Saturday, September 30, 2006

Jessica Horn -Busch Yellow Transportation 300, or More Reasons to Hate Kansas

I hate Kansas. I have my reasons and they're damn good ones. Saturday's Busch race there didn't do a thing to change my opinion. First of all, for reasons that aren't clear to me, Kansas Speedway managed to conspire in the wrecking and/or misfortune of every single driver from Virginia who participated in the race.

And then there is "Kansas City's Own" Jessica Horn, who ... what would you call it? Not "sang". Not "performed", I don't think. "Adapted", possibly. She did the "adaptation" of our National Anthem. The fact that Kansas City would claim this woman as "their own" is enough to condemn them to Patriotic Purgatory. What she did to "The Star Spangled Banner" defies description. I'll take that long-legged Nubian May-I any day over this ... this... (shudder) ... thing. This Abbatoir of Song called "Jessica".

I don't know what she's trying to do with those vocal chords of hers -as Cecil said, "She obviously has a high roof to her mouth." Yup. She did. She was plenty loud. I can think of a couple things to stick into that 'high roof' to stop at least some of the things she assumed were notes from leaking out.

Cecil said kindly that she was over ambitious and that "her pitch was about as reliable as her cadence." That is to say, not at all.

This girl, for reasons I cannot understand, decided to hold out all of the half-notes for measures, and all of her whole notes were rendered as quarter notes. Think George Burns, or Willie Nelson in a jazzy, bored mood. Only she didn't hit the correct notes. I didn't realize there was such a thing as 'A-Flat and a Half' until I heard her sing. I dunno, maybe she's part Chinese and she's using their scale or something, but Jesus Christ she was so uniformly horrible and wrong that I hereby absolve all of the other "singers" before her who have butchered our NATIONAL ANTHEM.

Whoever hired her for that gig needs to be shot. But kudos to the guy who set off the fireworks during "bombs bursting". It had to be a fluke, there's no way in hell he could have judged when she would have reached those words.

NO STARS. EVER. The only stars you deserve are those sticky ones that you put on the papers you grade in the Elementary School where you should be teaching anything but music.

THE FLYOVER: Two beautiful EA-68 Prowlers from Washington D.C. Naval Reserve. Kewl.

THE INVOCATION: Cole Cochran of Kansas City Raceway Ministries. It was fine. Jeff Burton ought not to giggle in church, that might be why his engine give out.

THE COMMAND: James Welch, President and CEO of Yellow Transportation. Need I say more? He didn't suck as bad as many of the other Presidents and CEOs who preceded him, but he still sucked. God I hate Kansas.

And what was up with Wally D. and them pickin' at each other in the booth? We couldn't figure out the little in-"jokes", but they were getting downright bitchy with each other. It was getting to be a little embarrassing.

Harvick won again. Another reason to hate Kansas. But remember our motto: "Anybody but a Busch."

Monday, September 25, 2006

I Slept Through Dover... Carry On, Straight People!!!

Gaaaaawd DANG! Ol' Aint Dixie's been layin' down on y'all - sorry! Cecil taped all the fun NASCAR stuff for me, so I got about 10 hours of race related action PLUS the new Desperate Housewives to look at this week - but that's gotta wait!

Tomorrow night, Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 9pm Eastern, I am scheduled to conduct a one hour radio interview with George Noory, who is the week night host of my former favorite radio show, Coast to Coast AM. This will be broadcast from the studios of WCLM 1450am, Richmond, VA, and if you can Google their website, you can listen online.

I hope he shows up. I hope I don't choke. So listen if you like, and feel free to comment on the glories of Dover until I get our commentaries on that up, sometime later this week.

I had the tv on in the bedroom as our boy JEFF BURTON got his first win in what? five years? Does this mean I have to sleep through all the Cup races now, to ensure him being the Nextel Champeen of Twenty-Ought Six? God I hope not.

Well, I heard the important part, when he won, and boy was that swell. And it was him racin' his best girl, Matt Kenseth. Thank God it was Burton, anyone else and Kenseth woulda took their ass out in a cold-blooded fashion.

And lookit old Jeff, leadin' in the points!!! God-damn, boy! Way to go! It's great to be alive.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Go Johnny, Go! -Craftsman Truck Series Sylvania 200, Loudon, N.H.

Johnny Benson. A really nice guy.

I know I've said it about a gozillion times, but I love Johnny Benson. He seems like such a nice guy. So it was nice to see him win yet again Saturday in Loudon, N.H. at the Sylvania 200. He's got a hot streak going, and it does our hearts good to see him in Victory Lane for the .... what is it? fourth? time this year. Congrats, Johnny Benson!!! It's been a long time coming and well deserved.

THE INVOCATION: Reverend David Dodge of Stratton Community Church. (Sorry if I've misspelled his or his church's name, as usual TNT laid down on us again - all weekend long- as far as crediting this, that and the other thing. ) Rev. Dodge did a nice job. Kind of a Unitarian approach. He didn't do anything memorable, just got the job done.

THE FLYOVER; If there was one, nobody told us.

OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM: Performed by Jerilyn Sawyer of Bergo, R.I. (again, sorry if I got her name wrong, but no credits were given.) At her best, I thought she sounded like Chrystal Gayle. She did a fairly straight rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner", but as so many with a limited range do, she deliberately started a little bit too low and didn't have quite enough diaphragm to back up the first couple of lines, although she had a nice alto once she got enough air to back up the notes. She plugged along nicely using her country (without sounding too country) singer voice until she had to hit that high note on "free", where she resorted to her "church voice". I find that disconcerting, but 80% of the lady singers do it, so.... shrug... whaddaya gonna do? I'd rather hear that than somebody straining to hit a flat note while the veins bulge out in their foreheads and the tendons in their necks threaten to snap.

Cecil thought she did a nice enough job and gives her THREE STARS, without comment.

I'll give her TWO AND A HALF STARS. She didn't offend me, but she just didn't make me feel the love of my country.

THE COMMAND: Joe Digesa, Director of Brand Strategy for Osram Sylvania. Heh. With a title like that, you already know he's gonna suck. My favorite part was the guy who announced him. He got hung up on his last name and it sounded more like a violent sneeze than somebody's surname. He commanded the drivers at the behest of his company, with "On behalf of Sylvania, drivers, start your engines!". No shouting, but he had more energy than the last four guys who tried it (which ain't sayin' much....), he seemed fairly excited, but not like he was accustomed to being excited in front of a large group of people.

Cecil said his command may as well have been, "Todd, take out the trash." But Todd's not gonna do it. Todd's gonna let it sit while flies collect around it until his mother commands his father to take out the trash. Which he will do, because he knows she means business."

The Sylvania 300, Loudon, N.H.

A-10 Warthogs

Hm. Harvick wins yet again. Yawn. As predicted, the race at Loudon was kind of a snoozer. At least nobody got hurt. Or worse. For that we are thankful.

During the "Poached Raisch" (thank you, Ben Hamlin) interviews, Jeff Gordon showed a lot of class by running up to Tony Stewart and giving him an "Atta boy" for finishing second, and to express his appreciation for how well Tony raced him. Both were grinning like Pat Ass monkeys, and you could feel the love. Now that's something you don't see every day.

And just by the way - how about that Dave Blaney? Led a couple of laps. Hung in the top ten a great deal of the time. Cut a tire about mid-race, had to make a green flag pit-stop, and fought his way back to come in ninth. The mighty Tommy Baldwin is back with the Cat 22.... ah well, if it can't be Ward, I'd just as soon it was Blaney. I like the cut of his giblets.

THE INVOCATION: Was given by some priest from some Diocese up around there, and I'm afraid I didn't catch his name. Cecil suggested it might by "Soloman Wordy", because he was kind of solemn and wordy. We did love the way he said, "Our Lord" with that crazy New England accent. "Ow-ah Lod." Howza chowdah, Teddy?

OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM: performed by Denise DeSap, who probably sings in the choir at Father Soloman's Cathedral.

Cecil gives her THREE STARS "for her solid, workmanlinke rendition and fine Yankee Craftsmanship."

I give her TWO AND A HALF STARS because I don't care for the "church lady" style of singing. If you were to judge her performance the way the average (white) choir director would, it was flawless. There's just something about churchy sopranos that bugs me.

THE FLYOVER: Four A-10 Warthogs from the New Hampshire Air National Guard. Very cool. And guess what? They were about the only people involved that got a banner at the bottom of the screen identifying them. Okay TNT, we'll take it. If you can only give credit once, let it be for the military. I still think you suck, though.

THE COMMAND: given by Frank Zantiago. Cecil gives THREE STARS to the guy who announced him. No stars for Zantiago, though. He leaned into it like he mighta had something, but betrayed us by being a wussy. That's all I have to say, other than I'm getting so goddam tired of these pantywaist/waste corporate corpses that I don't even want to acknowledge them anymore. Release the bats, y'all.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Matt Kenseth Will Be the 2006 Nextel Cup Champion.

How do I know this? Because he just threw a New World's Record of 17 pies into someone's (Kelly Rippa's) face in under one minute. ( For you non-NASCAR fans, Kenseth drives the 17 car.) It's a Sign from God.

You don't believe me? Watch, wait, and check back in November.

I must say, I like the idea of watching NASCAR drivers give facials on national morning network television, and truth be told, throwing pies in peoples' faces is more my speed than the other kind.

I'll post a photo when one is available.

Kudos to Chesterfield's Denny Hamlin for also breaking the old pie-in-the-face throwing record.

David Letterman's "Top 10 Things Never Before Said By NASCAR Drivers"

10. Kasey Kahne: "Anyone know how to drive a stick?"

9. Jeff Gordon: "Does this gas taste funny to you?"

8. Jeff Burton: "I don't care much for country music or beer."

7. Mark Martin: "Switch the 'r' and 'c' in 'racing', and you get 'caring'. "

6. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.: "Wow. Letterman looks so young in person!" (David Letterman then blew Jr. a kiss....)

5. Denny Hamlin: "You're lookin' at a guy who can drive 500 miles without takin' a leak."

4. Kyle Busch: "A truly great driver doesn't mind asking for directions. Am I right, Ladies?"

3. Kevin Harvick: "It would be nice if the guys in the pits occassionally surprised me with a piece of carrot cake or something..."

2. Jimmie Johnson: "The Nextel Cup is great, but what I'm really excited about is The Late Show Ventriloquist Week."

1. Matt Kenseth: "If you think I'm fast in my car, you should see me in the bedroom."

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

You Might Be an UnsophisticA-tit Rustic If....

Cecil Under Siege. (photo courtesy of Rankin Rob)

According to sometimes NASCAR spotter, and Larry MacReynolds's sometimes RV driver, Racin' Fat Boy, Mike Skinner "don't eat broccoli." But Dr. Carl Abraham Zimring and Dr. Ward Burton do.


You might be an Unsophisticated Rustic if you keep live Virginia Opossums in your home. Which we don't. Right now.

You might also be an Unsophisticated Rustic if you're sitting in your living room drinking Milwaukee's Best, and turn to see your house cat, of dubious feral ancestry, is carrying a small, live frog around its mouth, and not think much about it other than to say, "Honey, Nails got a frog in his mouth.", and turn back to the Jimmy Kimmel Prime Time Spectacular on ABC. (Which, btw, was brilliant, and included footagge of Kimmel and Iron Mike Tyson singing "Winter Wonderland" together.)

It's possible you might be an Unsophisticated Rustic if you are accustomed to sweeping baby Copperhead snakes back out into the back yard with a broom when you find them basking in a sunbeam near your work desk.

And it is also remotely possible that you are an Unsophisticated Rustic if you know the quickest and easiest way to capture live bats and birds that are flying around your house without harming them, or having them shit all over the house before their departure. (Hints from Heloise: towels and five gallon buckets can be useful tools.)

Please do not ask us about the paper lunch sacks full of live mice. We assure you none of them are harmed, and are placed in loving homes that can give them far more than we could ever hope to.

Bank of America Wises Up

The famous "Truckasaurus", immortalized in The Simpsons season 2 episode, "Bart the Daredevil". Best. Episode. Ever.
Well, not really, but I love to say that. You may also know Truckie's work from appearances at Lowe's Motor Speedway & elsewhere, billed as "Robosaurus".

Well good. Jayski reports that tomorrow The Bank of America, who will sponsor the B of A 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 14, is having a contest to pick a Grand Marshal for said race. As we all know, one of The Grand Poobah's duties is to give THE COMMAND for the drivers to start their engines. And guess what the contest entails, folks?

If you guessed who can eat the most fried bologna burgers, you're close.

But since it's Lowes and not South Boston Speedway, contestants will have to demonstrate their "Gentlemen, start your engines!" chops before a panel of "celebrity judges" (one being the P.T. Barnum of NASCAR, Humpy Wheeler), who will pick the winner based on style, technique and enthusiasm. They say it's their way of "giving back" to their loyal customers, but we all know that it's really because they know all their CEOs are wussies, and they don't want the folks here at Willard's callin' 'em out in front of God and everyone. Whatever it takes, I say. Whaddayawanna bet a chick wins?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Chevy Rock and Roll 400 - Richmond, VA, Sept. 9, 2006

Well, by gum, The Rock n Roll 400 wasn't near the donnybrook I was expecting, but it had it's moments, and enough surprises to satisfy. Including common tater Wally Dallenbach referring to Richmond as Bristol after the race was over, and later one of the other announcers saying they were in New Hampshire. They may have been taking a few beer-stained pages from the late, great Harry Caray's book up there in the broadcasting booth. Too bad nobody said, "Cubssssssssss win!!!!!" after Harvick passed Busch Jr. on the last lap.

I must say the atmosphere was perfect for last night's race. The sound of the cars roaring around the track under green was enough to rattle the rotting floorboards of our living room.
Which came in handy, since TNT cut to commercials about every five minutes (Cecil timed it for a half hour, he said they'd show 3 mintues of racing, then 2 minutes of ads), regardless of green or yellow flag conditions. Fortunately we find about 50% of the ads they run during NASCAR races fairly entertaining. Love that "Whose agitatin' my dots?" guy, and those white collar dorks in the Holiday Inn ads...

For one reason or another, neither Cecil nor I speak to our parents much. We love them dearly, and they're awesome people, but we just don't "hang out". We speak on the phone maybe six or eight times a year, maybe more if there's a birth or a tragedy of some sort. But we can always count on phone calls from my Daddy and Cecil's mumma during Daytona, Indianapolis & Richmond races. And so it was today. They love their racin'. Cecil's mumma is a Jeff Gordon fan, and a recent Kasey Kahne Konvert. (She's kinda boy crazy....) So she should be happy her little honeys both made The Chase. My daddy was an Earnhardt fan. He cried when Earnhardt died. And I love the shit out of him for that. But he was left floundering for a few years, not having a driver to pull for. Some strange confluence of events made my daddy, Cecil & me all start liking Tony Stewart a couple years back. We'd previously hated the little prick, but he won us all over. Daddy loves him partly because his other racing hero, A.J. Foyt loves him. We love him cuz he has a monkey.

Alas, our Champeen Smoke didn't make The Chase, but so it goes. He took it well. We predict he's gonna be a sumbitch to contend with these next ten races. All bets are off, and I'd look for at least two more wins from him this season. Not to mention a lot more Ironhead-style driving.

One other topic, real quick: Schrader and Blaney. Hooooo-fucking rah for the old guys!! Both finished in the top ten - Hell, Pee Paw even led a lap or two, but at the end of the day do they get any respect? Oh hell no. Because TNT & SPEED both want to focus on The Chase. Jimmy "Mr. Excitement" Spencer & Kenny Wallace went off-script for a moment during Victory Lane to give kudos to both guys, but since they weren't "Chase Contenders" the Networks decided they were not comment worthy. Which is retarded and fucked up. Whoever this "Muscle" guy is that seems to be running SPEED TV? He needs to get an earful from Dixie.

