332. Warning: Wed Wed Wine Ahead

We were waiting at a Wuby Tuesdays wecentwee when my wife wheelwe wanted a gwass of wine. It had been a wery wong day and when the waitress asked what she wanted, she wepwied, “Wed Wine”.  We waughed and waughed at the wispy wesponse. We fought it would be wonderful fun to wite a wistful post inwolvwing onwee wetter substitutions that awe often found in speech pherwapy, shinsh it’s fun to pway withsh words. A shhsshpeechsh sharwapist oncsh towd me the worwasht shhshhpeechsh impairwament to wectify ish the shhshtupid shshound of the sshhtuck tongue that comes fwom making the “S” shshound wiff the tongue on the woof of your mouff. It musht be to jushtify shhusch a wicked weeaction. I can sschhee this post is going nowherwa fast. Sshcheee, I know these schlings are twue.

 It’shh even morwa amazshing when you shhink about Bugs Bunny and all the other voicshes that Mel Blanc pwoduced. No one found them insshulting or powiticawee incowwect. I’m not shchsuwa that we have cwossed that wine yet where cartoon chawacters awha held to wealwee high mowal wawlues. Has anyone cwaimed that the Woadwunnah bwowing up the Coyote wiff weapons from Acme Fiwahawms and Expwosives caused a school shooting? I need to wesearch that.  Can you even imagine witing those comic scwipts? Or was it all impwovised on the spot?  What a talent! West in peace, Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma Mel. Dats all.

 Much harder to see speech than to hear it.  So my written words will fail to spit and stutter, and lisp and curl the way misspoken words do. As Mr. Fudd would say, “It’s wery, wery difficult to werify. Warwer dan hen’s teeth.” Fortunatwee we have awwl sorts of tools today that Mel Bwanc da, da, de, da, di,di, did not have at his da- da- da- disposal, the internet ba- ba- being a bi- ba- ba- ba- bi- big one…

“I say, I say, I said Son, now put down that there mouse before, I said, before ya’ll get hurt.” Foghorn Leghorn

“Dis ain’t no mouse, Foghorn. Dis is a phone. Wing, wing. It’s for you. Boom! Whoops, did I say a phone?  I meant a bomb. I taught I heard a puddy phone.” Tweety Bird

“Of course, you know this means war.” Daffy

“That’sth justh desthpicable!!” Daffy

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And on an on they go. The king of all cartoon animals, though, is Bugs Bunny. He had it all, the savoir faire, the cheeky humor, the slippery escapes. Unflappable Bugs.

So, what does this all have to do with today? Wine, speech impairments, and beloved cartoon characters?  I don’t know, but I like a challenge.  How could they all come together in an almost believable though purposeless narrative? Let’s see…

Announcer voice: “It’s a lovely night at the Cartoon Academy Awards night gala, live from Ceasar’s Palace in Costa Rica. Your host for this gala is Elmerrrrrrrrrrrrr FUDD. Everyone, put your hands and paws together for Elmer.”

“Thank you wery, wery much. I want to furrrrst of all thank the academy furrr inviting me to speak to awl of you tonight, herwah. Oh my goodness. Dair are surre a wot of you out deir in the dawk, wabbits and wildmen, mice and ducks, and even my werwy good fwiend Woody Woodpecker.”


“Thank you all. Now, pwesenting the awawd fower Best Wabbit in a Comedy, is my fwiend and coweague, uh,uh, Mista Powky Pig.”


Porky Pig:  “Uh, wa-wa-wa-well, Thanks Elmer, tha-the-the-that was, was so uh, uh, special for me. Whew! Now, the uh, the uh, give me the envelope, uh, pa- pa-pa-  PLEASE!”

Offstage Bugs, “Gazuhnheit, Doc.”

“Thank you. Um the uh, nomina, nominats, nomen-i-i-inknees are– Bugs Bunny for a Rabid uh, a Rabid uh, a Rabbit’s Life. Brer Ra- ra- ra- ra- rabbit for Tales from Uncle Ra- re-ra remus, and Cindy the Playboy Ba- ba- bunny for, uh, um, ra- ra- ratings.”  Tearing, “And the, the , the winner is… Ba ba ba ba bugs Ba ba ba ba bunny.”

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WILD Applause, Bugs enters drinking a glass of merlot. “Yeeahhh, Whatz up Porky?  Thank you, thank you, please continue. Thank you, thank you.” Sips wine. “There’s nuttin like a good bold merlot to go with a little gold statue.  Achoo!  Bless me. I am flabbergasted to be your choice for, uh, Best Wabbit in a Comedy. Yeeeeah, Humbled by the graciousness of your generosity as well as  up pawled by the fact the, uh, [stage whisper] doity little secret dat Brer Rabbit is in a Ramada Inn right now with Cindy the Playboy Bunny. Whatz up with that? Why couldn’t Brer Rabbit pick up this heyah metal and I get the Bunny Momma?”

Porky, “Eh, eh, Ba ba ba Bugs?  This is, uh, uh, live t.v. here Ba ba Buddy Boy. We ga ga got no time for uh, wa, wa wa dialogue muh mah muh malfunctions.”

Bugs, “Yeeeah, I know, Doc. Soitently. But it’s hard being a lonely hare. I don’t need another cold statue on my mantel. I got no bobbin’ tail to come home to. I need love too, Porkster. ”

Pepe le Pew, “Ah certainmah, mon ami. Oui Oui. Amore is the champagne of life, the effervescence of zee evanescence. Zee ennui of ratatouille. Zee arbonne of se se bonne.”

