father's day.

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?

Josh, his brother, and I are crammed in the backseat of a Honda Accord while his dad drives us back from a Father's Day dinner. "Bohemian Rhapsody" comes on the radio as we pull into Josh's neighborhood. Josh's dad tells us a story about going to a record shop and seeing a group of four teenagers sing the song in four-part harmony. The volume gets cranked up. We all sing, though not in four-part harmony and not always even on key.

Mama, life had just begun.
But now I've gone and thrown it all away.

Of course everyone knows the last part of this song, where it's crazy rock opera style. But the beginning starts out so piercing and sorrowful. The whole thing is two beautiful songs in one. No one in the car can sing like Freddie Mercury, and I'd bet you'd have a hard time finding anyone in the city who could. But that's what makes the song the great equalizer. No one can sing it, so feel free to just belt it out. We do - one middle-aged man and three twenty-somethings crammed in the backseat.

I see a little silhouetto of a man,
Scaramouche, scaramouche, will you do the fandango?

It starts to get really fun as we pull up to the house. Josh's dad does not cut the engine, no one reaches for a door handle. We alternate parts, singing "Galileo" back and forth to each other in silly opera voices.

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye

And then comes the head-banging. Three twenty-somethings crammed in the backseat banging our heads, rocking the car, party time, excellent.

Any way the wind blows...

The song comes to an end and we get out of the car. I wonder if I imagined it all and think about how this sort of thing would never occur with my parents.


planned spontaneity.

I like to make time to be spontaneous. Now, some of you probably think this is a contradiction in terms. How can you be spontaneous if you planned for it? Well, this is just a system that I have developed to keep myself sane. Part of me wants to veer off course and go explore. See things, try things, do things. And yet another part of me is looking at her watch, tapping her foot, and holding out a schedule. As a compromise, I leave leeway in the schedule just in case something else comes up. The idea of planning is too firmly implanted for me to give it up. I need a little structure to give myself direction. But I need a little wiggle room to keep from getting too uptight.

When I was thirteen, my family took a trip to Europe. We had a free afternoon in between trains, and so we went out into the streets of Paris. We explored, just taking in everyday street life, had some delicious bread. We did a lot of pre-planned activities on that trip that I probably don't remember that well. But that afternoon on the street stuck with me as a great vacation moment. Even though that break in the schedule was sort of accidental, the experience was valuable enough to teach me to always make time for detours.

So when I go someplace, I do a little research first. Get an idea of what there is to see and do. Make a note of those things and prioritize them according to how interesting they sound. That is the schedule. And then I start at the top of that list and make my way down. If something sucks, then I can leave quickly. But if something is awesome, I can stay as long as I want. And if I happen to catch sight of something intriguing along the way, I have time to stop at that, too.

Last month, I visited my sister. I did not give her an arrival time other than to tell her not to hold supper. I'm sure this drove her a little bit nuts. But I was planning on making a bunch of stops at various thrift stores, and not knowing how long I would want to linger at each one, I didn't want to give her a time and then have to amend it. I also didn't want to have to worry the whole time about keeping to a schedule, because then I wouldn't enjoy myself.

About halfway there, I saw a sign that made me glad that I had time to be spontaneous.

Another key to my sanity is being easily amused. And so if this is not particularly interesting to you, then that's okay. I think it's hilarious.

There is an actual story about the name. It's not as interesting as the name itself, and to tell you the truth, I wish I hadn't read the sign. I was thinking it about was about a bear that ate a bunch of people there, and everyone was just shocked at how many people a bear could eat. They were all like, "Man, that was one hungry mother." But that's not the story at all, and if you don't want to be let down, don't read the sign.

There are people living there, too. Some people get all the good addresses. Also note the clean area on the right side of the mailbox where the flag used to be.

The park itself is also quite lovely. But to me, that's entirely secondary.


he eats sthnakes.

