You Don’t Say Bob Dylan Can’t Sing

One evening in the mid 1990s, I was sitting around the living room at X’s parents’ old place in Ladner, BC. We were listening to Bob Dylan on X’s dad’s awesome stereo system.

X’s dad, Pete, exclaimed, “Bob Dylan is the best harmonica player! Eh? Ya know? Man, he’s good. Ya gotta love him!”

I said, “Oh, he’s OK. About average. Naomi’s been doing pretty good on her harmonica and she’s only three,” I said, gesturing toward my little girl.

Pete got ultra-ruffled and he defended his musical hero in a long tirade. X and I kinda rolled our eyes at each other in amusement.

OK, that is the part of the story that starts the song, but there are two other tales to tell.

The earliest bit hearkens back to 1986, when X and I were in the back seat of his parents’ Toyota Camry, driving down a road in Point Roberts, Washington, having just left his Nana’s place – that is, his mom’s mom. X’s mom was in the passenger seat, and Pete was driving.

X and I each had a can of soda pop. After I drank the last sip of mine, I tossed the empty can out the window. X’s dad slammed on the brakes, screeched to a halt, zoomed the car backwards, and angrily ordered me to get out and pick up that can.

Hey, I was 19 and stupid, but he didn’t need to freak. Fine, I got out, picked it up, and never littered again.

Then there’s story number three, which was the day after the harmonica incident. All it entails is that X told me his dad really hates it when people spit in the sink. I’d just spat in the kitchen sink but washed it down the drain with running water immediately. Still, X said, “You’d better not let my dad see you doing that.”

“Ya don’t spit into the sink,” I said.

That got me thinking of Jim Croce’s song “Don’t Mess Around With Jim”, the chorus of which says,

“You don’t tug on Superman’s cape,

You don’t spit into the wind,

You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger,

And you don’t mess around with Jim,

Ba doot dooda-da deet deet’n dee-dee dee…”

Long being a fan of putting my own silly words to sections of songs, I started playing with it. X, who rarely laughed at anything I did, actually got in on the humour and was cracking up right along with me.

“You don’t say Bob Dylan can’t play harmonica,” I began.

“You don’t spit into the sink,

You don’t throw pop cans out an open window,

And you don’t mess around with Pete.”

That didn’t have the correct amount of beats, so we changed the first line to “You don’t say Bob Dylan can’t sing”, which isn’t historically accurate, but now you know…

(And read this part in the voice of Paul Harvey)…

The rest of the story.

Written upon peer pressure by my buddy, Shakira B. O’Neil (not her real name), who not only taught this song to her son who is now a history professor, but has also been peer-pressuring me into going to the Bob Dylan concert in Kelowna, BC, this coming summer. Maybe I’ll go, and tell Bob about the song.

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Logophiles and Wordsmiths group

My blog doesn’t have a specific theme, but it does lean in the direction of the subjects of writing, grammar, and general wordsmithery – not that the latter is an actual English word, but it is an example of what can be done when one smiths words.

I want to share a link to a Facebook group for those who love the English language. It is called “Logophiles and Wordsmiths”. It was born on Sunday, February 7, 2016, in British Columbia, Canada, weighing 8 lbs, 4 oz (just kidding on the weight), so at the time of this blog entry, it is still very new.

Check out the description. If you think you’d feel comfortable with such a group, I invite you to join. Please note, if you do not know how to properly use “your/you’re”, “there/their/they’re”, “where/were”, and other common English written words, this is not the place for you. This is our haven from the sights of poor writing. If you ever end a sentence with the personal pronoun “I”, you will be removed.

If improper writing chafes your butt, you might enjoy not only the break from seeing such textual indiscretions, but also the camaraderie of others who appreciate and strive for fine English writing.

Oh, but we are not a stodgy bunch! There has been a lot of laughter in there, and I anticipate more of it.

Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/logophilesandwordsmiths/

I hope to see some more logophiles and wordsmiths in the group soon!

logophiles and wordsmiths logo (2)

Melons and Instagram

I saw this on my oldest daughter’s Instagram last night: ↓

01 -original pic

I commented to her, as shown below – me being Squirrelmix: ↓

02 -  comments

Then, I went to my own Instagram and posted this picture: ↓

melon mama (2)

Today, I look at Instagram and I see this by my daughter: ↓

04- N pic

And her comments/hashtags that were under the pic: ↓

05 - comments

That’s all. Have a great day!

Siggy

Unscrabble

While under the influence of a stiff cup of Traditional Medicinals “Nighty Night” tea (in an attempt to undo the three cups of coffee I’d had a few hours earlier), I engaged in a game of Scrabble with my 17-year-old daughter, SF, and my 13-year-old son, PJ.

We were off to a crappy start when SF couldn’t form one single word with her seven letters. I even tried helping her, and said, “OK, we’ll bend the rules this once so you can dump your letters and start again.”

SF managed to form a lame word that yielded something like four points. (Actually, it was five.)

PJ then took his turn and also formed a lame word, though he did get 16 points from it.

I took my turn, sure that my astonishing Scrabble skills would kick in, but my word failed to excite my taste-buds and was only worth 12 points.

We played one more round each with no joy in our hearts as our words sucked big-time. We complained vociferously and I began to dislike what had once been my favorite game.

I suggested, “How about we ditch all the letters and start fresh, but this time, we can only use words that aren’t real?”

My kids eyed me dubiously, but we decided it couldn’t be much worse than the existing stalemate we faced.

I wrote the rules at the top of our new game:

1. It can’t be a real word.

2. It has to be pronounceable.

3. A “Q” has to have a “U”.

4. You can use proper names.

The game suddenly became fun!

PJ was busy texting on his phone and soon lost interest, to which SF said, “Oh, come on, PJ. How hard can it be to not think of a word?”

SF took over for PJ and finished his letters for him, while I wrote down her quote as the slogan that should appear on the side of the Unscrabble box.

We ended our trial and error of Unscrabble with whopping scores of 293 for SF, 133 for PJ, and 215 for me. Every letter was used, and we enjoyed the game fully, not having to waste time following the strict rules of real Scrabble. Furthermore, compared to what can often become a tedious and drawn-out game, this game went quickly. I think a half hour of playing this way is not an unreasonable expectation.

Unscrabble board Unscrabble score2