Monday, March 22, 2010


Alright, let's admit it right from the opening bell: this is obviously a very subjective subject. Ask 101 dudes and dudettes "What are the 15 best album covers of all time?" and the odds are you'll wind up with 1,515 different choices. Since there is no way to prove which 15 are truly the best, I'm merely stating that the following 15 selections are my own personal choices. That they also happen to be, unequivocally, undebatably, without a doubt, the 15 best album covers ever created is pure coincidence. In making my selections, I jus' got lucky.

Truth be told, there really aren't a lot of great album covers. There are many that are pretty good, many more that are just OK, and innumerable covers that ain't very good at all. The truly "great" ones? They are few and far between. Most music album covers just feature a photo of the musician or the band and rarely display much creativity or originality. A lot of them are decorated with artwork, but most of it is immediately forgettable.

Some old album covers have, over time, achieved iconic status, but a cold, detached, unsentimental examination of them will, more times than not, reveal them to be rather pedestrian. For example, an album cover like the one created for 'Meet The Beatles' is immediately recognizable - it inspired countless other covers by other bands - but it really isn't anything special. The same goes for Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side Of The Moon' - while it is considered by many to be a classic because its triangle/prism symbol has become so identified with the group, I seriously doubt that many teenagers who bought that album when it was first released in the 1970s immediately thought: What a great album cover! I was certainly one of those teenagers who purchased it within a few years of its release, and I know that I never thought the cover was anything especially unique or "bitchin'" (as we would have said back then).

A fair number of album covers which I admired back in my teenage years have failed to hold up over the decades. I imagine that had I compiled this list back when I was 18 years old, Emerson, Lake & Palmer's cover for 'Brain Salad Surgery' would have made the grade. The same for one or two 'Yes' and 'Uriah Heep' album covers. But time changes our perceptions.

So, what was my criterion for selecting the 15 below? Well, it was pretty basic, really: Which album covers are supercool and/or superclever? I figured the most memorable ought to readily present themselves to my mind without a whole lot of thought 'n' searching. And they did.

I believe I could have extended this list to 20 or 25 selections, but after that, the drop off in quality would have been quite noticeable. This goes to show how, in my opinion, few truly "great" album covers have ever been created. Here are my choices for the Top 15 in no particular order.

Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass (1965)
The album cover that launched 100,000 prepubescent fantasies (and that's counting only my own!) My Grandpa had this record when I was just a tot. I remember staring at it often, wondering what was beneath all that whipped cream, and thinking that I would certainly be willing to eat my way through it to find out.

Blue Oyster Cult (1975)
Man, this is just the creepiest album cover ever conceived. It's even creepier than that one by Black Sabbath with the witchy-looking woman standing before that haunted-looking house. This is definitely horror movie material!

Chicago (1976)
My Ma mostly hated my music way back in the day; she was always yelling at me to "Turn that racket down!" But she later admitted that she loved this album cover. She told me it was all she could do to keep from taking a bite out of it.

Brian Setzer Orchestra (1998)
"Cool Lounge" cover for the neo-Swing crowd. Great illustration in "cool" colors and great music behind the image, too!

Bob Dylan (1963)
A Jewish boy "doin' his best James Dean." The girl is just hangin' on for the ride (and what a ride it turned out to be!) I love the Old School 'Americana' of the Greenwich Village buildings and the fabulous automobiles of a bygone era! How cool was that?

Van Morrison (1968)
When I first put this Blog Bit together, I had 'Waylon Jennings' Greatest Hits' in this spot. And although that album does include a really great cover featuring "The Nashville Outlaw" looking his coolest and cockiest, I realized shortly afterwards that I had overlooked Morrison's 'Astral Weeks'. This was a particularly odd oversight in light of the fact that I have always considered 'Astral Weeks' to have one of the best covers ever conceived.

Well, as you can see, I have corrected my unfortunate error. Here we have a deep, dreamy and introspective cover for an album of deep, dreamy and introspective music. An eye-catching photograph that perfectly illustrates what the buyer can expect to hear on the record.