I was looking through a book of animals with my five-year-old nephew, Noah. Each page featured a different animal with a full-color picture and some fun facts. On each page, Noah would say, "Look at that!" and then I would explain something interesting about the particular animal. For those of you with low self-esteem, I recommend looking at a book of animals with a little kid. You will start to feel like a genius for knowing that owls hoot and boa constrictors, uh, constrict.

He got really excited about the snakes. I think he is afraid of them, because all of his toys eat snakes. "Look at my dinosaur. He eats sthnakes. This dinosaur, he eats sthnakes, too. This is Sthnoopy. He eats sthnakes." While looking at the book, Noah said some other things eat sthnakes, like hippos and rhinos. At one point, he turned the page to reveal a mongoose. I paused for a second to think of anything I knew about mongooses, but then I remembered. "Hey, Noah, they eat snakes!"

Occasionally, I would find that some other genius had already educated Noah on a particular animal. He already knew that bears hibernated. So when we got to the beavers, I thought he might have already heard about dams.

"Noah, do you know what beavers do?"

"They beave," he answered immediately.

I started laughing. It's actually quite an intelligent response, and it shows that Noah has already picked up on the suffix -er as meaning one who does whatever the base of the word is. Probably no one taught him that, and he just figured it out on his own from observing other patterns in speech. That's pretty genius right there.

Bonus Information: I learned something else about mongooses while I was looking them up. They make a high-pitched noise called giggling when they mate. The next time I am feeling blue, I will just picture some mongooses being snuggly and giggly. I will probably wait a few years to pass this information on to Noah.


james bond and the crystal skull.

I was worried that the new Indiana Jones movie would be like Never Say Never Again, the "unofficial" James Bond movie that Sean Connery made in 1983 (only about five years before he played Indiana Jones' dad). I love Bond and I love Connery, but the man was just too old. They made jokes about his age and they weren't trying to hide anything. They wanted us to believe that old James Bond is still James Bond. I didn't fall for it.

Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull was not like that. But if I may continue with the 007 comparison, it was kind of like watching a Roger Moore movie. You imagine a writing session of those Moore-era Bond movies to involve polling ten year old boys as to what would make super cool action sequences, regardless of whether any of the stunts are actually feasible.

"Oh, what if he went skiing off a cliff and had a parachute!"

"Ooh, yeah, and then he can cross a river by hopping on crocodiles!"

"Yeah, yeah, and then he can jump his car over a broken bridge and does a full 360 in mid-air!"

Yes, I know that Connery as Bond had his fair share of ridiculous stunts. But in the Moore movies, it was downright silly. And that's sort of fun, but it's not good film-making. Every time you watch a movie, you're making a deal with it.

"Hey, movie, I would like to be entertained. I love a good story."

"Well, I am a good story. Action! Adventure! Love! You'll like me. There's this thing, though. To make me really exciting, my makers had to play around with the laws of the universe a bit. You know. Break a couple of rules."

"Oh, I know all about that. It's cool. As long as the dialogue is good and the good guys are likeable and the bad guys are scary, I can handle throwing out my expectations of realism. Don't push it, though. I mean, I'm suspending disbelief here, but try and stay within reason, okay?"

"Of course. Have some popcorn."

And it's like that. If you at any point go, "Uhmmm, no, that could never happen" then the movie has failed by venturing outside the range of what is acceptably believable in the movie world. Raiders of the Lost Ark stayed within that range. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull did not. For me, the turning point was the characters surviving falling down three successive waterfalls in an amphibious tank. At that point, my brain said, "Nope, sorry, we're not going along." I had even managed to go along with the surviving a nuclear blast by hiding in a refrigerator bit, because it was neat, but the waterfalls were too much. After that, I couldn't stop finding bits that were just ridiculous. The movie broke its promise to me.

