Archive for October, 2009


October 16, 2009



Today my sources tell me
That you want to be my friend
But first I must inform you
That my standards do not bend

Good for you if your blood’s blue
Do you have kin that’s presidential?
If you’re also good at math
I would say you’ve got potential

Please fill out this application
Only twenty-seven pages
With DNA that’s a-okay
We might be buddies for the ages

And if you would not mind
One small pain in the neck
Such a sensible precaution
Just a simple background check

You might think me an extremist
Stuck up, arrogant and bold
I shall not apologize
I have standards to uphold

Now walk my dog and clean my room
And let me drive your Hummer
If your family has a pool
We’ll be good throughout the summer

If you don’t think it’s worth it
Just to be my friend
I’d say your lack of judgment
Will only hurt you in the end

by Richard W. Bray

The Snootysnouts

October 15, 2009


The Snootysnouts

The Snootysnouts of East Wampoo
An exclusive bunch—sad but true
Barely able to tolerate each other
I met one who shunned her mother
So much pride, so little heart
They live to set themselves apart
Secret codes, restrictive clubs
Are how they execute their snubs
Having eliminated all inferiors
Now they vie to be superiors
Separating by social station
Even detaching from closest relations
The loneliest people under the sun
Are only happy in groups of one

by Richard W. Bray

Baseball Cards

October 14, 2009

Baseball Cards

Mike Schmidt said to Rod Carew
“Round up a team to play my crew”
Carew found Bench, Yaz and Cey
“We’ll take you on any day”
Then Tom Seaver shouted out
“What’s the clamor all about?”
And Griffey the Elder and Tommy John
Jumped up and asked, “What’s goin’ on?”
And Reggie questioned Bobby Grich
“What time’s this game and who’s to pitch?”
Catfish Hunter was ready to start
So long as Thurman would play his part
They chose up teams and played for hours
Till it was time to hit the showers

In an old shoebox in a damp garage
They hit and pitch and throw and dodge
Waiting for Jimmy to come to play
But he grew up and moved away

by Richard W. Bray

May God Bless America

October 13, 2009


(When I was a kid, Red Skelton once told the audience at the end of his show that he got a lot of letters asking why he always ended his show by saying, “Goodnight and God Bless You.” Skelton said that this was incorrect because he would never presume to tell God what to do. What he actually said at the end of each broadcast was “Goodnight and may God bless.” )

May God Bless America

You know I love my country and I’m thankful ever’ day
That I was born right here in the good ole USA
This ain’t the kind of country where we bow to kings and queens
We appreciate the dignity of every human being
I say God bless America because it is my home
A paradise of riches where I am free to roam

May God bless America, the country of my birth
May God Bless America, and everyone on Earth
May God bless America, the mighty and the meek
And anyone who’s not afraid to turn the other cheek

I know that God is righteous, He is loving, and He’s wise
He knows when every sparrow falls, when every baby cries
Now God don’t pick no favorites, I’d never ask Him to
He loves a Hindu or a Muslim as much as me or you
God welcomes every creature. No one is born cursed
He blesses every speck of dust in the whole universe

May God bless America, the country of my birth
May God Bless America, and everyone on Earth
May God bless America, the mighty and the meek
And anyone who’s not afraid to turn the other cheek

by Richard W. Bray

Gilbert Mclean

October 12, 2009

Gilbert Mclean

Gilbert Mclean loves to complain
About his job and his car and his life
He can gripe and groan, growl and moan
All day long to his wife

His feet are too big, his shoes are too small
His boss, a tyrannical fool
His hair is too thin, his nose is too long
And he should have stayed in school

His house is too cold, his porch is too hot
His pants are torn in the rear
His dog is too loud, his boombox too quiet
And the end is always quite near

Dear Margaret Mclean is nearly insane
Alas, she can no longer hear
For her husband’s inane need to complain
Has blistered both of her ears

by Richard W. Bray


October 9, 2009


If you don’t do just what I want, I think I’ll have to scream
I’d really rather not, you know, and all in all, you seem
Like a man, fair and wise, one who would never dream
Of doing things which make me mad, one who I’d never deem

Unworthy of my highest praise unless, of course, you do
Not give in to all my taunts and take me to the zoo
In that case I will hold my breath till one of us turns blue
You see, of course, it’s not my fault. The blame must fall on you

If I drop dead or merely faint, you can’t say you weren’t warned
You’ll feel like a total jerk as I am being mourned
You’ll be ridiculed by friend and foe and quite roundly scorned
You’ll be cast as worse than Satan, a devil hooved and horned

So like I said, it’s up to you to do the thing that’s right
I can’t be held responsible if you don’t see the light
You must obey my every wish if you don’t want a fight
And do everything I ask of you, morning, noon, and night

by Richard W. Bray

Courageous Cowboys

October 8, 2009

Courageous Cowboys

Tennessee Tex and Cherokee Bob
Sat down by the fire one night
Bob said, “Tex, did you hear ‘bout the time
I was attacked by an angry mite?”

