Quid Pro Quo – ‘splained

What’s with the so-called “literal” translations of ‘quid pro quo’?

With all the hubbub over ‘quid pro quo’ in the news, naturally the language experts are called on to give the meaning for the general public. Of course, many of us already had a reasonable sense of what it means: to give or get something in exchange for something. But what is surprising, and dismaying to me is when experts try to give the literal meaning. Now, I still own several of my high school Latin textbooks (sadly, one might say) and nowhere do I find that the specific terms ‘quid,’ ‘pro’ and ‘quo’ literally meaning “something for something.”

Yet countless radio commentaries and news reports insist on saying that that’s the literal translation. (Even two of my “popular Latin phrases” books give that translation.)

Can this really be?

Now, if they said something like, the essential meaning is “something for something” or the phrase can be translated to mean “something for something” I would understand.

But here’s what my old Latin composition book (Baker & Inglis) says.

‘Quis, quid’ (pronoun or adjective) = some (one), any (one), i.e.,  someone or anyone

‘Quis, quid’ (Interrogative pronoun and adj) = who, what (as in “what or who do you see?”) and then there’s…

‘Quidam’ = (pronoun) (a) certain (person) not named (as in “a certain one of the soldiers…”)

Of course Latin forms are tricky and the various declensions, cases and conjugations plague every student (maxime mihi), but it seems to mihi that ‘quid’ is not literally “something” though, to be fair, it’s pretty close.

Another of my Latin texts (Freundlich) says:

‘Quis, quid’ = who, what, as in quis fallere possit amantem (“who can deceive a lover?” – Virgil), quis custodiat… (“who will guard the guards?” – Juvenal) or quid nunc (“what now?”)

But now we get to the other two terms:

  • ‘pro’ = for, on behalf of, as in ora pro nobis (“pray for us”), or pro patria (“for the country”);also, before
  • ‘quo’ = where as in quo vadis (“where are you going?”) ¹

Plainly, ‘quo’ is not “something”

So, literally, we end up with something like Who/what/someone for where.”

It certainly makes sense, historically, to render the phrase as meaning roughly “something for something” but aren’t the attempts to call this a literal translation a misuse of “literal”? (and not in the modern informal sense of “The products literally flew of the shelves?”)

I invite any of my former Latin classmates from Erie Cathedral Prep to ‘splain how I’m right or wrong.

Usage note: According to several reliable texts, the term dates to 16th C. usage by apothecaries (i.e., pharmacies, c. 1530) where the term referred to either intentionally or unintentionally substituting one medicine for another. (‘apothecary,’ interestingly also gives us the modern terms ‘bodega’ and ’boutique’)

¹ In fairness, my OED entry indicates that the word quo here is actually the ablative case of quid (‘something’) and dates the phrase to 1565 in apothecary use. (But don’t get me started on the ablative case!)
Baker & Inglis: High School Course in Latin Composition


Freundlich: Latin Three and Four Years


Eugene Ehrlich: Amo, Amas, Amat and More


Robin Langley Sommer: Nota Bene: A Guide to Familiar Latin Quotes and Phrases

So you think you know music? (update)

Here’s a little quiz for those of you who think you listen to lyrics. I’ve taken a few key lyrics from songs that, unless you’ve been living in a highly shielded nuclear survival shelter for the past 30 years, you should be quite familiar with.

Note: I originally posted this in 2008 and have updated with an answer key at the end for you non-know-it-alls…including my own researched notes in some cases.

Besides an occasionally misleading hint in the text, the only other hint is that these are arranged alphabetically from my iPod — but note that my iPod alphabetizes by first name.

To get the full lyrics, just jot a note to me at jveeds@aol.com with the phrase, “OK, I’m not the musical know-it-all I thought I was.”

And now, the lyrics. I’m giving you the first one as a warm up… I just like the line.

Kicked in his door at 5 am
“I’ve come for my bike” I told the repo man.