Nils Lofgren (1975)
The colorful, flamboyant atmosphere of Rock And Roll is expressed in the circus painting background and in Nils' T-Shirt. The punky attitude of Rock comes across through the black leather jacket. And the youthful rebellion that is Rock music is illustrated by the singer swilling 80-proof Grand Marnier right out of the bottle. Everything that is Rock 'N' Roll can be found in this album cover! For my money, Rock music's best cover ever. (How do I know that's Grand Marnier that Nils is tilting? I axed him. "Read all about it.")

Kathy Mattea (1989)
The black and white color combination expresses the sturdy Country-Western outlook. But the flowing willow branches and the pretty, delicate pattern of Kathy's dress speak of her lovely femininity. If only more modern women felt this comfortable with their femininity, and stopped trying to pretend that they are men, then maybe more men like myself would consider marriage.

The Pat Metheny Group (1979)
Remember seeing those 'silver bullets' On The Road? What a perfect cover for an album that includes song titles such as 'Cross The Heartland', 'Airstream', and 'The Search.' Songs and a photograph which celebrate life on the open road. It's not Metheny's best recording but it is his best album cover.

Wes Montgomery (1966)
The wood patterns in the table, guitar, and knife handle contrast beautifully with the clear, smooth glass of the bottle and shot glass. The title and the lime wedge add just a touch of bright color. A very artistic concept. Tequila itself is a poison extracted from a certain type of cactus and it nearly always leads to jail time. Avoid real tequila like it's the plague (you're even better off taking your chances with deadly absinthe), but the music is great. And Wes Montgomery is without question one of the best guitarists of all time!

Louis Prima (1957)
One of only two covers on this list with a sense of humor. My Pa owned this record when I was a kid and I spent what seemed like hours upon hours staring at it. I don't know why it appealed to me so much back then, but I know why it appeals to me now. Prima wasn't even really there - a close examination reveals that his image is merely superimposed over the background.
But even if Prima had been there, his safety was guaranteed: those animals couldn't have eaten another bite; they were stuffed! But my favorite aspect of this cover is that the photographer deliberately gave it all away: Study the bottom left corner and you'll notice that it's a potted plant there. Ha! Funny stuffs! How Primaesque! Great tunes inside, too, including one of the funniest songs ever recorded: 'There'll Be No Next Time.' (Right, Mr. Paulboy?)
Todd Rundgren (1971)
Take it from a guy who used to wear a gold noose charm on a chain around his neck, this is a classic cover. However, it's unfortunate that Rundgren didn't save this idea for his album 'The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect' released twelve years later.
Bruce Springsteen (1973)
Springsteen's debut album reproduced an illustrated postcard from the area where he first made a name for himself. A pretty clever idea for a New Jersey chucklehead.
Supertramp (1977)
Although released the year I graduated from high school, a time when I was buying a lot of music, I have never actually owned this record but I always appreciated its cover. A cool photo in more ways than one.
The Ultra-Lounge Series; Vol. 6 (1996)
An ultra-clever cover from the Ultra-Lounge folks! A compilation of lounge music for the Vegas Barfly inside ya. Dim the lights, light a cig, make yerself a martini, play 'Rhapsodesia' and pretend that you and your lady friend are at The Algiers cocktail lounge, sharing a booth with Deano, Sammy and Frankie.

OK, those are my choices for 'Music's All-Time 15 Best Album Covers.' How'd I do? Did I score a 100% on this test, or what? 

Yesterday, Brother Nappy and I went to an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. In a weak and famished moment, I ate a piece of spinach quiche. And as if that weren't bad enough, I later stopped at a grocery store and purchased a box of fabric softener sheets for use in my dryer. These unmanly acts have been eating away at me for over 24 hours now (I could hardly even sleep last night). I just wanted to come clean about these things and assure you all that I have already agreed to attend meetings at my local 'Quiche-Eaters, Fabric Softener-Users Anonymous' organization. Please don't judge me too harshly.

Whew! I do feel better. That's a huge weight off my mind. 

