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Friday July 18th, 2008

The Weight of Honest Differences

Friendship that insists upon agreement on all matters is not worth the name.
Friendship to be real must ever sustain the weight of honest differences, however sharp they be.

Hi folks,

This week I’d like to draw your attention to three writers you may not know about, or else, possibly have heard of, but are unfamiliar with their work. The first is novelist,  Richard Matheson, and the two others are Victorian novelists, Catherine Cookson and Elizabeth Gaskell. (Hint: if you are a fan of Jane Austen or the Brontes, you will fall in love with the latter two women!)

I am linked to all three of these writers through either having seen their work adapted for television or film, and thereby been led to their writing, ass-backwards, so-to-speak. Let’s start with Matheson. Whom some might consider the lightweight of the bunch – but not I. Nor does Ray Bradbury or Stephen King, who declared, ‘ The author who influenced me the most as a writer is Richard Matheson.’  His work spans an amazing gamut of genres.

The most recent film adaptation of one of Richard Matheson’s novels is ‘I Am Legend,’ with Will Smith. But the actual book was written and published in 1954! I liked the film, but I like the book for different reasons. The film depicts a disease that wipes out humanity with a handful of survivors attempting to find a cure. The book depicts a future catastrophe where humanity has become vampires, except for a handful of unaffected people. (Boring . .  I hear you say. But not really, in this instance.) I am not a big fan of vampire stories, other than the original Bram Stoker, Dracula,  but Matheson’s novel looks at vampirism from a completely unique perspective: that it might be a disease caused by a bacteria, and all the accompanying gobbledeegook associated with vampires: garlic, crosses and wooden stakes – all have a chemical, psychological or biological explanation as to why they induce the effects they do. Remember: this was back in 1954.

Here’s a partial list some of the movies you may have seen adapted from Matheson’s work. (Are you ready to be amazed?):

The Incredible Shrinking Man.  One of the classics of the 50s. This guy’s writing goes way back into my childhood memories. There is a remake of this scheduled for release in 2010, directed by Brett Ratner (X-Men, Red Dragon, The Cleaner.)

Duel. Stephen Spielberg’s first film about a faceless semi-truck driver harassing a motorist – based on something that actually happened to Matheson.

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. One of the most unforgettable Twilight Zone episodes every made. Do you remember the passenger on the airplane looking out the window during the storm and seeing a small creature tearing apart one of the plane’s engines?

Somewhere in Time. One of my favourite music-romantic dramas with Christopher Reeve (in his first serious role after Superman) as a playwright going back in time to the 19th century to find the woman whose portrait he has fallen in love with.

Stir of Echoes. Brilliant psychic mystery thriller with Kevin Bacon who is able to communicate with dead children who want him to help solve their murders.

I first found Catherine Cookson in a $5 dvd special called ‘The Rag Nymph.’ I like historical costume dramas, especially the ones made by the BBC. This movie was so good that I ordered the boxed set of 23 adaptations of her works on dvd from the UK. (She wrote 93 novels!) Folks, everyone of these films is four star brilliant. This is one of the most soul-satisfying movie experiences you will ever have. Cookson is a serious and sensitive chronicler of 19th and early 20th century England. We’ve have now started picking up the novels themselves at flea markets and second-hand book shops.

Elizabeth Gaskell is someone I just took punt on from an email ad I received from one of my dvd clubs. While not as prolific as Cookson, I noticed that she had three adaptations made from her novels into BBC mini-series and I liked some of the actors in one of them, ‘Cranmore,’ so I ordered it. Later, I found out that Gaskell was the famous biographer of Charlotte Bronte (by request of Bronte’s father) and that Charles Dickens himself published her novel, ‘North and South,’ about the northern cotton mill industrial towns. The third movie, which is also utterly beautiful, is ‘Wives and Daughters.’

In both Cookson and Gaskell, you will find an endless panorama of strong and colourful women characters, the writing is the equivalent of Jane Austen, with much of the work surpassing Austen in complexity of emotional relationships and thrilling trans-generational drama.

Questions and Answers from the Original Hollywood Squares TV Show No. 1
Q.  You've been having trouble going to sleep. Are you probably a man or a woman?
A. Don Knotts: That's what's been keeping me awake.


