Segarini: Alphabet Soup Part Two – And a Note From My Mom
Here’s Part One. If you haven’t read it yet, read it now.
Now then…first things first.
A NOTE FROM MY MOM
Please excuse Bob for being unavailable to you for the past 3 weeks. The little darling caught a bad bacterial flu and has not been his adorable mischievous self or able to do any of his chores. Fortunately for me, here at home, he is not very helpful even when he is firing on all 8 cylinders, so the ungodly mess, odd odours emanating from the refrigerator, and the curious pair of socks standing in the corner all by themselves with no feet in them, makes it seem like he is just fine, just not in the room with me.
Like most boys, he does not do ‘sick’ very well. These ‘tough guys’ who will normally work through anything they may encounter that threatens to impede their forward motion, are simply helpless in the face of a cold that doesn’t go away after the first bottle of medicinal bourbon. If they can’t shake it off, they simply give up like a 12 year old girl who doesn’t get a pony for her birthday, and turn into angry, sullen, miserable, little shits.
Bob spent the majority of his illness curled up in a ball on his bed, cursing the wind under his breath, (he blames the wind for all the ills in the world, and any sickness he ever gets. He also blames the wind for Donald Trump, Adele’s new CD, and sportsball shoving Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, and the Simpsons off the air and ruining his Sunday nights. I have to hide his Baseball bat when they are pre-empted, because that TV cost a fortune, and I am NOT replacing it again just because the Little Prince has a runny nose.), and begging God to let him want to have a drink and then many drinks until the craptastic flu-thing was finally driven out. Unfortunately, the pleading was kind of garbled because of the 20 minute coughing fits which usually ended up with a baseball size lump of phlegm disgustingly dislodging itself from his throat and just missing the wastepaper basket next to his bed, land on the floor with a squishy ‘plop’ before it oozed under the bed to hide with all the other sportsball sized lumps of phlegm. giving him the night terrors and unable to sleep, until I brought him his Willie Mays model Louisville Slugger to sleep with, just in case the lumps attacked him in the middle of the night.
You know how boys are…everything is fine as long as they have a baseball bat. …and God, because God misheard Bob’s prayers for the ability to kill this flu with alcohol, gave him projectile diarrhea instead, a fact not lost on Bob, so he’s pretty pissed off at God right now too, and one night prayed to God to “get your fucking ears checked” so there were no more ‘misunderstandings’.
He also was unable to smoke, which did not help his mood or demeanour in the slightest. At one point he told me that if he was still sick by Christmas, he would beat Santa Claus to death for being a fat, stupid bastard who never came through with a second season of Bunheads or let Newt and Hicks live when David Fincher shit all over the Alien franchise. He is bad enough if he runs out of cigarettes for an hour, but being too sick to smoke for almost 10 days…he could easily throw a BMW through the front window at the Apple Store and then run in and smash every iThis and iThat in the building, his Apple Hate unfettered can be…well…you don’t want to see that. It’s the kind of anger and frustration known only to those who have been trapped in an elevator with a loopy Republican Fear Monger or a Classic Rock Purist.
Anyway, Facebook, WordPress, Friends, Family, and his beloved LCBO, he apologizes for ignoring you all while clinging to his sanity and being sick this long and begs your forgiveness. He also promises to just go back to his normal state of mind which is just clinging to his sanity, staying out of the wind, and also promises to make nice with God and apologize to Him for calling Him a “A Big Bag of Holy Dicks” over the whole ‘diarrhea’ thing.
This note is to let you know that he really was sick, and not goofing off, or in Costa Rica boning drunk tourist’s wives while their husbands played golf at an “All Inclusive” Resort where they give you beads to buy as many drinks as you want.
…of course, there is no guarantee that the next time he says he’s sick, that he won’t be sitting at the pool bar at The Handy Dandy Sandy Beach Spa and Resort in the Dominican Republic spending his beads chatting up a bored housewife from Des Moines while her husband is searching for his balls on the back 9…you know our Bobby, he can be such the little rascal!
ALPHABET SOUP PART 2
J. Jerry Seinfeld.
If I had friends like Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine, I would kill myself…or move…or just call them and tell them I never, ever want to see them again, change my phone number, and try to forget they ever existed. When I see Jerry, I am immediately thankful for my friends and family.
K. Kittens. What else? Kittens remind me of kittens and I can conjure up every one I have ever had the pleasure to have known. Except for the first one, Snowball. I accidently dropped a 10 gallon can of paint on her. Still feel bad about that one. I was 5.
L. Laurel Canyon.
I loved living there for a time back in the ’60s. It was everything you ever read about it. All of my neighbors either became famous or were famous. Nobody cared. No one referenced it, no one made anyone else uncomfortable, and no one ever made a big deal about it to outsiders. Do you know why I have very few pictures of the people I have known over the years? Didn’t think to buy a camera. Didn’t think to take pictures. I don’t have any autographs either…but I can visit these people and that place as often as I want…THAT, i do have.
M. Monterey. Steinbeck. The Aquarium. The Bay. A bar I drank in where the bartender presented me with a box of kittens to play with while my wife and daughter were out sightseeing. Jack Daniels, coke, and 5 furballs falling over each other on the bar. Perfection….
N. Newby’s. Is it possible to be able to see and taste a sandwich and a drink from almost 60 years ago? Yes. It is very possible. I could probably do the whole alphabet with just the memories of the food I have been blessed to have eaten throughout the course of my life (I will do that!), it is so indelibly stamped in my memory. Let me close my eyes and explain Newby’s.
