Monday, August 28, 2023

If Rodgers and Hammerstein Had Been Honored for Writing Great Pharmaceutical Drug Commercial Jingles as Well as Great Broadway Shows


They have been called American geniuses. They are two of the greatest writers of Broadway shows and pharmaceutical drug commercial jingles of all time. They have been honored with multiple Tony Awards, five Pulitzer Prices, and dozens of Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons, now voided.

They are Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.

It's been an epic career for these two over many decades of achievement which have included such legendary works as The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Oh Oh Oh OzempicThe King and ICarousel, and Skyrizi (Nothing is Everything). 

How did it all begin?

"We were working on our first musical Oklahoma," recalled Richard Rodgers in his memoirs,"and we knew we had written some fine songs like "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" and "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning," but we felt like we needed one more great song to put us over the top. So we added  a sensitive ballad about antacids  called "People Will Say We're In-digestion." 

When the show opened in previews in New Haven, however, the critics savaged it. "We worked feverishly writing and rewriting that song," stated Hammerstein later "and when Oklahoma finally opened on Broadway "When You Have Nausea, Heartburn, Indigestion, Upset Stomach, Diarrhea," captivated audiences and became the showstopper."

Oklahoma became their first smash.  And pharmaceutical drug  music was born.

When asked to name their favorite achievement among so many during their long career, both Rogers and Hammerstein agreed.

"Of course, it has to be The Sound of Music," Richard Rodgers stated, "but followed closely by "I Did It My Way" for Cologuard." (Not be confused with a similar song once sung by Frank Sinatra.) 

Oddly enough, one of the duos' greatest successes came to them by accident and had nothing to do whatsoever with stirring romance, wistful fantasy, or pharmaceutical drugs.

Following a small traffic accident Richard Rodgers found himself with a structured settlement, but a need for more immediate funds ensued based on the disappointing performance of a jingle written for an ED drug named Excelsior.

Hammerstein suggested to Rodgers that "it's your money, use it when you need it."

"If my father and Mr. Hammerstein were around today," said Eleanor Rodgers, daughter of Mr. Rodgers, "they would be truly proud of how their work remains as beloved today as ever and how, if you have a structured settlement and you need cash now, you can still call A.G. Wentworth 877- CASH-NOW!"  


Wednesday, August 23, 2023

If Superman Gave Up Being Clark Kent and Decided to be Superman 24/7



Superman!  What are you doing here?


I wanted  you to be the first to know, Max.  I've decided to punt on my alternate guise as Clark Kent and just be Superman 24/7. 


What's brought this on? Damn, I just bought a "Clark Kent" refrigerator magnet!


Because there's people everywhere who need rescuing, crimes all over the country that need stopping,  Nicholas Cage movies in Hollywood that need preventing. Why should I waste time sitting in an office writing articles about Metropolis zoning board hearings, imagining Lois Lane naked, and wearing glasses that make me look like Drew Carey, host of The Price is Right


You know, you do sort of look.... But why come see me?  I'm Clark Kent's accountant, not yours.


Because I don't make any damn money as Superman!  I need to eat! Actually I don't need to eat, but you get the drill.


Well, you've got to get a job. What practical skills do you have?


I can leap tall buildings in a single bound, bend steel in my bare hands, change the course of mighty rivers ...


So, none whatsoever. 


Yep, nada.


Except maybe watching a shit ton of episodes of the old Superman TV Show from the 1950's starring George Reeves.


You're helping me, right?! Boy, you are Clark Kent's accountant and not mine! 


Well, maybe you could charge for Superman-ish services?  Y'know, make up a sandwich board with a fee schedule like: 

Save You from Rampaging Flood Waters ..... $50

Foil Lex Luther's Latest Fiendish Plan ..........$125

Battle Gruesome Monsters from Space .........$450                   


Umm, that last one.  Do I have to win?


I would.  If not, better discount it.


You forgot about saving cats from up a tree.


Jesus Christ, Superman! That should be a freebee!


But, y'know, Max, charging for those things just doesn't feel right.  Batman doesn't do that.


Hate to bring this up, but hello! Batman is a fucking millionaire, dude!


Oh yeah,  you're right. Bruce Wayne has cufflinks the size of Kryptonite chunks.


Maybe you could make more money in the Marvel Universe.


Are you kidding?  Compete with Spiderman?  Besides ... I'm kinda afraid of spiders.


Yeah, me too.


What if I just billed the United States for my annual services to the country?  I could present President Biden with an itemized bill. 


Yeah, but what if Trump is elected? 


Then I'd be screwed as badly as the rest of the country would be! Trump pay a bill? He wouldn't pay me if I saved his hair piece from a good stiff  wind.  


How about driving Uber or Lift? That could be a nice side hustle at least.


Umm,  Max,  I'm afraid I never learned how to drive.  I fly places, y'know.


