A night in Hell

BCE posts on his stay in one of THOSE hotels; most of the saltier old road-dogs among us will need no explanation of what I mean by that, I trust. Naturally, BCE’s nightmarish and all-too-familiar story put me in mind of one of the single most atrocious dumps I can remember staying at: the Admiral Benbow Inn, in Memphis Tn. Regrettably, I made the mistake of DDG’ing the God-forsaken pit and wound up falling into the dreaded Search Engine Sinkhole, hitting links like a blow-junkie lab rat fiending for another sweet, sweet hit, sucked in by article after article chronicling the poor old Benbow’s rise and fall. Never woulda thunk it, but there’s some truly interesting history there, great gooey gobs of it. The backstory:

Dear Vance: Who the heck was Admiral Benbow, and what happened to all those motels here that were named after him? — J.F., Memphis.

Dear J.F.: Just like Colonel Harland Sanders with his Kentucky Fried Chicken empire, John Benbow (1653-1702) was a real person, an admiral in the British Royal Navy. During a long career at sea, he served as the commander of several vessels against various enemies, ranging from Barbary pirates to the French fleet, and I don’t have the time or energy to go into that here. Benbow died from injuries received in battle, with a biographer noting the cause of death was “the wound of his leg, never being set to perfection, which malady being aggravated by the discontent of his mind, threw him into a sort of melancholy.”

The admiral was buried in Jamaica, and his fame was so great that Robert Louis Stevenson, author of the 1883 classic, Treasure Island, named a tavern in his book the “Admiral Benbow Inn.”

Many years later, another enterprising gentleman in Memphis would do the same.

Allen Gary was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1913. Somehow he ended up in Memphis, as so many men and women from the Magnolia State do. In the mid-1930s, he attended Central High School and Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College). At some point, he met up with a business partner, George Early, and together they converted a nineteenth-century stable on Bellevue into a popular eatery called, quite naturally, The Stable. When it opened in 1941, it might be considered one of this city’s first theme restaurants. Not only was it decorated, inside and out, like a rustic barn, but the menu for this “Dispenser of Southern Horse-pitality” included such dishes as the Stagecoach, Hack, Hansom, Buggy, Surrey, and Sulky.

By all accounts, the Stable, located at Union and Bellevue, was a success, and quite a few readers have asked about it over the years, remembering good meals and good times there. But Gary and Early decided to branch out, forming other enterprises. Gary had befriended two of this city’s leading “hospitality men” — motel king Kemmons Wilson and drive-in operator Harold Fortune — and after serving for a time as manager of Fortune’s Belvedere, one of the chain’s largest and fanciest locations, Gary worked out an arrangement with Wilson to open restaurants at Holiday Inns around the South.

This wasn’t quite enough, though. In 1950, Gary and Early converted a brick cottage at Union and Willett into a cozy restaurant that they named the Admiral Benbow Inn. So the first Admiral Benbow in Memphis, or anywhere else for that matter, wasn’t a motel. Newspapers admired the new venture, noting that “its interior furnishings are completely modern in contrast with the fifteenth-century atmosphere.” Even though the tiny building sat just 20 feet from Union, “in the Terrace Room, eating pleasure blends with the busy traffic scene.” Just like in the fifteenth century!

At some point, it seems Early dropped out of this enterprise; I don’t know why. By 1960, Gary was operating 18 restaurants, an accomplishment that earned him a place in American Restaurant magazine’s Hall of Fame. A story about Gary in that publication — perhaps you saw it? — observed, “A restaurant operator whose receipts his first day in business totaled $7.10 [they are talking about the Stable] is today doing a business volume that exceeded $2 million in the fiscal year that just ended, operating restaurants in hotels in six Southern states.”

That still wasn’t enough for Gary. He next conceived Benbow Snack Bars, free-standing diner-type establishments, which often had little more than a counter and 12 stools, much like the nationwide chain of Toddle Houses. These were designed to be erected near motels that had no restaurant of their own, you see, but I was never able to determine how many Benbow Snack Bars were actually constructed. American Restaurant magazine, packed with helpful information, does say that Snack Bars “have been added in Memphis and in Laurel, Mississippi, and Gary is currently studying sites in 10 states” but didn’t say where, exactly, the Memphis locations were.

In 1960, Gary returned to his roots. He tore down his first venture, the old Stable, and erected the first Admiral Benbow Inn — this time a motel — at Union and Bellevue. The modern styling was certainly eye-catching, with lots of white concrete, bright colors, and suspended walkways linking what was considered this city’s first two-story motel. Of course, it included a restaurant along with a lounge called the Escape Hatch. He soon opened others — on Summer, next door to Imperial Bowling Lanes, and on Winchester, close to the airport.

As you can see from the images here, the Admiral Benbow Inn was certainly a nice-looking place and stood out from most of the hum-drum motels being constructed at the time. During its first years, it boasted occupancy rates of 100 percent. But for reasons that I don’t fully understand (since the Lauderdales never frequented such places), the motel developed a bad reputation. In fact, by February 2000, Admiral Benbow had declined to the point where my pal Jim Hanas wrote a Memphis Flyer cover story about his brief stay there. With a title of “Broken Palace: The Last Days of the Admiral Benbow,” you can tell it’s not a flattering portrait.

It was here, in fact, at the Admiral Benbow in Midtown that a fellow named Malcolm Fraser woke up one morning in 1986 to find himself without clothes, luggage, or money. Now this would be disconcerting for anybody, but Fraser just happened to be the former prime minister of Australia, in town for a business visit, and was supposed to be staying at The Peabody. The whole matter was never sorted out, but it’s typical of the decidedly unusual events that seemed to plague the Admiral Benbows in Memphis over the years.

So what happened to them?

Okay, so far, so…well, so dull, honestly. Aside from the mysterious Fraser saga, it’s the sort of dry, aggressively mundane stuff only a Memphian with an obssessive local-history fetish could find interesting, or maybe somebody who was being paid to act as if he had such a fetish. Hang in there though; we’re just about to hit the motherlode.

Memphis celebrates, occasionally even enshrines, its motels. The Lorraine has been encased for future reference as the National Civil Rights Museum; the Heartbreak Hotel, once a mere metaphor in the spiritual neighborhood of Lonely Street, now stands in literal glass and stone on Elvis Presley Boulevard; and the success story of Kemmons Wilson and Holiday Inns Inc. is eclipsed only by that of Fred Smith and Federal Express in the local mythology.

Even the dutiful Gideons have abandoned the Admiral Benbow at the corner of Union and Bellevue, however. There is no trace of either testament in the several drawers in room 245, one of which has had its front torn off and placed neatly inside it where the Bible ought to be.

The television is cockeyed from a failed attempt to rip it from its security mooring, although it doesn’t work so well anyway, and like most everything else in the room, it is rutted with burns from careless cigarettes and/or crack-pipes.

Seven doors down, a man was once stabbed with such a pipe by his so-called boyfriend, or so he said when, out of breath, he waved down a police cruiser at the corner of Madison and Cleveland. The boyfriend told a different story. He himself had been savagely beaten with the room’s telephone by the first man, he said, who had then stabbed himself with the crack pipe. He was only giving chase, he explained, so he could help.

The phone in 245 looks as though it may be the veteran of a beating or two. The plate over the keypad has disappeared, and much else in the room has been either picked clean or otherwise rendered useless. The cover of the heating duct leans beneath the sink. The bathtub faucet leaks hot water and cannot be made to stop. Pee-colored formica peels from the sway-topped sink and the flesh-colored stucco walls crack indiscriminately. The door’s security latch is no longer secure (nor any longer technically a latch, really), the hidden workings of the light switch are not hidden, and the peephole — the one you’re supposed to look through before, ever, ever opening the door — has been plugged with a tiny piece of cloth.

And not a Bible in sight, here when you really need one.

Unlike Memphis’ celebrated motels, the Benbow does not represent anything prized about the city or its history, anything people actually draw paychecks promoting. It is not a monument to the civil rights movement, the birthplace of rock-and-roll, or Memphis’ role as a universal crossroads.

Instead, the Benbow represents another side of the city, a side people draw paychecks keeping quiet, a side that’s as old as the city’s days as a rough river town and crime capital of the known universe.