And another Schrader/Blaney quickie: For two damn years I've been noticing that regardless of the track, or who they're driving for, Schrader & Blaney have a tendency to run together. Some kind of dirt-track owner, "Hey, Hermano, we're sympatico!" sort of thing, or just a fluke? I'm tellin' y'all - watch 'em - it seems they're always running the same, be it in the front or the back of the pack. And Jr. likes to run with Blaney, too. Isn't he a part owner of a dirt track now?

But enough of my yakkin' - let's get on with the Pre-Raisch Activiteeesh (as our beloved Channel 12 sportscaster, Ben Hamlin, might say....).

THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Bonus! I love it when you can hear 107,000 people reciting that, in unison, from your own back yard. Led by Brigadier General Mark A. Bellimi, Commanding General of the Quartermaster Center & School at Fort Lee. Very, very cool.

THE INVOCATION: Reverend C. W. Robb of Hunting Quarter Baptist Church. Rev. Robb was wonderful. Short, sweet, to the point, and he had a really beautiful Southern accent.
Our favorite part was when he said, " .... and we all say it, A- MAN!". Cecil said, "He's no Forrest Gump, but he'll do." We also thought he looked like a black Clint Howard. Very cool, Rev. Robb, very cool.

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM: by Bare Naked Ladies. Cecil ain't sure what to make of it, and truth be told, either am I. We both agreed that it's awfully fun to hear "AND NOW, OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM PERFORMED BY BARE NAKED LADIES!!!" booming over the speakers. Quite a disappointment when the camera pans to five middle-aged Canadian guys. Fortunately they were fully clothed. They're all good singers, but as Cec pointed out, "I was likin' it at first, and then that sweet tenor started sounding cartooney."

It did, too. His mic was the loudest, unfortunately, because the other four guys had nice enough voices, and for the most part, they were all on key in a rather complex arrangement to pull off - for a rock band. For a buncha Canooks, they treated the song a lot more respectfully than many U.S. born performers have in the past. But that falsetto tenor guy - MAY-AN! He sounded for all the world like Frankie Valli doing "Dawn" - which is a BAD, BAD thing during our National Anthem. We did, however, very much love the baritone part. It was just like a tuba part.

Cecil gives them THREE STARS. "Not so much for doing a great job, but they did it with sincerity, and if Canadians can do "The Star Spangled Banner" with sincerity, then that deserves three stars."

I'll give them THREE STARS also. You could tell they spent a lot of time trying to get it right, which is way more than we can say for a lot of performers. And they didn't try to "leave a mark" on it and get all show-offy, they seemed to be using a traditional arrangement, which sadly, only 4/5ths of the band were able to pull off. And also, kudos to them for not being dicks. The entire band seemed very obliging and laid back, and didn't seem to have any attitudes.

THE FLYOVER: F-16 Fighting Falcons led by Bobby Sandford of the Virginia Air National Guard. THIS. WAS. COOL. And finally TNT gave them credit both onscreen and verbally, even mentioning who lead the squadron and that it would be the last flyover by the F-16s, as they're being replaced by F-22s. Cooler yet was that they buzzed our house not once, but twice!!! I love it when military aircraft fly over our house, but it's only twice a year that I know for sure when they're going to do it, so I can go out and watch for them.

THE COMMAND: Given by Keith Crain, Chairman of Crain Communications. Boy. Yet another man lacking enthusiasm. Will it ever end? Mr. Crain will be spared my usual Harpy's Harangue because he did have style. He looked like he should be sitting in a bar saying "Da Bears" over a mug of draft beer instead of "Gentlemen, start your engines!" , but as Cecil pointed out, his delivery of The Command "was more a subdued, Teutonic military command. 'Gentlemen. Start. Your engines.' " And when he paused between words, he'd get a real crazy glint in his eyes, and shift his eyes back and forth. That was kinda neat.

Stay tuned for more nit/butt/booger pickin' regarding The Chase.

Emerson Radio 250 - Richmond, VA

The Drive-by Truckers #07 Jack Daniels Car, Chevy Rock and Roll 400, 2005. Driver Dave Blaney & Crew.
Our one year anniversary. Wish you were here, Rob.

