Friday, July 12, 2013

Whither Deep?

I was sitting at my riding desk one summer morning when a letter from Filbert arrived by courier.  Filbert was always an extravagant bastard but this took the cake.  The courier had ridden his motorcycle all the way from Filbert's estate in the Luckywood Hills.  It had to have cost him his late uncle's fortune.

The letter was filled with Filbert's usual fol-de-rol, blather, & insults (he referred to me twice as "a skeezy little bitch") but he intrigued me in that way he often did - tangentially, accidentally - when he spoke of being accused by the Wilsons as "too deep."

Too deep!  Our Filbert?  The man who couldn't describe anyone past hair color & make & model of speedboat?  Outrageous!  Intolerable!  I quickly asked my manservant Josephine to get the car & make haste to Filbert's ranch.

Filbert's ranch was a tastelessly decorated modern split-level acreage with fins.  I understood that that was not a very good description of it, but it was the best I could do for something almost indescribable.  Usually there was a police car parked out front, just in case.  On Halloween, the children wouldn't so much as avoid it as try to set fire to it.  Filbert was awful proud.

"Dorian, my friend," he said to me, mispronouncing my name (it's pronounce "Charles"), "I'm so glad you came!  I was about to slice open a watermelon & collect the seeds to put in a little jar I found buried in the back of my paper closet."

"Enough of your tomfoolery, you knave!" I shrieked, upstarting.  Actually, I did nothing of the sort, but I had been listening to Rutger Hauer's stirring audiobook of him reading "The Raven" over & over & over, & that's the last line I heard.  I thought it might fit; it did not.

I continued, "Why have you summoned me?  Your letter hinted at events best described as apocalyptic, or worse described as...  Well, you do it."

"Carefree & la-de-da," he said.

"Well?  What is it?"  I was close to shrieking, but nowhere near to upstarting.

"Old bean, you're too wound up.  You need something to enrage you further.  Come on inside," he said, leading me in, "let me introduce you to someone."

It was a radio.  Not just any radio.  A radio dressed as a man dressed as radio.

"What's all this balderdash!" I said.

"Look at what it says," Filbert said patiently - frankly, he was higher than the International Space Station at apogee.

But I read:

Listen (it said) to Self Help Radio this afternoon from 4 to 6 pm on the radio at 88.1 fm in Lexington & online at wrfl dot fm.  The show today is "the deep show."  It promises shallow treasures.

"You want me to listen to the radio with you?" I sputtered.

"Heavens, no!" he said.  "That's a man dressed as a radio dressed as a man dressed as a radio."

"We could listen on the computer," I suggested.

Filbert shrugged.  "Whatever," he said.  He then handed me a seedless watermelon.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Preface To The Deep Show: Google Deep

You learn so much about people from their Google searches?  I don't know.  I typed in deep, hit space (if I didn't, I'd get Deepak Chopra, & got ten common choices people who use Google make.  (Well, nine - "deep impact" is the same as each of the following terms.)

The first one alarms me - for its own sake & for the fact that people are looking it up.  Even worse than that, the statistic are awful - according to, every year two million people get deep vein thrombosis, & as many as 200,000 die of it.  That's one in ten.  My legs will be feeling weird all day long.

I was unfamiliar with the nonsense television show Deep South Paranormal & don't want to say anything more about it.

Deep fried Oreos?  Deep fried pickles?  Can you say "deep vein thrombosis"?

I'm sure the surviving members of Deep Purple are happy to be continually searched for, if it's only for the lyrics to "Smoke On The Water."  Although it could just as well be about the song "Deep Purple" which may be where the band got their name.  (I really don't want to have to read through their Wikipedia entry to find out.)

Ooo, Deep Web.  Sounds naughty!  It probably is!

If it were up to me, Deep Space Nine would be the first thing that would pop up when you typed the word "deep"!