That's not to say the movie is not enjoyable. Indy is still Indy, and they brought back the not-annoying, not-Nazi girl. There's some good dialogue and some cute throwbacks to the other movies. It's just a different kind of entertainment. It is not a good movie. But it's a fun one.


at the top of the ramp.

Several times a week, there's a homeless guy standing at the top of the exit ramp when I go to work. There are actually two different guys, but they're sort of similar. They have backpacks and short graying hair peeking out from baseball caps. Their clothes are mostly clean and hole-free, but used-looking, like they might be someone else's yardwork clothes. The only reason I know that there is more than one homeless guy is because of the signs. They're both cardboard, but one of them says "HOMELESS and HUNGRY" while the other says "HOMELESS BUT JESUS LOVES ME." I imagine they both have their rounds, where they hit this corner on one day, but have different high traffic areas on other days. I wonder if they even know about each other. They could have coordinated the whole schedule, offering tips of good spots to each other. Or maybe they've never met, just coincidentally working the same spot on different days of the week, two down-on-their-luck ships passing in the night.

I don't know how to feel about these guys. I met a homeless guy once, when he came to talk to one of my classes in college. He was quiet and clean, just a regular and successful guy who had been dealt a bad hand, couldn't hang, and ended up on the street. I never give money to people on the street, but I usually feel an urge to give away my lunch. I mentioned this to a girl at work once and she retorted that they only wanted money. She said that she once saw a news report that revealed some people made as much as $60,000 standing on the side of the road. The hatred in her voice surprised me. People are scared of the homeless. Is it because they think they'll get mugged or because they wonder if they could end up the same way?

I never give away my lunch though. I sit in my car and avoid eye contact the way I've been taught to do. Those guys see hundreds of people every day, but no one sees them. They are people, but they are not.

This morning, there was a car pulled over at the top of the exit ramp, and a business man was talking to today's homeless guy. The business man was a well-dressed with a Bluetooth earpiece attached to his ear. There didn't seem to be any sort of friction, just a couple of guys talking. I kept my eye on them while I waited for the light to change. It was nice that someone talked to the homeless man, actually reached out to him as a person instead of simply extending a few coins out of a car window. I checked the light again, and when I looked back, the business man and the homeless guy were holding hands with their heads bowed and their eyes closed.

The light changed and I moved on, feeling hopeful about the human race and yet knowing that my car would likely never be pulled over at the top of the exit ramp.

her husband cooks.

For the first few months of my cooking experience, I never ventured away from Allrecipes. I cannot stress how much I love that site. It's such a simple concept that could never really be realized before the Internet age. A big searchable database of recipes with member reviews. And that's all it is. I think it probably has other features - you can create a shopping list or a recipe box, but that's all just gravy. All you need is the recipes and the reviews. The latter gives real-life helpful hints on things to make the recipe easier or better or more healthy or whatever you might want. Also, they tell which recipes are just crappy to begin with. And the database is gigantic. Only once have I searched for something and been unable to find a recipe for it, and that was for an obscure Indian dessert I had at a restaurant.

Now I've branched out a bit and discovered food blogs. I have sisters who are faithful devotees to The Pioneer Woman. I confess that I have not yet been converted, though I'm sure I will soon. Lately, I've become a disciple of My Husband Cooks.

The guy who makes the food here is quite an adventurer. He's the type to find a recipe and then change it to make it better. I'm coming to realize that I'm not one of those people. I'm not an idea man. So I may be stuck following other people's recipes for my whole life. However, as long as there are people out there like this guy to make up the recipes in the first place, I'll be just fine. I can still make crazy yummy food.

Now, I've made five things off his site so far. I trust him now. Some of the things are a little beyond my skill, and some recipes require equipment or ingredients that I don't have or am unwilling to get for cost reasons (someday I will break down and buy a stupid ice cream maker, just to try one of the many recipes he's posted). But there are lots of things on there that I can do.

Rather than reprint any of the recipes here, I just added links.