Dear Joe,
 Thanks for the ever-welcome and always thought-provoking [newsletter].  I really DO appreciate the effort you put into it.  And it is a true Labour of Love in that brings you no financial gain.  (That said, it brings you something greater: for every ten apparently thankless souls who happily devour it weekly - even doubtless copying and pasting chunks to send to friends - without ever having the good grace to write and thank you for your SHEER EFFORT, there is at least ONE other of us who SALUTES you for your labours in the Vineyard of Communication.   So it brings you the lasting respect of a lot of discerning folk out there.   And that is better than any thirty pieces of silver.)
 Thought you might like this poem [ 'Like Riding a Bicycle’, by George Bilgere] .  It moved - and moves - me greatly.  Hoping you are in fine fettle, Kindest,  David ‘Dai’ Woosnam

(Note: Folks, see further down below for the beautiful and moving poem by Bilgere that Dai has sent.)

Hey Joe
 - the Ed Zachary joke outperforms ANY joke you have ever published in your newsletter.
 Kind regards, Robyn Jones (Pomona)
(Note: Robyn, I pass your thanks on to Walter Stark who sent it to me – I merely tweaked it a little by changing the gender.)

Hi Joe,
your website mentions watermelon this week, thought id introduce you to someone who i dont think has gigged in australia yet: Watermelon Slim. al johnson

Hi Joe,
Loved the stained glass window insight - thought you might enjoy this pic of the large sculpture right in the centre of the public entrance to the Vatican. I was there in June last year, and somewhat taken aback (figuratively that is - though it looks as though one should be very careful whilst in this place) at the straightforward nature of this sculptural representation of the Catholic Church and it's highest officer. cheers, and thanks for the newsletters. Annah Evington

(Note: Annah, slap that booty, your eminence!)

Hi Joe,
Thank you for your email and the photos, I am impressed, there is nothing more attractive in a man than the ability to bake cakes. (Ed.Note: Ahem!) Your Karma Sutra cake is great, I am assuming it wasn’t a children’s birthday cake, you must have a great relationship with your son. I am in my 50’s and my Mum in her 80’s, to this day the mention of anything to do with “willys”’ sends her straight to the liquor cabinet for medicine to calm her down. She gets upset a lot!

I remember my Dad explaining the facts of life to my sister and I. I was 16 and my sister 14 so we already had a pretty good idea of how things worked. However my Dad felt it was important, no matter how embarrassing, that things were explained properly. We sat with him in the bathroom, he used an extension chord to demonstrate. He held the male end and female end of the chord and plugged them in to each other to demonstrate the “act” that must only happen once we were married.

I managed to contain my laughter as one of the boys from Sunday School had shown us his penis in the graveyard after Church one morning and I knew they were not three pronged. I look forward to your next newsletter, Kind regards, P.S.

(Note: P.S. If your dad demonstrated the joy of conjugal relations to you by plugging the male end of an extension cord into the female end, he obviously doesn’t have a good understanding of electricity. A better example of how babies are made (and also of the attendant terrible twos and raising teenagers) might be to stick a butter knife into an electrical socket!  For Mother’s Day, you could show your Mum, Part 5,  of the article about Prince Tui Teka below, which has a lovely song sung to both their mums, by Teka and his wife Missy. On the other hand, you also could take her to the Beijing Olympics and the following restaurant, but I think it’s BYO ‘medicine’:)

Guo-li-zhuang -  Beijing's Exclusive Penis Restaurant – 30 Varieties!
By Richard Spencer

Situated in an elegantly restored house beside Beijing's West Lake, Guo-li-zhuang is China's first speciality penis restaurant. Here, businessmen and government officials can sample the organs of yaks, donkeys, oxen and even seals. In fact, they have to, since they form part of every dish - except for those containing testicles. "This is my third visit," said one customer, Liu Qiang.  Guolizhuang's owner, who set it up in November, is proud to combine his own surname (Guo), his wife's (Li) and his son's nickname (Zhuang) into its title. A booking comes with a trained waitress and a nutritionist in attendance, to explain the menu and to boast its medicinal virtues.

Some dishes appear unexceptional, such as the simple goat penis, sliced, dipped in flour, fried, and served skewered with soy sauce. But Guolizhuang also has its showpieces, such as the elegantly named "Head crowned with a Jade Bracelet" (provided by horses from the western Muslim region of Xin-jiang), for £20 a portion, or "Dragon in the Flame of Desire" (yak, steamed whole, fried and flambéed) for £35. One speciality, Canadian seal penis, costs a hefty £220, and requires ordering in advance. Miss Liu confessed that Guo-li-zhuang was an unusual place to work, partly because of her training - she has to recite tales proving the vigour of the animals in question as they are being eaten - and partly because of the interaction with the clientele. "I did find it embarrassing at first," she said. "And sometimes the customers take advantage of me by asking rude questions."