It’s here that Little Pete, a 19-year-old gangsta from South Memphis, got pinched for shooting a man just off Elvis Presley Boulevard. Where a man once celebrated Valentine’s Day by flying into a drunken rage, trashing his room, and slapping his girlfriend around, all before 10 a.m. Where guests have occasionally tried to off themselves with excess anti-depressants, detergents, and razor-blades.

If, as everyone seems to agree, the Mississippi Delta begins in the lobby of The Peabody, then it just might end somewhere in the tomblike parking lot here at the Admiral Benbow.

The Benbow’s seediness comes only in part from its dilapidation. Part of it is a matter of architecture. The elevated rooms, once a clever parking solution, create a claustrophobic above-ground subterrain ricocheting with shadows and echoes. A series of catwalks connecting the motel’s four buildings makes you feel as though you may already be in prison, so, well, what the hell anyway. In urban planning lingo, these effects might be described pathologically, symptoms of a property that is “sick.”

Once, when the Monkees stayed here, the parking lot and catwalks were overrun by screaming, teenaged girls.

A half-naked woman lies bloody and motionless beside the bed. G-men let a tabloid photographer into the room to snap some shots of the corpse, of the spectacle of blood and breasts and the 9mm cupped in a cold hand.

Nothing serves to verify the Benbow’s status as a dive — with all the campiness that implies — quite like this scene from The Sore Losers, the burlesque allegory from local cult filmmaker Mike McCarthy.

Mid-scene, there is an establishing shot of the motel’s neon sign and marquee, and audiences are expected to get the joke. “Cheap applause for the local crowd,” McCarthy explains.

Everyone knows you haven’t slummed until you’ve slummed at the Admiral Benbow.

Although McCarthy had his car vandalized while filming at the motel, it didn’t keep him from putting out-of-town talent up here during the filming of his latest movie, SuperStarlet A.D., at least for a night.

“The surreal charm wears off when we realize the doors are broken,” co-star Gina Velour writes of the place in her diary of the shoot, which appeared in Hustler’s Leg World last year. “The moldy ceiling is hanging like fog, and there is a single, bare 60-watt bulb, just like in the movies. It’s the worst night I can remember in all my travels. I can’t do this for the next three weeks.”

And she doesn’t, demanding from McCarthy better digs in the Red Roof Inn up the street.

“They didn’t share my sense of humor,” McCarthy admits.

Evidently camp has its limits, even for aspirant B-movie starlets.

I have to say, Ms Velour’s Admiral Benbow experience closely corresponds with my own.

Even more fascinating Admiral Benbow lore at the linked articles—some of it amusing, some of it terrifying, none of it in the least shocking or too far out for Benbow survivors. And we are legion, because some years back just about every bar, theater, or other mid-level and below music venue in Memphis, as well as independent bookers and promoters, made it their practice to book hotel rooms for bands on tour at the Benbow. The place was filthy. It was dangerous. It was run down, literally falling apart in whole sections. And it was positively crawling with drunks, junkies, crackheads, hookers, johns, flim-flam men, muggers, and other fascinating specimens from every strata of Memphis lowlife, criminality, and dysfunction. There are roaches crawling up the walls of the rooms as big as your thumb—bigger, even. Go ahead, ask me how I know.

But for promoters and venue owners and such, the Benbow wasn’t entirely without its charms nonetheless. It was dirt cheap, and for people working that side of the music-biz street, cheap trumps all else. Especially when you know you don’t have to spend the night there your own self.

The first time a promoter tried to shoehorn us into the Benbow box, we took one look at our assigned room, looked at each other in horror, and agreed immediately that we would NOT be staying at this wretched shitpit after that night’s show, taking it upon ourselves to speedily flee to someplace fit for human habitation and just foot the bill ourselves, even though our contract rider called for two double-occupancy hotel rooms, comped. If I remember right, we ended up at a Red Roof not far away, likely the same one Gina Velour wisely decamped to.

Our next time in town, the guy who had booked us met us at the venue seeming quite pleased with himself at having procured our two rooms already, saving us the trouble of checking in. We pounced without delay: might these rooms happen to be at the Benbow, perchance? Sensing there was trouble afoot, his cheery face fell as he admitted that it was so. We informed him sharply that no, we would NOT be staying at the Admiral Benbow, neither tonight nor ever again. As a compromise measure, we WOULD be willing to hold off on starting the show until he got us rooms at an acceptable hotel, so he wouldn’t habe to miss anything.

It’s common knowledge in the rock and roll universe that when two touring bands hit the road together, even if only for a few days, there is a kind of accelerated bonding between the two camps which takes place, formed initially around all the experiences they have in common: days on end eating nothing but horrible food and the inevitable distress that comes along with it; hot, easy women in specific cities; crippling hangovers and how best to deal with ’em; where the closest liquor store might be, and who’s going to have to shag his ass over there after sound check but before downbeat to fetch a jug for the green room, and such-like topics. Included among these topics: the Admiral Benbow, and how incomprehensibly skeevy it was.

I mean, ALL of our peers knew the place; everybody had a horror story, each more grisly than the one before, and not a one of us doubted for a moment that every word was gospel truth. No one that had actually been there doubted, at any rate. Those who had lived to tell the tale KNEW the truth, having survived the trauma, learned the lessons, and earned the scars. The rest? Well, they’d be finding out soon enough, poor things.

Any hard-touring band that’s put enough miles under their asses can tell you that there are indeed places dotted all across the American road atlas which no normal person knows about, nor will ever see. We’ve all spent our share of sweaty, sleepless nights tossing, turning, and scratching our fresh insect bites in hotels and motels Normals wouldn’t even believe exist. But they do. Those squalid dens are indeed out there…WAITING.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Comment of the week month YEAR

Not so much for the content of it, per se, as for a specific turn of…well, just see for yourself.

With old poopy-pants visibly failing and not even Democrats liking Harris, I am sensing an attempt to position herself for the future. “Hey Democrats! I’m rested, I’m ready! Shits and Giggles are obviously not going to cut it for 2024, so what do you say?”

“Shits and Giggles”?!? *snort* I damned near unmoored a floating rib when I first saw that the other day, and I’m still laughing about it now. I am SOOOO stealing that one for further use around this here hogwallow, Hap. Well done, buddy, well done indeed.

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Money shot!

Wasn’t gonna bother with this one originally, since it’s just not the sort of “news” item I give a crap about ordinarily. But then I read the New York Post’s write-up, which is so wonderful I just can’t help myself. First, you get the archetypical Post grabber-headline.

Woman fires gun at her vagina in cam show crotch shot gone horribly wrong

Heh. You begin to see what I mean right off the bat, I betcher. Right smack in the Post’s wheelhouse, a real gopher ball for those guys. But then, this IS the iconic tabloid that gave us the most famous headline in newspaper history, after all. On to the, umm, juicy bits.

Georgia webcam model Lauren Hunter Daman, 27, redefined “crotch shot” after discharging a firearm into her vagina during an alleged sex stunt gone awry.

“The female had shot herself in the vagina accidentally,” paramedic Brittany Rivers reportedly told responding police officers of the incident, which reportedly occurred on the morning of Nov. 9 at a residence in Thomaston, per a report by the Upson County Sheriff, the Smoking Gun reported.

Later interviews with witnesses revealed that the sex pistol-turned-gunshot victim was apparently alone in her bedroom when the weapon — a 9mm handgun — went off.

Officers were first alerted to firearm fiasco after receiving an “accidental gunshot wound” call from the residence, according to the police report. Upon arriving at the scene, a sheriff’s deputy encountered EMS Rivers, who was holding the unloaded handgun and a spent bullet casing in her hands.

She told the officer that Daman had blasted herself in the netherregions.

Police then conducted interviews with Daman’s three housemates, two of whom were present during the accident, to try and shed light on the alleged boudoir backfire.

Jordan Allen, the reported owner of the firearm, told officers that he was “in the kitchen walking back to the bedroom when he heard the gun go off.” Upon reaching the bedroom, Allen discovered Daman with “a small amount of blood” on her leg, at which point she reportedly informed him “that she shot herself accidentally” and apologized.