For Your Information, the next thing I intend to post here at 'Stuffs' is a Blog Bit about reincarnation and The Holy Bible. After that, I am going to compose a Bit about my all-time 15 favorite music albums, music-wise rather than cover-wise. In conjunction with that, I will be asking all of you friends of mine (you know who you are) to list your own 15 favorite "Desert Island" music albums. I WILL even call you out individually by name if necessary, so you might want to start giving some thought to your own music list now while it's still early.

Of course, it's also possible that on a whim, I might post a bunch of other stuffs here at 'Stuffs' before I get around to composing these aforementioned "Coming Attractions." After all, it's a doggone quiche-eating, fabric softener-using girlie-man's prerogative to change his/her mind. 

.~ Stephen T. McCarthy 

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Standin' on a corner in Prescott, Arizona
Such a damn sight to see
It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford
Slowin' down to take a shot at me

Nothin' but the best:

On the road again . . .
Goin' where the lonely go . . .
Kaw-Liga, you poor ol' wooden head:
GIVETH . . .
There's something to be said for Ale . . .
A "Real Man" Watering Hole:
A "Real Man" Watering Hole:
NOT A "Real Man" Watering Hole:
Yes, "Apathy Is Deadly."
And so is "Sailor Jerry" . . .
Both should be serving life sentences
without the possibility of parole.

And Warthogs" . . .
"The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly."
(The order? Negotiable.)
Is Jose Cuervo beating you like you're a dog he owns? . . .
Don't DELAY!
Call the Domestic Abuse Hotline TODAY!
Excedrin and Alka-Seltzer are only a phone call AWAY.
Have you been injured in an accident?
Let us help you get all of the compensation you're entitled to! . . .
Call the law offices of BUSHMILLS, DANIELS & BEAM.
We'll see to it that you get everything you have coming to you
(if you haven't already).
Happy Saint Patrick's Day, all you saintly Paddys!
~ Stephen T. McCarthy
YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

Monday, March 1, 2010


I been dogged and I been driven
Ever since I left my mother's home
I been dogged and I been driven
Ever since I left my mother's home
And I can't see no reason why
That I can't leave these no-good womens alone
~ Robert Johnson

Cuckoo for pretty girls! That’s what I was. Yup, there was a time when just the sight of a pretty girl would make my eyes bug out, my palms get sweaty, my tongue get tied, my brain catch fire, and whatever I was wearing instantly turn into pajamas. You get the picture?

If not, this one will have to suffice:

[Stephen in the presence of a pretty girl.]

~ Medford Evans

Yes-sir-ree, I had it bad and that warn’t good. Ah, but that was long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. At this point in my life, the most I desire from even the prettiest of womens is that they don’t spill any of my margarita while carrying it to my table; that they don’t forget to tell the cook, “No ham in that Spanish omelet”; and that they don’t overcharge me on my Geritol at the checkout counter. Yes, times have changed for me.

Women: can’t live WITH them, can’t live with them.
~ Torch Nordan

That’s not to say that I don’t still appreciate looking at a really attractive woman. I mean, I’m still all man – all that’s left of me anyway. But I confess it: I’m old and tired now. I’d be an easy dog to hunt with except that, nowadays, this dog won’t hunt. Aww, well, “life goes on long after the thrill of livin' is gone” (as an unwise man once sang).

I never gave much thought to marriage, to be honest. I just always assumed that I would wind up that way like everyone else. I didn’t deliberately avoid marriage; I didn’t fear it, but neither did I seek it. I figured marriage “is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”

Both marriage and death ought to be welcome:
the one promises happiness, doubtless the other assures it.
~ Mark Twain

I can still recall a family vacation we took with our cousins back when I was maybe twelve years old or so. We were laying out on the beach of some lake – either Big Bear or Arrowhead – when I decided to return to the cabin for something I’d left behind.

As I was walking away across the sand, I overheard my uncle say to my parents about me: “That one is really girl crazy. You’d better keep your eye on him or he’s going to wind up married too soon!”

