Plenty of silliness

Shelby

Plenty of silliness and lots of really good songs, pretty sums up Shel Silverstein for me.  He is a giant of literature who ranks alongside those other geniuses like Roald Dahl, Spike Milligan and Edward Lear.

As you can see from the photo above he was truly a giant.  Must have been 10 feet tall.  It is his birthday today.

 

The Generals; by Shel Silverstein

Said General Clay to General Gore,
‘Oh must we fight this silly war?
To kill and die is such a bore.’
‘I quite agree,’ said General Gore.

Said General Gore to General Clay,
‘We could go to the beach today
and have some ice cream on the way.’
‘A grand idea,’ said General Clay.

Said General Gore to General Clay,
‘but what if the sea is closed today?
and what if the sand’s been blown away?’
‘A dreadful thought,’ said General Clay.

Said General Gore to General Clay,
‘I’ve always feared the ocean’s spray,
and we may drown!’ ‘It’s true, we may.
It chills my blood,’ said General Clay.

Said General Clay to General Gore,
‘My bathing suit is slightly tore.
We’d better go on with our war.’
‘I quite agree,’ said General Gore.

Then General Clay charged General Gore
As bullets flew and cannons roared.
And now, alas! there is no more
Of General Clay or General Gore.

Happy Birthday Uncle Shelby

Shel

Put another log on the Fire, A boy named Sue, Sylvia’s Mother, The Ballad of Lucy Jordan, the soundtrack to the film Ned Kelly, in musical terms his output is phenomenal.  His poetry is fantastical and his cartoons are mind-blowingly absurd.  Born on this day in 1930 and passing away aged only 68 Shel Silverstein crammed three or four ordinary lives into his exceptional lifetime.

He caused much confusion to readers writing children’s poetry on the one hand and cartoons for Playboy magazine on the other.  He also wrote for stage and screen.

 

Hug o’ war; by Shel Silverstein

I will not play at tug o’ war.
I’d rather play at hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

plan

 

 

Capture of Ned Kelly

Armour

On this day in 1880 the famous Australian Bushranger Ned Kelly was captured at Glenrowan.  What immortalized Kelly above other outlaws was the suit of armour he cobbled together from bits and pieces of metal.  All his gang were dressed in the armour but only Kelly survived the shootout with the police at Glenrowan.

Son of Irish convict Red John Kelly a man from Tipperary , the County where I live, Ned Kelly won the hearts of the ordinary people.  They represented smallholders, the downtrodden, victimized by the police and all that was wrong with the British Imperial system.  Kelly was already a folk hero before his capture and there was a groundswell of opinion to pardon him.  The crown saw the world differently and Kelly was hanged.

He represents the Australian psyche, a rebel spirit, a frontier mindset, a reluctance to slavishly bind to rules and laws, a desire to kick at the traces of British overlordship.  Many of the original Australian settlers were convicts and their descendants who had more in common with Kelly than with the Crown.  He ranks with other Aussie heroes like Jack Duggan the “Wild Colonial Boy”, and those of song and story like Clancy of the Overflow and the Man from Snowy River.

This brings me to a funny association, because one of my favourite poets is Shel Silverstein who also wrote some great songs.  Here is “Blame it on Ned Kelly” from the 1970 movie starring Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones.  Lots of people I love all involved in the same project.

How to live your life

Mont Blanc

Jim Hourihane, my late father in law, liked to talk about life being like a bar of chocolate.  When you are a kid and someone gives you a whole bar of chocolate to yourself you gobble down the first half without thinking.  Then you realise you only have half left.  You begin to take your time.  You start to appreciate the remaining chocolate more.  When you come to the last square you take a long time to savour it.  You let it sit on your tongue until it melts.  You eek out every last ounce of pleasure from it.

The poem below is on the same theme.  Where do you live your life today?  Are you in the mindset at the start of the poem?  Are you focused on the negatives of the daily grind?  Do you bemoan Monday mornings and wish the week away to Friday?  Do you look at the clock at 10:00 and pray for 17:30?

How better to live every day the way he lives the last 3 minutes.  Enjoy the journey, it doesn’t last long.

 

25 minutes to go: by Shel Silverstein

They’re buildin’ the gallows outside my cell.
I got 25 minutes to go.

And in 25 minutes I’ll be in Hell.
I got 24 minutes to go.

Well, they give me some beans for my last meal.
23 minutes to go.

And you know… nobody asked me how I feel.
I got 22 minutes to go.

So, I wrote to the Gov’nor… the whole damned bunch.
Ahhh… 21 minutes to go.

And I call up the Mayor, and he’s out to lunch.

I got 20 more minutes to go.

Well, the Sheriff says, ‘Boy, I wanna watch you die’.
19 minutes to go.

I laugh in his face… and I spit in his eye.
I got 18 minutes to go.

Well…I call out to the Warden to hear my plea.
17 minute to go.

He says, ‘Call me back in a week or three.
You’ve got 16 minutes to go.’

Well, my lawyer says he’s sorry he missed my case.
Mmmm….15 minutes to go.

Yeah, well if you’re so sorry, come up and take my place.
I got 14 minutes to go.

Well, now here comes the padre to save my soul
With 13 minutes to go.

And he’s talkin’ about burnin’, but I’m so damned cold.
I got 12 more minutes to go.

Now they’re testin’ the trap. It chills my spine.
I got 11 minutes to go.

‘Cuz the goddamned thing it works just fine.
I got 10 more minutes to go.

I’m waitin’ for the pardon… gonna set me free
With 9 more minutes to go.

But this ain’t the movies, so to hell with me.
I got 8 more minutes to go.