What I've done so far:
Cincinnati Chili - we made chili dogs with this using Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, the official hot dog of The Ladybug Picnic. They were incredibly not healthy and oh-so-yummy. This makes quite a bit of chili, so I froze a bunch of it. In fact, it's frozen right next to the two packs of Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs that I bought when they went on sale.

Pickled Grapes - it was so easy and intriguing that I had to try it. You can only eat about one at a time, though it's better with a little cheese. Don't eat any while lying on your back or you will regret it as you'll get vinegar in the back of your throat. I probably won't ever pickle grapes again, but I bet the fact that I have will be a great ice-breaker at parties.

Shrimp and Grits - Since I first tried the dish at a restaurant where I worked in college, I've been on a search to find the best shrimp and grits. I think this one is much better than the previous one I was using. Josh likes the old one better, but says maybe we just need to add tomatoes to the new one. This is not to say that I will stop looking for a shrimp and grits recipe. I will note that you should not add the salt to the water/chicken stock when making the grits. I'm not sure if I misunderstood the recipe, but we did that and had to throw out that pot of grits because it was making our tongues swell. After we fixed that, this was really yummy.

Tomato and Artichoke Pasta - When I started cooking, I was pretty much amazed any time something came out right. Since then, I've sort of gotten used to the idea that I have the ability to put a whole meal on the table. However, I made this last week, and all that old amazement was back. I took a bite and said to myself, "I made this?! Me? I could charge $15 for this! I should charge $15 for this."

Chocolate Pecan Chess Pie - I made this for Josh's birthday. He was like, you can't make chess pie. And I was like, yes-huh. And he was all, nuh-uh. But then I did make chess pie, and Josh promised to love me forever. I still don't know what chess pie is, but it's pretty yummy.

Even if you have no interest in cooking, the pictures on the site are worth a visit. I've tried to take pictures of food before, and it's harder than you might think to make the subject look appetizing. Or at least not blurry.


all my friends are bad album covers, part 5.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

41. Mike Adkinds - Thank You For The Dove
Surprisingly enough, this is not a religious album at all. Mike Adkinds just received a pet dove from his wife for his birthday, and he really, really liked it. After this album, his wife made an album herself and called it "You're Welcome!" The Adkinds are kinda weird, but are very happy together.

42. Alla Pugatjova - Superman Every Night and Every Day
Unattractive people - check
Weird clothes - check
Bizarre setting - check
Strange and upsetting sexual undertones - check
Congratulations Ms Pugatjova, you have made a terrible album cover. Bonus points for the inexplicable presence of a go-kart.

43. The Best of the Singing Postman
I know it's the time you would expect,
but I just don't have your welfare check.
I'm just the singing postman,
It's not my fault.

I'm afraid you'll just have to wait,
so stop complaining about the unemployment rate.
I'm just the singing postman,
It's not my fault.

To avoid this financial thicket,
lay off the booze, resist the lottery ticket.
I'm just the singing postman,
It's not my fault.

44. Country Church
This one is just really all about the outfits. They are the very essence of this album cover's badness. In fact, they are actually confusing to me, because I just can't figure out what sort of look they were going for. The woman is wearing a costume she borrowed from the local high school after their production of Oklahoma!, and that's fine, but what are the men wearing? Checkered polyester pants, slate blue turtlenecks, and tank tops? Is that country? Which country is that?

45. Freddie Gage - All My Friends Are Dead
Congratulations, Mr. Gage, I can't think of a single funny thing to say about your stupid album cover because it's so completely depressing. I think I might quit blogging altogether and switch to just eating a lot of Edy's ice cream that isn't even on sale. Thanks a lot, Mr. Gage. I hope you're happy. No, wait, you're not, because all your friends are dead.

46. Happy Louie, Julgia, and The Boys - Lots of Love and Peace
The lettering on this album cover was done by Happy Louie's teenaged daughter, Happy Lynette. Block lettering is very important to teenaged girls, and being able to do it well is a coveted skill, sort of like long-distance spitting with boys. The lettering was supposed to be done in a nice, traditional polka font, but Happy Lynette convinced her father that he shouldn't be such a square. The results are for the ages.

