September 11th, 2008

Chart Clip

I Guess It Doesn’t Hurt to Ask

If you live in a big city and do much walking, you will probably encounter people on the street asking for handouts on a regular basis. That’s certainly the case here in Chicago. I took a long walk after work tonight, strolling from the heart of the Loop all the way up to Clark and Fullerton (whew!) and I was asked for a couple of donations. One of them, though, really stood out.

I was walking through the North Loop area, which is home to innumerable fancy bars and restaurants. I was approaching some establishment that had people spilling out onto the street in a semi-block party atmosphere. The person soliciting donations was strategically poised a few dozen yards away from the main crowd. As I passed near, he called out to me.

“Hey bro, spot me twenty?” When I failed to look up or break my stride, he went to Plan B: “That’s okay man – ten bucks will do it!”

Hey, I can’t walk in his shoes. I don’t know what his story is. But I’ll say this for him – he hasn’t lost his optimism!
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    Greenback Dollar - The Kingston Trio
Blue

A Laugh and A Cringe

Two quick tales to tell today… Let’s start with the cringe.

I was listening this evening to Beatlesradio.com, which I normally access through iTunes. They play a combination of Beatle songs, solo efforts by the individual members, remixes, and covers of Beatle tunes by other artists. Tonight they played a cover I’d never heard before: “In My Life” was the song (that’s the one that starts, “There are places I remember…”). The artist was Sean Connery. It was done as a dramatic reading with piano and string quartet behind him. It was as jaw-droppingly preposterous as it sounds. It was very much in the style of the Jack Webb reading of “Try a Little Tenderness,” which I have on a Rhino Records compilation disc called Golden Throats. That disc also contains such choice cuts as William Shatner’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” and Sebastian Cabot’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” I don’t know how Rhino missed this jam from Mr. Connery. It deserves to be more widely heard, as a cautionary example if nothing else.

The other tale is a joke I read today. It’s a physics joke. There are so precious few of them that I have to repeat this one:

Werner Heisenberg gets pulled over by a traffic cop. “Do you know how fast you were going?” the cop asks him.

“No,” Werner replies, “but I know where I am!”

OK, that was the joke. Trust me, the boys at MIT are snorting Mr. Pibb out of their noses over that one.
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    She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby