Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Steatopygia, pronounced stay-at-o-PIE-jia, is defined as a high degree of fat on and around the buttocks- and also the front and side of the thighs. You'll find steatopygian women all over the world, but this condition is most commonly found among the khoisan women of southern Africa. 

Khoisan is a term unifying two different peoples of southern Africa, both nomadic: the khoi, also called khoikhoi(meaning "people people" or "real people")who are involved in pastoral agriculture(animal husbandry, the care of domestic animals and livestock); and san(also called Bushmen), the indigenous hunter-gatherers. When European immigrants settled there in 1652, they referred to the khoikhoi as Hottentots, now considered a pejorative term, a put-down. It might've been a mimicry of their language.
                                                        Steatopygia is considered a sign of great beauty in their women, the zenith of femininity. There's a drawing you can find online, (date unknown, but it obviously goes back a century or several)of a zaftig African woman with a most abundant behind, labelled Hotentott Venus. I don't include it here for two reasons: 1)it's clearly intended to be demeaning, or at least vaguely insulting; 2)it ain't that hot.
This is another steatopygian woman, one whom in my opinion has the aesthetic limit for butt. It's the limit of voluptuous(and I like voluptuous!), the limit of opulence before it becomes grotesque. Call me weird if you must, but I think she looks good. 

Personal taste. Someone else might look at this same gal, and their threshold of steatopygia may just start where mine ends. They may consider her just barely acceptable as far as her backfield. They may prefer someone like this:
You may laugh, but there are those who would find that extremely arousing. Found in the khoisan women of southern Africa, and at Wal-Marts all over(but definitely in the southern US).

I got the word steatopygia from, of all places, a Paul Simon movie. Come to think of it, I think he only made one--so, the Paul Simon movie. One Trick Pony. I don't remember how it's used, but it's in there. For some reason it popped into my mind, and I tracked it down. 

So yeah, I guess I like women with some of this characteristic, though the one at the grocery store pictured above would pretty much be my limit. 

Well now you have 3 Butt Blogs here at Roger U Roundly. Didn't plan on writing this third one, just happened. More to come, butt-related or not. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Leave it to Bieber

I'm getting tired of this kid. Well, not just him, but the whole lot of celebrities-behaving-badly. Whenever this happens, everything else is put on hold while we're forced to watch. 

  Some years back, I was playing a gig which was pre-empted by the (in)famous OJ Simpson car chase. We had to stop playing so the patrons of this fine establishment(who, let's face it, weren't really there to hear us anyway!)could watch the action. I guess if we had a banjo player in the band, they might've had us provide some sort of Smokey and the Bandit accompaniment. But we were forced to sit on the bench. After all, OJ is a Celebrity. 

Just now a news show(MSnbc), which I'm watching a lot these days-strange for a person with an 'aversion' to Politics)was similarly pre-empted. Andrea Mitchell had to interrupt a former State Rep talking about the NSA to bring us the much-more-important story of Justin Bieber being arrested- and for seemingly the umpteenth time. And there was no injustice angle whatsoever(which may have given the story something besides his celebrity to justify its being sandwiched in), it was something he should have been arrested for. This is not just some loudmouthed kid being hauled in for dragracing(or was that a former charge?Actually I really don't give  a shit..)and possession of Cocaine. This is, after all, a Celebrity. 

If I were his age and looked like that, I'd probably act up a bit myself- though I'd hope not to that extent. Now this is presuming I'm still me in all this, in which case I'd still be a guitar player and not a singer. Well for one thing, I'd play a hell of a lot more gigs than I do now, because those gigs would have girls at them, many of whom(since I looked like that)would want to meet me. 

But I digress. We'll always have spoiled celebrities acting up and monopolizing the airtime that really should be devoted to something more important than their piggish proclivities. And I'll probably resent it the next time it happens. Life goes on. Another blog. 

We'll see if his 15 minutes are up. I really don't care either way. But I do think June should have a talk with him. 

Back by Popular Demand

Well, it's still the dead of Winter, and I have a few more pictures of this stunning creature, so why the hell not?! Besides, I got more hits with my Jen Selter blog than I'd had in some time. 

Also, whoever tunes in here after seeing my previous blog is gonna half-expect something at least similar(i.e. T & A), and I'd hate to think of them bringing up my site here and then going, "awww mannn" in disappointment. 