47. Mike Terry Live at the Pavilion Theatre in Glasgow
From the days when Glasgow was trying to become the next Vegas, this was their answer to Liberace.

48. Moscow Nights - Popular Russian Hits
You know, if only we'd known that the Russians could be such a group of swinging hep cats, we wouldn't have had so much trouble. Who wants to have a Cold War when you can have a cold one with a lovely lady of Leningrad?

49. Foster Edwards' Orchestra - What's Next?
Indeed, what is next? This is a great idea, executed poorly. Elephants playing instruments - gold. Lame ballroom and dude in tuxedo - cheesy. Take the weird hats off the elephants, get rid of the guy, put the pachyderms in someone's garage and I think there's real potential for a great-looking album here. Also, fix the letters at the bottom so they don't look like those stickers you buy at Wal-Mart to put your last name on your mail box.

50. Ken by request only
You know, I would have expected Ned Flanders to make a gospel record, but I guess this is what he does under the clever pseudonym "Ken." I'm charmed about the "by request only" part, though I suspect that no one has ever requested a song from this man. He probably just called someone and asked them to name twelve songs off the top of their head.

And that's the end folks. Big sigh of relief, all together. Back to your regularly schedule not-blogging next week.


understand your'e bad album cover, part 4.

Only twenty more to go, and then I'll go back to talking about nothing or just not blogging at all. Then you'll wish there were more album covers.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

31. Joyce
A lot of these record covers have a very clear line where they cross over from regular bad to extraordinarily bad. I think the line here is the rose. With that single red rose, Joyce goes from your elementary school librarian to your elementary school librarian who never had another serious relationship after Fred Rogers broke it off. She offers you a song and this rose and we know that she is really offering Joyce. Please be gentle.

32. ET - Best Friends
When ET made this album cover, he would laugh at the ridiculous outfits he wore in the 70s while thanking his lucky stars that his seashell pants would never go out of style.

33. Ali and His Gang Vs. Mr. Tooth Decay
This album also features Frank Sinatura and Howard Cosell. I bet that I could make a bunch of money teaching finance courses to the rich and famous. There would be only one class in the course, for which I would charge $500 a seat. I would hold up this album and say, "People, don't immediately piss all your money away, and you won't have to do projects like this." Then I would just walk out and invest my earnings wisely. Or buy a yacht.

34. The Electric Amish - A Hard Day's Work
Whoever compiled this list is starting to piss me off. This album cover is fine. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it. I did learn that The Electric Amish is a parody band that takes pop songs and covers them from the Amish perspective. Weird Al did this with one song ("Amish Paradise"), but these people have done three albums worth (and they released their first album before Weird Al released his song). I might say that perhaps they are overdoing this schtick, but then I read the song titled "I Want to Dress in Black and White (And Work Real Hard All Day)" and had to laugh. But seriously, someone ought to send an apology to The Electric Amish for including them on this list.

35. Jonah Jones - I Dig Chicks!
Jonah Jones digs chicks right out of the ground, where he grows them for fun and profit! Isn't it funny how sexism can seem fun and campy when it happened in the 50s? Makes one wonder how our children will look upon "Baby Got Back."

36. John Bult - Julie's Sixteenth Birthday
While many of these albums are really not that bad (and some of them aren't bad at all), this is a truly awful album cover. It screams out "teenage pregnancy." Did no one happen to, you know, look at it before releasing it into the wild? Shame on you, John Bult, shame on you.

37. Anchors Away! With Captain Hook and His Pirate Crew
You know, unlike most of these records, someone actually made a lot of money off of this album: the therapist for those children. My parents did a lot of scarring things to me in my youth, but never anything as bad as this.