A Visit to Beijing's Penis Restaurant
By Stephan Orth

"Chinese eat anything with four legs, except tables."  old saying

The Beijing restaurant serves painstakingly decorated gourmet dishes for the fearless. Eating penis is good for the skin, apparently. "Here, try it," says Zhaoran, a business student, as she places a beige-colored ox urethra onto her friend's plate. He's in the middle of wolfing down a piece of chewy dog penis.
A visit to the Guolizhuang Restaurant in Beijing is not for the faint-hearted. Here the menu consists almost entirely of penis and testicle dishes -- made from the private parts of deer, snakes, yaks, horses, seals and ducks, among others.

Deer Blood as Viagra
Lucy, a 20-year-old waitress, wears a traditionally embroidered silk shawl with images of courtly scenes and plants -- and a smiley sticker. Part of her job is thoroughly explaining the menu, as many guests are entering an entirely new culinary landscape when they visit the restaurant. "For thousands of years, Chinese medicine has used animal penises to cure kidney and erection problems," she says. But for their medicinal effect to work, the dishes have to be consumed regularly.
"But if you want something that works faster, we have a wine that contains extracts of heart, penis, and blood from a deer," she explains. "That has an effect within 30 minutes." This potency cocktail has been said to be better than Viagra, and it has no side effects.
Raw or roasted, whole or sliced, tip or base: the penis binge is not meant for Chinese guests as a superficial test of courage, but rather as a serious treatment for the libido. "The sexual act of this Russian dog lasts 48 hours and its mating season is seven months out of the year," is how the colorful, photo-filled menu praises a €16 ($25) penis dish.
A certain degree of care appears to be required when choosing a dish, depending partly on what one has planned for later in the evening. The sex and age of the customer also play a role.
Children under 15 are not allowed in the penis restaurant; the hormones are said to interfere with natural growth. All the guests sit in booths, and most of them are older couples or all-male groups. "A lot of the customers are business people meeting with clients," Lucy says. "They order the most expensive meals -- their companies are paying."

A waitress in pinstripe pants and a black jacket puts a pot of broth on an electric hotplate. Then Lucy carries out a glass plate with raw sexual parts from oxen and dogs, tastefully arranged on a bed of lettuce. A finger-long pointy bone protrudes out of a glass in the middle of the plate. There's a decorative cherry stuck on top. "Dogs are the only animals that have a penis bone," Lucy explains to the guests, pointing out the little groove on the side for the urethra.
Ox penises are sliced along the side and bent into little stars. Lucy uses chopsticks to dip one into the hotpot of chicken broth, dates, and lychees.

The second course, called "Henry's whip," is much more delicate and sweet. It's sheep's penis on a stick, covered in a sheath of mayonnaise and sweet cheese. It's called "Henry" because it's prepared in a Western style, Lucy says.  "Women should not eat testicles," Lucy says. "The hormones could give them a deeper voice and a beard."

But this is only a small sampling of what restaurant manager Chen Jianguo says he has to offer. "For special guests there's a special menu," he says. Some connoisseurs say there are even penises from endangered species, like tigers. But to have a bite of that, you'll have to fill out a special application form for a silver, gold, or platinum membership card and pay up to €905.
At the end of the meal, Lucy hands over a little red box with ribbons on it. The dog penis bone is inside. It's a souvenir, she says, and is supposed to bring luck and protect the holder against "harmful influences.",1518,549788,00.html

Chicks Agree: Boycott KFC

Three semi-naked women have been arrested for protesting in a cage outside a KFC restaurant in Sydney. The topless women from animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) were arrested on Monday afternoon while protesting outside the CBD restaurant over KFC's alleged treatment of chickens in factories and slaughterhouses. The women - naked apart from lacy, yellow bikini bottoms - were inside a large cage, holding signs that read "Chicks Agree: Boycott KFC".

Questions and Answers from the Original Hollywood Squares TV Show No. 2
Q. According to Cosmopolitan, if you meet a stranger at a party and you think that he is attractive, is it okay to come out and ask him if he's married?
A. Rose Marie: No; wait until morning .