A funky, run down drive in that was eventually torn down to make way for a train overpass, their specialty was a barbecued roast beef sandwich on a big hamburger bun served with chopped up, crisp, iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise and a huge helping of shredded beef that had been barbecued and slathered with homemade barbecue sauce. The sandwich was served with a frosty mug of orange drink that was full of ice crystals and sooo delicious you would usually down 2 of them with your sandwich. The smoky barbecue sauce, the melt-in-your-mouth-tri-tip beef…food of the Gods. The sandwich and orange drink were less than a dollar including tax. I am having one right now….
O. Over the Mountain.
In my very early teens/late tweens, my favourite kind of music was called ‘Doo-Wop’. It was an offshoot of rhythm and blues and all over the radio for a few years. For a time, this record, by Johnnie and Joe, was my absolute favourite. It is rough around the edges, recorded with a single mic all at once, and stands as testimony to talent, great songs, and passionate delivery. This kind of record can neither be forced nor faked…it either is, or isn’t the real thing. Hearing it now takes me back to early house parties when the parents were out, makeout sessions in rec rooms, and taking aspirin with coca cola because we heard you could get really buzzed if you did that. Years later, some of us smoked banana peels for the same reason. Oh, to be that naive and gullible again…but then, I would have to become a Republican.
P. Plums. Our backyard neighbors had a plum tree in their backyard that hung over our fence. My swing set was just this side of it. If you swung high enough, you could reach out and grab a ripe plumb when they were in season. Have you ever had a fresh-from-the-tree plum, washed off with ice cold water, and eaten in the backyard while swinging as high as you could go? I still can.
Q. Que Sera Sera.
The omnipotent asshole from Star Trek: Next Generation comes to mind, but more-so is the song that won an Academy Award for 1956’s Alfred Hitchcock thriller, “The Man Who Knew Too Much”. starring James Stewart and Doris Day…the woman who made the song famous. It was recorded dozens of times afterward with usually good results, including a stay at number one in Australia as sung by Normie Rowe.. I had a crush on Doris, casually knew her son, Terry Melcher years later in L.A, but always felt a fondness for this song whenever I heard it. Now, just about the only place I hear it is in my head. My cousin Diane and her girlfriends would listen to it and sing along when they kept an eye on me while our parents went out for the evening. Little did they know my cousin introduced me to smoking, drinking, and rock and and roll. Will always miss Diane…I never got to thank her.
R. Ral Donner.
Made some fine records. Sounded just like Elvis. Came and went like a train passing through a small town at midnight. Sometimes I think I am the only person who still remembers him.
The Family. The Markets. The Love. The Support. The Memories. Every day of my life they are with me. Every Single Day. My Father’s blue collar wisdom. My Mother’s love and unflappable attitude. Their acceptance of everyone, non judgemental openness, and hard fought work ethic…the American Dream personified. My Dad worked his ass off for his family and whistled while he worked. A fine man, a Mensch, and a role model who still makes me wish I would have been smart enough to listen to him more when I was younger. My aunts, uncles, cousins…just unbelievably blessed with an incredible family…and you can include the Figone family in that family too.
T. Television. I can remember when TV was a miracle. It changed our lives. When I think of television I think of my childhood. I think of Miss Francis and Winky Dink, Crusader Rabbit, and Howdy Doody. I think of Captain Midnight (Jet Jackson), Space Patrol, Tom Corbett Space Cadet, and Superman. I think Of Richard Diamond, American Bandstand, and Shindig. I think of Ed Sullivan, Walt Disney Presents, and Mr. Science. I think of Science Fiction Theatre, Boston Blackie, and M Squad. I think of the Mickey Mouse Club, Spin and Marty, and My Three Sons. Sometimes I go to YouTube and find what I can of my fascination with the miracle of television…but most of the time, I just picture myself cross-legged on the floor in front of it, watching with wide eyes, hoping my mother would let me eat off a TV tray in the living room instead of at the kitchen table. Sometimes…she did.
U. U-No Candy Bars.
The U-No part of this video starts about 2 minutes in but the whole thing is pretty cool. Be forewarned though, this guy is so screwed up on sugar, he should not be allowed near machinery of any kind….
Remember those? Probably not. A precursor to today’s Three Musketeers bars (which themselves used to be three loosely defined mounds of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry nougat). Kept them in the fridge so they were cold, but they always stayed soft and delicious.
V. Vicks Vape-O-Rub.
To this day, the smell of this stuff (and Ben Gay) makes me desperate to never get another cold or flu. My mother would rub this stuff all over my chest and every breath would be an agonizing lungful of mentholated nastiness. Also…it felt like someone rubbed a jar of sticky, gooey, smelly, snot all over your chest. I can still conjure up the smell and the feeling when I get sick…and I honestly believe it just makes me sicker.
W. Wackers. Of course.
XYZ. XYZ the Band. Just for my friends who might appreciate this or have never heard it before. WHAT it is in at the Wikipedia link here. What it SOUNDED like is in this YouTube video.
So while you are doing your best to exercise and eat healthy and be able to fit into your favourite rock band t shirts from high school, remember to exercise your noodle too. Believe me, the shallow people may admire your vehicle until it breaks down, rusts, and betrays you, but your driver…your driver can amuse you and your friends whether or not you still look good in a bathing suit.
…and that is something wonderful.
Segarini’s column appears whenever The Leafs make their Fans Cry
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Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record