Meanwhile, a second witness named Cody Starnes told deputies that his mother Addie Ruth Johnson came into his bedroom and reported that “Daman had been shot.”

Allen revealed to officers how her inadvertent vagino-blasty allegedly transpired.

“Boudoir backfire”? “Inadvertent vagino-blasty”? COME ON, MAN!!! Pure, classic Post-age right there, and no mistake about it.

Now, like most of you miscreants and ne’er do wells out there in CF Land, I wouldn’t give a greasy Biden-shart if every last “newspaper” in America went under and ceased all publishing operations by mid-morning tomorrow—excepting the New York Post. Them, and only them, I would truly hate to see close up shop, and would mourn deeply if they did. The loss of such a wonderful news outlet would be a grievous one indeed, a bona fide catastrophe not just for NYC but for the entire nation. Long may those rascals wave, I say! America needs the Post, now more than ever before.

Fire In The Hole update! Pics of Miss Smokin’ Snatch—the Vented Slotte Girl, Kid Kordite Krotch herself—over at the Daily Mail. I have to admit, she’s rather cute in most of ’em, in that gormless-yet-worldly, slutty-naif way you often come across in the better, more upscale trailer parks. Way more so than I expected she would be, anyhoo.

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One for Big Country

I’m QUITE sure he knows about this deal already, but just in case it got by him somehow.

EXOTHERMIC TECHNOLOGIES PULSEFIRE LRT FLAMETHROWER, OD GREEN – PF-LRT
$799.99 $599.99

FEATURES:
The patent-pending Pulsefire is the ultimate compact, lightweight, fully handheld flamethrower that sends a blast of fire 25 feet away with the press of a button. Fill it like any other outdoor tool. With the system off, unscrew the cap and pour in gasoline or a gas/diesel mixture. When the battery gets low, take it out and charge it or swap in a spare to keep bringing the heat. The Exothermic Technologies Pulsefire is the safest and most effective way to apply fire at a distance. Includes everything you need to get up and running, besides fuel!

Is there a reason I immediately thought of BCE when I saw Bill’s mention, you ask? Why, yes. Yes, there is. Tried to embed the blasted vidya but it didn’t seem to be an option, so you’ll just have to motor on down to the end of the post to see it. Trust me, the maniacal laughter alone is well worth the wear and tear on your scrolling finger.

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Big Red found!

Back in March, or that’s when the article appeared, and as you’d expect it’s one hell of a story.

We Found Ford’s Incredible Turbine-Powered Semi-Truck ‘Big Red’ That’s Been Lost for Decades
Several months ago, we set out to catch a ghost. First seen at the 1964 World’s Fair alongside a fun new car called the Mustang, Ford’s “Big Red” was the automaker’s experimental gas turbine semi-truck, a moonshot experiment built to lift American motoring into the jet age. Thirteen feet tall, nearly 100 feet long with its tandem trailers, packed with truly futuristic features and powered by a monster 600-horsepower turbine engine, the fully-functional prototype was a wonder to behold. It wowed fair attendees and captured the imaginations of thousands on a cross-country promotional tour that followed. Then, it was mothballed when turbine technology didn’t add up. It changed hands by chance, people lost interest, and years after the 10-ton fire-breather barreled down America’s highways, it vanished.

Though it seems like it’d be pretty tough to hide, Big Red’s been missing since the early 1980s. It’s perhaps one of the most significant pieces of automotive history to drop off the face of the earth. Ford itself had no idea what happened to it. But now, we do—after months of searching, after our initial investigation last fall got us closer than anyone had been in decades, the hunt is finally over. We’ve found Big Red. And we can confirm not only that the truck still exists, but that it’s been painstakingly restored—working turbine and all—to its former glory by its exceedingly private and equally dedicated owner.

You have questions? We’ve got answers. But first, we need to lay out some caveats. After we tracked him down and made contact through an attorney, Big Red’s owner—a man who insisted on remaining anonymous for the sake of privacy—finally agreed to share the story of his prized possession with the world under a few strict conditions. We won’t reveal his identity or the truck’s current location, which we have confirmed. We can, however, tell you just about everything else: why he bought it, how it was restored, and why it’s been kept a secret for 40 years.

In the course of tracking down Big Red, we’ve also come in contact with several key figures who were involved with the truck at one point or another throughout its history, and we’re now able to fill in a lot of gaps in the publicly-known timeline of how it went from being feted at the World’s Fair to a discarded curiosity ripe for the picking. We’ve also found a trove of original Ford documents with technical diagrams, mechanical specs and marketing plans for the mammoth truck, some of which are published here with more coming in a future story soon.

There are still a few grey areas—we don’t yet have every moment of Big Red’s past documented—but The Drive’s effort here represents the first time anyone has nailed down its segmented, mixed-up story in one place. Let’s start right where the trail went cold, about 40 years ago.

Like I said, it’s one hell of a good story if you’re into this sort of thing, and ferchrissake who on earth wouldn’t be? There’s an astonishing local angle too, which I didn’t know about but somehow didn’t. There’s a reason I say I shoulda known, which I shall reveal anon.

As we wrote in our initial investigation, the last public record of the truck showed it was owned by Holman-Moody, Ford’s former factory-sponsored race team, and parked in a Charlotte, North Carolina storage hangar through at least the late 1970s. This is backed up by photographs and numerous eyewitness accounts, plus a brochure where it was actually listed for sale as a surplus item, but what’s never been clear is how Big Red ended up in Holman-Moody’s hands in the first place. Thankfully, Lee Holman is a chatty guy.

Holman is the current owner of H&M and the son of the company’s co-founder John Holman. He took over the business in 1978, so he’s obviously a person of interest in the Big Red timeline. We tried contacting him last fall but never heard back; through another source, we finally managed to get him on the phone to confirm some key details that have never before been published as fact.

This part of the truck’s history is key to how it survived the crusher—the fate of most concept cars—and it’s incredible it happened at all. Completely by chance, Big Red escaped Ford’s grasp for just long enough to get in the right place at the right time to make it into private hands. We initially found this part of the saga hard to believe, but now it’s been confirmed as the truth by Holman.

The part I bolded above is the key bit. See, back in my air-freight delivery days, Holman Moody was a regular stop; I must’ve been in that very storage hangar mentioned above about a gazillion times. There was always some danged neat stuff cached here and there in that cavernous, dilapidated space. Holman Moody used to build engines for NASCAR race teams back in the day, there was this big testing stand out back which they’d bolt a new engine into and ru it in. I was out there a few times when such was going on, and man, you talk about LOUD. Always got my heart racing and the gearhead adrenaline flowing, that did.

Anyways, the article is a must-read for anyone with even a drop of honest-Injun, true-blue American motor oil coursing through their veins. Yes, there are pitchers, including this one of Big Red in her heyday:

The truck of tomorrow, today!

Glorious, no? The real surprise for me was seeing just how small the turbine engine powering Big Red was/is; the thing is much, much more compact than the 4- or 6-banger diesels motorvating big trucks down the highways and byways today.

Like I said, don’t fail to read this one. It’s as Americana as Americana gets, a saga that could only ever happen in America That Was. Big Red was lost, but then found and made new again by determined men who cared enough to take on a difficult job and by-God get it done. One can only pray that, someplace on down the line, the same might be said about America itself.

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1

America’s Stone

So y’all may remember my most recent knife-related post wherein I expounded on my lifelong love affair with edged weapons, as well as the followup wherein I revealed that a CF Lifer had contacted me in response so as to hip me to the new whetstone he had invented and was offering for sale to in-the-know knife lovers everywhere, the AmericaStone. He offered me one for free, which I jumped all over like a fat man at the AYCE buffet despite my having less than no aptitude for sharpening these things. Just so happened, one of my least-favored Benchmade folders had an edge issue in dire need of addressing.

Raggedy, baggedy

The AmericaStone arrived quickly and in good order, including a handy-dandy belt sheath for portability purposes, all packaged up thusly:

The deal

Aforementioned Benchmade folder included for size-comparison purposes. Plus, it makes for a purtier pitcher overall, IMHO. Anyhoo, after some extended procrastination–another of my lifelong propensities, alas–I finally worked up the confidence to give the thing a try. A mere four swipes down the wrecked blade, and lo! To my total astonishment and boundless delighted, my poor old Benchmade was born anew.