As someone who's barely made a shallow impact on pretty much everyone I've ever met, I find that the phrase "deep impact" depresses me - & yeah, I know it's space-related.  But still.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Some Important Information From The Past

"For young men [in the 19th century], the great anxiety was masturbation, a term coined in a British medical journal in 1766 in an article entitled 'Onanism: A Treatise on the Disorders Produced by Masturbation.'  The origins of the term are puzzling.  The Oxford English Dictionary says that it comes from the Latin masturbari, but then calls that term of 'unkn. origin."  The verb form masturbate didn't arise until 1857, but by that time the world had come up with any number of worrisome-sounding alternatives - selfish celibacy, solitary licentiousness, solitary vice, self-abuse, personal uncleanliness, self-pollution, and the thunderous crime against nature.  By whatever name it went, there was no question that indulgence in it would leave you a juddering wreck.  According to Dr. William Alcott's A Young Man's Guide (1840), those who succumbed to temptation could confidently expect to experience, in succession, epilepsy, St. Vitus' Dance, palsy, blindness, consumption, apoplexy, 'a sensation of ants crawling from the head down along the spine,' and finally death.

As late as 1913 the American Medical Association published a book that explained that spermin, a constituent of semen, was necessary for the building of strong muscles and a well-ordered brain, and that boys who wasted this precious biological elixir would turn from 'hard-muscled, fiery-eyed, resourceful young men' into 'narrow-chested, flabby-muscled mollycoddle.'"

From Bill Bryson's delightful Made In America, An Informal History of the English Language in the United States.  You can find it here or really your favorite bookstore.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


Self Help Radio plays dress-up!  How many breasted can your suit have?

Listen to suity show suitable for you at Self Help Radio Suit Warehouse.  Everything priced to go!

Or, if it suits you, listen to show directly with no factory interference: part I & part II.

Every suit in the songs listed below.

Thanks for not leaving the fitting rooms a mess!

(part one)

"Got A Bran' New Suit (Alternate Version)" Louis Armstrong _The Complete Louis Armstrong Decca Sessions (1935 - 1946)_
"A Zoot Suit (For My Sunday Gal)" Andrews Sisters _1937-1944_
"Wet Suit" The Coctails _The Early High Ball Years_

"Four Button Suit" Bob Riley & The Atoms _Boston Rockabilly Vol. 1_
"Charcoal Suit" Brad Suggs With The Swingsters _The Complete Meteor Rockabilly & Hillbilly Recordings_
"The Cowboy In The Continental Suit" Marty Robbins _Streets Of Laredo & Other Ballads Of The Old West_
"The Man In The Little White Suit" Porter Wagoner _Green, Green Grass Of Home_
"A White Suit In Memphis" Simon Bonney _Everyman_

"One Piece Topless Bathing Suit" The Rip Chords _Bruce & Terry: Rare Masters_
"Zoot Suit" The High Numbers _USA Garage Greats 1965-1967 - We're Gonna Love This Way_
"Black Suit" Iguanas _Project Blue_
"Man In A Pin-Striped Suit" Dave Clark Five _Everybody Knows_
"My Birthday Suit" Cattanooga Cats _Cattanooga Cats_
"The Soul Of My Suit" T.Rex _Dandy In The Underworld_

"Three Piece Suit" Trinity _Joe Gibbs Original DJ Classics_
"The Suit" Public Image Limited _Metal Box_

(part two)

"Blue Suit" 14 Iced Bears _In The Beginning_
"Man In A Suit" Ambitious Beggars _Beg!_
"Sunflower Suit" Buffalo Tom _Buffalo Tom_

"Suit Of Lights" Elvis Costello _King Of America_
"Spaceman In A Satin Suit" The Celibate Rifles _Spaceman In A Satin Suit_
"Your Swimming Suit" Six Cents & Natalie _When Punk Fell To Earth_
"Deep Sea Diving Suit" The Magnetic Fields _Holiday_
"Monkey Suit" Pernice Brothers _Overcome By Happiness_

"Monkey Suit" The Didjits _Que Sirhan Sirhan_
"Flameproof Suit" Tsunami _World Tour & Other Destinations_
"Burn The Suit" Bis _This Is Teen-C Power_
"Dead Man's Suit" Cherry Ghost _Mojo: Made In Britain 2007_

"Suit Fits" The Guild League _Speak Up_
"Mens Suit Hire" Steinbecks _Branches & Fronds Brushing The Windows_
"Ill-Fitting Suits" High Llamas _Hawaii_