Anyone Can Play

As long as there’s
been good music,
there’s been wanna-be
music makers, who
despite all the best
intentions in the world,
can’t really put two notes
together that sound like
they belong together.

They call these folks
‘frustrated musicians’ –
– they love music,
but they weren’t born
with the talent to play
a complicated instrument
like the harpsichord or
the vibraphone.

Some of those folks
(like me) take up the
drums or harmonica,
and play only when
there’s not a living soul
around to make any
smart ass inference
about strangling cats
or eardrums made of tin.

Others just hum
along in silent

.. while still others
turn to the world of
‘novelty instruments’.

There are a surprising
variety of them, which I
guess speaks to the
genuine rarity of real
musical talent.

Almost every kid in my
neighborhood growing
up had something like
this, whether it was a
jaw harp, a bugle, a
tambourine, or a simple

But, if you happen to
be one of those folks
in the ‘silent desperation’
category, there might still
be time to step into the
wonderful world of
anyone can play it“.

If you can believe the
vintage advertising,

Take the “Stylophone”,
for instance-

It was invented in the
mid-1960’s as a stylus
controlled mini-keyboard.

And much like a full size
synthesizer of it’s age,
it could only play one
note at a time.


Well, it featured only
three controls, and
one of them was an
on-off switch, so
if your goal was
to drive everybody
at the office crazy
with your stylin’
rendition of:
“Mary Had A Little Lamb”,
this thing would do the
job, N-HOW.

Still, you might have
trouble getting a hold
of one…. they only
made ’em for about
8 years, although I did
hear a rumor somebody
recently picked up the
license to make ’em again.


Frankly, I got no idea.

If you’re really
looking for ‘simple’
(as in simple-minded?)
maybe the musical saw
could be your ticket to
bigger and better things
(like the triangle, I dunno).

All I can tell ya is that
it would make screechy
enough of a racket
to prompt your
long-dead deaf
great grandmother
to get up out of the
grave and tell you to
shut the fuck up – so
find a very safe place
to practice.

The “Gahoon” was,
despite many online
insinuations to the
contrary, a real
enough instrument,
apparently invented by
somebody who liked the
sound of an inflated balloon
when you let the air out real slow.

honestly, you have a
better chance of playing
cool jazz by blowing into
the back end of a
long necked goose than
this thing.

Still, it sold for only a
buck in 1950’s era comic
books, so at least you
wouldn’t have to worry
about picking feathers
out of your teeth, I guess.

!!! HOY !!!






You Don’t Want To Be A Doormat

dorI had to drop in
on a sick friend
today at her home
in the local palatial
trailer park.

She’s been outta sorts
and all with the flu,

…and has been in
need of some normal,
healthy human contact.

( and since nobody normal
and healthy was available,
I went instead. )

I was wearing my N-95
mask respirator when
she opened the door.cigarettes and repirators

I don’t think she thought
it was all that
funny, though.

But, no worries–

— I think the lump
on my head should
heal in a coupla days.

I brought her some
Vicks Vapor Rub,
…. hoping she’d want
help rubbing it on —
— ( she didn’t ) —

and, also :

some of my Mom’s
world famous,chcikeny
award winning,
special recipe
chicken noodle soup

It’s available at
any grocery store,
…… just look for the
red and white label,

M’m! M’m!


Anyhoo–encore toi

She’s got this
funny door mat —

They used to call it
a welcome mat,

…… but I don’t think
this one qualifies.

just in case you’re of
them guys who were
too busy paying
attention to how short
the high school French
teacher’s skirt was,

….. instead of to the
valuable French language
lesson she was trying to
I will translate.

( Actually so was I —
….. but you always got
Google Translate in a
pinch, ya know. )

It says: ” Oh Shit —
Not You Again

I guess she was expecting me.


I hadn’t realized
you could get funny
doormats like that.

I guess I don’t visit
people much.

I’m not sure I’d
get one for my
house, though.

I’ve kinda learned
my lesson
about trying to be funny
around the house.

I remember back
in the early 80’s,
when answering
were all the rage.

I had gotten a tape of
different celebrity impersonators
doing funny
‘leave your message at the tone’
blurbs — under

There were like 10 or 12 different voices, saying semi-witty stuff.

Well, I had put this
tape on my machine,

…and it wasn’t but a
couple of days before
I started getting
calls at all hours —

But, they wouldn’t
leave a message–
’cause they didn’t
want to talk to me.

clothesPeople were calling just to listen to the tape.

If I answered, you might hear some snickering,

but otherwise,
they’d just hang up and
call back until I didn’t.

22Finally, I had to take the
answering machine
off the line.


That’s the kinda thing that makes you wanna be a people person, don’t it?


Getting back to the
whole funny doormat thing.

Despite the surprising variety
of witty doormats available….

and the fact that my dog
might actually enjoy the
attention and amusement
that one of these doormats
might generate for her ….
(….she might actually
think I bought it for her … )

I’m thinking that
since my very
hard earned lesson
with the whole 1980’s answering machine debacle—-

…..that maybe I will not avail
myself of the opportunity
to express myself in this way.

Somehow, I don’t think
the mailman guy really
cares what my doormat says,

…..and from what I’ve been
able to glean from his delivery style,
I’m not even sure he can read, anyway.

And I certainly don’t want
people coming over to my house
at all hours of the day and night
to read my doormat.

it could happen.