I do have other things to blog about, so you can be disappointed(perhaps)next time you tune in here. For now, more pictures--and, you're thinking, less Rog. But one more thing before I leave you to drool over more pictures of this girl:

The 'back' in back by popular demand could actually be taken two ways. It serves as both an adverb and a noun--noun in the sense of "baby got back". So both she and her back(side)have returned by what I'd anticipated as popular demand. Okay, then. More pictures. Enjoy! 

Like I said, the next blog up will be about something else(and thus probably get no hits),but for now we can enjoy the feminine pulchritude of young Miss Butt Beautiful. Aka the selfie superstar. Something to take a bit of the edge off this nastyass Winter. Thank you, Jen Selter, for that. Keep the pictures coming.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Butt Beautiful

There is a great old tune called But Beautiful,
which I used to love to call on gigs with a certain trumpet player as Beautiful Butt. He'd start to look up Beautiful Butt, and then stop and make a snorting sound of exasperation, realizing that he'd been had. Got him damn near every time with that one. 
The beauteous butt you see before you here belongs to one Jen Selter, who is 20 years old, and from Long Island NY. She lives in Manhattan, and I guess makes her living as an exercise guru/spokesperson/model. I stumbled onto a picture of her on Facebook, and then made a beeline to Youtube. And then probably spent wayyy too much time looking at her many pictures and videos. 
But then that's what guys do. This guy anyway. Besides her obvious attribute(s)of a maximized gluteus, she has a very pretty face(I love blue-eyed brunettes, the contrast of light eyes with the dark hair)and a nice compact little body. A most pleasant viewing experience. Reminds me a little bit of a younger Jillian Michaels. 

In middle-aged coots like me, someone like this brings out the I Dream of Jeannie fantasy- and this time I get to be Major Anthony Nelson(in real life I've always been more Roger Healey in this department). She still spends her mornings working out, but instead of doing it for her career, she's doing it for me! After her workout, she comes home, drops the laundry,  and ends up in a spin-cycle with me- and I'm not talking washing machines.

Well maybe I Dream of Jeannie is more than a bit chauvinistic on my part. Okay, same fantasy, only without the subservience(and having to live all cramped up in a bottle)but still total devotion to moi
I do see as viable that whole Six Degrees of Separation thing, where each of us is(a maximum of)six people away from every other person in the world. Especially if you've reached out at all into said world. As a musician(and I'm certainly not unique in this), I've met folks from all over the planet. So however tenuous the connections, I'm probably six people away from Jen Selter.

 So what would we do once we got there? Well unless she was looking for some kind of Father figure, or has a weakness for middle-aged guys who play jazz guitar(I didn't see anything to that effect in her profile, although I guess I could've missed it..)I imagine her reaction would be something in the neighborhood of ewww

Welll, hopefully she'd be kinder than that. I must say, of all the little poster/mottos she had interspersed with her pictures, I saw no sign of meanness. They were all in the nature of be yourself and don't let the bastards get you down. Actually those are both just fine. 

With me it'd be the exhilaration of being with such a beautiful young woman(with maybe a sort of bucket list undertone: I've never had anyone that attractive), and then whatever she had to bring to the table from there. I imagine at best(improbable, frickin' chimerical best!)it would be a wonderful two weeks. At some point,  the great cultural gap between us, would rear its ugly(but sensible)head- and that would be that. 

Well, here at age 59, my last year as a quintagenarian, in the dead of a long and seemingly interminable Winter, a nice fantasy for a day. I may have another day when I check back in with Miss Butt Beautiful and see how things are in her world. It'll probably still be a couple people away from mine- but then she could have an epiphany about just how cool us middle-aged jazz guitarists are. Yeah, right...

Monday, January 13, 2014


 I remember, back in the early days of my dayjob a conversation I had with our manager, about the relative merits of being leader and follower. As far as said dayjob, I was just fine being a worker-bee, and had no particular aspirations--well, beyond just keeping said dayjob. 

But in the world of music, a then ancillary pursuit, secondary by economic necessity but certainly not in my heart, I  have always liked being a bandleader. After working for someone else all day(him then)it was cool to run something the way I wanted to.  

"I like being able to call the shots", I recall telling him. "Yes, but remember, they're your shots", he admonished. 

And that seems to ring true here. What comes out of your administration, whether you're running a band or managing a State, relates directly back to you. They're your shots, after all. Your responsibility, however many hands carry them out.

Governor Christie appears to own up to these things when called on the carpet. He makes a big show of contrition and then tells the public of the "corrective action" taken- in other words, the staff member or members who were disciplined or fired for the mistake under his administration. He did it during Hurricane Sandy and he's doing it again. 