(1992, “Come A Long Way” – Michelle Shocked, born Karen Michelle Johnston. Her stage name is a play on words intended to resemble the phrase “shell shocked” dating back to the one she gave when arrested in 1984 at a protest called “The War Chest Tour” during the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. The song is an upbeat tour of the L.A. music scene, in the manner of The Day the Music Died.)

Ok, your turn…

1) She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running
Like a watercolour in the rain


2) Seasons cryin’ no despair
Alligator lizards in the air


3) And when the morning of the warning’s passed,
the gassed and flaccid kids are flung across the stars
The psychodramas and the traumas gone
The songs are left unsung and hung upon the scars

(1968 – Trust me, you’ve heard this tune, described by one enthusiastic fan as “a dump truck of lyrics delivered in a for-the-most-part unintelligible stream,” a thousand times. The lyrics really are far out…as they say; see link in notes below)

4) Tin roof, rusted!

5) Hope’s dashed to the floor like shattered teenage dreams.
Boys living next door are never what they seem.
A walk in the park can become a bad dream

(1984, hint: British girl group; the song title refers to a famous American screen icon)

6) All the old paintings on the tombs
They do the sand dance don’t you know
If they move too quick
They’re falling down like a domino

(1986, hint: another girl group)

7) Lady take me
high upon a hillside
High up where the stallion meets the sun

(1973, hint: This icon of bombast, a staple of every ’70s college chick’s musical inventory, is based on Chopin’s Prelude in C Minor, Opus 28.)

8) Will my kids be proud or think their old man’s really a square?
When they’re out having fun yeah, will I still wanna have my share?
Will I love my wife for the rest of my life?


9) Love of two is one
Here but now they’re gone
Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear she couldn’t go on
Then the door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew then disappeared
The curtains flew then he appeared saying “Don’t be afraid”

(1976 – hint: there’s a very cool SNL parody skit of the tune)

10) Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth,
None of them along the line know what any of it’s worth.


11) She was a black-haired beauty
With big dark eyes
And points all her own
Sitting way up high

(1976 – yep, just what you think they are)

12) I’m stranded in the jungle
Taking all the heat they was giving
The night is dark but the sidewalk’s bright
And lined with the light of the living


13) The screen door slams, Mary’s dress waves
Like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely

(1975, hint: originally titled “Wings for Wheels.” The artist, one of the most famous rockers of all time, played backup guitar on a Roy Orbison tribute video.)

14) I’ll shine up the old brown shoes, put on a brand-new shirt.
I’ll get home early from work if you say that you love me.

(1978. Hint: they’re cheap)





15) I’ve got to keep my image
While I’m standing on the floor
If I drop upon my knees
It’s just to keep her on my nose

(1968, hint: lyrics mostly misheard by this large-scale once-revolutionary Illinois band, based on the Winwood/Miller original; nevertheless, it’s one of the all-time great rocking songs)

16) He drinks a whisky drink
He drinks a vodka drink
He drinks a lager drink
He drinks a cider drink
He sings the songs
That remind him of the good times


17) I don’t stop until I know she’s sas-ified
And I can always tell when she gets sas-ified
‘Cause when she gets sas-fied she start calling my name

(1986, hint: artist’s prior claim to pop fame was the unfortunate “Patches,” though he had made a legitimate name for himself as a bluesman.)

(18) Now over at the temple
Oh! They really pack ’em in
The in crowd say it’s cool
To dig this chanting thing
But as the wind changed direction
The temple band took five
The crowd caught a whiff
Of that crazy Casbah jive

(1982 …wayyyy too easy)

(19) Revolutionaries wait
For my head on a silver plate
Just a puppet on a lonely string
Oh who would ever want to be king?


20) Why drink the water from my hand?
Contagious as you think I am
Why follow me to higher ground?
Lost as you swear I am.

(1994, hint: I moved up the 2nd couplet from later in the song to help you out)

21) The clothes she wears, her sexy ways,
make an old man wish for younger days

(1977 — you’re gonna kick yourself for not knowing this)

22) Albert’s fallen on the sun
Cracked his head wide open
The world begins to disappear
The worst things come from inside here


23) Peacocks wandered aimlessly
Underneath an orange tree
Why can’t she see me?