In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon's hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview about peace. 38 years later, Jerry has produced a film about it. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon's every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation. Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with masterful digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon's boundless wit, and timeless message.
(thanks to Maireid Sullivan)

Questions and Answers from the Original Hollywood Squares TV Show No. 3
Q.  Paul, why do Hell's Angels wear leather?
A. Paul Lynde: Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.

Petrol 'could cost $8 a litre by 2018'

The oil crisis and the introduction of a carbon emissions trading system could see Australians paying $8 a litre for petrol by 2018, a new report from the CSIRO says. The study, titled Fuel for Thought, says increased demand for petrol and limited production could see Australians paying an extra $220 a week to run their cars. The report is based on worst case scenarios of production peaking within the next five years, then declining rapidly, while demand for petrol spirals. It includes modelling of the impact of an emissions trading scheme on fuel prices. The CSIRO's John Wright said the report showed Australia would need to move toward alternative fuel sources within ten years, such as diesel, gas and hybrid electric vehicles to escape higher oil prices. Beyond that, it would have to rely on less conventional fuel types, such as hydrogen and biofuels, he told Fairfax newspapers.
"Securing access to affordable and sustainable fuel underpins Australia's economy and way of life, and as a nation with relatively high vehicle use we are vulnerable to the economic, environmental and social impacts of rising oil prices and rising temperatures," he said. The CSIRO report also said that if the development of alternative fuels did not counter the decline in oil production, travel could be cut by up to 40 per cent. "If reduction in oil supply is rapid and alternative fuel vehicles are slow to become available, then passenger and freight travel may be reduced by up to 40 per cent," the report said.

Innovation Fuels Solar Power Drive
Rising Fuel Prices, New Technology Help Make Such Generation Feasible
by Carolyn Y. Johnson

Solar power, which has been the next big thing on the energy horizon for decades, may finally be reaching a tipping point. Long considered far too expensive to be a viable power source, solar energy is now benefiting from technological innovation, environmental concerns and the ever-rising cost of fossil fuels. In the latest discovery, an MIT team yesterday announced it had developed a new way to concentrate solar beams, potentially reducing the cost of solar panels.
But such advances, still far from becoming commercial products, are only a small part of the forces finally making solar look feasible. Unlike in the early 1980s, when cheap energy prices helped derail Jimmy Carter’s ambitions for solar power, today’s technology is getting close to being cost-competitive with other forms of energy.
“We’re not in a hype cycle,” said Nathan Lewis, a chemistry professor at the California Institute of Technology. “There’s a lot of innovation we’re seeing now, regulations guaranteeing a market expanding for the next decade. . . . If you go to Silicon Valley and around Route 128, everyone and their brother who used to make computer chips are now trying to make thin-film solar cells.”
In Massachusetts, the Patrick administration’s Commonwealth Solar rebate program, implemented in January, is part of a push to increase the amount of solar energy used from 4 megawatts to 250 megawatts over the next decade. (By comparison, the Pilgrim nuclear plant has a generating capacity of nearly 700 megawatts.) A novel program included in the state’s new energy bill would allow utilities to own solar panels for the first time.

Questions and Answers from the Original Hollywood Squares TV Show No. 4
Q.  Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

(thanks to Glen Floyd)

NZ Teen Hacker Freed Over Cyber Crime
‘ . . . the most advanced bot programming international cyber crime investigators had ever encountered. . . ‘

A quiet, immature "but computer-brilliant" loner who put New Zealand on the international cyber crime map has been approached by large overseas corporations keen to employ him. Even the New Zealand police have expressed interest in using the sophisticated internet skills of self-taught teenager Owen Thor Walker, who lives in the small North Island town of Whitianga. The infamous young hacker, who turns 19 on Saturday, seems suddenly to have the world at his feet - on the right side of the law. Usually showing little emotion publicly, Walker smiled broadly from the dock of the High Court in Hamilton when Justice Judith Potter discharged him without conviction on six charges covering illegal use of a computer system. The most serious count - committed when he was aged 16 - carries a maximum sentence of seven years' prison. Walker's mother, Shelley Moxham-Whyte, wiped away tears in the public gallery. Alongside her were relieved husband Billy and younger son Riley, 15. The sentencing was the culmination of a lengthy Federal Bureau of Investigation cyber crime investigation spanning the United States, Europe and New Zealand and dubbed "Bot Roast". It resulted in Walker's arrest last November, nearly two years after he started experimenting with bot (robotically controlled) programs, and was the first prosecution of its kind in this country. An unlikely criminal, the fresh-faced, long-haired teen was accused of masterminding a scam which infected more than a million computers and contributing to many millions of dollars in damage.