I hastened to run the tried and true paper-slicing check, revealing that said whetstone had indeed restored a damned fine edge to my poor abused folder. Infused by this unanticipated victory with a surfeit of newfound confidence in my heretofore-nonexistent sharpening abilities, I eagerly grabbed my best chef’s knife, badly in need of some serious help edge-wise itself, with the same happy result. Whereupon I took up the resurrected Benchmade once more for the more demanding and precise Shave The Forearm Hair Test, producing an even more astonishing, albeit much less satisfactory result.

YIKES!! Now, just before I had moved on to the forearm-shave test, my previous shouts of glee over having successfully sharpened a dull blade for the first time in my entire life EVAR had brought a few of the neighbors rushing over here to see what might be transpiring across the way, over in that house where those two crazy old ex-rock and roll-star weirdos live. These fine folks stuck around so as to observe the kitchen-knife test on my wispy-fine forearm hairs that had ended up so horribly for me. Their reaction to my accidental self-mutilation was priceless:

And, well, that’s about it. All kidding around aside, gang, the AmericaStone merits Ye Olde Colde Furye Blogge’s highest-level endorsement in all categories: function, practicality, ease of use, value for money, an official Five Thumbs Up for each. If you need a knife sharpened, this little gem is the one you want to be using–no special skills or talent required. I’m living proof of it, despite a little dizziness from all that blood loss…

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Tricks ‘n’ treats

Elon Musk wins the Innarnuts. Handily, you might say.

As Stephen wryly reminds us, “The thing about Musk is that he might just do it.” I hope like hell he does. Seeing as how it’s Halloween and all, I have all the excuse I’ll ever need for running this.

Elvira is hot stuff right enough, and no mistake. But being partial to redheads the way I am, I kinda prefer Cassandra Peterson myself.

Hey, they don’t call ’em fun bags for nothing, you know.

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5

No country (music) for old men

The Bellamy Brothers score big-time with an instant classic.



Seeing as how the song’s title is a play on the title of one of the best movies EVAR, plus a cameo from one of the last true country artists before the country music thing veered off the road completely and into the MOR pop-rock ditch, I ain’t finding anything not to like here. Background deets on this superlative tune:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Country music icons, the Bellamy Brothers and John Anderson, pair for a tribute to the genre’s past in “No Country Music For Old Men.” The video, shot by Derrek Kupish of dkupish productions, captures the Bellamys and Anderson lamenting on the loss of the old guard interspersed with shots of Nashville’s historic landmarks and murals honoring the legends lost.

“No Country Music For Old Men” was included on the Bellamy Brothers’ EP, Bucket List, released in July of 2020. Written by David Bellamy, the song was inspired by Kenny Rogers’ death. Bellamy explained, “Bucket List was meant to be light-hearted and up-tempo. We figured lockdown was depressing enough without lamenting more about hard times. Then Kenny Rogers passed away on March 20, and I wrote the song that night. It felt like in addition to the pandemic, there was a cloud over country music at that moment.”

According to David, he kept hearing Anderson’s voice in his head singing the lines, so he and Howard decided to invite their longtime friend to join them on the track. Anderson, who released Years, a similarly reflective project in 2020, shared, “I’ve known David and Howard for over 40 years. I have always been a fan and loved their music and their style.  It’s an honor to work with them and we always have a great time.”

When the stay-at-home orders took effect in March, the Bellamy Brothers and Anderson were on the road with Blake Shelton for his Friends And Heroes Tour. The Bellamys returned to their Florida homestead where their hit reality series “Honky Tonk Ranch” is filmed and started working on Bucket List. The EP featured five additional songs such as the lead single “Rednecks (Lookin’ for Paychecks),” a timely take on the current situation, and “Lay Low, Stay High,” which ties into their new partnership with the Florida-based medical marijuana company, Trulieve, on their flower product line Old Hippie Stash. Season two of “Honky Tonk Ranch” recently wrapped up on Circle and included footage from the Friends And Heroes Tour and appearances from several of the duo’s legendary friends. 

As for that Anderson cameo, you old dogs like myself might recall his first smash hit.



I remember thinking when I first heard this song back in the early ’80s that John Anderson had to be one of the very last Nashville phenoms who really, truly got what good old country sangin’ was supposed to be all about. He ain’t the handsome young rake he once was, of course, but that’s all right. As long as people like him and the Bellamys, bless their hearts, keep throwing us old farts a tasty bone now and then like the above, getting old and decrepit ain’t gonna be ALL bad. All of which justifies throwing another unforgettable Music City classic out here for y’all.



Is it just me, or are these interminable fucking YouTube ads becoming just INCREDIBLY obnoxious? Jeez-O-Pete. Extry-special thanks to our friends at GFZ for the Bellamy Bros steer.

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WAKE UP, BLACK AMERICA!

You folks know by now that I am resolutely immune to the bizarre ((((((JOOOOOOOOOOO!!!™)))))) obssessiveness currently fashionable in certain other quarters, for reasons I’ve already gone through here plenty enough times. Being more of a William of Occam devotee, I’ve never really had any truck with conspiracy theorizing of any flavor, which admittedly has become a much more difficult mindset to maintain the last two years. But once in a VERY great while, a conspiracy theory comes along that is so damned compelling, so brilliantly conceived, so clearly beyond argument that no sensible soul could possibly do anything other than embrace it without reservation.

This would be one of those.

San Francisco State University Prof Says Jewish Pot is Making Black Men Gay
“It is Jewish genius that has helped…to weaponize the weed.”

Wesley Muhammad believes that the U.S. government and the Jews are using marijuana to make black men gay. The “Pot Plot” is a popular theory in Muhammad’s Nation of Islam cult.

At the Saviours Day Convention in Chicago, an official Nation of Islam event, Wesley Muhammad claimed that, “It is Jewish genius that has helped… to weaponize the weed so that it may effeminize the black male of America. And be clear, it is Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam that is standing in between the total demasculinization of the black man in America.”

Some years back, Wesley Muhammad’s lecture, “How to Make a Homosexual: The Scientific Assault on Black America” was canceled at a Philly black beauty expo because of its hateful content. But what wasn’t good enough for the 23rd Annual International Locks Conference, a black natural hair expo, is unfortunately all too welcome at San Francisco State University.

It’s not too surprising that a black “wholistic” hair expo has higher standards than the most antisemitic university in America. Or that Muhammad fits in so well at SFSU.

“It is clear that the two most powerful lobbies in America – the Jewish and the Homosexual – are hellbent on the information in this lecture, “How To Make A Homosexualm (sic)” NEVER makes it to the public’s awareness,” Muhammad complained on Facebook.

San Francisco State University has however been happy to provide Muhammad with a platform despite no shortage of ethnically Jewish and gay people on the faculty and in the administration.

Wesley Muhammad’s bio at the taxpayer-funded university notes that he is a lecturer in the Africana Studies Department of SFSU’s College of Ethnic Studies. It mentions his publications in the Final Call newspaper of the Nation of Islam hate group, and his book, “Understanding the Assault on the Black Man, Black Manhood and Black Masculinity” which contains thoughtful chapters such as “Why Saggin is Faggin” and “Birth of the Black Man (God)”. 

This one scores straight A’s all across the board: for creativity; for originality; for weaving widely disparate threads into a wholly incoherent narrative fabric; for entertainment value; for sheer bugfuck lunacy, it tops every category. I must confess that I haven’t read all of it yet, mainly because I can only get another ‘graph or so deeper in before keeling over in helpless laughter and having to start all over again.

Damn pesky JOOOOOZ, getting all the brothas hung up on de weeeit ‘n’ fucking dey shit up ‘n’shit! Nomesay’n? Yup, it takes a nation of millions to hold ’em back. WE WUZ KANGS ‘N’SHIT!!!

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The greatest news item in the history of EVER

Medals of Honor all around, I think. Silver Stars at the very least.

