Thursday 30 November 2023

Title Fight #4: Angels, Bubbles & Bologna

Yes, that is Joan Jett. Yes, that is Mike Tyson. Best of friends, apparently. To the point that Mike used to insist that Joan called him up before every boxing match to ensure success. She was his good luck charm. The first time that didn't happen - in his bout against Buster Douglas on February 11, 1990 - he lost. 

Seems only appropriate that we kick off this week with a little Joan...

1. The Runaways - Neon Angels On The Road To Ruin

One of those song titles that reeks of sleazy rock & roll excess, just like the Runaways themselves. It prepares you for a debauched grindhouse B movie of a record, and the lyrics deliver that in spades. Jim Steinman would be proud.

2. Shirley Ellis - Ever See A Diver Kiss His Wife While The Bubbles Bounce About Above The Water?

A top notch suggestion from Ernie, although one that does beg the unfortunate question: which one of them farted? And I say that as someone who loathes fart jokes. 

Shirley Ellis recorded 3 albums then retired from the music business in 1968. I'm hoping she made enough money from The Clapping Song to keep her in the manner she deserved.

3. Norma Tanega - Walkin' My Cat Named Dog

When I feature an artist who's never appeared on the blog before, I like to to dig into their biography and find an interesting fact or two to enliven my leaden prose. Where do you start with Norma Tanega? She worked in a mental hospital and sang for the patients. She had a 5 year relationship with Dusty Springfield. After she stopped performing as a solo artist, she played percussions in bands called Baboonz, hybridVigor, and Ceramic Ensemble. Her song You're Dead (a comment on the competitive nature of the music industry) is used as the theme tune to What We Do In The Shadows. 

Even today's song has a wonderful story behind it. Tanega's New York apartment building wouldn't allow dogs, so instead she got a cat, called it Dog, and took it for walks on a lead. In 1966, Walkin' My Cat Named Dog reached the exact same position in both the US and UK charts: #22. It remains her most popular song, though title-wise, I was also tempted to go with A Street That Rhymes At 6am

4. The Isley Brothers - Cold Bologna

Hear me out on this one. On the surface, Cold Bologna isn't as eye-catching as most of the other titles in this series, but it is an excellent example of a title that doesn't set you up for something you're not going to get. If you call a song Cold Bologna, then I expect that song to be about a rather unappetising sandwich filling. And that's just what the Isleys deliver here... whilst also giving us a tragic metaphor for poverty and the class system filtered through the eyes of a child.

Talkin' bout that
Cold bolonga and mayonnaise and bread
If it wasn't for cold bologna by now
Y'all know I would've been dead

It also helps that I'm a big fan of words like "bologna" which don't sound anything like they're spelled. And the fact that "baloney" has a second connotation too... perfect.

5. Dougie Poole - Nothing On This Earth Can Make Me Smile

As usual, we close with a contemporary smash... although it sounds like it could be from an early 70s singer-songwriter. Jim Croce or even John Denver spring to mind. Dougie Poole is an alt-country singer from Brooklyn, once called "the patron saint of millennial malaise", which is a sobriquet to save for your tombstone if ever there was one. 

Which is your favourite title and which is your favourite tune? Do they match?

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Self-Help For Cynics #15: Perfect

It's got to be perfect
It's got to be worth it, yeah
Too many people take second best
But I won't take anything less
It's got to be, yeah

Fairground Attraction - Perfect

I hate dealing with car repairs and mechanics. I always feel like they’re going to be patronising, supercilious and out to rip me off every chance they get. Unfortunately, due to the amount of mileage I do these days, my dealings with car repair “specialists” have increased… and any such encounter I can drive away from without a hole in my pocket or a bigger hole in my ego gives me cause for cheer. Actual turn up the radio, thump the steering wheel, whoop for joy jubilation. Survived another one! Got out with my wallet and my dignity (mostly) intact!  

There were bad times when my tank was running dry
And my machine couldn't shift into its gears
And on cold days it would stall
So I almost junked it all

The Good Rats - Mr. Mechanic

In her book Don’t Feed The Monkey Mind, Jennifer Shannon identifies three “assumptions” which our stressed out amygdala loves to accentuate. Last week I talked about Fear of Uncertainty… this week: Perfectionism.