Questions and Answers from the Original Hollywood Squares TV Show No. 5
Q.  If you were pregnant for two years, what would you give birth to?
A. Paul Lynde: Whatever it is, it would never be afraid of the dark.

Man spent $1,000 a week on beer?

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian man convicted of his seventh drink-driving charge was spending about A$1,000 ($972) a week on beer -- enough to buy more than 2,500 small bottles a month, a newspaper said Tuesday. The heartbroken construction worker began drowning his sorrows after breaking up with his partner five years ago, the Northern Territory News said, quoting his defense lawyer as telling a court in Australia's remote, tropical north. The magistrate declined to jail the father of four, Michael Leary, noting he had quit drinking since his latest arrest, but he banned Leary from buying or even holding a beer for 12 months.
The magistrate also poked fun at Leary's favorite beer, Melbourne Bitter, in a part of the country where drinkers can be as loyal to beer brands as they are to football teams.
"(That is) poor judgment on two counts there -- drinking that much and drinking Melbourne Bitter," magistrate Vince Luppino was quoted as saying.

Questions and Answers from the Original Hollywood Squares TV Show No. 6
Q.   According to Ann Landers, is there anything wrong with getting into the habit of kissing a lot of people?
A.. Charley Weaver: It got me out of the army.


Hello !
I romantic, good, sensitive, intellectual, reliable girl. I search for, which - that special to be its partner. You should be an artist, not only in your shower. But I search only serious relations, I am killed already simply by morons which would want only chance photo that masturbated on it!!! If you such. Then please at all do not answer me. The Harmony, understanding and confidence also much it is important. With best wishes. Tatyana!!

(Note:  Nyet, Tatyana, I vant you muste be good wirgin girl, not skanky Russian whure. Must also have vorking tractor.  Josef )

Questions and Answers from the Original Hollywood Squares TV Show No. 7
Q. It is the most abused and neglected part of your body, what is it?
A. Paul Lynde: Mine may be abused, but it certainly isn't neglected.

Prince Tui Teka

‘I'm his half-brother, Charcoal.’
Prince Tui Teka, on Nat King Cole

I just discovered that the legendary Maori singer, Prince Tui Teka, of New Zealand, who passed away in 1985, recorded and performed my song, Shaddap You Face. It appears, as part of a medley, with Chuck Berry’s, ‘My Ding-A-Ling,’ on his album, ‘Prince Tui Teka: The Man The Legend’.

Prince Tui Teka was from Ruatahuna in the Ureweras, and had a musical childhood. His mother played mouth organ and clarinet and his father was a saxophonist with a bush band. After learning guitar and saxophone at woolshed dances with teenage bands, Teka moved to Sydney and began a six-year stand with the Maori Volcanics showband on the Japan and Pacific circuit. The 'Prince' title was adopted when Teka joined the Maori Troubadours. In the 1970s, Teka performed solo in Sydney and Southeast Asian clubs, his extravagant stage wardrobe including rhinestone jackets and embroidered skirts cut for his one hundred and forty kilogram frame.  By 1981 he had returned to Tokomaru Bay, and became a household name during the next year with 'E Ipo', and two albums with Teka originals including 'Real Love' and 'Oh Mum'. He appeared in films, including 'Came A Hot Friday' and 'Savage Islands'. Prince Tui Teka passed away in 1985.

His wife, Missy Teka, whom he wrote his most well-known song for, E Ipo, sang beautiful duets with him, and was recently killed, in March, 2008. Of Ngati Porou descent, she died almost instantly when the car she was driving collided with a truck on State Highway 2, Mangatawhiri.

Here are some youTube videos that will give you a taste of Teka’s charm and unique affection in the hearts of New Zealanders. If you are short on time, start with Part 3 first and then watch Part 5.