Kind of a dual purpose served by one's Inner Circle, one's top aides: to carry out the Boss's directives, at times to advise and counsel; but then to take the bullet if caught. They're the ones who are sent to kneel before Zod. They form a protective dermal layer. 

It's a truism that bullshit(and culpability) rolls downhill. If you live in Illinois, and particularly if you work in state government, you find that it rolls downstate. But, bad jokes aside,  it always comes from a higher point to a lower one. The manager I mentioned at the beginning of this blog would come down on his staff(i.e. me and the others, individually or collectively) after he'd been chewed out by his boss. 

And it's sad that in politics, skepticism is the first thing that comes up in an investigation(okay, scandal)like this one. Guilty until proven innocent. The first comment I saw on Facebook in reaction to all this was, "don't you think he sounded like Nixon?" Hence Blutogate..

Funny thing, I might've been inclined to believe him at face value, if not for the big show he put on about it. The big show of nobility, and then to say 'this has nothing to do with my run for the Presidency in 2016'. Horsehockey. It has everything to do with your running for President in 2016, and your public image. Just be honest. 

You can often tell if someone is lying to you(or better, caught in a lie to you)by the fact that they get louder. Maybe not in decibels, but let's say they just get more emphatic. More emphatic than they'd need to be if they were telling the truth. Like they're trying to convince themselves of the same lie they're trying to sell you. 

From what I've seen in the news, Chris Christie seems to be pure quid pro quo. As long as you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. But the minute you don't scratch my back, the minute you don't help me advance my career, I pull the plug.

And I'm not talking about the Mayor of Fort Lee(who was originally believed to be the target of the lane closures as political retribution)but rather the new Mayor of Jersey City, whose recent election was met by a wave of offers to meet with a wave of state officials as far as assistance in getting started, and all abruptly ceased once he refused to endorse Christie for re-election. One by one, they all cancelled on him. 

Christie's caught in a shitstorm, and the fit is hitting the shan from several different directions. Centrally it's the bridge incident from last September, the central question being did he know about and authorize it(uhh, probably, don't you think?), an impeachable offense; peripherally it's the development project for land next to(again, peripheral to)the George Washington Bridge, which would provide direct access and greatly facilitate traffic; and off at a right angle is his(possible mis) use of funds allocated for those areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy, funds which were used in part to pay for commercials(featuring Christie and his family- and of course the press is jumping on the self-aggrandizement here!)for New Jersey post-Sandy tourism.

These stories can be interesting in that you keep peeling off layers, and every new layer removed is a new revelation. A new slant, or missing bit of information. Bridget Ann Kelley, from her quotes, seems to have a mean streak, a nasty sense of schadenfreude: "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee"; "Is it wrong that I'm smiling?"

Well, yeah. It's despicable. And David Wildstein is no choirboy himself. Regarding the schoolchildren who had to bear the 4-day traffic jams, "They're the children of Buono voters"(Barbara Buono is the Democratic candidate Christie beat in the last election). Jesus! They're the children of Buono voters.  Yes, and as enemies of SPECTRE, must be destroyed. You can almost hear Adolfo Celi( Largo, from the James Bond movie Thunderball)delivering the line. 

What I've never liked and continue to dislike about Politics is that it often seems to bring out the seamier side of human nature. My Dad, when he was a Circuit Judge, told me something he'd heard from a fellow Judge there in the Courthouse: "Yeah, I hope they put that guy in front of me. I'm up for re-election".In other words, I'm gonna put the screws to that guy just to enhance my own career. Terrible.

But what I'm beginning to like about Politics(and this is something of an epiphany for me, who's hated this shit his whole life!)is that nothing is as it seems. 

Monday, January 06, 2014

Confessions of a would-be Ad-Man

My Dad used to tell me I should go into advertising, as a copy-writer. He thought I'd be good at it. "You'd be a motherfucker", he once said. And I heard it from other folks as well growing up.(Well, some folks just called me a motherfucker, but that's another story).

But we all have different talents I guess. I never could throw a baseball worth a damn, have little-to-no mechanical ability, and I'm a dreadful handyman(strangely enough, just like my Dad!). But I've always had the ability to make things up, to invent, fabricate. To come up with stuff.

Some of the harebrained ideas I've had include: a store specializing in footstools, called The Ottoman Empire; a support group for instrumentalists who double on bass to get more work and then find themselves "overbooked" on bass, called Bass Under Pressure; a slogan for the social service agency I worked for, which provided unemployment benefits: we're workin' hard so you don't have to! Oh yeah, and whenever marijuana is legalized(recreationally, not just "medicinally") on a larger scale than just two states, a slogan for pot brownies: a "Toklas" alternative..