The Orchids - Striving For The Lazy Perfection

I don’t think of myself as a perfectionist. I'm too lazy. Of Dr. Shannon’s three assumptions, this was the one I'd almost ruled out from the start. Until I read the chapter and realised that perfectionism goes hand in hand with something else which I am extremely familiar with: fear of failure. The expert explains…

While others find motivation from challenge, a higher purpose, a promised prize, or simply the joy of doing the thing itself, if you are a perfectionist, your motivation is fear of failing. Your mantra is: don’t screw it up! Only when you’ve completed the social interaction or task without making any mistakes will you be able to relax.

Skinny - Failure

This explains the whoop of joy I let out on escaping the maw of the mechanic, unscathed.

This also explains why I never asked a girl out in my teens, and only really stumbled into relationships in my 20s when the green light was showing and the welcome mat was thrown at my feet.

Chad & Jeremy - Teenage Failure

As I’ve grown older, I have learned to take more risks, step outside my comfort zone, force myself to flirt with danger if the prize was really worth having. That’s how I managed to get out of my old job… but I had to be backed into a corner by the firing squad to do it.

And this is the place where failure goes
If your dreams won't die
This is where all your hopes survive
If they're not a lie
This is where all the might-have-beens
Triumph and forgive
This is where all the star-crossed loves
Have the chance to live

Rupert Holmes - The Place Where Failure Goes

Dr. Shannon continues…

Perfectionists hedge their bets, only doing things they know they’ll be good at. If you do get saddled with something you aren’t good at, you may just put it off until the last minute, where you’ll have an excuse – not enough time – to be less than perfect.

Sound familiar? Or is it just me again?

Chip Taylor - Fuck All The Perfect People

The argument goes that really successful people achieve their goals because they’re unafraid of failure. They fall off the horse... then they get back on and try again. Eventually they get where they want to be. I’ve often argued that the reason I didn’t make it as a professional writer is that I didn’t push myself enough. Every rejection letter was a kick in the teeth. Many of my contemporaries who did succeed in that field lost all their teeth but just kept growing new ones. I don’t believe they were better writers than me. They were just better at recovering from a kicking, or as Jennifer Shannon puts it…

…relatively few high achievers expect perfectionism from themselves.

Just everyday problems
Find a way of bringin' you down
But if you want it bad enough
Find a way of turning it around
You find a way of turning it around

There's one thing that'll beat failing
That's trying
If anybody tells you different
They gotta be lying

Bobby Womack - There's One Thing That Beats Failing

A former colleague (notably more successful than me in most aspects of her life, but also a major screw-up in certain areas) used to swear by a popular self-help book of the late 80s / early 90s called Feel The Fear & Do It Anyway. She adopted the book’s title as her mantra and it appeared to serve her well. Cynical moi used to pour scorn on the very notion, but the more I read about the way our brain works against us, the more I’m coming to accept the wisdom in that mantra. 

Oh baby, here comes the fear again, oh-oh
The end is near again, oh-oh
A monkey's built a house on your back
You can't get anyone to come in the sack
And here comes another panic attack, oh
Here we go again

Pulp - The Fear

One final word from the good doctor…

When we allow for some risk, we give ourselves more choices and we prepare ourselves for when things go wrong. If we deny ourselves the privilege of being wrong or failing, we’ll be unable to take the risks that are necessary for meeting our personal goals. This is why, in addition to anxiety, perfectionism is associated with depression, procrastination, addiction and low self-esteem.

Failure hurts though. It’s not just a metaphorical kicking, it can feel as painful, as brutal, as any physical assault. I remember when I was applying for my current job. There was a moment when an obstacle was placed in my way which seemed insurmountable. All the hope I’d placed in this one opportunity, this lifeline escape from the mental misery of The Bad Place… and now it looked like it was all a pipe dream. I actually collapsed on the floor like I’d been punched in the stomach. I remember sitting there in abject despair… feeling actual physical pain.