Oh, right.  Then, I'm stumped.  Wait, what are you doing?!


I'm putting the glasses back on.


But you can't go back to being Clark Kent!


No, but maybe folks will mistake me for Drew Carey.  I could host The Price is Right.


I've got a better idea.  That right-wing jerk Pat Sajak is leaving Wheel of Fortune soon. Maybe you could replace him.


YES! That way I could perform an even greater service to the nation than I ever could as Superman!




Bonus Feature

And now, by popular lack of demand, we present Superman taking on the Pillow Guy.  The Pillow Guy probably thought the Pillow of Steel had a chance to defeat the Man of Steel.

No such luck for him. 

And never fear: Superman is not going to take over Wheel of Fortune.  He will remain Superman and available to save you and me whenever the need arises.

As long as The Price is Right.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

My Social Media Pledge to You, Annotated


My Social Media Pledge to You:

1) I will never post anything I didn't write.

2) I will never write LOL after anything I write. You determine the LOL, not me. You are the audience.*

3) I will give out LOLs in situations wherein I am the audience and I actually do laugh out loud at the comment. If I ever give anyone an LMFAO for something they have written, I will probably spend the rest of my life wondering why I did not marry them.

4) I will never use the expression "Woot." I think it's pretty much beat now, but you can't be too careful.**

5) I will never make fun of anyone's appearance, except  for certain  right-wing Republicans who really are goofy looking. ***

6) I will never refer to anyone as "the Hubs," even if some day I ever actually have a "Hubs." That's kind of unlikely anyway.**

7) I will never include the words "But I digress" in anything I write because roughly translated it means "I am including some stuff in this piece that I find interesting but doesn't at all belong here and I suck at editing!"  ****

8) I will never use the expressions "Toodles" or "Anywho."**

9) I will never use the "f" word randomly and indiscriminately, but only when it is absolutely appropriate. ***** 

10) I will never charge for the Oxford Comma. 

That's it, folks. Anything else is fair game.



* It's kind of annoying when somebody writes LOL after something they write. Really?  You're laughing at your own joke!  No disrespect, but I won't do that and and neither should you. There, maybe I've helped you?

** No comment necessary.

*** Notice that the really good writers never fall prey to this writing faux pas. An excellent example is the well-known author Charles Dickens who could have begun his famous novel A Tale of Two Cities as follows: 


"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, and you could not help but hope for anything more delicious than my special Dutch Apple Cobbler, the recipe for which I shall reveal in a later chapter, but I digress, it was the winter of despair."

But he did not.

****Trump, Giuliani.  I reserve the right to add to this list.

***** Got that, mother-fuckers?


Monday, August 14, 2023

The Three Reasons Why Aliens from Space, Having Long Landed on Earth, Do Not Dare Contact Us


Hail, Zontar!

This is an official record of  Earth Exhibition I reported on this Earth Day August 15, 2023.

As the High Council knows, prior to our arrival we carefully and exhaustively studied the science of Planet Earth by monitoring  video broadcasts emanating from Earth during the years known as the 1950s and since our arrival our continual viewing of those transmissions has confirmed the tragic fact that our science cannot begin to match the science of Earth. 

And Earth's science continues to be most thoroughly manifested by the Three Great Earth Masters!

Think on it, Zontar!  

Master Moe can strike Master Curly over Master Curly's head with the high tensile implement of human endeavor known as a "crowbar" without causing Master Curly's brain matter to be splattered hither and yon about the nearby environment and Master Curly to sacrifice his life force.

 Indeed Master Curly survives unscathed!

 Yet another matter: if one of the Three Masters intones the words  "pick out two" and then takes the two chosen "fingers" of one "hand" of the human physiology and projects them into the other Master's two organs of visual acuity, the other Master's visual acuity is not lost or even diminished! 

And Master Curly! What is the meaning of the advanced aural sounding he renders, as recorded here? And how is it possible for him to morph over time from Master Curly into a wholly different physical lifeform known ever after as ...  Master Shemp? 

No, we cannot contact the earth creatures!  If they ever beheld us in all our pathetic awkwardness, they would no doubt attack us and probably annihilate usFor now we shall fly about Earth while we attempt to learn their science and hope we're not spotted.

I almost forgot the most incredible thing of all: Master Larry has unfathomable "hair" that stands straight upward from his cranial covering in total contravention of the Earth force known as gravity! 

How is it possible, Zontar?

No doubt about it, we of the Planet Krill are the slapstick laughing stocks of the universe.


Saturday, August 12, 2023

I am the Lord Thy G-d and You Are My People Israel But Every Now and Then I Do Have a Tendency to Smite Left on You


It’s true.

I am the Lord Thy G-d and You Are My People Israel.

It’s not that I don’t love you guys, I do. From the time I first set eyes on Abraham, I’ve been madly in love with pretty much all of you.  I love Moses,  I love Jesus, I do not particularly love Barry Manilow, but that’s me.