What you need is on the menu and you get it tonight
Buddy, you got womens on your mind
~ Han Valen

Yup. That was me: cuckoo for pretty girls. Making it all too ironic that I never did get married. Heck, not even once.

Well, the thing is, I never had good luck wid womens. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that I actually had bad luck wid ‘em. And it started early . . .

Despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, I have not yet been able to answer…the great question that has never been answered: What does a woman want?
~ Sigmund Freud

One of my earliest crushes was on this little girl named Mary Ellen. That was when I was eight and nine years old. We were living in The O.C. then (Orange County – the primary White Trash center south of Bakersfield, California). Mary Ellen and I both spent our after-school hours at a daycare center waiting for our moms to get off work and pick us up.

Women have been my trouble
Since I found out they weren't men
~ Waylon Jennings

In the backyard, I would rush up and kiss Mary Ellen flush on the lips every time I found her hanging helplessly upside down on the monkey bars. (It wasn’t until some years later that it dawned on me that Mary Ellen spent most of her time upside down on the monkey bars. That girl was deliberately wearing my lips out!)

What do you get when you kiss a guy?
You get enough germs to catch pneumonia.
After you do, he'll never phone ya.
I'll never fall in love again.
~ Dionne Warwick

Unfortunately, before our relationship could graduate to the swing, the slide, and the teeter-totter, my parents up and moved the family to Santa Monica. I still vividly remember saying goodbye to Mary Ellen on the sidewalk next to Iva Meairs Elementary School in Garden Grove. My bad luck with womens had just begun.

You love her, but she loves him,
And he loves somebody else;
You just can't win.
And so it goes ‘til the day you die;
This thing they call love,
It's gonna make you cry
I've had the blues, the reds and the pinks;
One thing for sure:
~ J. Geils

As the years wore on, I went from one love interest to another. At Grant Elementary School in Santa Monica, I fell like Charlie Brown for a little red-haired girl. That was a groovy, psychedelic Brady-like relationship (it was, after all, 1969/’70 and the height of the Hippie Era). Things were Far Out, man, until I acquired braces to close the gap between my two front teeth (or the “rat hole” as a friend once called it). One day the little red-haired girl called me “tinsel teeth.” Good grief! ‘Bye-bye, little red-haired girl. Ah, no worries, there are other fish in the sea.

A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.
~ Irina Dunn (10+ years prior to marrying Brett Collins)

In high school, although I was pretty occupied playing sports and involved in some other extracurricular activities, my thoughts occasionally turned to girls. OK, I’m not gonna lie to you - it would be more accurate to say that my thoughts occasionally turned AWAY from girls. I was always looking for a girlfriend when I wasn’t wrestling or body-surfing. And sometimes even while I WAS.

I sort of found that girlfriend once, too. Michelle was her name and I asked her to go to the Senior Prom with me. But she was only a junior and her mom nixed that idea, telling her that if she went to the prom with me, her own Senior Prom the following year would seem anticlimactic. Just my luck!

So, on the night of my Senior Prom, I went to Jack-In-The-Box with my buddy Eric. Oh, it was a “memorable” time!

I don't think about money
'Cause it depresses me when I do
I don't think about women
I'm just takin' lumps for hard nights, rhythm and blues
~ Rock 'N' Roll Johnny

I ran into Michelle a couple of years later working in a clothing store at the Fox Hills Mall. We got to talking and I learned that her family had moved to a new district late in the following school year. Being the new girl in school, she was relatively unknown and therefore no guy asked her to her Senior Prom. I guess Michelle had the ‘Bad Luck With Mens’ Blues in the same way that I had the ‘Bad Luck With Womens’ Blues. (I’ll also bet she wanted to strangle her ma!)

[LOL by S.T.McMe]

“Stephen, I miss you in my life. I almost feel like I gave my soul away.”
~ Ms. Venus; October, 2007

“Stephen, the difficulty I’m experiencing is that you … believe, so strongly, that you know the “real truth”, that an open discussion doesn’t seem possible or pleasant. Given that, I’m not going to defend or explain my opinions and beliefs to you.”
~ Ms. Venus; August, 2008

It’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.
~ Anonymous

Immediately after high school graduation, I started working in the movie industry where I met the sweetest, cutest girl named Lisa Ayres but whom I now refer to as Chantilly Lace. I was falling pretty hard for her when she went back to school and I lost track of her. Love is a many splintered thing.