I get knocked down... but I get up again

Chumbawamba - Tubthumping

Somehow though, I managed to pick myself up and try to find a solution. I still don’t know where I found that impetus. It doesn’t come naturally. Maybe for some people, you only get it when you hit rock bottom.

Failure is always the best way to learn,
Retracing your steps until you know,
Have no fear, your wounds will heal.

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Namesakes #61: Goodies Vs. Baddies

When we're watching a film, we all like to root for the Goodies. Too many times in the real world, the Baddies win... I guess that's how you can tell the difference between fiction and reality.

Here are some musical Goodies & Baddies. I was going to split this between two posts, but life just seemed too short...


60's girl band who recorded in the same studio as The Shangri-Las and even did the original demo of Leader of the Pack... although the internet claims their version was deemed "too filthy", so their rivals were given the hit instead. Dum Dum Ditty is another song by Phil Spector rival George 'Shadow' Morton, and some reckon it's a Spector parody. 


Swedish rock baddies from 1984 who only appear to have released one single... but here are both sides for your listening delectation.


Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie made their names in the 70s as TV comedy troupe, The Goodies. They also crashed into the pop charts, most notably with this Number 4 hit in 1975, The Funky Gibbon. 

I was a little bit young to really get the Goodies, but I did like it when they were chased by the giant Dougal. The three Goodies went on to successful careers in comedy, birdwatching, and inspiring uncategorisable nonsense such as this...

Raised By Owls - Bill Oddie Is Our No.1 Fan

Watching this video back now, I was taken by Graeme Garden's rather embarrassed performance... until I remembered he always had that look on his face.


Australian punks who like to shout Oy! This may have been acceptable behaviour in 1977, but by 2001 it was just a cliché. 


Over in Denmark, meanwhile, the Goodies sounded like this in the 70s. Here they are taking A Trip Across The Lake...


Way, way back in the ancient time of 2009 (14 years ago, in case you were thinking it was yesterday), arrived on the scene from Southend. Presumably they're all now banged up in Wormwood Scrubs.


Our next Goodies came from Athens, Georgia in 1997, when they released one album called Greatest Hits... which clearly wasn't a Greatest Hits. Although I suppose it was, since it was as "great" as their "hits" ever got. That record doesn't appear to exist on the interweb, anyway. Luckily, I found their 2004 compilation album called Live! Of course it isn't a live album. It's actually closer to a Greatest Hits. Despite all this confusion, I feel these Goodies require further investigation... perhaps because they seem to have a rather eclectic sound (i.e. they're all over the place from one track to the next).


Norwegian indie pop ladies from right now. Apparently their lyrics are explicit, but they're in Norwegian, so you should be OK.


From New York City, here are some Goodies from 2015. Only two tracks available at the campsite of bands, but they do appear to be still in the go, with a gig at Schimanski, Brooklyn on the 22nd of December if you're in the neighbourhood.

There are more Goodies than Baddies... unlike in the real world... but who are the winners? Does good triumph over bad? You decide.

Monday 27 November 2023

The Oh Dear I've Not Done A Monday Post Post

It's late Sunday night and I just want to go to bed and read a chapter of my book, when I realise I haven't done a post for Monday morning. I could just leave it. It wouldn't be the first time I've skipped a day. Or more. But I realise that if I try to read now, I'll just end up thinking about what I could be blogging, so...

T-Rex - By The Light Of The Magical Moon

There was a halo round the moon on Saturday night. I wonder if you saw it where you live? Apparently it's caused by "the refraction of moonlight from ice crystals in the upper atmosphere." My photo isn't as impressive as some of the ones you'll find on the news sites, but still, I was pleased I caught it at all.

The Cure - Halo

More bright lights I captured on my late evening walk with Bertie... though I'm less impressed by these. This is a house down the end of our road which has gone overboard on the Christmas decs... and it's not even December. It's lit up like this most of the night. Hope they can afford the electricity bill. 

Richard & Linda Thompson - I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight

I know they're going for "Yay! Festive!", but when I walk past, I just think:

Which gives me an excuse to close with this. 