Well, Cup Qualifying was a hoot. Two Virginia boys on the front row, one being Richmond (well, Chesterfield - close enough....) native, Denny Hamlin. We liked Denny from the git, but it's his mumma and daddy we really love. Dennis and Mary Lou Hamlin gave up everything and all to finance their boy's dream. And couldn't be prouder. Denny's quotable daddy is what we call "our people". He's about a sensitive old booger. He'll cry on ya. And that's Jake by us, that dude is Cool. After his boy scored the pole position for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400, a tearful Dennis Hamlin said to TNT's Alan Bestwick of his son, "If we'da known he was gonna be that good, we'd have had 4 or 5 and sold them!". This comment was met with gales of approving laughter from all of the NASCAR talking heads, and may prove Mr. Hamlin to be more colorful and interesting than any of the current drivers. God Bless You, Dennis and Mary Lou Hamlin!

And onto the Busch Pre-Race Critiques:

THE INVOCATION: John Bryant, Mechanicsville Baptist Church. Bryant was short, sweet and reverent. He also sounded a great deal like Tom Hanks playing Forrest Gump, which sounds funny, but it was really cool. Think about it. Forrest would have made a great preacher.

THE NATIONAL ANTHEM: Performed flawlessly by The 392cd Army Band from Ft. Lee. It was a classic arrangement (except for one slightly baroque bit at the end, which added some drama) and should be held as a standard for how sporting events should present "The Star Spangled Banner". No noodley knuckleheads trying to "put their mark" on the song the way a tomcat puts his mark on your rose bushes.

FOUR STARS from everyone at Willard's Garagge. The way it should be done!

THE FLYOVER: Hello????? TNT??? Anybody awake over there? We taped The National Anthem so we could go outside and watch the flyover from our backyard, bein's how we're 1.5 miles from RIR. We saw two helicopters in the distance. Later we saw them on the video tape, but nobody bothered to mention what they were or where they came from.

THE COMMAND: Eduard Will, President of North American Radio Operations for Emerson Radio.
When will they ever learn? Whoever was in charge of reanimating that corpse was layin' down on the job.

Cecil said, "You can put him back in cold storage. He coulda used some more voltage on that de-feeble-ator to defrost him. CEOs make the worst Grand Dragon watchacallit command callers."

What is so fucking hard about getting a grown man to say four simple words with enthusiasm? These bastards are paying shitpiles of their stockholders' money to be on National Television for probably the only time in their lives, you'd think they'd WANT to shout it from the rooftops. But instead they all sound like Droopy Dog. Fuck you rich jerks, bring on your wives to holler "Gentlemen Start Your Engines!!", they're probably used to screamin' similar things at you.

Probably more along the lines of, "WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOUR FORGOT TO TAKE YOUR VIAGRA AGAIN?????"
more fun racing song suggestions:
Darryl Worley's - "Sideways"
Cheap Trick's - "She's Nice, She's Tight"
Robbie Fulks's - "Let's Kill Saturday Night"

Friday, September 08, 2006

Needles and Pinz-zah.

As I sit here in the smokey back office of Willard's I am soothed by the sound of what seems to be one stock car going around and around Richmond International Raceway during one of the practices for this weekends races. But I still have butterflies in my stomach. I don't know why. We don't really have a dog in this fight, since our beloved Ward Burton remains "currently unaffiliated", as George Clooney's hilarious Everett McGill said in "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?".

Still this Race For the Chase has succeeded in adding some excitement to the whole travelling circus known as NASCAR. And so I shall fret until the final lap of the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 tomorrow night. Worrying over whether or not Jeff Burton will make it into The Chase. Will Denny Hamlin? Will Mark Martin be able to contend one final time for an elusive Championship? Will Mikey Waltrip ever find True Love? (It's the Devil's Crowbar....).

I heard Mikey say that Kasey Kahne was "cute as a button" in his Snuggle firesuit last week. Mikey said, "I just wanted to hug him! Show another clip of him in that Snuggle suit!"

Ho, me! Worrah, worrah, worrah. Soap operas could not possibly be as engaging as NASCAR. "But oh!", you say, "You haven't seen "Passions"!! It's over the top! They even have a monkey on it!"

We got a monkey.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Necrophiliacs Dancin' With the Dead Ones....

all images c. wes freed 1993

Thanks to Rankin' Rob for "getting it".

Willard's Garage Vol. 1, #1.

It's veahn-itch, y'all!


all images Wes Freed copyright 1993

Monday, September 04, 2006

Richmond is a Hard Road to Travel

The Race is On, Boys....

Richmond is a Hard Road to Travel
(words, anonymous; tune Daniel Decatur Emmett)

Would you like to hear my song? I'm afraid it's rather long
Of the famous "On to Richmond" double trouble,
Of the half-a-dozen trips and half-a-dozen slips
And the very latest bursting of the bubble.
'Tis pretty hard to sing and like a round, round ring
'Tis a dreadful knotty puzzle to unravel;
Though all the papers swore, when we touched Virginia's shore
That Richmond was a hard road to travel.
Then pull off your coat and roll up your sleeve,
Richmond is a hard road to travel,
Then pull off your coat and roll up your sleeve,
Richmond is a hard road to travel, I believe.

First, McDowell, bold and gay, set forth the shortest way,
By Manassas in the pleasant summer weather,
But unfortunately ran on a Stonewall, foolish man,
And had a "rocky journey" altogether;
And he found it rather hard to ride o'er Beauregard,
And Johnston proved a deuce of a bother,
And'twas clear beyond a doubt that he didn't like the route,
And a second time would have to try another.
Then pull off your coat and roll up your sleeve,
For Manassas is a hard road to travel;
Manassas gave us fits, and Bull Run made us grieve,
For Richmond is a hard road to travel, I believe!

Next came the Wooly-Horse,* with an overwhelming force,
To march down to Richmond by the Valley,
But he couldn't find the road, and his "onward movement" showed
His campaigning was a mere shilly-shally.
Then Commissary Banks, with his motley foreign ranks,
Kicking up a great noise, fuss, and flurry,
Lost the whole of his supplies, and with tears in his eyes,
From the Stonewall ran away in a hurry.
Then pull off your coat and roll up your sleeve,
For the Valley is a hard road to travel;
The Valley wouldn't do and we all had to leave,
For Richmond is a hard road to travel, I believe!

Then the great Galena came, with her portholes all aflame,
And the Monitor that famous naval wonder,
But the guns at Drury's Bluff gave them speedily enough,
The loudest sort of reg'lar Rebel thunder.
The Galena was astonished and the Monitor admonished,
Our patent shot and shell were mocked at,
While the dreadful Naugatuck, by the hardest kind of luck,
Was knocked into an ugly cocked hat.
Then pull off your coat and roll up your sleeve,
For James River is a hard road to travel;
The gun-boats gave it up in terror and despair,
For Richmond is a hard road to travel, I declare!

Then McClellan followed soon, both with spade and balloon
To try the Peninsular approaches,
But one and all agreed that his best rate of speed
Was no faster than the slowest of "slow coaches. "
Instead of easy ground, at Williamsburg he found
A Longstreet indeed, and nothing shorter,
And it put him in the dumps, that spades wasn't trumps,
And the Hills he couldn't level "as he orter."
Then pull off your coat and roll up your sleeve
For Longstreet is a hard road to travel -
Lay down the shovel, and throw away the spade
For Richmond is a hard road to travel, I'm afraid!

Then said Lincoln unto Pope, "You can make the trip, I hope
I will save the Universal Yankee nation,
To make sure of no defeat, I'll leave no lines of retreat,
And issue a famous proclamation."
But that same dreaded Jackson, this fellow laid his whacks
And made him, by compulsion, a seceder,**
And Pope took rapid flight from Manassas' second fight,
'Twas his very last appearance as a leader.
Then pull off your coat and roll up your sleeve,
For Stonewall is a hard road to travel;
Pope did his very best, but was evidently sold,
For Richmond is a hard road to travel, I am told!

