Friday, November 17, 2017

Name a Song That...Vol. III

Still working my way down a list of prompts and remembering my disc jockey days with fondness.

A song that played at your wedding

A song you would sing a duet with on karaoke

A song from the year you were born

A song that makes you think about life

A favorite song with a person's name in the title (Note: Changed this to "Debbie" and sang it to Beloved in our wedding)

Friday, November 10, 2017

My Favorite Mission Trip Story

When leading a group of teenagers on a trip to a country that's well-known for its fertility gods, there are certain preparatory instructions one must relate:

  • Talking about cross-cultural sensitivity
  • Reminding the teens that respect for another country's culture doesn't necessarily mean we agree with it or think it's right
  • Begging them not to giggle and point and make a scene

As prepared as we could be, we four adults and however many teenagers flew to Montego Bay, Jamaica, schlepped our luggage through customs, piled into a small transit bus/van/tin can, and drove several hours through the Dry Harbour Mountains to Kingston.

The mood was light. We were filled with anticipation for what God had in store for us. Many animated conversations were overlapping throughout the vehicle.

While slowly making our way on the narrow, winding, mountain "road", we passed by a trailside stand that, instead of selling papaya nectar and coconuts carved to look like monkey-heads, was selling several versions of the local male fertility god, all with very prominent of gender.

To give our teens the credit due them, nobody went crazy or laughed or screamed. In fact, quite the opposite happened. They stopped their conversations and did their best to be mature and discreet.

The thing of the adult leaders, who is short and blond and looks so much like Beloved that she is called BelovedBookend, wasn't looking out the window at the time. She was engrossed in her conversation with her seatmate, and just as the rest of the van fell silent, she loudly effused, "Cool!"

THAT'S when the vehicle windows were blown out by the force of our laughter.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Name a Song That...Vol. II

Spinnin' all the platters that matter from my mighty stacks of wax. Time to get down with the big sound. These are the grooves that move, baybay!

A song to drive to

A song that makes you happy

A song that makes you sad

A song you never get tired of

One of your favorite 80's songs

Friday, October 27, 2017

Observed Absurdities™ 33 - Sneaky Bacon

I was sent on a grocery run by Beloved and was a bit befuddled when I tried to decide which bag of bacon bits to buy.

I can understand the brand wanting to charge the same price for 0.2 fewer ounces of product...but to have them both on the shelf at the same time??? 

Marketing Manager: You know...our customers aren't very bright. They probably won't even notice.

Somehow, it reminds me of Professor Marvel crying out, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

Friday, October 20, 2017

Name a Song That...Vol. I

Three things have led to this particular post:

     1.  I ran into a list of prompts calling for songs that meet different criteria.
     2.  I was a little short on ideas for what to post this week.
     3.  I used to be a disc jockey (the radio kind, not the dance club variety) and this seemed like a way to relive the glory days of working at a little, independent, local radio station in Decatur, Indiana, and being able to pick out whatever I wanted to play and actually putting a record on a turntable and placing a needle in the groove with a satisfying ka-chunk...instead of the flavorless life lived by today's cookie-cutter promo-readers who push a computerized button to spew out whatever dreck the Corporate Suits have engineered to force down the public's collective gullet.

Did I say that out loud?

A song with a color in the title

A song with a number in the title

A song that reminds you of summertime

A song that needs to be played LOUD

A song that makes you want to dance (FAIR WARNING: Rated PG)

Friday, October 13, 2017


How would some of our well-known hymns be different if they were written by proponents of what is commonly referred to as the prosperity gospel? ("Name it and claim it." "Jesus wants you to be wealthy." "Riches are a sign of God's favor.")

Here's my take on that theme.

A Mighty Fortune
A mighty fortune giv'n by God; a bankroll never eh-eh-ending.

Be Thou My Nest Egg
Be Thou my nest egg, Lord, increase my worth. Bless my retirement like none else on Earth.

Tis So Sweet To Collect From Jesus
'Tis so sweet to collect from Jesus; just to get all that I want.

Just As I Name It
Just as I name it, I shall receive. All I need do is just believe.

I've Got a Mansion Just Under My Tax Shelter
I've got a mansion just under my tax shelter, in a gated community where I am secure.

The Gold Burnished Cross
I will cling to the gold, burnished cross and admire myself in its gloss.

I Come To The Cashier Alone
I come to the cashier alone, while my gift card's balance is soaring
And the things I buy reach up to the sky
And put a strain on the flo-o-ring

rings me up
And he bags my stuff
And he tells me how much to pay
And he smiles so hard as he swipes my card...

And tells me...
To have a...
Great day

Friday, October 6, 2017


Leonard Cohen wrote it, Shrek made it popular, and everybody and their cousins' cousins have done their own versions of it.