And now I can go to bed.

Sunday 26 November 2023

Snapshots #320: A Top Ten Café Songs

What do you mean, this is a Catherine, not a Café?

Am I bovvered?

Here are ten songs to sing in your local caff...

10. Pardon, Sir?

Deaf School - Capaldi's Café

9. Two snooker greats will grow up to be a bit of a perv.

Ray Reardon and Steve Davis get Kinky.

(Aren't you impressed with my sporting knowledge?)

Ray Davies - Working Man's Café

8. The McNamara brothers were also...

Danny and Richard McNamara are two members of the rock band Embrace. This lot, from the early 80s, were also In Embrace,

In Embrace - Shouting In Cafés

7. Vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person's or animal's ear.

Definition Of Sound - Moira Jane's Café

6. At best, they're golden.

The Eagles - The Sad Café

Not to be confused with these guys...

Sad Café - Everyday Hurts

5. Lads often found on a cake.

The Cherry Boys - Kardomah Café

4. Killer Michael's Mum?

Michael Fassbender is in The Killer, which I reviewed here (if you can call that a review). This isn't his mum, but it could be...

Susan Fassbender ‎– Twilight Café

#21 in 1981, folks.

3. Day & Wright, Thicke & Dick.

Robin Day, Robin Wright, Robin Thicke and Dick Grayson, aka Batman's original partner.

The Robins - Smokey Joe's Café

2. A Christmas tune fit for royalty.

A carol fit for a king.

Carole King - Hard Rock Café

1. Roy.

If you can get past the fact that the lead singer looks like a young David Cameron in the video (and you probably can't), this is is a great tune.

Keane - Sovereign Light Café

Saturday 25 November 2023

Saturday Snapshots #320



Who is in the photos below. And what connects their tunes?

10. Pardon, Sir?

9. Two snooker greats will grow up to be a bit of a perv.

8. The McNamara brothers were also...

7. Vibrations that travel through the air or another medium and can be heard when they reach a person's or animal's ear.

6. At best, they're golden.

5. Lads often found on a cake.

4. Killer Michael's Mum?

3. Day & Wright, Thicke & Dick.

2. A Christmas tune fit for royalty.

1. Roy.

No need to call a Doctor. The Answers will be here tomorrow morning.

Friday 24 November 2023

Mid-Life Crisis Songs #105: Blowing Leaves

The leaf blowers, is there anything more futile?

There's a guy at the hospital where I work whose sole purpose over the past couple of weeks appears to be blowing leaves. Every morning he's there, blowing them out of the road. You can guess the rest. It's particularly satisfying to watch on a windy day. Makes me feel a little less worthless.

Is there any greater metaphor for the futility of existence than the leaf blower? There was a time I'd have found this depressing, but I take reassurance in the strangest things these days. Like erstwhile airwaves pilot, Charlie Dore, still making music and finding inspiration in the strangest of places. Here she uses the drone of a leaf blower as backing for a wonderful tune about the circular nature of life that's a lot more subtle and moving than Elton's Lion King song

They're blowing leaves,
They're blowing leaves,
But I believe
They will be back again...

Thursday 23 November 2023

Title Fight #3: Parkas, Police & Replacements

We're back with more song titles that did their job - made me give the associated tune a little more attention. Which catches your eye... and does it also catch your ear?

1. I See Hawks In LA - My Parka Saved Me

One of the tricks writers use to engage our interest, I tell my rapt* students, is to create questions in the reader's mind. A really good title or opening line will do this. This song title caught my attention, and pleasingly the story that went along with it lived up to my expectations. Great opening line too!

I got stoned after breaking up with my boyfriend
And he became a Born Again Christian

I See Hawks In LA are from Los Angeles, where clearly they keep their eyes to the skies, and their tongues firmly in their cheeks. 

(*I like to imagine all my students are rapt, even if they're not.)

2. The Panic Brothers - I've Forgotten What It Is That I Was Drinking to Forget

Here's a recommendation from Martin, and funnily enough, it's a band he introduced me to many moons ago. I liked them so much, I bought the CD, as Victor Kiam might have said if he'd been a music blogger rather than a silver haired, razor blade hawking huckster.