Genesis 3:16 tells us that after Eve transgressed God's rule and then enticed Adam to also eat the forbidden fruit, God pronounced judgment on her and stated, "I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." This goes to show that sometimes even God is only half correct.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy

I was just getting interested in this other gal who was just getting interested in me too, when I learned from a reliable source that she was bisexual. DOH!

Now for some guys, that wouldn’t be a problem - in fact, it might be considered a “bonus”. But with my traditional values . . . fuhgeddaboudit! I won’t be left for another woman! (Ooh. That didn’t come out right.)

Mormon man: “I’ll wager you can’t cite a single passage in the Bible which forbids polygamy!”
Mark Twain: “Sure I can: No man can serve two masters.”

Well, my “relationships” (if I can use such an ambitious word) with womens were up and down, climbin’ then crashin’ ‘n’ burnin’, for a couple of years afterwards.

I don't know, but I been told
A big-legged woman ain't got no soul.
~ Led Zipperz

But it was the oddest thing: the Hispanic womens seemed to like me. I didn’t understand it then and I’m no closer to understanding it now, but for whatever reason, Hispanic womens were far more apt to be attracted to me than were White womens. I had come to realize that while the Mexican girls thought I was hot (well, lukewarm anyway), most non-Hispanic womens wouldn’t even give me the time of day. I’d stagger up to a Cindy or a Sally or a Susie at the bar and say, “Hey, baby, you got the time?”
“It’s two to one you’ll get one to ten if you don’t leave me alone.”

Wasted away again in Margaritaville
Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt.
Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
But I know, it's my own damn fault.
~ Jimmy Buffett

Then one night I had a dream. I found myself in the company of the ideal woman – my soulmate. It was not an erotic dream at all, rather, idyllic, like some scene from a love story filmed through snow-white gauze and slightly out of focus. I was in perfect love with this young woman and she was perfectly in love with me. There was some music playing in this dream - soft, gentle, beautiful music - achingly beautiful. The music, the scene, and the girl pierced my heart and left me nearly breathless.

What a dream I had, pressed in organdy
Clothed in crinoline of smoky burgundy
Softer than the rain
~ Simon & Garfunkel

The dream was exceedingly lovely and the moment I awoke, I knew that the music I’d been hearing while dreaming was the song ‘For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her’ by Simon and Garfunkel. From that day forward, I attached the name “Emily” to my mental image of the ideal woman. I knew that when I found my future wife, I would be finding the “Emily” of my dreams (even if her name turned out to be Ramona).

Piano rolled blues, danced holes in my shoes
There weren't another other way to be
For loveable losers, no account boozers
And honky tonk heroes like me
~ Waylon Jennings

I was not one to risk facing a whole lot of rejection, so I rarely asked a woman out until I was already fairly confident that she was going to say “Yes.” I recall the night I dated Janna. She was one of the few girls who possessed enough courage to hang out with the boys and me (the League Of Soul Crusaders) from time to time. Gradually, I got to thinking that Janna was nice looking and not too talkative and that she might agree to go out with me, so I axed her.

Human intellect cannot estimate what we owe to woman. She gives us good advice, and plenty of it. She soothes our aching brows, she bears our children – ours as a general thing. … What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce.
~ Mark Twain

I took Janna to dinner one night, and while she was sitting there across from me in the restaurant it suddenly came crashing into my mind that – DOH! – she looked just like my sister, Bonehead! I kid you not, the whole night I couldn’t get it out of my mind that I was dating my sister. Well, I say “the whole night” like this was an A-List date, but the truth is, the moment I realized how much Janna looked like Bonehead, I couldn’t wait for the date to end. I took her home kind of early, then I went and poured myself a strong drink and tried to
whisk(y) that night out of my mind. I never asked the po’ girl out again and she never knew the reason why.