(1969 — hard to find a prettier song)

(24) I stumble into town just like a sacred cow
Visions of swastikas in my head
Plans for everyone
It’s in the white of my eyes


25) Hey man, oh Henry, get off the phone, I gotta…Hey man, I gotta straighten my face
This mellow-thighed chick just put my spine outta place


(26) Let’s make the best of the situation
Before I finally go insane.

(1970, I guaran-dang-tee you’ve heard this a gazillion times)

(27) Oh, I swear
At this moment you mean everything
You in that dress
My thoughts I confess
Verge on dirty

(1982, hint: The song begins with Celtic-style fiddle played over a drum beat, with the bass guitar and piano providing accompaniment. The band’s name is a reference to the stimulant Dexedrine.)

28) My love-a
I was wrong-a
To-oo try
To lo-ove two
A-hoopa, a-hoopa, hoopa

(1957 — doo wop, dig it)

29) And a crowd of young boys they’re fooling around in the corner
Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
They dont give a damn about any trumpet-playing band
It ain’t what they call rock and roll


(screen shot from the video)

30) Young punk spilling beer on my shoes,
Fat guy’s talking to me trying to steal my blues.
Thick smoke, see her smiling through.
I never thought so much could happen just shooting pool.

(1991 – making fun of models)

31) I know what you’re doing,
I see it all too clear
I only taste the saline when I kiss away your tears
You really had me going, wishing on a star
But the black holes that surround you are heavier by far


32) I know something about love.
You’ve gotta want it bad
If that guy’s got into your blood, go out and get him


33) And when I wake up in the morning
To feel the daybreak on my face
There’s a blood that’s flowin’
Through the feeling, with a knife
To open up the sky’s veins…
Some things will never change

(1994, Hint: Phoenix, Ariz./Mill Ave bar band from Brophy Prep)

34) Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson
You’re all fakes
Run to your mansions
Come around
We’ll kick your ass in!


35) Come
dowsed in mud
soaked in bleach
as I want you to be


36) So I chaffed them and I gaily laughed
To think they could doubt my love
Yet today my love has flown away

(1958 Hint: Show tune written for the 1933 operetta Roberta. You’ve probably heard this more than a thousand times but never actually listened. Quite sad, really.)

37) Justine never knew the rules
Hung down with the freaks and the ghouls
No apologies ever need be made,
I know you better than you fake it
To see that we don’t even care to shake these zipper blues


38) Where ya going for tomorrow
Where ya going with that mask I found
And I feel, and I feel
When the dogs begin to smell her
Will she smell alone

(1992 – inspired by a news report of a girl who had been kidnapped and found dead outside of Seattle, possibly a metaphor for a failed obsessive relationship. Or possibly just a drunken rant.)

39) Father, son, and holy ghost
love and death we fear the most
We’ll pour a drink, we’ll raise a toast
to those who know the twins of freedom

(2006 — Ok, you may not have heard this 1,000 times but you should check it out anyway)

40) Take your baby by the hair
Pull her close and there there there
Take your baby by the ears
and play upon her darkest fears


Ok, that’s it. Have at ’em.

Answer key (my notes in blue):