And now I’m climbin up the ladder with a scaffold peg
With 7 more minutes to go.

I’ve betta’ watch my step or else I’ll break my leg.
I got 6 more minutes to go.

Yeah… with my feet on the trap and my head in the noose…
5 more minutes to go.

Well, c’mon somethin’ and cut me loose.
I got 4 more minutes to go.

I can see the mountains. I see the sky.
3 more minutes to go.

And it’s too damned pretty for a man to die.
i got 2 more minutes to go

I can hear the buzzards… hear the crows.
1 more minute to go.

And now I’m swingin’ and here I gooooooooo….

Is it safe?

Dr._Christian_Szell_

Anyone who has seen the movie “Marathon Man” understands the menace in the simple phrase “Is it safe?”

Thankfully my dentist is a nice guy, nothing at all like Dr Christian Szell.

Dentist Dan; by Shel Silverstein

Nentis Nan, he’s my man,
I go do im each chanz I gan.
He sicks me down an creans my teed
Wid mabel syrub, tick an’ sweed,
An ten he filks my cavakies
Wid choclut cangy – I tink he’s
The graygest nentis in the lan.
Le’s hear free jeers for Nentis Nan.
Pip-pip-ooray!
Pip-pip-ooray!
Pip-pip-ooray!
Le’s go to Nentis Nan dooday!

Identity strength

sumo-wrestler

Individuals who are comfortable with who they are might be said to have Identity Strength.  They are comfortable in their own skins.  They are not seeking approval for who they are from others.  This radiates from their personality as self-confidence.

People with weak self-identity can come across as trying too hard.  Go to any ad agency in the world and you will see the juniors dressed all in black, trying to look cool and arty.  Go to Harvard University MBA school and look at the students.  Those with high grade point averages will tend to be chilled out, dressed down.  Those who are struggling to make the grade scurry by in a suit, carrying a briefcase, trying hard to look important.

Identity strength does not come from personal power or influence, but they do tend to travel the same road.  You will only get a job as a CEO if you radiate self-confidence.  But a small cog in the organisation can also be a king in his own niche.  True contentment can come from finding that niche and being the best you that you can be.

It is very important in life to find and be your own true self.  After all, everyone else is taken!

Don’t change on my account ; by Shel Silverstein

If you’re sloppy, that’s just fine.
If you’re moody, I won’t mind.
If you’re fat, that’s fine with me.
If you’re skinny, let it be.
If you’re bossy, that’s alright.
If you’re nasty, I won’t fight.
If you’re rough, well that’s just you.
If you’re mean, that’s alright too.
Whatever you are is all okay.
I don’t like you anyway.

Five foods you should never eat

Image

The internet is filled with ads and articles telling us the five foods you should never eat.  There are three general commonalities in the five foods you should not eat.  They are white, they are full of sugar or they are highly processed (which means they are full of sugar or full of salt).

Here are my rules for a happy and healthy  eating life:

  1.  The longer it takes the healthier it is.  A four hour casserole is hands down healthier than a freezer to microwave meal.  The casserole may contain red meat and saturated fats such as lard or butter.  But it will have not a fraction of the salt, carbohydrates, sugars and strange chemicals you get in processed foods.
  2. If you make it yourself it will be healthier, tastier and you will eat less.
  3. You can get full, but you can’t get fat on salad.  You can get fat on buckets of mayonnaise, so eat salad with vinaigrette– Olive Oil, Vinegar, Mustard, Sugar.  Make it yourself and avoid all the processed crap.  Just one other thing:  Pasta is not salad!
  4. Coloured food is better.  Red, green, yellow, purple, eat lots of tomatoes, peppers, chilies, onions, garlic, sprouts, salad, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, celery, herbs, courgettes, squashes, go for it big time.  You will get full but you won’t get fat, unless you smother it in cheese sauce.
  5. Brown food is not great – sausage rolls, buns, fried food, deep fried food, breaded anything.  White food is even worse.   Ease up on pasta, rice, potatoes (eat as many sweet potatoes as you like), white bread, sugar and salt.
  6. Do not eat diet food.  It is only low in fat because it is full of sugar.  It is highly processed and the texture probably comes from the slime you get on rotting cabbages (really true).
  7. Eat fat.  Fat does not make you fat.  Sugar makes you fat. (Watch those sugary drinks)
  8. Eat broadly and in moderation.  Eat a little of a lot of different things and leave the table before you are full.
  9. Eat slowly.  Chew properly and savour every bite.  If you eat too fast you cannot follow rule 8 because your brain does not know how full you are.  If you are inclined to eat fast, then go to rule 3 and start every meal with a large salad.
  10. Enjoy food in a civilized manner.  Sit at a table with a knife and fork and plate, surrounded by other people.

Of course the other side of eating is exercise.  If you get off your ass you can eat as much as you want.  When did you see a fat postman?

Now, 5 things you really should never eat….

  1. Don’t eat your hat.
  2. Don’t eat humble pie.
  3. Don’t eat your words.
  4. Don’t eat your heart out.
  5. Swallow your pride, but never eat shit.

 

Italian Food : by Shel Silverstein

Oh, how I love Italian food.
I eat it all the time,
Not just ’cause how good it tastes
But ’cause how good it rhymes.
Minestrone, cannelloni,
Macaroni, rigatoni,
Spaghettini, scallopini,
Escarole, braciole,
Insalata, cremolata, manicotti,
Marinara, carbonara,
Shrimp francese, Bolognese,
Ravioli, mostaccioli,
Mozzarella, tagliatelle,
Fried zucchini, rollatini,
Fettuccine, green linguine,
Tortellini, Tetrazzini,
Oops–I think I split my jeani.