You think I was being unreasonable, don’tcha? You think I was exaggerating; making a mountain out of a molehill, right? Oh yeah? Well, take a look for yourself! Here’s a photo of Janna. She’s on the right in the colorful pastel blouse:

And now here’s a picture of my sister, Bonehead, in the back of my old Chevy Luv truck:

[Bonehead in my truck. Just my luck!]

Hey, who’s the wiseguy who wrote “Uhp! Your [sic] an idiot!” across the side of my truck? Well, I suppose it WAS past time I washed that vehicle.

When a girl marries, she exchanges the attentions of many men for the inattention of one.
~ Helen Rowland

My love life continued with its ups and downs (mostly valleys with very few “high points”, unless tequila was involved). And then one day I got the idea to ask Gloria out. Gloria was one of Bonehead’s best friends and that’s one of the reasons I had never really given thought to dating her previously. Did I REALLY want to date one of my sister’s friends? Wasn’t that just complicating an already complicated thang? Was I really so desperate as to stoop to THAT?

But Gloria was a very sweet and somewhat shy, attractive Hispanic girl – just my type. And I guess I was her type, too, because I came to realize she was attracted to me. I don’t know if my sister told me so, or if I figured it out myself, but it’s probably the former because I always was pretty dense when it came to discerning a woman’s interest in me.

Wedded persons may thus pass over their lives quietly...
if the husband becomes deaf and the wife blind.
~ Richard Taverner

The whole gang, including Gloria, had plans to go that night to the Sunspot, a dance club situated on the Pacific Coast Highway between Santa Monica and Malibu. Earlier that day, I made up my mind that I was finally going ask Gloria for a date. At some point, I would approach her at the club and ask her to go out with me – alone – the following weekend. I didn’t mention my intention to any of my friends. Aw, but I should have. Bad Luck struck again.

[Stephen and Gloria at Bonehead’s wedding.]

That night at the Sunspot, before I had found the right moment to approach Gloria, my buddy Dean suddenly comes bounding up to me and says, “Hey, guess what! I just asked Gloria out. We’re going out next weekend.” DOH!!! . . . “Hard luck and trouble is my only friend … If it wasn't for real bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all.”

Well, obviously, dating Gloria was a no go. To ask her out now would make it look like I was trying to steal a girl from my buddy. The cowboys in the white hats don’t do that.

The girl I love, I stole her from a friend
He got lucky, stole her back again
~ David Lindley

Then there was the cute Mexican-American gal, a co-worker of mine, who was getting married in a week. She and I were talking one day when she told me privately that other than her fiance, there was only one other guy she was always interested in. Yup, “Yers Truly.” NOW she tells me! The ‘Bad Luck With Womens’ Blues – I has ‘em.

Believe it or not, this was just the first of two times that a Hispanic woman told me after she was married or committed to a marriage, that she’d always had an interest in me.

Barney Fife: “What’s so terrible about living the rest of your life without a woman anyway?”
Andy Taylor: “What?”
Barney: “There are plenty of guys living full lives without women!”
Andy: “Mmm… maybe.”
Barney: “Look at old Jed Mack there. He’s been living all alone out in that shack for twenty-five years. Is he complaining? Everytime you see him he’s happy, wearing a big broad smile.”
Andy: “Talkin’ to himself.”
~ “Man In The Middle” (1964)

But I shouldn’t give the impression that female relationships NEVER worked out for me. I mean, it isn’t like I didn’t score a Countess once.

The longest lasting and most significant of my romantic relationships was with “The Countess” – a half Mexican, half Irish lass. (It was her Mexican half that was able to tolerate me; the Irish half wouldn’t give me the time of day.)

That was a fine romance. “The Countess and the Cowboy” was truly an A-List Relationship. At least it was for me. We had a blast together; too many good times to count ‘em all and stuff ‘em in a saddlebag.

I turned the Countess on to Waylon Jennings and Roy Rogers.