3. Gene - The Police Will Never Find You 

Not that I'm going out of my way to be mean to Martin, but he's going to have a tough decision this week when it comes to selecting his favourite tune. Will it be the one he put forward... or this, from one of his favourite bands?

I'm a huge Gene fan, but they never presented themselves as tough guys, so when they released their third album in 1999, it was quite a shock to see them getting seriously menacing, with both this and the final track, You'll Never Walk Again.  

Perhaps the reason I liked these two song titles so much (particularly coming from a bunch of fey milksops like Gene) was that they reminded me of the time I got beaten up by some thugs in high school and made the mistake of shouting up at them, from the playground where I lay, "you'll never know my ultimate strength!" This is what reading too many Spider-Mam comics at an impressionable age will do to you. Oh, how we they laughed.

4. Frank Zappa - My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama

I might as well get the father of Dweezil, Moon Unit, Ahmet and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen out of the way, since when it comes to wacky song titles, he's up there with the best of them. So many to choose from, including What's The Ugliest Part Of Your Body?Son Of Suzy Creamcheese, and, of course, Don't Eat The Yellow Snow. By comparison, My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama seems quite tame, but it's the one I went for.

5. Sandra's Wedding - The Hopeful Boy Replacement Service

As usual, we close with a contemporary tune. This one's from a band that the ever-reliable John Medd turned me onto earlier this year. Sandra's Wedding come from Goole, because somebody has to, and they've amassed quite the back catalogue of wry, witty, observational tunes that bring to mind Paul Heaton at his best. This one, the title track from their latest album, was irresistible, taking me right back to my teens. It's the sort of song Stephen Duffy might have written back in those glorious days of yore. Shades of Stuart Murdoch too.

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Self-Help For Cynics #14: The Age Of Uncertainty

Future is uncertain
The past is fading away
Future is uncertain
The past is fading away
I remember laughin', I can't remember what I was laughin' about
And I remember cryin', I can't forget what I was cryin' about
That won't fade away

Tim Heidecker - Future Is Uncertain

Are you one of those people who checks their route on Google Earth whenever you have to go somewhere new, following the little Google car down every street, looking for car parks and petrol stations and supermarkets where you might be able to stop for a wee?

Diana Ross - Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To?)

If you have to buy something new for your home, do you research it for hours, reading Which? Best Buy reviews and google feedback? Are you obsessed with making certain you’ve found the best possible price out of all the retailers that stock it… and is it definitely in stock? What if you have to return it? Does that retailer have a good track record for customer service?

Bruce Springsteen - The Price You Pay

If you’re going on holiday, do you try to plan a timetable for the whole week? Where you’ll go each day, where you’ll eat, the routes you might take between destinations… and all the stuff I mentioned in the first paragraph?

The Screaming Blue Messiahs - Holiday Head

If any of these sound even remotely familiar, then you have Intolerance of Uncertainty.

Blondie - Will Anything Happen?

In her book Don't Feed the Monkey Mind, Jennifer Shannon identifies three basic assumptions shared by all anxious people: Intolerance of Uncertainy, Perfectionism and Over-Responsibility. They relate to specific personality types – some people will have far more of one than the others, but all anxiety sufferers will sample the delights of each assumptive buffet at one time or another.

The Raveonettes - Uncertain Times

Anxiety Canada says…

When people who are intolerant of uncertainty are exposed to a little bit of uncertainty, they also have a strong reaction: they worry, and do everything they can think of to get away from, avoid or eliminate the uncertainty.

If you’re invited to a party, does the very idea fill you with dread? Who will be there? What should you take? (What will other people be taking?) What time should you arrive? Is it better to be fashionably late… or might that be considered rude? Is it better off just to make your excuses and not go in the first place?