Prince Tui Teka Story

Part 1
Part 2
*Part 3
(Green Grass of Home/ Before the Next Teardrop Falls)
Part 4
*Part 5
(beautiful duet song to both their mothers, and a duet of ‘E Ipo’, with wife, Missy Teka. This song was also part of the soundtrack of 'What Becomes of the Broken Hearted,' the sequel to 'Once Were Warriors.' )

Prince Tui Teka: The Man The Legend, is now available as a limited edition combination CD and DVD which includes a 45 minute documentary about Teka with archival footage (including his mother playing the harmonica!) Available from: NZ Supplier

Questions and Answers from the Original Hollywood Squares TV Show No. 8
Q.  Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do ?
A. George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.


What began as a colorful Internet fluke in the USA has blossomed into a full-fledged political movement -
one that Republicans and Democrats alike are reluctantly having to acknowledge.

Questions and Answers from the Original Hollywood Squares TV Show No. 9
Q. Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?
A. Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?
(thanks to Bill Lempke)


Sour Cream Tea Cake

Pauline Skerman, the Queensland Folk Federation Hospitality and Concessions Manager, sent this recipe to me. I have been savouring it all week. The topping, in the final stage, is an amazing touch.

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
11/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup finely diced dried apricots
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 170C .  Prepare a 23cm round cake tin by lining with baking paper.
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, mix well.
Add sour cream and baking soda, mix well but do not beat.
Add flour, baking powder, vanilla, mix well.
Add chocolate chips and apricots.
Pour into prepared tin.

Mix topping ingredients together and sprinkle over cake.
Run a knife through, to mix a little topping into the cake.
Bake 30 – 35 minutes or until cooked.
Check doneness by poking with a wooden skewer or satay stick. When it comes out clean, it’s ready. Don’t over bake – it’ll stay fresh longer.

Like Riding a Bicycle

 I would like to write a poem
About how my father taught me
To ride a bicycle one soft twilight,
A poem in which he was tired
And I was scared, unable to disbelieve
In gravity and believe in him,
As the fireflies were coming out
And only enough light remained
For one more run, his big hand at the small
Of my back, pulling away like the gantry
At a missile launch, and this time, this time
I wobbled into flight, caught a balance
I would never lose, and pulled away
From him as he eased, laughing, to a stop,
A poem in which I said that even today
As I make some perilous adult launch,
Like pulling away from my wife
Into the fragile new balance of our life
Apart, I can still feel that steadying hand,
Still hear that strong voice telling me
To embrace the sweet fall forward
Into the future's blue
Equilibrium. But,
Of course, he was drunk that night,
Still wearing his white shirt
And tie from the office, the air around us
Sick with scotch, and the challenge
Was keeping his own balance
As he coaxed his bulk into a trot
Beside me in the hot night, sweat
Soaking his armpits, the eternal flame
Of his cigarette flaring as he gasped
And I fell, again and again, entangled
In my gleaming Schwinn, until
He swore and stomped off
Into the house to continue
Working with my mother
On their own divorce, their balance
Long gone and the hard ground already
Rising up to smite them
While I stayed outside in the dark,
Still falling, until at last I wobbled
Into the frail, upright delight
Of feeling sorry for myself, riding
Alone down the neighborhood's
Black street like the lonely western hero
I still catch myself in the act
Of performing.
And yet, having said all this,
I must also say that this summer evening
Is very beautiful, and I am older
Than my father ever was
As I coast the Pacific shoreline
On my old bike, the gears clicking
Like years, the wind
Touching me for the first time, it seems,
In a very long time,
With soft urgency all over.

~  George Bilgere ~
(The Good Kiss. © University of Akron Press)


Two women friends had gone for a girl's night out.
Both were faithful and loving wives, however, they had gotten over-enthusiastic on the Bacardi Breezers.
Incredibly drunk and walking home they needed to pee, so they stopped in the cemetery.
One of them had nothing to wipe with so she thought she would take off her panties and use them.
Her friend however was wearing a rather expensive pair of panties and did not want to do that.
She was lucky enough to squat down next to a grave that had a wreath with a ribbon on it, so she proceeded to wipe with that.
After the girls did their business they proceeded to go home.

 The next day one of the women's husbands was concerned that his normally sweet and Innocent wife was still in bed hung over,
so he phoned the other husband and said, 'These girl nights have got to stop!
I'm starting to suspect the worst, my wife came home with no panties!!'
‘That's nothing' said the other husband, 'Mine came back with a card stuck to her butt that said....
'From all of us at the Fire Station. We'll never forget you.'
  (thanks to Linda Drew)