[Waylon and Jessi: “Leather And Lace”]

Cowboys ain't easy to love and they're harder to hold
If you don't understand him, and he don't die young,

He'll probably just ride away.
Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys
They'll never stay home and they're always alone
Even with someone they love
~ Waylon Jennings

Everything I've ever really needed to know,
I've found in one Waylon Jennings song or another.
~ Stephen T. McCarthy

But it was an equitable relationship because the Countess turned me on to Glenn Miller and Gene Tierney (and Gene Tierney REALLY turned me on!)

[Gene Tierney: The World's Most Beautiful Woman.]
Here’s a picture of my ol’ saddle pal, The Countess, looking pretty in pink:
[The Countess and the Cowboy: “Lace And Leather”]

That’s me on the left, bent over and studying something. The sports coat I’m wearing is a dead giveaway that this photo was taken at either a funeral or a wedding – Aw, but I’m being redundant. Actually, I’m pretty sure that this photo was taken at F-in’ Lelly’s “wedderal” (that’s when a man gets married and buried).

That Black dude with the flattop haircut standing behind me in that photograph is Lonnie, my best buddy at the time. He and I once took a “Start Your Own Greeting Card Company” class together, and now the S.O.B. is a professional cartoonist. You should buy his book ‘My Washcloth Stinks!’ Tell him S.O.B. sent ya. Stephen Of Blogland, that is.
Whiskey and Wimmin almost wrecked my life
Whiskey and Wimmin almost wrecked my life
Weren’t for Whiskey and Wimmin, I’d have money today
~ John Lee Hooker

What did us in, the Countess and I, was our views of the future. What the Countess most wanted was to have a real family, complete with rugrats and traditional domesticity. Unfortunately, I felt differently. Having rugrats was never a desire of mine; I just couldn’t imagine anyone calling me “Pop.”

So, after five years, five months, no weeks and zero days, the Countess and I called it quits. But who’s counting? It was an era of good stuffs - one of the most fun times of my life.

A man in love is incomplete until he has married.
Then he’s finished.
~ Zsa Zsa Gabor

Oh, I still get my hands on womens from time to time, but it’s not too exciting. Now, in my old middle age, this is as hot as it gets:
[Stephen with mo’ womens than he can handle.]

Them ‘Bad Luck With Womens’ Blues - I has ‘em. But really, I’m not complaining. I’m content in my rut, and satisfied with living the life of an old curmudgeonly bachelor. I wasn’t too terribly crushed to find out that “Emily” was just a myth - an unrealized “dream.” It’z all good ‘cause I ain’t got no one yakking at me to take out the trash and mow the lawn; I can hang out with the boys at the barber shop as long as I want; I can “drink scotch whisky all night long” and I ain’t got no anniversary to remember or it’s the death of me.
My wife ran off with the garbage man
My wife ran off with the garbage man
Now I don't miss that woman
But somebody gotta empty my can
~ Jim Stafford

I consider my bachelorhood to be a blessing . . . when I’m not crying myself to sleep. Nah, I jest. I wouldn’t change it now if I could. Why do you ask? You available or somethin’?
But no, but no, but no!

All my friends are married
Every Tom and Dick and Harry
You must be strong to go it alone
Here's to the bachelors and the Bowery bums
And those who feel that they're the ones
Who are better off without a wife
~ Tom Waits

Taking into consideration the general dissatisfaction of the vast majority of married couples known to me, and considering how half of all marriages end in ugly divorce, I can honestly state that I do not at all regret having never gotten married. And having read Stephen Baskerville’s shocking book ‘Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, And The Family’, I am absolutely convinced that any man who would get married in today’s America is full-blown, certifiably, totally out of his gourd insane. I’ve always been crazy but I ain’t insane.

His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
~ Matthew 19:10

In fact, referring to our lifelong states of bachelorhood, my brother Napoleon once remarked to me, “That’s the only part of our lives that we didn’t fu#k up.”

Amen, brother Nappy, amen.
Let us sing . . .

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.


Dear Diarrhea… (Or, Journal Notes About A Crappy Love Affair)

‘My Washcloth Stinks!’ by Lonnie Millsap
[Buy his book; make the old man happy!]