Okay, not all these are sellable ideas(though I'd love to start The Ottoman Empire), but they show you that this is something I'm not-too-shabby at. I once had a 3-week gig, under my name, for which I wrote a different ad every week using a different stock picture and making up a story/scenario behind it. 

Lotsa fun. Creativity itself is fun. Things like the footstool store made me laugh when I thought of them, so it's nice to share-and hopefully at least one other person gets the same chuckle I did. So you'd think this would be a joyous occupation, spending all day every day coming up with stuff.

The difference between doing this for fun and making a living at it would seem to me to be like the difference between a friendly(and thus low-stakes)Poker game, and a high-stakes game where your ass is on the line. Same strategies for winning, only much more cut-throat, more ruthless in the latter game. 

And it would depend a lot on the client. Whose product you're trying to market, and what kind of approach they want you to take. Is it a soft-sell, where you gently sway the viewer, or do you go after them with a great guns sense of urgency? In either case, you have to convince them that this is something they need, something they can't really do without. One of my favorite such slogans was from MTV one year: watch MTV or your summer will suck!

Also, for legal reasons(i.e. the possibility of being sued), certain buzzwords have to be in place, sort of as disclaimers. For instance, if you watch, no product makes a claim to actually do what it's supposed to! No, it helps do what it's supposed to. Help is a common one. Or, in the case of a specific product, signifigantly reduces discomfort. Signifigantly. Good one. Impossible to quantify, to measure. Legal teflon.

When I write a piece of music, I think strongly about the effect it will have on the potential listener. How are they going to experience this music? How's it going to make them feel? Similarly, if I wrote an ad(and here I'm talking about for bucks as opposed to just yucks), I'd be very cognizant of how it'd go over with viewers. Would it amuse them? Confuse them? Make them laugh, or piss them off?

It's all manipulation, but the trick is not to make the viewer feel like he's being manipulated. Get 'em laughing, or excited. Get 'em engaged, so they forget you're trying to talk them into buying whatever it is they're watching. Maintain the illusion. 

If I'm watching a TV show, be it drama or comedy or any combination thereof, and I get the feeling that they're just reading lines, then we're done. If I'm watching a commercial, and get the feeling that I'm being manipulated(that is, if the already present manipulation becomes transparent), likewise- game over. The most offensive commercials to me, next to the political "attack' ads, are for agencies like the ASPCA, which shamelessly tug at the heartstrings:
  It may sound curmudgeonly of me, but these commercials actually piss me off! I've had pets my whole life, and dearly love animals, so I don't like my feelings being messed with. 

So if I were making my living in advertising, it probably wouldn't be these kinds of ads. No, I'd be much more at home doing the humorous stuff- and hopefully with some nuttiness sprinkled in there. I'm thinking of the old 7-Up ads, where the hamburger is being fitted for a suit. Or the Little Caesar's Pizza ads with the crazy dippin' fool.
Or even something like Mucinex. Although you'd try to block out the reality of the situation: that you're coming up with plot lines and scenarios for anthropomorphic globs of snot!

No, I think I did well to pursue music, being a composer and player. It's fun coming up with things that would conceivably be ads and commercials, but only as a sideline thing. Advertising is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

redrum liatnetop

I'd be the first to tell you what a cold-weather wuss I am. During the Winter I do what I must, but it usually keeps me inside for the duration, and normally within some comfortable distance from one of the heating vents(which I often have to negotiate with one of my cats).
   Having left my dayjob last year at the end of June, it's now been
 six months since I've worked. The Summer and Fall went by with-
 out a hitch, doing occasional gigs and teaching equally occasional students, but the first Winter one doesn't work seems to be much more significant.

This is the first time in 27 years when I haven't
worked on January 2nd! The day after New
Year's has always been an all-hands-on-deck
occasion in the workplace. No matter what other days
you could finagle out of them, that one was
always off-limits. And in my last job it was
the shittiest day of the year: packed with 
clients and non-stop action the whole 7.5
hours. You were numb afterwards- the only
consolation being a Corona or several that
evening, plus the fact that you probably weren't going to have any days any worse than the one you just got through..

So it was wonderful missing out on all that
fun for the first time in my adult life(lack of pain-what a concept!), and it
is wonderful not having to traipse out in this
kind of arctic weather every morning. Everything in Winter seems to take more time and trouble, so it's nice to not have to go through all those additional steps: put on extra layers, start the vehicle, scrape the ice off and then head off 
to do the thing all day.