I'll have a shower
Within the hour
I'll smash another cup
Please don't start saying that
Or I'll start believing you
If I start believing you
I'll know that this Party Fears Two
And then phone my brother up

Life is uncertainty. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, next week or even in the next five minutes. But our monkey brain (remember the amygdala?) hates uncertainty. How can it keep us safe if it doesn’t know what the threats are or where they might be coming from? And it’s not just threats to our life and wellbeing it’s trying to protect us from, but the threat of exclusion from the tribe… hence the party fears mentioned above.

The Everly Brothers - That Uncertain Feeling

Jennifer Shannon says…

Difficulty tolerating doubt can lead to compulsive checking behaviours like making sure doors are locked and appliances are turned off. You’ll tend to overplan things; even weekends and vacations have a to-do list. And when the list doesn’t get finished or things don’t go as you planned them, you become upset and have difficulty enjoying the moment.

Jason & The Scorchers - Uncertain Girl

We’ve got a freezer in our garage. A few years back it was accidentally switched off and we had to throw all the food away. Now, whenever I’m closing the garage door, I complete a ritual in my head where I say, “lid down, green light on” to make sure the freezer is OK. Often, even though I’ve done this, I still have to lift the garage door back up and double check. I have to be certain. “Lid down, green light on” has now become a mantra and I've found myself saying it at other times two. This morning it was when I arrived at work and was checking I had everything I needed before I left the car park.

Anxiety Canada again…

If you can’t stand uncertainty and do everything you can to get rid of it, you might have noticed a problem: it is IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of all uncertainty in your life.  

What this means for you is that all the work that you are doing to get rid of uncertainty is useless, it just doesn’t work. If it did, you would probably not be struggling with anxiety and worry.  

So what is the solution?   

If you can’t get rid of uncertainty in your life, the only way to manage your intolerance of uncertainty is by learning to be more TOLERANT of uncertainty.

The The - Uncertain Smile

One thing I’m learning about dealing with mental health issues – particularly those relating to the pesky monkey in our amygdala – is that often the best way to fight them is to act as though you don’t have them. Intolerant of uncertainty? Act as though you’re not. Go to the party and deal with whatever might happen, including any smashed cups. Who cares if you got the cheapest price on that essential purchase? You just got an evening back that you would otherwise have wasted on price comparison sites. Remember life before Google Earth? When we found our own way to places, with the occasional help of a map?

The Blue Aeroplanes - Nothing Will Ever Happen in the Future

Easier said than done in a lot of cases, and there are times (like my garage freezer) when it pays to check. But the more you force yourself to deal with uncertain situations, the more your storytelling brain will write stronger neural pathways that allow you to cope with the unexpected. 

That’s the theory, anyway… 

And it's the damage that we do and never know
It's the words that we don't say that scare me so
There's so many people to see
So many people you can check up on and add to your collection
But they keep you hanging on, until you're well hung
Your mouth is made up, but your mind is undone

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Namesakes #60: Madness

You don't have to be mad to read this blog... but it helps. 

Our descent into (bands called) Madness starts here... with the obvious winners (?)


When I was at junior school, Madness were the first band I ever felt the weight of tribal peer pressure forcing me to like them or else. This would be in 1980, when I was 8 years old, and the band released perfectly suited to the 8 year old demographic: Baggy Trousers. And naturally, I hated it. I didn't want to be a schoolyard yob, pulling hair and eating dirt, and I proudly proclaimed my resistance to the cult of Madness. For which I was beaten soundly. (Not really, but there was probably the odd dead arm or Chinese burn dished out as a result.)

I'm not sure when I changed my opinion of Suggs and co., but I do remember liking their cover of Labi Siffre's It Must Be Love the following year, and that's probably when the ice began to melt... though I still resisted the charms of Baggy Trousers for many years, certainly until I was out of long pants.

Now though, I watch that video with unfettered nostalgia... how time changes us.


The Nutty Boys first got together in 1976. Three years later in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the smooth AOR sounds of another Madness began. They would soon change their name to Akasha, probably after Suggs popped round and threatened to flush their heads down the toilet. Lead singer Gary Darling would then go on to found The Verandas. 

There's some cool facial hair going on here...


Mongolian pop group from 2010. It takes all sorts... but it was either this or the Brazilian death metal Madness.