Confederate Flag Raised, US and German Flags Stolen at 2nd Cavalry Regiment Headquarters
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Military police are investigating after a Confederate flag was found flying from a flagpole outside 2nd Cavalry Regiment headquarters Monday and removed upon discovery, Army officials said.

An American flag and a German flag also were stolen from inside the headquarters building in Vilseck sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning by an unknown person, regiment spokesman Maj. John Ambelang said.

The incident at Rose Barracks, which is home to a regiment of about 4,800 soldiers, comes more than a year after the Defense Department effectively banned the Confederate flags and other symbols deemed divisive from public display on military bases.

“The regiment takes this misconduct very seriously,” Ambelang said in a statement. “Should the culprit be identified, the command will take appropriate action after considering all the facts surrounding the incident.”

I already told ya what the appropriate action ought to be. Sadly, the Maje is probably not in concurrence with my own view.

Commanders across the regiment conveyed the seriousness of the situation to soldiers at a morning formation, the statement said.

Neither the theft nor the display of the Confederate battle flag align with the Army’s values, Ambelang said.

In today’s New Weak-Ass Timorous Mincing Dick-Chopper Army, I rather suspect they don’t at that. Which, actually, is just jakesey-jooksey with me. The mere thought of contemporary “soldiers” happily discoing the night away within close proximity to my sacred Confederate Battle Flag brings the bilious gorge surging up my esophagus uncontrollably. Not that modern soldiery would dream of doing any such thing, of course; they’d more likely faint dead away at the first scarifying sight of such a hateful relic flying proudly in open defiance of everything they represent.

If the culprit of this Hate Crime had run up the LGBTQRXP39BRRMSSST&%$#@ Rainbow Flag of Free Love And Harmony instead, though—why, just think of the dot-mil dance party they’d throw in celebration of the glorious event. All the exemplary You-Ess Sojers now bringing down physical-fitness standards across all service branches would be there for sure, such as:

  • Flabby, flubbery, Cheetoh dust-encrusted gamerduuude PVT Ethan Pissboy: Hunched in desperate supplication to a God whose existence he scoffs at praying that nobody catches sight of him in the darkest outer corner of the quad, lest the decidedly unpleasant and mortifying experience of a forcible pantsing, followed by having an entire family-sized bottle of Absorbine Jr sloshed over his shriveled nutsack by his more exuberant squadmates be repeated yet again
  • Terrifying, steroid-inflated bull dagger SFC Philippa “Knucksy” Flatrocker: Probably the closest approximation of a real man on the whole base, and certainly the only one who could perhaps contribute anything remotely useful in combat conditions
  • CPT Buck Turgidson: Peering through the slats of his barely-open blinds in shock and disbelief at the Fellini-esque Sabbat of sexual degeneracy, full-spectrum insobriety, rampant flouting of the very concept of military bearing, and general witless displays of Conduct Unbecoming going on just outside his office window, goggle-eyed in heartbroken wonder at what the hell the stupid PC bastards have done to the once-respectable US Army he served faithfully and well for nearly 30 years, as he’s absently running his fingers over the retirement/resignation forms he finds himself pulling from his file cabinet more and more frequently these days
  • COL Upsuck T Grabass: Always seen with his overlarge staff of cringing rumpswabs in close trail as he paces frenetically about the grounds, scouting everywhere for the location of the next rung up on the careerist ladder
  • BRIG GEN Shontavius Cumquat Mohammed Isaiah McCorkle Jr VII: Nobody dares call De Gen’rill Suh an affirmation-action hire, but they’re all thinking it, since that’s exactly what he is: incompetent, unintelligent, in way over his head, yet nonetheless arrogant, conceited, unyieldingly convinced that 1) not only is he one of the very best flag officers of his generation, he is also 2) eminently deserving of even higher rank, which he has been unfairly denied him—not because he is in reality a ham-handed jackass who didn’t so much claw his way up to his present position as he firmly believes, but was pushed from behind so as to duly check a box on some government “diversity” form—entirely because of the Army’s “systemic racism”; De Gen’rill Suh is visibly contemptuous, even downright abusive, of the harried subordinates who must constantly interpose themselves into the narrow divide between the “General” bizarre orders and plans and the utter disaster which can be their only result, their selfless sense of duty thereby preventing a far better soldier than he’ll ever be from winding up injured or killed because of his muttonheaded blundering

These are but a few examples of the New Model Army types being actively sought and sworn in as “improvements” on the unevolved, anachronistic Warrior-Class throwbacks our Betters wish to retire, then write out of the history books. Which, hey, fine by me. When things do go fully pear-shaped at last, I’d much rather face the delicate, mentally-unstable Gender Befuddled, assorted neurotic freaks, and whining, whey-faced boy-men attached to Stop SHOUTING At Me Company, First Pansy Battalion, 35th Perfectly Painted Toenails Brigade than have to go up against the hard-handed, experienced dogfaces they’re shoving out.

(Via Divemedic)

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Embedophenia

Tonight’s installment is from another band I never did have a whole lot of use for, but this one is…well, it’s simply monstrous.



That’s some mighty tasty harp playin’ right there. Whatever your opinion of J Geils might be, there’s no gainsaying Magic Dick. He’s a true master of the beast—an instrument the bassist/harpist from a band we toured with (whose identity I shan’t reveal here, for their own protection) always called a “nigger whistle.” I laughed so hard I think I cracked a rib or two the first time I heard Joey say that.

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Innarnuts: WON

By unanimous acclaim.

Take THAT!
That’s gonna leave a mark

Swiped from Aesop, who piles on bigly:

Could somebody get a big icepack for Dr. Fauci to put on the giant red handprint on the side of his face from that roundhouse bitchslap from a Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine? And maybe a crowbar, to get his glasses un-imbedded from his cheek, after he pries his own head out of his ass?

Nah, let the toxic gnome suffer, I say. I’m pretty sure Faulsi prefers his head right where it is anyway, and would resent any attempt to retrieve it.

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RIP Charlie Watts

A bit belated, I know, but still. One of the all-time great drummers just shook these mortal coils to join Heaven’s Own Band.

In a previous piece, I described Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham as the overall rock drummer par excellence. Extraordinarily dynamic, Bonham had a lot of gears. He could play louder and heavier than anyone, but could also finesse quiet passages, zig-zag between funk and reggae and swing, and, well, you get the picture.

Charlie was a different sort of drummer, at least while playing with the Rolling Stones. If Bonham was a six-gear, $100,000, 230 horsepower, hot-rodded Harley (with Batmobile-style mods like a smoke-blower, mini-machine guns, and oil-slick dispenser), Charlie was your English grandfather’s vintage Raleigh bicycle. It never broke. It was easy to maintain. You could cruise along on it all day long year after year, decade after decade. It had only one gear, but for a bicycle, it was the perfect gear. And it is with drummers and vehicles as it is for everything else: horses for courses. Which one’s best depends on what you need.

Simple, steady, rock-solid—that was Charlie Watts in a silver-sparkle Ludwig nutshell, and is exactly why I always loved his playing. No flash, no trash, just a backbeat you can feel deep in your soul, if you have any at all. The very best rock and roll drummers are like that, or so I believe. I never have been just a huge Stones fan, I can take ’em or leave ’em alone, but I DO love me some Keef, and some Charlie too.

No eight-bazillion flavors of crash cymbals; no racks-o-toms surrounding him; no gongs behind him, nor tympani he might hit one precisely (1) time over the course of a two-hour set; no synchronized kick-drum pedals by the dozen, when you only got two feets to play ’em with anyway. Just a simple trap kit, a no-nonsense, smack-it-silly snare-drum crack, and…well, just sheer nonchalant elegance, really.

I saw Buddy Rich a couple times years ago, and he was pretty much the same way, at least as far as his bare-bones kit went. The nonchalance and elegance…ehh, not so much; Rich’s facial expressions alone were absolutely maniacal, truly a sight to behold. Both times I saw him, he was sweat-drenched and purple-faced from early into the set, and he weren’t no spring chicken by then either. The energy level and overall vibe he exuded was powerful, not something easily caged or controlled. Joyful too, which I didn’t expect, having heard the stories and the infamous recordings confirming all the rumors of what a total bastard he was to work for, onstage and off. It was a little like watching a precocious teen on his first trip to the titty bar or something.