“Yeah, Doc. I don’t hear French real good or I’d have you arrested.”

Pepe, “Oh pardon, my bonhomie, I mean no such sing of infamy for you. May I ascyst you? On me vivre as a skunk, I pledge to you my undying aplomb.”

“Uh, yeeeeah. I’ll take a large Aplomb and, uh,  a salad with thousand island dressing and a Spwite. Pwease.”

“We are like bruzzers in arms, my little Brodent.”

“Ayyyyy, Doc, I gots a show to finish before we, uh, hug it out. So, Pepe, say it wiss me, ‘That’s All Folks’.”

Dim lights. Bugs exits with merlot…

“Ahhhhh. Full body, a dusky fruitiness mixed with old forest French oak.”

cue up theme song

“Red, red wine
Stay close to me
Don’t let me be alone
It’s tearing apart…my blue, blue heart.”






172. Reunions like Raw onions will make you cry

Image result for crying onion picturesSo I got a letter in the mail asking me to save the date next year for my high school’s 40th reunion. That’s right, Bloggapillars, 1974 was 40 years ago. I have not been to one since my fifth year reunion, which was a loud dud. I recall a couple of loud mouths and a couple of very drunk losers who seemed to be on a long losing and drinking streak. I took my girlfriend of the time, who is now my wife. She was unimpressed as I was also. I think we left early.

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And now an invitation comes in the mail. “The class of 1974 wants you…” I don’t know how they got my address, though in the era of Facebook, Google maps, and the NSA there is no privacy. I put the letter in the trash. My wife fished it out. “Let’s go. It will be fun. We can dress up and dance.” I wished her well and encouraged her to have a good time. She could tell my forgotten classmates of my untimely death and perhaps get a few phone numbers. But she was not easily dissuaded. (Oh no, I thought, let’s not make something that does not matter as much as a worm’s whisker into a showdown about what’s good for me.) “It will be good for you”, she nudged.

“My high school has never contacted me for a reunion”, she added, as if that gave her justification for forcing me to attend my 40th high school reunion. I thought back… I didn’t even graduate from my high school, technically. I received my now misplaced diploma from there, but I actually graduated from the county night school program at Thomas Edison High School. Maybe I should look up the green card Guatemalans in my night classes or the stoners I rode back and forth with. Hmmm, we smoked on our breaks and chattered about concerts and beer. The long and short of it was that I disliked high school so much that I went to day and night school to get out of there a year early. Now I’m supposed to go back to celebrate something I despised to begin with? No way. Plus there was my brother’s experience at the last one.

My older brother Steve looks a lot like me, only younger, which is not right. While I taught in public schools and grayed under stress, he worked for the federal government and did not. Once, at a restaurant in Frederick, Maryland, we were exchanging kids for a week away from their homes. We had dinner and he and I both went to the cashier to pay the bill. I said, “Let me have it.” He insisted and held the check. The cashier said, in front of my daughter and niece, “Oh how cute. You want to buy your dad’s dinner.” Well the girls laughed, no, screeched at the irony. My brother called me “Pops” and the story became part of our family lore. Anyway, he married one of my classmates, Michelle, who faithfully attended all the reunions over the years. A few years ago Steve told me that a slightly drunk and angry woman came up to him and blasted him for my sins. Fortunately for him, he explained that he was not me. Sadly for all concerned, I have not the faintest recollection of this girl/woman. So there’s one more reason not to attend a function I had no desire to attend without handcuffs and straight jacket attire while under the influence of rohypnol.

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Union comes from “uni” which means one and is the root of “unity”. I had a lot of experiences in high school. Unity was not one of them. There was no oneness among 650 students per class. Funny, though. Many years later my buddy Mark Craver was teaching at our high school when a letter arrived from England inquiring about a high school ring from 1974. The writer wanted to know if this was the home of the Hawks, and if someone could verify that the ring did in fact come from that school. The principal called Craver down and showed him the letter. Mark said, “C’mon Man. Over 600 kids were in our graduating class!” Then the principal read the next page that gave my initials carved on the inside. Craver said, “Yeah, that would be Burrito Special.” However, no one in that story was interested in getting my lost ring with an aquamarine stone back into my rightful possession. Okay, add it up to global karma.

You see in 1973 and into early 1974 I had traveled to England and Scotland. I had lost my heart to my first girlfriend, who had moved there after junior year. I went over to visit her and resurrect a Daffy Duck sort of love. I’m thinking of the episode when the hunter tried to bake Daffy in an oven that needed a match to light the thing. Daffy kept blowing out the lit matches. I would have been the hunter and my girlfriend would have been Daffy. There was no hoped for reunion, my aghast readers. I know, her unending loss. She could be famous now as Mrs. Burrito Special. Loved by all and envied by many.

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Oh, well, it was a life changing trip anyway. I lost a lot of things in England and gave away other things willingly, never expecting to hear a word about any of them. But, wow, that was a reunion without any material connections to it. I liked the story more than that foolish ring. I do remember taking it off to wash my hands at the Angel Hotel in Bury St. Edmunds. Charles Dickens had written something there above a toilet, “It was the best of hotels. It was the worst of hotels.” I recall being so tired and jet lagged that I fell asleep in my lovely steak dinner after I had washed my hands and face. I was 17 and as dumb as Greg Allman. I was not drunk, I just hadn’t slept for 40 hours.

Oh, no, no, no. No reunions in the flesh. If Craver were there with my ring on his pinky like a mafia Don, well maybe I’d go. For the moment I’ll stick with trying to find unity in what I do know. You can’t cook a duck that won’t cooperate.

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