Mädness #4

Always got time for some umlauted German hip hop...

And finally, a special rule-breaking shout out to a Hungarian DJ who caught my eye... if not my ear.


Which Madness Must Be Love for you... and which do you want to Shut Up?

Monday 20 November 2023

Neverending Top Ten #6.5: The Lynx Effect

Sam has started wearing deodorant. 

I'm not sure he needs it yet, he's still a few years off being a sweaty teenager, but apparently it's the thing. So his mum bought him some Lynx. Because the makers have moved away from the ridiculous notion that if you spray yourself with Lynx, thousands of teenage girls will come chasing after you (presumably with some bleach and a scrubbing brush) and now they're promoting themselves via the notion of sporting prowess - wearing Lynx will make you into a G.O.A.T.

I wish I was blissfully unaware of what that stands for, but sadly I'm not.

It probably goes without saying that I have a problem with Lynx. Due to "odour-linked memories", I don't get The Lynx Effect... I get The Proust Effect.

This name came about because the author Marcel Proust wrote in his book, Swann’s Way, that the smell of a pastry he dipped in his tea brought on a rush of joy associated with his childhood.

In short, nice smells evoke nice memories. 

However, due to our storytelling brain, the opposite is also true. I don't know if Marcel Proust ever smelt Lynx deodorant, but if he did, I hope it whisked him back to school changing rooms on a wet Wednesday afternoon, when all the footy lads were raring to go, and young Proust was feeling queasy, intimidated and ready for his weekly hour of humiliation. Because that's what happens to me. One whiff of Lynx and I end up right back here...

It's enough to make a grown man cry. And for a 51 year old man who's never quite managed the growing up thing... it's even worse.


Sunday 19 November 2023

Snapshots #319: A Top Ten Between Songs

Here's the Cure for your Sunday morning blues. Ten songs to get in-between.

10. Trump & Twist.

Donald Trump and Fagin from Oliver Twist gives you...#

Donald Fagen - Walk Between The Raindrops

9. One of the lonely people, enjoys her patty in hot oil.

Eleanor Rigby was one of the lonely people. 

This particular Eleanor enjoys a fried burger.

Eleanor Friedberger - In Between Stars

8. Lewis and Harris.

Lewis and Harris is the Hebridean island where you will find Stornoway.

Stornoway - Between The Saltmarsh And The Sea

7. Swanky police club.

In America, a billy club is what the police used instead of a truncheon. A swanky person likes to brag.

Billy Bragg - Between The Wars

6. Ah, go on. Go on, go on, go on.

They're very persuasive.

The Persuaders - Thin Line Between Love & Hate

5. Rosy sprites.

The Pink Fairies - Between The Lines

4. Zzzzzzzz.

Sleeper - Inbetweener

3. Levis rub him up the wrong way.

"Levis rub" is an anagram.

If any of you have access to the Disney+ streaming service, can I recommend the Australian TV show Mr. Inbetween? It's got nothing to do with this song, but it is very worth watching. Only 25 minute episodes too, so they're easy to get through before you fall asleep at the end of the day.

Burl Ives - Call Me Mr. In-Between

2. Ewan marries a virgin.

Ewan McGregor + The Virgin Mary =

Mary McGregor - Torn Between Two Lovers

1. Will reoccur every six weeks, inside.

Will reoccur every six weeks...

Try to survive the days between now and next Saturday - your reward will be more Snapshots.

Saturday 18 November 2023

Saturday Snapshots #319

It's 8.30 on a Saturday morning... not yet time for the nine o'clock news. Instead, here are ten pop performers to identify. You probably won't need a cunning plan to spot this week's rather obvious (to me, at least) connection... 

10. Trump & Twist.

9. One of the lonely people, enjoys her patty in hot oil.

8. Lewis and Harris.

7. Swanky police club.

6. Ah, go on. Go on, go on, go on.

5. Rosy sprites.

4. Zzzzzzzz.

3. Levis rub him up the wrong way.

2. Ewan marries a virgin.

1. Will reoccur every six weeks, inside.

Bean there, done that? You can check your answers tomorrow morning.

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