Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.' And then I felt as though there was no way that I could possibly list the 25 best blues songs ever written because: 1) I couldn't think of that many and /or 2) It also seems hard to limit it to just 25–there really are some terrific blues songs out there! and 3) What do I know? My father used to say to me, "Son, I am proud of you. You're intelligent, talented, thoughtful, and considerate. The day that you were born was the happiest day of my life. Your mother and I sometimes say that we wish we had ten just like you! Still, I've gotta be frank with you: when it comes to the blues, you don't know diddly."

Which made me think of Howlin' Wolf. I wonder if he was ever Howling Wolf. They're both interesting names. And "Wang Dang Doodle" is quite beautiful.

And I never knew what the 'Dang' was doing in the middle of 'Wang' and 'Doodle.' I'm not even sure what they are all doing there in the first place. And still, it wants a 'Diddle.'

And when someone asked me why I laugh when I hear Fats Waller say "All that meat and no potatoes" all I can say is "I have no idea" or "I can't tell you right now I will tell you later."

And then there was the problem with Earl Hines. Is it Earl 'Fatha' Hines or Earl 'Fathah' Hines. Also, does that mean 'fatha' like 'father' or like 'farther' as in 'farther away' because he didn't want to be close to something, although I didn't know what that might be.

And did Blind Boy Fuller fall out a window? No. You're thinking of Sonny Boy Williamson and the ice pick thing.

And Blind Boy Fuller could rattle to the left, AND rattle to the right. And then he would come in through the back door.

And Muddy Waters could read stop signs.

And where's Blind Lemon Jefferson? Oh, he's around here somewhere.


In conclusion, here is my list of the 25 best blues songs ever written. Please note that some of them aren't really blues songs, and, if you listen closely, you can hear the voice of Maurice Chevalier in some of the others.


* 'Love Potion #9' is not, by definition, a blues number.




® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

FOURTH IN A SERIES: WHAT AM I EVER GOING TO DO WITH THIS? (PART FOUR)

This includes a photograph of Roky Erikson, the expression 'Holy of Holies', an unusual animal drawn by Charles Darwin, and a little boy's ear and brown hair, too.

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

THIRD IN A SERIES: WHAT AM I EVER GOING TO DO WITH THIS? (PART THREE)

I know! I will ask somebody if they have ever seen this flower. I will tell them that I saw one just like it around here somewhere. I will ask them to help me look for it. Garden people can't resist this kind of challenge. It's a nice way to make friends. Lying, I mean.

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

SECOND IN A SERIES: WHAT AM I EVER GOING TO DO WITH THIS? (PART TWO)

Don't know what is happening to this horse. But I don't think that it looks good for this horse.

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

FIRST IN A SERIES: WHAT AM I EVER GOING TO DO WITH THIS (PART ONE)

I have never met a bear like this. But I have certainly dreamt about bears like this.

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

Monday, July 09, 2007

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