Busking 14

Busking at 6th and 72nd.


$1  Buchanan – Bachelor twerp who didn’t stop the Civil War.

$2  Arthur – NY Customs House grifter who slid in when war-hero Garfield got shot.

$3  Cleveland – A fat guy. Grover, so you know how I’m going to handle that.

$4  Taft – Another fat guy. Sort of like Oliver Hardy.

$5  T. Roosevelt – Googly-eyed, toothy hyper dude.

Busking 13

I got rousted from 7th and 62nd so I moved over to 8th and 64th. Officer O’Reilly’s beat stops at 63rd.


Drop your money in the hat and name the song.

If I don’t know the song, I’ll improvise the music and lyrics.

1. If you don’t like that, I will give your quarter to Anne and ask her to try.

2. If you don’t like her version, Anne will give your quarter to James and ask him to try.

3. If you don’t like his version, James will give your quarter to Judith and ask her to try.

4. If you don’t like her version, Judith will give your quarter to Arnie and ask him to try.

5. If you don’t like his version, Anne, James, Judith, Arnie, and I will take off our hats, stand in a line, and with our hands over our hearts, sing the National Anthem. Then please move along.

President Jones

As the head of our family, I’m often referred to as “President Jones” by the other family members, in tones that vary from ironic to disdainful (not distainful).

I’m the man. I’m the boss. That’s the way things work around here in Spreadtoe, Iowa. The wife and children might not like it, but this is a democracy. How many women and children signed the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution, or any of the other important historical documents that I’m probably forgetting? How many women were on the Supreme Court before the nuts in California and New York took over?

Politically, socially, and in every other way, I’m middle-of-the-road. I did not seek the presidency of this family; it was thrust upon me by tradition.

My wife is black, Jewish, liberal, and liberated. She married me during a period of severe mental illness and has never been able to sunder the union. She remains with me for the sake of the children, whom we adopted in the period before she recovered her senses.

Our son is independent of mind, neither liberal nor conservative. He is open to persuasion when called upon to vote in the family on some issue. He was born in China and as a second son to his parents, was dragging them down. We adopted him at the age of twelve.

Our daughter is a raving tea-bagger. We adopted her in Liceoff, Mississippi at the age of seventeen. Twice we’ve had to pull her off her brother before she could seriously injure him for voting with his mother on something or other. She carries a razor and considers any rules or chores imposed upon her as “taxes.”

Our most recent family vote centered around the issue of whether our dog could marry our cat. My wife thought that it was a wonderful idea, seeing as how they’re already living together. My daughter pointed out verses in the Bible forbidding this. My wife, being a Jew, pointed out that the verses were in the New Testament and thus bogus.  That got the two of them into the whole thing about mom having murdered Christ and so on.

My son and I were open to persuasion on the subject of the proposed Boots/Barky nuptials. My wife explained to us that there would be no little half-dog/half-cat babies running around. I didn’t exactly get it, but I took her word for it. My daughter explained that the next thing we knew, the boy next door would be marrying my motorcycle and taking it away from me. Persuasive argument for a No vote!

In the case of a tie, with our son voting with his mom and me voting with our daughter, we’d be calling the grandparents for a ruling. Before we got to this, however, sadly, Barky was out chasing cars, in spite of a thousand warnings from Boots not to, and got run over.