People tend to sing it like a worship song. I mean..."hallelujah" literally means "praise the lord", right? (Right.) But holy guacamole, have you listened to the words?!!?

I heard there was a secret chord
That David played and it pleased the Lord
Well, according to Scripture, David played for King Saul to calm him down when he was in a manic phase, but I have a little problem with capitalizing "Lord" when it's not referring know...THE Lord.

But you don't really care for music, do you?
Not sure who the "you" is, but if this statement is true, they probably aren't listening to the song anyway.

It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift, the baffled king composing Hallelujah
Oh, so now David is no longer the shepherd boy soothing Saul, but the singer-songwriter-ruler?

This is what makes everyone think this is a hymn.

Your faith was strong but you needed proof, you saw her bathing on the roof, her beauty in the moonlight overthrew you
So King David was thinking, "I'm pretty sure the neighbor gal is smokin' hot, but I need some confirmation"?

She tied you to a kitchen chair, she broke your throne, she cut your hair, and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah
Pretty sure we're talking about Samson and Delilah now, though Sam didn't have a throne, and this makes it sound like he kinda enjoyed the bondage thing...should this really be in a "worship" song??? 

Gee...sure SOUNDS like a hymn.

Maybe I have been here before, I know this room; I have walked this floor, I used to live alone before I knew you
If this IS a song of praise, then "you" would be God and this is an acknowledgement of our fallen state before coming to Him. Maybe Cohen is finally getting on track.

I've seen your flag on the marble arch, love is not a victory march, it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah
For God so loved the world that He left us cold and unable to praise Him properly. Wait...that doesn't sound quite right.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get on with the next verse already.

There was a time you let me know what's real and going on below, but now you never show it to me, do you?
Remember when I moved in you; the holy dove was moving too, and every breath we drew was Hallelujah
To explain this verse in non-poetic terms would move this blog into the "adult" category. Not gonna do it. (And can you imagine your church's choir singing this?)

I can no longer take this seriously.

Maybe there's a God above

and all I ever learned from love was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
There goes the whole "turn the other cheek" thing.

And it's not a cry you can hear at night, it's not somebody who's seen the light, it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah
Way to end on a positive note, there, Leonard! Praise the Lord!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

If you'd like to see and hear this post, click the image below or CLICK HERE.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Observed Absurdities™ 32 - Disaster Steps

I don't know who designed this carpet or who decided to use it for these stairs, but I want to apologize to anyone who is vulnerable to seizures.

And I'm thinking there ought to be a big, fluffy pillow at the bottom, with a MedAlert button to push.

Friday, September 22, 2017


Drop it, add it, or change SOMEthing with one letter to ruin a Beatles song.

Across Thy Universe
Wait! This doesn't ruin it; just changes it into a hymn.

A Day Is The Life
The sad tale of a baby that only lived 24 hours

Just doesn't quite have everything it needs

Can't Buoy Me Love
I've got a sinking feeling about this relationship.

" baby's got a whole lotta chins"

Day Stripper
Not as many tips before dark

Do You Want To Know A Secrete
I need a sanitary wipe, please.

Faxing A Hole
A celebration of office pranks

Cello Goodbye
No more orchestral music!

Hey Nude
Talking to the artist's model is rude.

I'm A Laser
"...and I'm shooting from a spaceman's gun."

Lovely Brita
My water is so pure now!

Magical Mystery Sour
You never know what flavor you'll get.

Norwegian Hood
Jah! Yust be given me yer doh, dair.

Nowhere Mane
Bald lions are so sad looking.

Penny Line

Please Lease Me
...for 50 bucks an hour.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Bland
Ho hum.

She Loved You
Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bile
This song gives me heartburn.

The Long and Winding Toad
Hop to your own joke, if you really needit-needit.

Twist and Shoot
Not to be confused with "Pivot and Pull the Trigger"

We Can't Work It Out
Give up all hope.

With a Little Kelp From My Friends
"I'm fixing a salad that no one will like..."

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pictures Inappropriate For History Books!

Look over your shoulder before you look at these historic pics! Let there be no doubt about'll never see any of these pictures published publicly except for right here and right now.

The guy in the lower right with the white hair is my great-grandfather, the coopersmith who came to the U.S. from Germany. Rumor has it that the twinkle in his eye is because he just let one rip.

Sexual harassment by SweetCheeks!

KayJay, ActorBoy, and AngelFace: Obviously members of a bee-worshiping cult

First Grade held no excitement for me.

SkittleKid's mind is blown by the thought that the cute little kid in the previous picture could have become the brute he's riding on.

Too. Much. Hair.

So. Little. Hair. (Except for that guy in the middle...sheesh.)

Proving once again that it IS possible to have too much of a good thing.