So why do I every now and then have my people Israel worked over with brass knuckles by a couple of guys named Bruno and Rocco? 

Metaphorically that is.

You have to look at it from my perspective.

I’ve been around for 13 or 14 billion years.  For billions of years all I got to do for kicks was watch unicellular life forms clumsily experiment with asexual reproduction, and believe me it was not like watching modern day porno with your Stormy Daniels. 

Finally at last came homo sapiens, but they’ve only been around for 200,000 years, and you my people Israel for about 4,000 years.

Over that time, I got kind of bored.  I had to develop a hobby.  And then one millennium  I discovered smiting and found it one hell of a lot more entertaining than watching unicellular life forms clumsily experiment with asexual reproduction. So sometimes to keep me sane I just have to smite left.

And sometimes the smiting falls on you.

Another thing that’s a little annoying.  Stop worshipping me slavishly in synagogue with the words: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Lord is One.”

Don’t you think I know I am “One?”  I know there is nobody else like me. Hey, I look  to my right and I look to my left and all I see is a bunch of galaxies. No dudes, no chicks.

That’s part of  the problem - You try 13 billion years with no one to put your arms around at night.  You guys complain about bad blind dates? Who am I gonna date?  Scarlett Johansson?  She’s already married.  To Colin Jost, a gentile yet!

But you are my people Israel. Frankly I created you because I wanted somebody to love.  I made you funny, I made you cute, I put you in charge of show business. True, I made you not handy but that’s because I had zero interest in watching my people Israel woodworking and installing kitchen cabinets.  Me forbid I’d have to endure King David - the guy who killed Goliath - setting up a workshop in his basement to thread clipper ships into a glass bottle.

But I pledge to you: I will always ultimately get you out of any tough jams or scrapes I may put you in.  After all, you have survived and prospered for 4,000 years. 

You want me to send you a rainbow to seal the deal, I’ll do it!

And here’s the Emes: Despite what many of your sages have said over the many years, there is a heaven!  You will  get eternal rewards. I’m proud to say I set that up for you!  Some of my best work. 

I am the Lord Thy G-d and You Are My People Israel, and I love you, man.

Now, can one of you please go get me a corned beef special?


Well, this is my first attempt to write a conceptual piece in the modern era. Sure it's blasphemous but I think G-d, blessed be they, would be cool with it provided they have a sense of humor and even exist, blessed be they.

And I had the misfortune of writing it shortly after this similar piece appeared in Slackjaw:  

 I'm God and I'm Releasing an Uncensored Bible Featuring Even More Sex and Violence

I wrote mine before I saw this (I swear it!)  but his one is pretty damn good and makes mine hold up about as well as Shelley Winters does right after Elizabeth Taylor shows up and sweeps Montgomery Clift off his feet in A Place in the Sun.

Anyway it's a start.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Wasted on the Way


I've been toying with the idea of starting up my blog again.

I stopped writing it in 2018 when I felt I had simply run out of ideas.  I was a little tired of writing about the fictionalized me - even though I like him a lot better than I like the real me - and I didn't seem to be able to hit the right notes to write modern day conceptual humor anymore.  

Simply put, millennials had taken over the hipper humor sites like McSweeneys and Slackjaw, and their humor is somewhat different than mine.  I like what they do but I just cannot match the comedic perceptions they seem to be able to so effortlessly toss off. 

Just take a look at the titles of a few of the posts on McSweeneys this morning: 




And me, folks, remember I grew up in an era when people thought Milton Berle wearing a dress was hilarious. 

Even though I think I wouldn't mind banging Emily Dickinson.

So I stopped writing humor and basically spent my time watching cable news and drooling over the numerous hot women reporting the news on CNN and MSNBC. 

OMG, look at Natasha Bertrand!

And me, folks, remember I grew up in an era when people thought the hottest babe on television news was Walter Cronkite.

But  some time has passed, and I have grown ever more acutely aware of some rather unpleasant realities:

There are so many things I didn't do, didn't say, didn't follow through on, and so on and so forth.  There's a lot more "didn'ts" than "dids."

You can't fix nothin' in the past.

Regret is a bitch. And in my case an army of bitches.

Yep, I am older now and there is so much time to make up everywhere I turn, time I have wasted on the way

So,  maybe I start writing again.  Ain't gonna cure any of the above but can't hurt.

But what about the name of this blog: Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute?

Actually I kind of dislike the name because it seems rather corny and overly cutesy to me these days and it sure isn't relevant for someone for whom 70 is in the rear view mirror and liver spots are their most distinguishing features.  But it's what I started with and I guess I'll keep it.

And maybe one day I'll write a post like:

 on bloomsday in 2023 i had an epiphany and now i'm living in the last chapter of james joyce's ulysses and all i can say is "yes i said yes i will yes!"


Nah, not millennial enough.