Anyhoo, back to Charlie.

First, you might never guess, listening to his recorded Rolling Stones drum performances, that Charlie was a precocious jazz drummer. With the Stones, he was a paragon of percussive minimalism. In fact, I’m not sure there’s a single drum fill on any Stones song a five year old couldn’t play.

But that’s no sleight. What matters is playing the right thing—not the complicated thing—and as it happened, Charlie always played the right thing. He played what he played because that’s what he should have played in the Rolling Stones song he was playing. That’s what good musicians do, after all.

Bingo. I’m reminded of something I saw in the Creem mag letters section soon after Van Halen had hit big with their debut album, wherein an EVH fanboy got himself all worked up and slobbery over Eddie’s otherworldly virtuousity, which nobody was trying to argue with anyway. He ended his long, effusive rant thusly: “Why play three notes when you can squeeze in ten?” Which flabby sentiment one of the editors blandly eviscerated with one of the pithiest yet most profound comebacks I ever did see, one that’s stuck with me ever since: Why play ten notes when you can say it in three?

I’m sure that statement went right over that kid’s head, but it’s a more important point than most non-musician types might realize. In all pop music, the Thing, the essential, crucial Thing, is to not overplay, to not burden a good tune with a lot of extraneous self-indulgence. Every talented professional will get his chance to show off his chops and shine a little, in every set he plays. But the REAL pros know that when you throw in everything but the kitchen sink in every damned song, you dull the impact of your sharpest material. First rule of showbiz, taught to me by my dad, my uncle, my early-childhood piano teacher, my church-choir director and high-school band director (same guy), and pretty much every musical mentor I’ve ever had: always, always, ALWAYS leave your audience wanting more. ALWAYS. Playing with discipline and restraint rather than letting it all hang out and flop around all over the place is one of the ways you do it.

This is the key to every Rolling Stones song. Charlies never breaks character. He starts the song, pumps along underneath, hits the fills where needed, but never plays a single gratuitous note. Then the song ends. Then he starts a new one. On it goes. As each song begins, everyone else hangs on, so to speak, to his chugging rhythm. It’s no wonder Keith once said “Charlie Watts is the Stones”.

Not to shortchange Charlie here, but there’s another great drummer who also lived his musical life by the less-is-more rule I gotta mention: Cheap Trick’s Bun E Carlos. Way underappreciated, in my view, but he’s another one who eschewed the flashy sturm und drang for just quietly doing an impeccable job of holding down the bottom end and keeping the proceedings rockin’ right along with neither fuss, muss, nor excess of any kind.

And this KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid, not their 1977 tour-mates) approach from the drummer of a band that, for years, opened every show with a fucking DRUM SOLO, mind you. I mean, NOBODY likes drum solos, ferchrissakes. Not even other drummers.



Ahh, but simplicity wasn’t always the Bun E Carlos Way. As with almost every aggressive but unschooled young hotshot whose only thought is to swing for the fences on every pitch, holding back was an acquired taste for Carlos too.

In 1973 or 1974, Carlos gained a major insight into his drumming. He told interviewer Robin Tolleson in 1986 that, like most young drummers, he was mostly interested in making his drumming stand out (“Where can I get the most licks in, and how cool can I sound”). While listening to a tape of a Cheap Trick concert, he realized he was rushing the beat and interfering in the performance of the other band members. Afterward, he began taping every Cheap Trick show to study his own drumming much more objectively, focusing on keeping time and supporting his bandmates. The band also played several gigs alongside Mahavishnu Orchestra about this time. Carlson says he learned a great deal about ambidextrous drumming from drummer Billy Cobham.

Making yourself a part of the music instead of trying to dominate or overwhelm it—recognizing that YOU must be all about the music, rather than the music being all about YOU—is a critical step in every player’s career, and sometimes a quite difficult one as well. Given my own background in hard rock/classic rock, I struggled mightily with it myself, and never really managed to master the thing. In fact, that’s why I never was able to play traditional blues at all well, and eventually just pretty much gave up on ever getting it right consistently, aside from the occasional (VERY occasional) fluke solo.

When it comes to restraint, blues is a particularly demanding genre, maybe the toughest of any modern popular music styles. It’s often said that blues lives and breathes in the spaces between the notes, not in the notes themselves. With blues guitar, what you DON’T play is every bit as important as what you DO play, very often moreso. Of equal importance is playing those notes correctly, what BB King meant when he used to talk about making his trademark single-note solos “sting.” Shaping the notes you play is paramount, and attack is all.

All of that is a little different for drummers than it is for guitarists, of course. Nonetheless, the basic principle of Less Is More still applies. Both Bun E Carlos and Charlie Watts spent long and notable careers providing an excellent education for all of us in how it was fucking done.

Update! Almost forgot another thing I always dug about Carlos: when onstage with Cheap Trick, he actually had a drum tech whose primary responsibility was this: whenever Bun E’s ever-present cigarette was near the end, said roadie would light up another, run out, and replace the expired butt with the fresh one, thus averting the unacceptable calamity of Carlos having to play without a gasper dangling from his lips. Too funny, that.

The lion donkey lays down with the lamb pit bull

Remember the other day when I told y’all that pit bulls were the absolute best dogs on Earth? I was NOT just winding my watch, y’know.


Two soul-enriching pittie vids in the same week calls for the rerun of a few pics of the last dog I will ever own: my beloved Cookie Monster, late and more lamented than you could possibly imagine.

One of the late Cookie with my late wife, who originally picked her out to bring home. Over my objections, fool that I was.

One just as proof that pitties really ARE sweet dogs capable of getting along with just about anybody.

Finally, my absolute all-time favorite of old Kookie-Kook. So somber, so dignified, so noble she makes Walter Cronkite look like a goddamned drunken fratboy.

Vidya via Ace. For all you animal-fanciers out there, if you aren’t a subscriber to The Dodo’s YT critter-vid channel, you’re really missing out on something good.

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Behold, the Useful Idiot

In all his dimbulb glory.

This meme has been floating around here and there the last several days, and all the versions I’ve seen have the Dread “N” Word bowdlerized. Such excessive delicacy has always mystified and annoyed the hell out of me. As y’all HAVE to know by now, delicacy and flinching away from the proper spelling-out of certain terms via asterisk—f**k, n***er, s**t, and so on, to include C**k for Cuck, which isn’t even a cuss word at all, strictly speaking—to me represents a failure of nerve, if not just outright dishonesty and cowardice. Really, now: can there be an adult so innocent that he doesn’t know what lurks underneath those supposedly kinder, gentler asterisks? So ignorant that he’s incapable of deciphering the code? So fragile that the mere sight of a bit of some undressed Anglo-Saxonisms might do him actual, quantifiable injury?

None of that silliness, not for me. I decided long ago that such-like daintiness would be verboten at CF, and I mean to stick to that. It ain’t exactly polite, I admit, but then neither am I. I’m a nice enough fella, mind; certainly, my vocabulary is broad enough to enable me to function competently in a wide variety of social milieus. But in the end, as a trucker, a biker, a Harley mechanic, a rock and roller, and a New York bartender, I’ve lived a roughneck’s life, and I talk that way, and ain’t gonna apologize for it. So I figured I’d just make my own uncensored version, and let the chips fall accordingly. Anyone who gets his boxers in a bunch over it is cordially invited to go soak his head.

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Let ’em breathe!

So brave. So very, very brave.

Female students go topless to protest gender inequality, public indecency laws
More than 100 students participated in a “Free the Nipple” protest at University of California, San Diego this week.
Female protesters were encouraged to shed their shirts and bras to protest gender inequality and body shaming.

In an effort to fight against perceived gender inequality and body shaming, male and female students at the University of California, San Diego gathered together Wednesday afternoon—completely topless.

More than 1,000 people RSVP’d to the event via a public Facebook page for the “Free the Nipple” event. The event description touted the sit-in as a “peaceful, laid-back, and safe environment.”

“Bring your curiosity, forget your shirts, and most importantly bring your love, compassion, and support for the cause,” the event description read. “Shirts, bra, tops – optional. Show up in whatever you feel comfortable with because it should be your choice!”

Organizers of the sit-in provided snacks, body paint, and masks for any woman who wanted to conceal her identity.

Organizers also forbade students from engaging with hecklers or “opposing groups,” according to the flier.

Opposing groups? Who the hell would oppose a tig ol’ bitty-fest like this, ferchrissake?

Although I must confess, I am of two minds about this particular story. On the one hand, I have no problem whatsoever with hot babes letting ’em breathe. On the other, I have concerns about the kind of sebaceous Leftwit manatees that usually overrun this kind of event and flap their no-fun bags at unwary onlookers like myself hoping to catch some more desirable sorts turning ’em loose in public. Hey, if I wanted to see tits that droop like fried eggs hung from a nail, as Joan Rivers once hilariously put it, I woulda brought my damned hammer along. Seems to me that this next doesn’t bode all that well:

Anni Ma, a UCSD alumna and organizer of the event, said in a video—which contains some nudity—that some think that women shouldn’t go topless because it could be dangerous for females or give men an opportunity to take advantage of women.

“And I’m, like, those are all, like, very valid reasons and that’s why women try to protect themselves, you know, because there are really dangerous people out in the world—it’s not cool—but then I’m like, that shouldn’t be illegal though,” Ma said. “This should be my choice to do what I want to do.”

Ma said in the video that “a group of sorority girls” judged her for going topless in public in the cold.

“Dude, this country makes me like so confused,” Ma said. “Our society is all, like, hopped up on, like, sex on TV, sex on billboards, sex, sex, sex, sex, and then in our private life, oh, don’t do that, that’s disgusting.”

Oof. Dude, like, I’m all like, y’know, wow, are you gonna show us any, like, titties or what? Cuz, like, I ain’t, like, y’know, got all day here, right?

Christ on a crutch.

Oh, and yes, I tried to watch the vid, because of course I did. Unfortunately, the blasted thing took too long to load, and being a raggedy and increasingly irritable old man nowadays I find I don’t care about video boobage—regardless of what kind of whiny nuisance sports it—nearly as much as I once may have. So I moved on, although I did leave the tab open. Who knows, maybe I’ll have something nice to wake up to in the morning.

Alas, despite an encouraging trend, it seems that all might not be sweetness and light in Ta-Ta Land.

The no-bra movement is taking over 2021 fashion — and it’s leaving many women behind
All I wanted was a cute sundress to help celebrate the end of a miserable pandemic winter. As someone who’s been trying to reduce my clothing consumption and move away from fast fashion as much as possible, it had been a while since I’d purchased a staple summer dress that made me feel flirty and feminine. But I was in the mood to treat myself, so I opened the Aritzia website and started to scroll.

To my dismay, the experience wasn’t nearly as pleasant as I had expected. After just a few minutes of looking through the website and seeing dress after dress with an open back, spaghetti straps or excessively low-cut style, I found myself repeatedly wondering, “How the hell am I supposed to wear a bra under that?”

And then it hit me. I thought back to conversations I’d seen on Twitter, articles I’d read from major outlets and styles I’d seen on the streets of Toronto, and I quickly realized my shopping struggles weren’t just a fluke: they were the result of a rising braless movement born out of the pandemic.

Sure enough, a quick search of the term “braless movement” reveals a host of recent articles from major publications like The New York Times and Vogue, and more declaring that “2020 could be the end of the line for the bra.”

One can only hope.

While I’m all for those who feel empowered by this change, as a busty woman who feels most comfortable wearing a bra (usually a wireless one, let’s be honest), I couldn’t help but feel excluded and frankly, inadequate to see countless outlets declare that bras should be banished and to watch bralessness trickle into 2021 fashion trends.

Going braless has rarely felt like an option for me. I went through puberty at a young age and developed breasts before most of my friends, and I have always felt most comfortable when the girls are supported rather than left on their own to succumb to the effects of gravity. Letting them hang free would attract attention not to mention the back pain that would come from carrying around their weight without help. 

Now, I wouldn’t want anyone to think that my full-throated endorsement of the braless trend is in any way meant as a dismissal of the back-pain issue. As a dedicated, lifelong proponent of seeing as much exposed and/or free-swinging breastal real estate as is humanly possible—BUT, at the same time, as a man whose beloved late wife was an honest double-D her own astonishingly fine self—I must acknowledge that this is a very real, umm, sore spot for a lot of women.

Nonetheless, I remain staunchly all for the mass unleashing of dem puppies, just as fast as it can be made to happen. Sorry, ladies, I just can’t help it. I might be old, but I ain’t THAT old. The depressing irony here is, of course, that it’s the gals sporting the full shirtfulls that your average eagle-eyed cis-het boobie enthusiast most hopes will forego the over the shoulder boulder holders. Life just ain’t fair, dammit.

Yes, there are pitchers attached to the above article, although most of them are of underendowed chiquitas, regrettably. Not that I care all that much either way, mind; as my old buddy Pfouts always said, all they really gotta be is tits and I’ll stand up and cheer lustily for ’em.

When I reached the close of that last piece, I was gratified to find a link to another one, which naturally I clicked on over to with a quickness.

On Wednesday, the 56-year-old supermodel shared a video of herself standing under a beautiful waterfall while wearing a string blue bikini that showed off her toned abs. The camera then pans up to show the towering cliff and returns to Porizkova who is all smiles as the water runs through her hair. In her caption, she explained the story behind how she came across the waterfall.

Fans flooded the comments in awe of both the stunning model and waterfall.

“This is so beautiful. Glad you found your way out of the jungle! This country is so awesome. Thanks for sharing a glimpse of it,” a fan wrote.

“Forever young,” someone said.

“You look incredible!!” another person added.

Know what? That she does. That, she damned sure does. But you don’t have to take my word for it.


What, you thought I WASN’T gonna embed the vidya? Not a chance, friend.

After that one, there was a link to yet another titty-related story about Gillian Anderson’s recent vow that she would “never wear a bra again,” which would have made me happy as some clams ten-fifteen years back when she still looked amazing. Now…not so much, to be up-front about it. Gillian says, “I’m sorry, but I don’t care if my breasts reach my belly button.” Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen of her lately they may very well have already, which I’m pretty danged sorry about myself.

War flick picks

Aesop joyously rips into The Art Of Manliness’ list of Top Ten War movies, then ponies up one of his own as a corrective. I’m in complete agreement with him, save for his evaluation of Saving Private Ryan:

Good, but it still doesn’t make the cut, despite the Normandy beach landing scene being among the best scenes ever filmed in motion picture history. Loses out because the rest of the movie, while ranging from good to great, is pure fairytale.

Fairytale? Okay, so stipulated. Athough the War Movie admittedly requires a certain gritty verisimilitude in order to really work, moreso than just about any other filmic genre, I’m not particularly bothered by SPR‘s fairytale tendencies myself. Dialogue; character development; direction— to include staging, lighting, and cinematography especially, which are Spielberg’s most finely-honed skills—are superlative. The casting, too, is spot-on. If the admittedly essential thread of realism unravels to some extent…well, hey, it’s only a movie, right?

That duly-picked nit aside, Aesop’s choices for Top Tenner status I can endorse most heartily. I mean, The Great Escape? Patton? Blackhawk Down? Das Boot? Braveheart? Can’t argue with it, folks. The priceless closing rant:

We could have picked another twenty not mentioned, and so could you, before having to descend to some of the execrable picks of AoM, and anyone that would pick The Thin Red Line for anything but “Screenwriter Most Deserving A Firing Squad” should be fed to wild hogs while on fire, and then have the pigs nuked from orbit. Just to be sure. Some TV shows are shot in front of a live audience. Some movie directors should be as well.

Nota bene that nothing made in the last twenty years even makes the cut.

And I’ve lost track of how many defeatist, anti-hero, anti-American, anti-everything-that’s-honorable incomprehensible piles of shit pretending to be “epic” films just make me want to infiltrate a sound stage and choke the living shit out of some asshole twentysomething never-served wannabe film producers and directors, and pin their still-beating hearts to a wall with a rusty bayonet.