Last of all the brave Burnside, with his pontoon bridges, tried
A road no one had thought of before him,
With two hundred thousand men for the Rebel slaughter pen
And the blessed Union flag waving o'er him;
But he met a fire like hell, of canister and shell,
That mowed his men down with great slaughter,
'Twas a shocking sight to view, that second Waterloo,
And the river ran with more blood than water.
Then pull off your coat and roll up your sleeve,
Rappahannock is a hard road to travel;
Burnside got in a trap, which caused him for to grieve
For Richmond is a hard road to travel, I believe!

We are very much perplexed to know who is the next
To command the new Richmond expedition,
For the Capital must blaze, and that in ninety days,
And Jeff and his men be sent to perdition.
We'll take the cursed town, and then we'll burn it down,
And plunder and hang up each cursed Rebel;
Yet the contraband was right when he told us they would fight
"Oh, yes, massa, they fight like the devil!"
Then pull off your coat and roll up your sleeve,
For Richmond is a hard road to travel;
Then pull off your coat and roll up your sleeve,
For Richmond is a hard road to travel, I believe!

*General Fremont
**The Battle of Cedar Run
From Songs of the Civil War, Silber
tune: Jordan is a Hard Road to Travel

Added footnote: you can find a swell version of "Jordan Is a Hard Road to Travel" on the Dirtball cd, "Hillbilly Soul".

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Sony HD 500 - Fontana, California

THE INVOCATION: given by Jeff Hamilton of Motor Racing Outreach. Um. Nice. Is about it. Very to the point and preacher like. Not colorful. Not dry. Just there.

OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM: Was sung by "Sony R & B Recording Superstar" MYA (pronounced May-I , we're told ).

What the fuck? That "singing" was..... I don't know. It reminded me of several things, but the most prevalent thought throughout her brutal savaging of "The Star Spangled Banner" was, "Just close your eyes and think of England."

Normally when I'm being brutally raped, I try to dwell on baseball or pancakes, but they're both so very American, and her rendering (and I mean "render" in all the senses of the word) of our National Anthem was anything but American. I'll give Miss MYA this, she raped the song very tenderly - almost hesitantly - as if she wasn't really sure if she hated her home country or not.... Given her seeming unfamiliarity with the song itself, let alone it's nuances, it's quite likely that she actually doesn't even know where she's from or whose side she's on. And I can forgive her for that, hence my generous bestowal of NEGATIVE THREE STARS AND 8 WEEKS IN GITMO. Or as Cecil calls it, "The Cells, At Guantanamo". (You have to say that in a soothing, tv real estate advertisement voice.)

And this friendly piece of advice: Dear Miss MYA, don't take every gig your agent throws at you.

Damn. My pussy hurts.

Cecil, Bless His Heart, got hung up on her name early on. "May-I". He got to thinking that it would be cool if she became a nun and climbed the ranks to Mother Superior, just to become Mother May I. Then she could start a wrasslin' team with Cardinal Sin. But of course, he knew that in real life she'd never be a Catholic, and if she ever did become a nun she'd take up a name like Sister Castrati, and really, where's the fun in that? Nonetheless, he does think that it might be a good idea for the Catholic Church to get involved in the WWF. Might take some of the attention away from all them not so honorable Priests that have been making the news lately.

Aaaaaaaaaaanyhoooozles, Cecil gives her ONE STAR because "She didn't fall down and she didn't hurt anybody."

THE FLYOVER; Definitely the high mark of the show.

Two beautiful F117-Nighthawks that were so awesome they actually made the crowd cheer for a moment during Miss MYA's miasmatic vocal wanderings.

THE COMMAND: Given by Sony Recording Artist, (but you may know her from her work on American Idol) Kelly Clarkson.

Not bad. Not bad at all. No criticisms.

ZZZZZzzzzzz...... snort! Huh? Wha? Kali-wha? Bush, did someone say Bush?

Dear Kalifornia:

I'm sorry. You're sorry. I'm sorry that you're sorry. You have no idea I sorry I am that you are sorry.

"And when California slides into the ocean, like the mystics and statistics say it will....."

We can only hope, Warren, we can only hope....