 I love it for what I don't have to do anymore, but a nasty cold Winter does kind of keep you house-bound. Ahh for a nice Winter like the practically non-existent one we had in 2012--that would be perfect for my first Winter season as a retiree. But nooo, I have to get a bone-crunching freezeout Winter, where zero becomes balmy!

This house-bound thing(the incipient Jack Torrance Syndrome)was a concern when I was about two months into retirement. It's very liberating of course, being suddenly unbound from the shackles of the weekly schedule, but you do feel antsy since you're used to doing something all day. Since then I've kinda settled in. Faced the void that's created by all this newfound time, and learned to embrace rather than dread it. I've accepted sloth as my personal savior. 

But I can see the danger of having sloth, sweet sloth, become my personal executioner as well. The mind can turn in on itself and create problems you didn't have- or magnify the ones you've already got to leviathan proportions. I don't think there's potential murder, backwards or forwards here(re the title of this blog), and if anybody gets sliced up into pieces I think it would be me by my two cats, whom bleeding-heart here allowed them to keep their claws. Still, things could get a little weird here in the dead of Winter. 

So I'm wary on this my first non-working Winter. Not only the challenge of keeping Jack Frost from nipping at my toes, but Jack Torrance nipping at my psyche. Like all Winters, working or not, I'm really just focused on the prize: March. Well, whenever all this is done with for another year. 

A friend and I were recently discussing living as we do in a time-based reality. And as I remember, we were looking at the disadvantages(as well as being 'trapped' in the moment): the transience, nothing lasts. When applied to Winter however- and particularly a harrowingly cold one like we're experiencing-it's a happy thought. This too shall pass.

And in the meantime, Danny's not here, Mrs Torrance..

Friday, January 03, 2014

Politics and Me

We're not a good mix, Politics and me. Coming from a family with a paternal Grandmother working for the House of Representatives and a Dad who was a circuit Judge, you'd think I'd have some interest in such things, but despite my family background(or perhaps because of it)I have little to no interest
in most things political. And here,

I'm not talking about actually 
working in the political arena as
did my Grandmother, but just 
plain keeping up on it. Actually
following the stories and issues. 
As a sort of aside here, there 
are, I suppose, gradations of political awareness. Years ago I went to school in Baltimore MD, which, like any city of any size, had its share of impoverished neighborhoods. My roommate, who was born and bred there, commented on one of the most indigent areas, that there were people there who didn't know who the President was!

 Well I'm not quite that far gone. I do know who the President is(!), as well as the Vice-President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Labor, House Speaker and all that. I know the three branches of government: Executive, Federal and Legislative, and something of the electoral process as far as the Electoral College and each state having a certain number of electoral votes to contribute. And I have a basic handle on what Democrats and Republicans(and even to an extent Libertarians)are about as far as their- again, basic approaches. 

And that's about it! In other words, I don't know shit from apple butter about Politics. I don't hit the bottom of the political awareness scale but I'd venture to say I'm still swimming in the lower quadrant. 

There are a good many other things in this world that I am interested in: words/etymology/literature/word-puzzles/sudoku/anatomy/physiology/psychology/philosophy/religion/history/music/movies/pornography/animation/animals/ichthyology. Well maybe not so much ichthyology(the study of fish and other marine life, or perhaps the Dick Cavett definition as the study of disgusting religions)but all that other stuff, plus a million things I just didn't think of right this minute. 

But Politics has never really held my interest. I do try in this area, make a good-faith effort every so often, but always seem to lose my hard-on somewhere in there. My interest is piqued sometimes, so I do get a bit of a chubby, but don't always make it to full wood.( Of course there's a joke in here about having intellectual erectile dysfunction- maybe later if I think of one..).

Left to my own devices, I don't worry about it too much. Like I said, I have a lot of other things I am interested in, so I'm usually busy with something or other. It's when I get out with other folks, particularly if they're intelligent folks. 

When the subject turns to Politics/World Events, I realize my deficiency, my intellectual malnourishment. A mention of Libertarianism, for instance, will likely elicit a deer-in-the-headlights look from me, since I have but the vaguest grasp of it. 

There are things in life you try to follow sometimes for the sake of someone else or a group of someone elses, but are really non-essential. Like football. I worked with a group who followed the teams and games, and would be avidly discussing Sunday's game on Monday. Never been the least bit interested in it myself, but to try and join in, I made an effort to watch a few games on a few Sunday evenings. No soap. 