38. Gary Dee Bradford - Sings for You and You and You
But not you. Gary Dee Bradford told me that he does not like you and he will never, ever, under any circumstances sing for you.

39. Jerry Riley - A Rainbow in Air
Jerry Riley seems to have some weird ideas about God, namely that He looks like Phil Collins. Honestly, I'd always pictured God in the more traditional old man with flowing beard way, but I don't want to say that He can't look like Phil Collins. Although, if I were omnipotent, I would most definitely not look like Phil.

40. Jimmy Jenson - Understand Your'e Swede
None of the possible translations of the word "your'e" make any sense. Is it meant to be possessive, meaning that you own a person of Swedish descent and that you must understand him/her? Or it could be the contraction, meaning that it's high time that you got over the fact that you're from Sweden, so you might as start understanding all that entails. Adding confusion is the fact that in Britain, the word "swede" can mean rutabaga! So if you either are or own a Swedish person or a rutabaga, then I guess this album is for you.

I really like the artwork though, what with the pencil drawings and the subtle coloring. Also, in Sweden, lumberjacks apparently wear argyle, which I think is much nicer than plaid. They also have hot wives.


bad album covers and more bad album covers, part 3.

You're not sick of this yet, right?
Part 1
Part 2

21. Chicken Coupe de Ville
I went to high school with that guy. Okay, that statement is not strictly true, but the essence of the statement is true in that I went to high school with guys that could have been that guy, had they had the ambition to release an album and (sort of) learn some French.

22. Music for Dreaming
Picture this: giant women lying in the snow while all the Whos in Whoville sing them to sleep to keep them from making snow angels and destroying the whole town. It's kind of a concept album.

23. Wayne & Charlie - Rapping Dummy
When I was in the fifth grade, a puppet act came to our school to talk about drugs and STDs. Wayne & Charlie sort of remind me of that, because it looks like an act that is trying to send a message to the kids via youth culture, made by people who don't actually understand youth culture.

24. Steve Warren - Reflection
Actually, another Steve Warren album ("Introspection") was on this list, the cover of which featured Steve Warren's insides. It was cut from the list when they found this one. It was unanimously decided that two Steve Warrens were worse than one.

25. The McKeithen's
This one is very ordinary really, and you might pass it by completely because there are probably millions of albums with seventies family photos on the covers. But then you start to looking at Mama McKeithen's hair. I guess that was a style at some point, but goodness me, what has she got hidden in that thing? Could my hair do that? Are the airports aware that terrorists could even now be sneaking bombs aboard planes in bouffants?

26. Slim Goodbody - The Inside Story
Slim Goodbody is an actual person who goes around teaching children about anatomy. Which is fine, really, I just think his clothes might be a leeeetle too tight to be doing a children's act. Slim is currently on his 30-state Bodyology tour. I'm not even making that up. Considering he's been doing this since 1975, I wonder if he's had to have the body suit altered as he's aged.

27. "Happiness" with Ron Johnson
This album cover is terrifying. You know why? Because of the quotation marks around "Happiness." It's the scariest punctuation to ever have existed, even scarier than the periods in The Tell-Tale Heart. I don't know what "happiness" means to Ron Johnson, but it really can't be good.

28. Dickie Harrell - Drums and More Drums
Upon first viewing, I failed to notice that there were actually a lot of drums in the room, and so wanted to rename the album "Arms and More Arms." But I do like text at the top - "uninhibited drum rhythms!" - which the producers put up there to differentiate this album from all those other stupid albums which totally inhibit their drum rhythms.

29. Norberto de Freitas
Several of the classic Japanese Godzilla movies include an extended scene in which one or two drunks is surprised by Godzilla. You don't know why the scene is in any of the movies, much less multiple ones. You get the feeling it's funny in Japan, but you don't understand the humor because you lack some sort of basic understanding about the culture. Looking at this album cover is sort of like that. Except I start to get the feeling that whatever joke this album cover is doing isn't really that funny anywhere.

