Songs and Poems for the New School Year

September 01, 2010

Every week I see more and more Facebook updates about the start of school. Apparently, we started before anyone else, which is fine, because it's too darned hot for the kids to be doing anything else right now anyway. Vanya started Pre-K4, in which they do a little more learning than they did in Pre-K3. By the time he starts Kindergarten, he will have exceeded the amount of school instruction that I ever received in Music, Spanish, or Religion.

My nephew started his school year as well. His mother texted me to let me know what he thought about it:

text message thread

If I understand it correctly, the last two comments are passed on from Sam.

He has his issues, but considering who he was named for, he's turned out pretty well so far. I'm sure I knew his namesake when he was born, but I had forgotten. But I recently caught an episode of the Looney Tune titled "Big House Bunny," which includes this clip. If you don't see the play button, click right on the cartoon, and it should start or show you the control bar at the bottom.

I'm not really sure why you would name your kid after Yosemite Sam, but Sarah was a young mother, and perhaps she still had a bit of the teen rebelliousness in her.

I have to say that I was pretty sharp the day of the text messaging. I made up the limerick and the haiku immediately. They popped into my head, and I spent much more time typing the text into the phone than I did composing the lyrics.

I had a similarly brilliant day while we were boating on Watts Bar lake during vacation. To the tune of "The Man Who Invented Beer," I came up with four-line rhymes about what we were up to. I made up a lot during the course of the day, but I only remember a couple of them.

We sailed up and down the river With nary pain or fear We were quenched and comfortable But the captain needs a beer. We went further down the river Surviving on our wits But the captain's wench Crystal Won't show her tits.
Happy Redneck Vacation Photo, from the nuclear power plant at one end of Watts Bar Lake! More pics to come to the photo gallery soon.

While I'm back around to it, I'll give you a quick rundown of our stay on the lake. Watts Bar lake is a super long, deep, and pretty lake, and we had a good time boating and swimming on it for a week. There are plenty of fish that jump from the water, but we never found a lure that they would take. Fresh water is a lot nicer for swimming in, but their fish sure are picky. Our rental house would have been nice if not for the rat turds, and if there were any way to get phone or internet service there. I didn't realize you could still find spots that were completely unknown to one's cell phone.

One day, I needed an internet connection in order to do an hour (tops) of work. I had to drive 30 minutes to Kingston, TN, which is still on the lake. The only hotspot I found in the town is their local McDonald's, and the dining room was full of people with laptops fighting over their limited bandwidth. In the hour I was there, my connection was dropped at least four or five times.

I passed through Kingston one other time, but that trip was during the late evening. We stopped at a gas station, and some of the local teenagers were playing grab ass while standing next to some of the pumps. They had no car and no apparent reason for being there, but I guess McDonalds was probably full of business travelers trying to Skype back to their kids. When one of them threw his lit cigarette butt into the oily mess on the ground, my mind started composing a country music masterpiece.

It ain't hard to be the smartest In Kingston, Tennessee; I'm 'bout half retarded But they're all dumber than me.

Since then, I've added,

There are forks in their chitlins But not in their family tree; It ain't hard to be the smartest In Kingston, Tennessee.

In my mind, the tune for that one is the Janis Joplin song that starts, "Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz." I can make up lyrics, but the tune has to come from someone else.