It just didn't hold my interest. No harm done. Similarly, in music, I've never been interested in Opera. Since music is my field, this carries much more weight than an interest(or disinterest)in something like football. Opera is one component in a comprehensive musical education, but I don't think things are going to fall apart without it. Your edifice that is your education, if strong enough otherwise, will hold together just fine.

But as a so-called thinking person, Politics is an essential part of your(I know I'm going to regret this, but)intellectual portfolio. If you think about it, these things--the social sciences: Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy, and yes, Politics, are all integrally related. Kinda like a big Sudoku puzzle(and I know I'll regret making that analogy as well..). Without some political awareness/perspective, you'll always be at least one number off.

This is something that I felt a bit of when visiting with a few of my friends over Christmas holidays. I'd always felt that I was as bright as they were(and still do, despite a deer-in-the-headlights moment or two of 'uncomprehension'), but I can see that I could stand to be better-informed. 

So I'm sure I'll make another stab at getting more into Politics/World Events, current issues, all that. It may fall by the wayside, but then there's always next time. 



544-1677. Damn, this came to me long after the conversation was over and I was back home--and didn't 'need' the information.  A smack to the forehead ala the V-8 commercial, I guess. I prefer another reference to this, but have to save it for now. 

Over the holidays, I had the opportunity to visit with some friends, two brothers with whom I was very tight through a patch of semi-formative years:  late High School and slightly beyond. In young adulthood we drifted apart a bit, but we've always kept in some kind of touch, however loosely, and seem to be a bit more now, as we're well into middle age.(Funny that at this age- middle age, with all its concomitant health issues, when we talk about drugs, it's no longer in the recreational sense). Our running-around-together years were some 4 decades ago though, and I was somewhat surprised that I still remembered the phone number at their folks' house- a number I haven't called since then!

I say somewhat surprised because I seem to be able to retain and recall things at times, particularly dates. Got people commenting on it, as my Dad would say. I used to hear it a lot at work, both from clients and co-workers, that my memory was good. It's flattering. Thanks! Nice to have at least one cognitive function that's working, at least for now. And it sure beats the hell out of some of the other stuff people feel compelled to tell you--like(in my case) boy are you short

So I mentioned to my friends my still having their folks' phone number in my head, and then(this is where I should've stopped there, like that one drink too many)went on to say that I've been told I had a good memory. One of them asked me my own (parents')home phone number: 544-something?

I drew a complete blank. Felt a bit like the Warner Bros character Michigan J Frog, who clams up the minute his gifts are put to the test. (You were wondering when I was gonna get to the frog, weren't you? I'd have been..)I guess I was bragging a bit, and then all my 'great' memory could say was ribbbit..

Once I was home--I guess, with no one to impress, no potential for self-aggrandizement--the frog was singing away. The number was clear as a bell: 544-1677. (You might have been wondering when I was gonna get to that as well). And not only that one, but 544-4444. A different friend and I called that number. We'd have been 8 or 9. The person on the other end always answered, "Duhh, hello?" much to our delight. Wow, I haven't called that one in over half a century. Wonder if I'd get that same person on the phone..

On one other recent occasion, I was a bit of a hot dog about my apparent ability to remember figures. Gave out a phone number I was cocksure to be right, and was one digit off, giving the caller access to a dating service(it was supposed to be for their unemployment). The frog was singing this time but he screwed up the song. He was in a different key.

Strangely enough, other people can tell me, 'hey, you're good at this', but if I say it or intimate it in some way, I end up falling on my face. Maybe it's like the Biblical admonition: he who exalts himself will be humbled; and he who humbles himself will be exalted. And maybe just a coincidence I made into a 'life lesson'. But for whatever reason, I have decided never to declare myself to have a good memory or a good anything(or a good one-of-those--well, if the temperature's fairly warm..), but rather leave that to others. Just seems to work out better. 

Well that's all I had to say in this blog, so you can go now, or stick around and read my V-8 alternative idea.

 Okay, you're still here. Well, with the head-smacking, 'I coulda had a V-8', I think the basic idea is much better expressed in the movie Punchline. Tom Hanks plays a stand-up comic(a bitter, brilliant Lenny Bruce-type)who flunks out of Medical School in the opening scene. In the oral exam, naming the parts of the body aiding in lower digestion, he says poop chute, at which point the examiners all get up and leave. Right after they've left the room, he smacks his forehead and says, RECTUM!