1. “Year of the Cat” – Al Stewart (Stewart told a concert audience that the song was written about a man he knew who was manic-depressive and comitted suicide); 2. “Ventura Highway” – America (“Alligator lizards in the air” is a reference to cloud shapes); 3. “Along Comes Mary” – The Association (I did a separate analysis of these bizarre lyrics) ; 4. “Love Shack” – The B-52s (the song’s inspiration was a cabin near Athens, Georgia, complete with tin roof; singer Kate Pierson lived in the cabin in the 1970s) ; 5. Robert Deniro’s Waiting – Bananarama; 6. Walk Like An Egyptian – Bangles; 7.  Could It Be Magic – Barry Manilow (As noted, the song is based on Chopin’s Prelude in C Minor, Opus 28, Number 20, and Manilow’s singing in the last verse fades into a straight performance of the last few bars of the Prelude. The lyric “Sweet Melissa” is a tribute to singer Melissa Manchester); 8. When I Grow Up (to be a man) – Beach Boys (actually quite a lovely ode to growing up. John Mellencamp has a similar theme in “Cherry Bomb” two decades later. The BB song has a running background chorus counting up the years till it fades out at 32: “It’s kind of sad (thirty thirty-one) / Won’t last forever (thirty-two…); 9. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult (the parody was an SNL skit: “Gotta have more cowbell!); 10. All Along the Watchtower – Bob Dylan (The song depicts a conversation between two people, a “joker” and a “thief”, about the difficulties of getting by in life; the “watchtower” is from Isaiah 21: 5-9) ; 11. Night Moves – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; 12. Tenth Avenue Freezeout – Bruce Springsteen; 13. Thunder Road – Bruce Springsteen; 14. I Want You to Want Me – Cheap Trick; 15. I’m a Man – Chicago; 16. “Tubthumping” – Chumbawamba (In the UK, a tubthumper is a politician); 17. “Strokin'” – Clarence Carter; 18. “Rock the Casbah” – The Clash; 19. “Viva la Vida” – Coldplay; 20. “December” – Collective Soul (the song is about the band’s relationship with their former manager Bill Richardson. There was a big lawsuit and court battle shortly after this album); 21. “Brick House” – Commodores; 22. “Einstein on the Beach (For an Eggman)” – Counting Crows (title inspired by the Philip Glass opera); 23. “Guinnevere” – Crosby Stills & Nash (really now, is there a prettier song? No!) ; 24. “China Girl” – David Bowie (co-credited to Iggy Pop); 25. “Suffragette City” – David Bowie (before recording it himself, Bowie offered it to the band Mott the Hoople if they would forego their plan of breaking up;  the term “Henry” is used as a slang word for heroin. He’s basically having a conversation with his dealer); 26. “Layla” – Derek & the Dominos (Inspired by Clapton’s then-unrequited love for Pattie Boyd); 27.  “Come On Eileen” – Dexy’s Midnight Runners (the “Eileen” is Maire Fahey, sister of Siobhan Fahey, former singer with Bananarama); 28. “Little Darlin'” – The Diamonds (The Diamonds were a white group that recorded covers of R&B hits that had originally been recorded by black artists); 29. “Sultans of Swing” – Dire Straits (Knopfler wrote it in 1977, after ducking into a deserted pub one rainy night and witnessing a lousy jazz band. Undeterred by the lack of both talent and punters, their lead singer finished the set with a mildly enthusiastic, “Goodnight and thank you. We are the Sultans Of Swing.”); 30. “I Can’t Dance” – Genesis (The video was designed to make fun of the male models in jeans commercials, and each verse refers to the things that the models in these commercials do); 31. “Barely Breathing” – Duncan Sheik (break-up song); 32. “Tell Him” – The Exciters (one of the great girl groups of the 1960s, including one husband); 33. “Backwater” – Meat Puppets (the band’s notorious drug use included cocaine, heroin, and many others); 34. “You Get What You Give” – New Radicals (Marilyn Manson commented that he was “not mad he said he’d kick my ass, I just don’t want to be used in the same sentence as Courtney Love”); 35. “Come As You Are” – Nirvana; 36. “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” – The Platters (interestingly, the song was covered by the Jerry Garcia Band in 1995); 37. “1979” –  The Smashing Pumpkins (Frontman Billy Corgan said the song is about just being bored and him growing up in the suburbs). 38. “Plush” – Stone Temple Pilots (lyrics loosely based on a newspaper article Scott Weiland had read about a girl who had been found dead in an area outside of Seattle, a metaphor for a failed relationship. The “dogs” are sex-hungry men who see women as nothing more than objects, like pretty plush dolls); 39. “Love Don’t Owe You Anything” – Strays Don’t Sleep (although this is (was) a Nashville-based band, the tune has nothing to do with the Nashville sound–it’s just a heartbreakingly sweet ballad); 40. “Dance Hall Days” – Wang Chung (The band’s original name Huang Chung literally translates from Chinese as “yellow bell”, but refers to the standardized bass pitch of ancient China. The song begins quite innocently: “take your baby by the hand,” and then the last verse with “take your baby by the wrists, and in her mouth an amethyst,” shows  how things that start off simple get complex.)

