Wednesday, August 4, 2010


My friend Jeff loved to prick the inflated egos of snobs. He and I were shopping at Lazarus and he said, "Oh, let's go to the Third Floor and have some fun!" We entered the fur salon which had salesclerks who looked like fashion models. One came over to us, looked down her nose and said, "May I help you?" Jeff said, "I'd like to see your finest BUH-BOON coat for my lady." The saleswoman said, haughtily, "We don't carry Baboon!" Jeff grabbed a coat and with all the metal rings clanging, draped it around my shoulders, and screeched with delight, "Suzita, here's a lovely BUH-BOON coat!" The salesclerk said, angrily, "That's chinchilla!" Jeff answered, "I could have sworn it was BUH-BOON!" Jeff said, "I guess we'll have to go to Montaldo's for a fine BUH-BOON coat!"

Jeff was working in the shoe department at Lazarus while attending college. He called himself "The Prince Of Pumps." We had made a date to go to lunch and I was to meet him in the shoe department. As I walked in, he said, in a very loud voice, "Oh my God, it must be welfare check day!" All the other customers turned to look at me. I was not surprised by anything that he did and always tried to play along, despite any embarrassment. His supervisor was not aware that he was playing a joke and immediately came over to the area and started to apologize to me. Jeff continued, "I couldn't find those Maribou Mules you asked for!" I asked, "How about the gold lame ones?" By that time the supervisor realized it was a set up and walked away shaking his head.

One time we had agreed to meet for lunch. As I sat down at the table, I saw that he was wearing a plastic chancre on his cheek! He had gotten it at a costume shop and it was totally disgusting. As the waitress came to wait on us, there was no way that she could not have noticed it! Jeff leaned his head on his hand, posing, to make it even more noticeable. I leaned across the table and kissed him on the other cheek. I could see the waitress cringing at the horrible leprosy-like sore!

When we worked together, there were members of a motorcycle club called the "Screaming Angels" and to make fun of them, Jeff decided to form a "tricycle club" and he named the club the "Screaming Buttholes". He actually got people to join and he wrote Bylaws, designed patches and held weekly meetings at Crissinger's Pizza after work--everything except ride tricycles--it was such sophomoric fun! He announced that the club was a benevolent organization and all of the money raised (of course no money was ever raised as it was all spent on pizza and beer) would be used as scholarship money to send a deserving student to college to become a PROCTOLOGIST! The Screaming Angels members didn't like Jeff's making fun of them and they actually threatened him!

He and I went to see the movie "Cool Hand Luke" as it was showing at a theater that featured old movies. I had seen the movie when it was first released in 1967 but Jeff had never seen it. We loved the part of Paul Newman singing:

"I don't care if it rains or freezes
Long as I got my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

It became a contest to come up with other verses; in later years my friend Patty added to the verses:

"I don't worry if the weather gets drastic,
Long as I've got my Christ of Plastic
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't worry about beri-beri
Long as I got Magnetic Mary
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't worry about headlight dimmage
Long as I got that Heavenly Image
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't worry about motorcycles
Long as I got the 12 Disciples
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't care if it rains or snowses
Long as I got my plastic Moses
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't care if it's dark or scary,
Long as I got magnetic Mary
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't care if it bumps or jostles
Long as I got the twelve Apostles
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't care if the night is scary
As long as I got the Virgin Mary
Riding on the dashboard of my car."

"I don't care if I'm broke or starvin'
Long as I got a fish named Darwin
Glued to the trunk lid of my car."

I still have my plastic Jesus that Jeff gave me as a birthday present! When Paul Newman sang the song, Luke was not making fun; one could feel his pain as he sang the melancholy tribute to his late mother. I learned later that the song was an actual theme song of a religious radio program broadcast from Baton Rouge in the 1940's and that it was also used as a radio advertisement in the South to sell the plastic Jesus car ornaments. Some people are offended by the lyrics but they fail to recognize that the song was not meant to be sacrilegious but is actually aimed at those who cheapen it by selling plastic gee-gaws, cheap little trinkets, and other religious kitsch.

1 comment:

Mona Lisa said...

I could go 100 miles an hour,
Long as I got the Almighty Power
Glued up there with my fuzzy dice