Friday, September 8, 2017


...I think Game of Thrones has something to do with multiple toilets

...when I hear muffin top, my mouth waters and I look for some butter the time I get to the store with a coupon for grapes, I have to use it on raisins

...I'm doing bird imitations when I tweet

...when someone mentions Taylor Swift, I think, "Good. I need my suit altered pronto."

...I'm pretty sure a cell phone is what people in jail use to call their lawyers

...I think sick actually means something or someone is not well

...the answering machine for my dial phone uses a cassette tape

Friday, September 1, 2017

The ABCs of What to Write When You Don't Know What to Write

There you sit, having committed to posting SOMEthing every Friday morning. But what do you do when you've

You've got to Accept the Beautiful Challenge of Doing Everything you've promised to do. Failure is not an option.

Good Healthy Humor Is Infinitely Justified.

Keep Learning, Moron.

Never Oppose Personal Quality.

Religiously Seek To Undermine Very Wimpy Xylophonists. Yes! Zealously!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Thoughtless Poem

'Tis a dangerous thing
When I sit to write
Not having a thing to say
No story to tell
No gripe to air
No insight to brighten your day

No picture to show
No comic to steal
No tale from my long-buried past
No print ad to tweak
No headline to skewer
Nothing to leave you aghast

'Tis risky, I say
To just let words flow
Unfiltered, straight out of my brain
That's surely the time
The world will find out
I'm kinda  -  a little  -  insane

Friday, August 18, 2017

E.R. Visit Almost Killed Me

Going to a hospital's emergency room is supposed to help a person, right?

I mean...really...the whole "first, do no harm" opening phrase of the Hippocratic Oath applies in the E.R., doesn't it?

I have to ask, because I took Beloved to our local emergency room last month and I almost didn't walk out alive.

The catalyst for the visit was Beloved's right eye that had declared war on her. Could have been an abrasion from trying to get a foreign object out (those durn foreigners!). Could have been a viral infection like what causes cold sores. For all anybody knows, it could have been a Communist plot to influence the next election.

Whatever the cause, I was there solely for moral and transportational support. I shouldn't have been in any danger.

Shouldn't have been...however...

I almost had an aneurysm as my brain tried to sort itself out from a series of loops and spins because of a single statement made by the resident eye doctor: "I usually mispronounce things wrong."

Friday, August 11, 2017

Observed Absurdities™ 31 - Toilet Tissue Issue

I've a COUPLE problems with this note that was taped to the back of the rest room stall I recently visited...

1)   I don't know about you, but I generally tend to flush things OUT of a toilet. When it comes to things going INTO a toilet, I might toss, drop, deposit, or plunk...but I definitely don't flush.

2)   Only toilet paper , eh? Well the farnsworth am I supposed to do with the reason I visited the toilet to begin with?!!??

Friday, August 4, 2017

You've Almost Got a Friend

With apologies to Carole King (and James Taylor)...

When you're down and troubled
And you need a helping hand
And nothin'...oh nothin' is goin' right
Quitcher belly achin'
No one really cares
To hear you
Whining all through the night

When you call out my name
My stomach turns into a knot
I get nauseous
When you're in a spot 
Summer, fall, winter, and spring
You always want the same old thing:
"Gimme more! Gimme more! Gimme more!"
But I will not

If the sky above you
Should turn dark and full of clouds
That's nothin' that nobody else has seen
The world isn't ending
And it's not ganging up on you
So grow up
Stop bein' a drama queen

When you call out my name
My stomach turns into a knot
I get nauseous
When you're in a spot 
Summer, fall, winter, and spring
You always want the same old thing:
"Gimme more! Gimme more! Gimme more!"

Hey, you need to know the meal train has stopped
Start using your own two feet
If I'm lyin'
I'm dyin'
I've cut you off, just forget it
If not, you'll regret it

If you call out my name
One more time, I'll give you a shot
You'll be needing
A burial plot
Summer, fall, winter, and spring
You always want the same old thing:
"Gimme more! Gimme more! Gimme more!"
But I will not

No, I will not
Let's just get this straight
I simply will not

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

You want to watch a performance of this?

Or just listen to it?

Next week is the Dakota County Fair. Plan now to come enjoy the DAKOTA CHAUTAUQUA. I hope to see you there!

Friday, July 28, 2017

25 Randumb Things About Me

1. I love--and earnestly miss--Skyline Chili. 

2. I play guitar just well enough to make people want to drown it out by singing loudly. 

3. I have moved to a different place of residence 14 times. 

4. My first acting gig was in a third grade production of "Sleeping Beauty." I rode a broomstick horse around the gym and took a pin out of the princess' finger...kissing was too gross to contemplate. 