1st “Minor” Nobel Prize Announced

Now that the Nobel committees have announced the major prizes in Physics, Medicine, Literature, Chemistry…yada yada yada…the lesser known Grammar Committee has finally determined its 2019 winner.

<drum roll>

The Nobelette Prize (as it is known) in Grammar for 2019 is…

<eye roll>


Yes, I’m honored and humbled to say that I have been awarded the hitherto unknown prize for “Achievement in grammar.”

The award was bestowed for my invention of the term “grammo” — an incredibly useful concept that sidekicks (to use the formal linguistic term) with “typo.”

As the award certificate details:
(as exemplified above)

The certificate goes on to say: “Veihdeffer’s concept of the ‘grammo’ gives professsionals a broader term to refer to all these writing and style issues, thus expanding the explanatory arsenal of the people responsible for safeguarding the world’s essays, white papers and memoirs.

The Nobil Grammar Committee uses the fabled “interrobang” character as it’s graphic for this award.
(The above note contains both a typo and a grammo)

Ask the Witch-Answer-Guy: Part 7

A concerned public servant who desires to remain anonymous wishes to know:

Q: Apparently the Witches are up to their nasty tricks again…and it’s not even Halloween! People keep telling me there’s a “kid pro whoa” out there who is apparently bidin’ his time before putting the Kibosh on perfect innocent public cervants. Maybe it will be a Moat point after Oct. 31, but perhaps you could use your influence to short-sheet this despicable ATTACK on our very stable president leaders.

A: Whoa there skippy boy. My witch crew is busy minding our own business in preparation for our annual outing. We don’t have time to mess with “the kid,” whoever that is. Yer on yer own for this one.

This t-shirt (and others) available from Cartoon Collections


The most boring/relaxing job in the world

This has got to be either the most boring or most relaxing job in the world.

Here’s what happened.

On Monday our neighborhood had a major power outage. Somehow I power-napped through the loud BOOM which I’m told happened about 6 p.m. I got up about 6:45 ready to make dinner and watch a DVD movie…but obviously nothing of the kind was going to happen so I went out back to the alley to supervise the APS¹ guy fooling around with the power lines. (Turns out he didn’t actually need my help.)

I considered lighting some candles and doing some romantic candle-light snacking and reading like my parents set up for us back in Erie in the old days. And then I remembered that it was still 105° out!

But it’s a dry heat, I thought, before slapping myself.

A few of the neighbors settled for a dinner across the street at the Spoke & Wheel, where the lights were still on. Power was restored about 9pm.

The next day I noticed that two of the large utility boxes were all police-taped and there was a thick hose connecting them with who-knows-what. In fact, there was about 50-feet-worth of hose-like cabling.









I then noticed a vehicle marked with VET-SEC emblems and a security guy sitting inside. Over the course of that day, that night, the next day, I visited with him from time to time.

Turns out APS has set up continuous security for the electrical box setup. Yep, these folks have to stay on duty, 24×7, in 12-hour shifts, to keep an eye on the boxes. One agent explained that this was partly to make sure no one inadvertently (or advertently) messed with the boxes, and partly to make sure no one tried to steal anything…like someone thinking there might be copper wire.

By day, the agent — sometimes a man, sometimes a woman — sat in an folding chair in the shade until it got too hot. By evening the person stayed in the car watching videos, listening to music or reading from their tablet.