30. Tommy Seebach - Disco Tango
Yes, I get it. It's funny because Tommy Seebach is all 70s and the 70s were dumb and ha-ha, the 70s. But to make fun of this album cover implies that we have learned from the mistakes of Disco Tango. We have not, because we made the same mistakes in the 80s and the 90s and we're making them even now. Fashion is always ridiculous in hindsight. Tommy Seebach was just a victim of the times. The boys now make fun of poor Tommy as they head out to the club in their eyeliner and women's pants.


bad album covers with a new accent, part 2.

Now to continue our foray into the cheesy, the offensive, the poorly-thought-out: awful album covers.
Part 1

11. Trucker's Dream
So apparently, the trucker's dream is five guys in matching costumes which make them look like they might be performing in a musical version of Cops. I guess I had truckers all wrong then. Huh.

12. Skidrow Joe - Joe Bravo y su orquesta
I contend that this is actually an interesting album cover. If Bob Dylan had made it, it would be iconic. Leave poor Skidrow Joe alone. Clearly, he has enough problems. Although, I am confused about the words on this cover. Is Skidrow Joe the same person as Joe Bravo? Yes, I live on Skid Row, but that doesn't mean I can't be fabulous!

13. The Braillettes - Our Hearts Keep Singing
This album cover was almost sabotaged by a rival girl group, the Helen Kellers, who snuck in and switched the Braillettes' outfits with matching chicken suits. Luckily, the Braillettes' manager caught the the girls right before the photographer started shooting (the photographer had worked on many album covers in the past and so didn't think anything of it). By the way, the Helen Kellers' album did not sell well, though many touted it for being ahead of its time. In fact, Yoko Ono cites it as her favorite album.

14. "My Turtle's Dead" An Hysterical Evening with Weela Gallez
Poor Weela Gallez. She tried as hard as she could, even borrowing a monkey and changing her name from Jane Porter, to make an interesting album cover, and the only thing that I can think about is the fact that she's using the article "an" before a word starting with a consonant. Does she not pronounce the 'H' in "hysterical"? Or maybe that's a joke, in which case, I think I've severely underestimated the subtlely of Ms. Gallez's 'umor.

15. Don & Seymour
Again with the anti-puppet sentiment. I think this looks like good, clean, wholesome fun, although I do wonder how to work the puppet and play the guitar at the same time. Does the puppet make the chords and stuff? With his face? That might have been what kept Don & Seymour from hitting the big time. Or maybe that's why it's an audio act - during the actual performance, the sock just sits on the floor while Don talks to himself.

16. Manfred sings: Love songs with a new accent
The key phrase here is "with a new accent." I think Manfred must have re-recorded this album five or six times, each time "with a new accent." His mom bought every single one, but she thinks the Hungarian one is best.

17. Expose Yourself to Cajun Music and Johnny Janot
Rather than mock this tasteless attempt at humor, I think we should all say a fervant little thank you that Johnny Janot is not facing us directly. Yes, this album cover is bad, but it could be a whole lot worse. There's always a silver lining, people.

18. Little David Wilkins - King of all the Taverns
I feel like this guy has gotten really good at self-deprecating humor. You know, when people make the preemptive strike of making fun of themselves so that other people can't do it? He probably starts off his act talking about the irony of the word "Little" in his name. Well, Little David Wilkins, it worked, because I just don't have the heart to mock you now.

19. Rick McKnight - Free Indeed!
This isn't so bad. I mean, it's just this really happy guy who is out dancing in a field while his dead twin brother looks on from heaven. Free indeed, free indeed, thank God Almighty, I'm free indeed!

20. Organ and Firelight: Hal Shutz at the Hammond Chord Organ
Finally, a record to put on when you're sitting in front of the fire with your special lady. After listening to the artistic stylings of Hal Shutz on the Hammond Organ, she'll be in the mood for love.