5. I no longer think kissing is gross. 

6. I am hopelessly devoted to my b.e.a.yootiful wife, who I call "Beloved." 

7. Lions are inspiring...the female makes the kill and the male gets to! 

8. I first fell in love with lions while reading "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," where the lion, Aslan, ably represents Jesus. 

9. My around-the-house skills are abysmal. 

10. I dribbled salsa on my shirt AND pants at lunch today. 

11. It's pretty hard to embarrass me, and yet I blush easily whenever my manager second-guesses something I've done. Basic insecurity? 

12. Jesus is the rock and He rolls my blues away. 

13. I like the way I look with a shaved head, but Beloved isn't all that fond of it, so I only shave my head when needed for an acting gig. 

14. I've published a book, Almost the Truth About Youth Ministry: Salesmen, Secretaries, and Smart Alecks, and I shamelessly promote it when I can...hint, hint: or 

15. Sometimes I tear up when I think about how my four kids are so cool and always have a good time when they're together, which is far too seldom anymore. 

16. My dad's name is Clarence E. Roth, but the "E" doesn't stand for anything. 

17. I've been to Panama on mission trips three times, and Mexico twice. 

18. I like playing bongos and other hand percussion instruments during worship better than playing guitar and singing. 

19. My first paying gig as an actor was for the 1999 Dakota County Chautauqua, commemorating the 150th birthday of Dakota County, Minnesota. That was the first of 7 summers spent preparing and performing the DCC...and now this summer is the 6th year of the revival of said Dakota Chautauqua. (For more info, CLICK HERE.)

20. I laugh easily...too easily in some people's opinion, I'm sure...some people need to lighten up. 

21. My middle name is Alvin, which was almost going to be my dad's name. I wonder if he's really glad they named him Clarence instead? 

22. The invention of blue jeans is proof that God wants us to wear pants. 

23. Papa Murphy's all-meat pizza is the reason why pizza was delivered unto mankind. 

24. I started getting bald when I was still in college. 

25. I'm so desperate for material to post that I stole this list from a Facebook note I wrote eight years ago.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Observed Absurdities™ 30 - This Is Inspiring?

Faithful reader and frequent player of #TheMorningGames, T-Girl Notta HagOrMan, recently passed along a link to a kinda strange place on the WorldWideWackfest,

Go there, and you can generate seemingly random (but more often, randumb) "inspirational" sayings, coupled with know, like those sappy posters your American Lit teacher used to have hanging in her classroom.

Well...I went there...and the results were more absurd than profound...BEHOLD.

This would make more sense if the picture was of a boxer.

I may not be understanding this, but doesn't this fly in the face of John Lennon's "There's nothing you can do that can't be done; nothing you can sing that can't be sung"?

Only if you're ignoring a crowd of warriors.

That's rather pessimistic, don't you think?

NOW you're talking sense!

Uh...well...gotta admit you're correct there.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Dorothyize the Movies

You know how if you repeat a word often enough, it seems to lose its meaning and start sounding like just nonsense syllables?

Yeah, well, that happened to me when I was experiencing the alphabetized version of The Wizard of Oz that I told you about in last week's post. Dorothy's name became, in my ears, a laughable, nonsensical blurting of consonants and vowels.

So...consider what follows as my mind's twisted attempt to restore meaning to Dorothy's name by inserting it into popular movie titles and imagining what the plot would be.

  • Dorothy Gale and the Sorcerer's Stone  -  A Kansas farm girl finds out she wasn't being truthful when she said, "I'm not a witch at all."
  • Cool Hand Dorothy  -  In prison for killing two green-skinned sisters, Dorothy learns that "what he have here is...failure to properly douse a fire."
  • Indiana Dorothy and the Last Crusade  -  While searching for a way back to Kansas, Doctor Gale has to decide whether she truly believes there's no place like home.
  • The Dorothy Redemption  -  Our favorite heroine escapes the Wicked Witch of the West's castle by digging a tunnel and hiding it behind a poster of Clark Gable.

  • Dorothy Club  -  "The first rule of Dorothy Club is..."
  • It's a Wonderful Dorothy  -  A flying monkey shows Dorothy what Oz would be like if she had never dropped a house on the Wicked Witch of the East.
  • The Lion Dorothy  -  Uncle Henry kills Dorothy's father so he can take over the farm. Thinking she's guilty, Dorothy flees to Oz and dyes her eyes to match her gown. Hakuna Munchtata!
  • Star Wars: A New Dorothy  -  Miss Gale is swept into a galaxy-sized conflict between the technologically-superior Winkies and a rag-tag group of Munchkins.
  • Star Wars: The Farmer Strikes Back  -  Uncle Henry cuts off Dorothy's hand.
  • Star Wars: The Return of the Dorothy  -  Dorothy cuts off Uncle Henry's hand.
  • Dorothy Gump  -  Running and ping pong and AIDS, oh my!