I checked to make sure they had plenty of water, but of course they were well-supplied. I figured they wouldn’t mind a couple minutes of conversation since they weren’t really required to do anything but sit there and watch for thieves and pranksters. I wondered what they did for bathroom needs and was told that they could drive over to the Circle K for a few minutes as long as they phoned in. If they were going to be more than, say 15 minutes, they might have to get a relief agent.

One evening, about 1 a.m. I moseyed on over to say ‘hi’ and chat with the agent (don’t ask why I was up) and found him engaged in watching a movie. To his credit, he was wide awake, aware of my approach and seemed to enjoy a quick conversational break.

He would be there all night until his relief came about 8:30 a.m.

I dunno…would you be able to sit in a car for 12 hours? On the one hand, you are stuck there with no actual duties other than to be there. On the other hand, what a way to catch up on your GOT or Downton Abbey‘s!

¹APS: Arizona Public Service — one of two power companies in Phoenix
Note:  As of Friday afternoon, 4 days later, they’re still on duty.
Update: As of Tuesday, 13 Aug,, 15 days after the original outage, they’re still on duty.

“What a smasher”–musical notes on 𝑨 𝑻𝒂𝒔𝒕𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑯𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒚

A Taste of Honey is the 1961 British film adaptation of the play of the same name by Shelagh Delaney. She wrote the screenplay, aided by director Tony Richardson (Tom Jones, Look Back in Anger), who had directed the play on the stage. It is considered a prime example of that gritty genre of 1960s British New Wave filmmaking called “kitchen sink realism.”

A Taste of Honey is basically a love story set in working class Manchester, England, between soul mates that “questions the social tensions stemming from different opinions in working class, race, gender, and sexual orientation in Britain during this time period” — notably, inter-racial relations and homosexuality (which was still banned in the UK before 1967!). The film makes it pretty clear about the latter, but in rather sly and sideways references to avoid censorship.

It took me quite a bit of hunting around to figure out the meaning of the title since it’s not mentioned anywhere in the film and doesn’t really seem to fit the movie’s strange mixture of darkness and playfulness.

According to one source, the title of the play is taken from the Bible, meaning a period of happiness. It’s not entirely clear which biblical source is meant but Proverbs 24:13 comes pretty close.

What particularly struck me, though, was the ongoing musical theme of children singing their rhymes in the street throughout the story. This is clearly intentional. As one commenter said, “these playful melodies serve as a reminder of the innocence of childhood, in stark contrast to the sordid atmosphere of the neighborhood.”

Oh dear what can the matter be

Three old ladies got locked in a lavat’ry

They were there from Monday to Saturday

Nobody knew they were there¹

Later we see the kids running around and chanting:

I say, what a smasher

Look at Gertie getting fatter!

Find a stick and throw it at ‘er

I say, what a smasher,

Look at Gertie getting fatter

Find a brick and throw it at ‘er.²

Now, the song “A Taste of Honey” has its own rich history, seemingly unrelated to the play or film. Originally written for the 1960 Broadway version of the 1958 British play it was later recorded by Herb Alpert in 1965. (The original song was instrumental; lyrics were added a few years after the play debuted.)

A taste of honey
Tasting much sweeter than wine

I dream of your first kiss
And then I feel upon my lips again

I will return, yes I will return
I’ll come back for the honey and you

Interestingly there was a pop band called A Taste of Honey who created the magnificent soul rocker “Boogie Oogie Oogie”³ in 1978. I have a particular interest in this version because I was working as a low-level marketing guy for an audio/video production agency that had an agreement with the group to produce one of those new-fangled videos of the song. (The idea was that we’d go and videotape a performance and then promote it to clubs around Erie, PA. MTV wouldn’t come along for another three years. But either I left the agency for a real ad agency job or, more likely, the video just never came to fruition.)