Amen to that as well. I’ll close this out with my own personal endorsement of Kelly’s Heroes, a star-studded slice of cinematic strangeness so far from combat-flick traditionalism it can’t be seen from there. Like other movies from the late 60s/early 70s counter-culture era, it struts its period influences so prominently they can grate at times. But it’s also a lot of fun—a genuine oddity whose defiance of war-flick norms manages to be more lighthearted and innocuous than heavy-handed and obnoxious, actually enhancing the film instead of ruining it.

I’m Rick James, bitch!

Still some of the most howlingly funny stuff I ever saw in my life.



That, of course, is from an early installment of Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories, one of the standout feature skits from Dave Chappelle’s short-lived (2003-06) TV show. The Rick James sketch was always my personal favorite, but the Prince one before it was a scream too…and apparently, as Murphy always swore and Prince and James both later confirmed, it really did happen.

Secrets about Charlie Murphy’s true Hollywood story and pancakes with Prince — among the best Dave Chappelle sketches ever
The funniest sketch on “Chappelle’s Show” didn’t come from Dave Chappelle — it was a gift from Charlie Murphy.

Murphy, who died Wednesday at 57, spent years as part of an entourage around his famed younger brother, Eddie, amassing weird tales from Hollywood. And while most of his stories seemed too crazy to believe, the greatest one of all was the time Charlie learned how Prince not only had a great jump shot, but could cook amazing pancakes as well.

“I swear it’s true,” Murphy told me years later. “I swear every word of it is true.”

In the sketch, part of an ongoing series called “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories,” Eddie, Charlie and their friends meet Prince (played by Chappelle) and his band, The Revolution, at a party.

In November 2003, Marcus Bishop-Wright, a stand-up comic, landed a part in the sketch playing Miki Free, a member of Prince’s band. He arrived on the set the day it started filming. He didn’t know much about Murphy and they had never met.

“There was definitely an air of comedy royalty about him (Murphy),” said Bishop-Wright. “He seemed like this other version of Eddie, the street-cred version.”

The sheer absurdity of Charlie’s story made it tough to film without people on the set laughing,” he recalled. “It was really hard keep a straight face. Dave (Chappelle) was cracking up the whole time we were shooting, he would say, ‘Stop! I can’t believe this s–t really happened.'”

But there was Murphy the whole time insisting everything was true.

“I could even believe the part about them (The Revolution) arriving on the basketball court in those outfits,” Bishop-Wright said. “But the part about the pancakes? I kept thinking, ‘This is where it all becomes part of a comedy.'”

The sketch was filmed over a two-day period along with another “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories” about the time he met Rick James.

Years later, Prince and other members of the band confirmed Murphy’s entire tale was true.

“The sketch didn’t even have to be written,” Bishop-Wright said. “The only stuff that was added were Dave’s little flourishes while being Prince.”

More from the real-life Micki Free:

Charlie Murphy wasn’t lying. Everything that happened in that [”True Hollywood Stories” sketch] was for real. We went back to Prince’s house after the club. It was 1985, and there was a bunch of girls with Eddie [Murphy], myself, Charlie—rest in peace—and some other guys. And out of nowhere Prince says, “Do you guys want to play basketball?” Me and Charlie and Eddie are looking at each other like, what the hell? And Prince goes, “Me, Micki, and Gilbert against you, Eddie, and Uncle Ray.”

We played three-on-three. I don’t remember if we changed our clothes, but I know for certain that Prince did not change his. He didn’t gear up to play. If anything changed beyond the blouses, it was his heels. Prince changed into some tennis shoes. All I remember is when Prince made that first shot, it was all-net. I’m looking at him make shot after shot, like, “What the hell?” Then at the end they really did make us pancakes—blueberry pancakes. And they were good! Hanging out with Prince was magical.

Oh, I bet it was at that.

I didn’t know Charlie Murphy was gone, I must confess; he died of leukemia in 2017, poor guy, at a too-young age. He’ll live on via his unforgettable contributions to Chappelle’s Show, among other performances, and forever may he rest. While we’re at it, here’s another Chappelle’s Show classic: The World Series Of Dice.



“Dis why black people don’t have nuthin’! Dis just what dey wan’ us to do! Yo’ mutha ain’t shit!” Too, too funny.

Getting schooled

What the hell, why not?

Parents at the posh Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School are outraged they were never told of a fourth “R” being added to the curriculum: raunch.

In addition to the usual reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic, the school this month launched lessons on porn — without informing families or allowing them to opt out, parents fumed.

When juniors at the $47,000-a-year Manhattan school showed up for a health and sexuality workshop, most thought it was “just going to be about condoms or birth control,” a student told The Post.

Instead, it was something called “Pornography Literacy: An intersectional focus on mainstream porn,” taught by Justine Ang Fonte, who’s the director of Health & Wellness at another elite prep school, Dalton.

Fonte’s presentation, some of which was seen by The Post, included a list of the most searched pornographic terms of 2019, including “creampie,” “anal,” “gangbang,” “stepmom” and more.

It may seem odd, but I don’t have much of a problem with any of that. Why? Because so far, although there’s definitely some kink to be found, I see no mention of the words “transgender,” “cis-het,” “genderqueer,” or other such Wokistry on the list. While certainly not what anyone would call plain-vanilla, it’s still straight-up heterosexual. Makes for a refreshing change of pace, and not at all what I would expect.

One part of the porn presentation involved something called the “marketability of Only Fans,” the hot new app used mostly for sex work. One slide included a photo of a pretty young woman who appeared to be promoting OnlyFans-type work.

I identify as non-binary,” she is quoted as saying, “but because that hasn’t hit the general consciousness of the adult industry, I say ‘girl,’ because that’s what people who want to buy my content will be looking for.”

Dammit. Oh well, so much for that, I guess.

On a more serious note, it would be easy to miss what I consider to be the crucial issue here. See if you can spot it.

The female Columbia Prep student said most of the kids, aged 16 and 17, watched the lesson on Zoom from home — which is what alerted some parents to it — but some were at the school and made to assemble in the gym together to watch it on their laptops.

“We were all so shocked and mortified,” the girl told The Post. “We were all like, ‘Why are they doing this? Why do they think it’s OK?’

The girl spoke to The Post with her mother. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“No one wants to be cancelled or lose their livelihood and that can be done in an instant,” the mother said. “Most parents feel the same way I do about not going public but at the same time we’re incredibly frustrated by what’s going on. None of the parents knew this was planned. We were completely left in the dark. It makes us wonder what else the school is up to.”

So this is where we are in 2021 “America,” folks: parents don’t dare utter a peep of complaint concerning the ethical propriety of having some freaky-deaky lesbo “teacher” indoctrinate their kids into the world of hardcore porn for fear of being “cancelled.”

Think on that for a minute or two. Incredibly, it does get even more appalling from there, but I’ll let y’all click on over for that.

News you can use

Saying a not at all fond farewell to Government Gas Cans.

From a seller on eBay, I purchased a gas can retrofit/repair kit. These are VERBOTTEN here in Kommiecticut, and are unavailable from retailers like Cheaper Than Dirt. They make you input your zip code to see if they will ship to you, or others will rebrand them as “water spout kits.” For $25 and free shipping, I got five of these kits in a package. I have two complete kits left.

I turned a difficult to use messy gas jug into an easy pour version that has yet to spill a drop.

I’ve done something along similar lines myself, for the low, low price of neither jack nor shit. All’s you gotta do is gut the goobermint “expert”-mandated spout completely, which basically leaves you with a simple, unclogged tube to pour Satan’s Own Go-Juice through as God intended. Failing that, scout around some for one of the older versions that actually work well for the job they’re meant to do.

After that, you just drill, slice, or punch a vent hole into the top of the once-useless container, and VIOLA! You’re back to having a gas can that won’t inspire thoughts of mayhem, murde, and revolution every time you try to use the thing. Problem solved, which one must assume these days is an imprisonable hate crime that will likely land you with a five-to-ten stretch in a different kind of jug altogether.

Thanks to WRSA for hipping me to our latest bookmarks ‘n’ Blogrolle add. And welcome aboard, Glypto.

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