Saturday, January 25, 2014


Oh my! The previous post (or the current one as I write this) is from December. What’s worse is, it ends with a “Happy New Year” message, and here it is the end of January. I suspect that having a post about New Year’s Eve still on your blog as you stare Burn’s Night in the face is some sort of Cyberland faux pas; the virtual equivalent of wearing corduroy after Memorial Day, perhaps. Rest assured, if this is the case (and, indeed, even if it is not), I feel properly chagrined.

The problem isn’t that I’m hibernating but that I am working from home and—as I am sure you need no reminding of—it is winter; a combination that makes me, to be honest, boring.

My commute involves walking from the bedroom to the “office” (the second bedroom) with a stop at the kitchen for a cup of coffee. Then I work, write and/or tinker with any number of side projects until I realize I’m hungry and it is nearly one o’clock.

After lunch I look out the window to check the weather and decide if there is any compelling reason to leave the flat; being January, there seldom is.

All of this is conducted in complete isolation and total silence (unless you count my conversations with the silverware which, I hasten to add, remain thankfully one-sided). It is, in short, not a life-style brimming with comic possibilities (although my decision to have one piece of toast with peanut butter and the other with butter and jam—instead of slathering both with the same topping—caused a flutter of excitement this morning).

And so, (and sadly) for the sole purpose of having something to write about, I did something a little bit out of the ordinary: I uploaded my hit single, “The Marsha Song,” to YouTube. Here’s the story:

Back in the day (never mind how long ago those days were) I used to be a pub singer known for mixing humorous songs—such as “Dead Puppies”—in with my usual repertoire. And, typically, I couldn’t resist writing some of my own.

“The It’s Late and I’m Lonely and I’m Picking Up an Ugly Girl in the Bar Blues” was an okay song and enjoyed mild popularity, but “The Marsha Song” became my signature tune. It’s just a bit of whimsy, but it’s also kinda dark, so allow me to say a few words about how and why it was written before you notify the authorities about me.

Marsha was one of a group of co-workers who attended The Old Post Road Saloon on a regular basis. We would arrive about twenty minutes after midnight (we worked second shift), hoot and holler and have a generally grand, alcohol-infused time, and then wend our ways home in the early hours. We were such regular customers that, when one of our number was unable to make it due to a head cold, she phoned the bartender to tell him. “I’ve never had a customer call in sick before,” he told us when we arrived. “I told her to be here earlier tomorrow to make up the lost time.”

Anyway, a young man from our office was smitten with Marsha, and used to follow her around making goo-goo eyes at her. We, naturally, kidded her about him having a room in his basement papered with photos he took of her through his telescope, and speculated about how he might be planning to win her over. (Hint: not voluntarily on her part.)

It was all in good fun and one day, in a flurry of creative frivolity, I wrote a song about it. I sang it at my next gig and it became an instant hit. By the time Marsha, herself, heard it, the song was already part of my standard routine. (Aside: After she heard it, she didn’t speak to me for three days.)

Not content with local notoriety, I went to a recording studio and recorded “The Marsha Song” (with “The Ugly Girl Blues” on the B-side) and sent it off to radio stations. This was not as asinine as it sounds; radio shows like Dr. Demento were quite popular at the time. Even so, no one gave it air time.

And that’s a shame because it’s quite a trippy little song that is as relevant today as when it was written:


What’s New

What’s new is, I moved What’s New out of the sidebar, where it has resided since 1989, and placed it at the end of the post. Several reasons prompted this decision, none of which will be the least bit interesting to you.

What’s new at this time is, I am finally writing the first draft of The Magic Cloak II: The Druids of Sarum. I made it three chapters in, then threw out two of them, which may indicate that the writing of this segment is not destined to go as smoothly as the original.

This may take longer than I planned.


  1. You're just weird! (No wonder she didn't speak to you for a while; she probably thought those were your sentiments.)

    1. Weird? Certainly. ;) But Marsha knew what was behind the song; she was mad because she became famous for being THE Marsha. I later wrote another song for her; a serious, sentimental one that made her cry (but in a good way) when she heard it. All was forgiven after that.