¹ Sung to the tune of “Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be (Johhny’s So Long At The Fair)”, also known as “Seven Old Ladies”—a seemingly endless series of verses.
² The “smasher” verse may come from a well-known toothpaste advertisement of WW2: “On seeing a good-looking girl, [one would say]: ‘I say, what a smasher— Two fried eggs and a bacon rasher!’” (seems to come from the mid-1940s)
³ The band says the idea for this song came when they played a show at a military base. It was a tough crowd, and the audience was not responding to their songs.
By the way, Shelagh is pronounced like “Sheila” (at least that’s how Murray Melvin says it)


𝙎𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙨: reboot

I’ve been updating and upgrading my 2000 eBook, Stories I Never Told My Family, for purposes of a Phoenix Public Library “author fair.”

My original disc—which I sold on Amazon and at book fairs—had a wide variety of stories, satires, photos, wordplay, “listicles” (as we now call them), a journal of my trip to Dubai for an airshow, a goofy recipe and a few poems or “pomes.” The whole idea of using a CD, rather than a printed book, was so I could use different typographies, inset photos in the stories, color treatments and other graphical ideas I had. I also had a concept that I would actually create all the elements from scratch (other than manufacturing the CDs and jewel cases).

For the library event I thought I’d add a number of stories I’ve developed over the past 19 years.

What a project though! I’ve spent hours…

(1) buying and burning new discs, (2) buying and printing new labels for the discs, (3) transferring new discs to old jewel cases (to keep the printed insert)…and then, I realized that on my original discs I had just shoveled all the various versions onto the disc—sometimes with 4 or 5 revisions. Stupido!

Fortunately, this time I bought “RW” CDs so I can treat them like a USB drive and go back and forth with revisions. The guy at Best Buy who helped me find the CD labels kept mentioning that no one really uses CDs anymore…in fact, most new computers don’t even have a CD player. Nevertheless, I like the idea that a CD can have a printed graphical insert, a graphical disc, an ISBN bar code (which originally took as long to create as the whole dang CD)—all in a handy format that tells what it is. Much as I like USBs, they’re easy to lose and don’t advertise the contents.

As I started burning discs I found myself making all kinds of revisions to the disc info: more informative titles, creating folders, updating copyright dates, etc. It’s amazing how many revisions one can make if you’re a fussy craftsman.

Now, if only I could get my community college students to do that.

In case you’re interested, here’s the Table of Contents


01 Foreword-Forewarning

Original CD items:

  • On Becoming Eight Again

  • On the Freeway of Love
  • If I Were King of the World (list)
  • 4th of July
  • Xmas (Cover story: an account of a particular lively Christmas morning)
  • Body Language (satire on what men think women think)
  • Playing Favorites (party game)
  • Flaming Bologna Surprise (pseudo recipe)
  • The Tao of Wile E. Coyote (pseudo philosophical humor)
  • Corinthians: Paul’s First Chain Letter (see papyrus, below)
  • Bad Valentine’s Day songs
  • Poems (“Saturday Night at the Arby’s Drive-Thru,” “Song for a Hammock,” etc)
  • and more!

Biblical Humor

  • Biblical Quiz (So you think you know the Bible? 19 basic questions that’ll show you don’t)
  • Corinthians chain letter: the papyrus (jpg file)
  • Reading the Bible for All the Wrong Reasons
  • New biblical scrolls discovered!

Political satire

  • Jesus: Making Judea Great Again

Refrigerator Poetry

  • Delicate Goddess
  • Drool Road Boy

Individual Items

“The 3 Best Days in a Student’s Life” (hint: not senior year)

“Dead Ants Tell No Tales” (ant extermination project)




“Holy Wine Wars” (wine satire: religious vs pagan wines)






“Ionic Chakra Alignment” (New Age alt med)

“Non-Remembrance of Things Past” (memoir: university literary prize winner)

“One Mile from Home” (text and pix from north-central Phoenix)

“Route 666” (how not to get your kicks)

“Spam-ku” article (reprinted from Verbatim magazine)

“The Terrier Who Couldn’t Bark” (written by “Chili,” a Jack Russell terrier)

“Victoria Day-sequel version” (movie treatment where the end comes first)

“Women are like cigarettes”

Special Offer:

The CD itself is too large to post anywhere, but if any of the items listed above catch your fancy, just contact me and I’ll send ’em to you via email…no charge.