“He was fearsome but I kept my cool
And reached for my Bowie knife
I maneuvered him round and slipped away
And barely escaped with my life”

“Tex” said, Bob, “I am awfully impressed
You’re a model of courage and guile
It reminds me of that day last June
When I hiked for over a mile

“And I’m not talking about just any hike
I trekked through a treacherous terrain
The mall was crowded that afternoon
And my corns were causing great pain”

Then Idaho Biff sidled up to the fire
And asked to sit for a spell
They gladly obliged and shared their grub
He had many tales to tell

The hearty ranch hand had barely set down
And gotten some chow in his craw
When he said, “Hey fellas, I don’t suppose
That I ever revealed to y’all

“My glorious tale of derring-do
When the wicked Dakota winds blew
I’m a humble sort who never brags
But I’ll make an exception for you

“It was a windy, dark December day
Heading through the wicked Bambi Pass
When I lost sight of my dashboard controls
My S.U.V. plum run outta’ gas

“Like a true cowhand I knew what to do
I reached for my handy cell phone
The tow truck man was there in a flash
Thank goodness I wasn’t alone”

by Richard W. Bray


October 7, 2009


The houses and the buildings and everything you see
Each molecule for miles around. It all belongs to me
So if you want to live here, you have to pay me rent
Collected on the first each month, exactly to the cent

You ask me how I got so rich, I did it bit by bit
I began collecting years ago and simply never quit
I have storage bins and warehouses filled with all my things
It’s hard for me to say what joy each acquisition brings

Like the man who’s always eating, yet never feels fulfilled
My appetite for acquisition is impossible to kill
If I see it, I must have it. It’s no more complex than this
The desire deep inside me is an unfillable abyss

Each day I wake up early, I’m at my desk by four
It’s nice to have a lot of stuff, but better having more
In the world of human wishes, I am a grand colossus
I cannot forsake my fate, to be boss of all the bosses

I take no joy in what I have while I crave what I will gain
For all of my tomorrows will be chances to attain
More and more and more and more stuff that will be mine
But now I have to say goodbye. I have so little time

by Richard W. Bray

Sound Effects, Air Guitar and Spooky Little Chicks (By Brian)

October 6, 2009

(Editor’s Note: Brian S. Linville is an educator and existential warrior who lives in Southern California. You can reach him at

Sound Effects, Air Guitar and Spooky Little Chicks

I want to hear flowers sing the blues
And wrestle the sunset for possession of the day
Mold diamonds with my teeth
And hear the Devil pray

Then when all the hungry have been fed
And the last word has been said,
I will sit down on my bed with a sigh,
For then and only then will I ever be ready to die.

Me and Michael Medved

October 5, 2009

Me and Michael Medved

Like his reactionary radio compatriot Dr. Laura, Michael Medved casts himself as a paladin of “judeo-christian” values, which seems rather curious to this particular third-generation nonbeliever. And I would guess that even the most politically conservative American Jews would find Medved’s peculiar avocation to be ill-advised at best when you consider how often anti-Semitism has been held up as a “Christian virtue” over the last two millennia. But Medved took his curious brand of self-flagellating philo-Christianity to a new level when he suggested that American Jews really shouldn’t get so worked up about Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, which is, after all, fundamentally a tribute to Christian piety. This all brings me to the brush with greatness I experienced with Mr. Medved a few years back:

So there I am at my local Border’s in Montclair, California, listening to the latest Burt Bacharach tribute cd, when I looked up and saw a familiar face. It took me a second to figure out who it was.

“Do I know that guy?” I thought. Then it hit me—It was that reactionary movie reviewer creep, Michael Medved. It really is weird to see one of those little talking heads in person, outside of the idiot box.

So I took off my headphones and sauntered on over to the edge of the crowd—it wasn’t a crowd exactly, perhaps a dozen or so people. Medved was hawking his new book (Saving Childhood) about how The Media, public schools and radical left-wing textbook publishers are terrifying our children into believing that our world is on the brink of an ecological catastrophe. Unfortunately for Medved, this new book, which I’m sure he worked very hard on, was not selling very well, particularly in relation to his previous book which was about how Hollywood scorns (you guessed it) “traditional Judeo-Christian values”. The scanty sales of the book he was peddling, coupled with the sparseness of his audience, seem to have triggered a rather unattractive side of the author’s personality.

Medved began by offering some examples of how textbooks are designed to terrify children into becoming rabid environmentalists. Had I chosen to speak, my first point would have been that it was obvious that Medved had done an extremely selective examination of said textbooks, a topic upon which I, as an elementary-school teacher, could have spoken to with some authority. However, I would have conceded the point that there is never a good excuse for frightening the kids, even if the world really were going to hell in a bucket.

But like a coward, I stood in silence. (Or perhaps it was wisdom and prudence which kept me silent. As Castiglione noted, “Every vice has its corresponding virtue.”) Anyhow, I continued to listen to the second part of Medved’s argument, which was basically that Global Warming is really just a bunch of hype.

At this point, a young women in the audience had the temerity to question some of his points, and Medved completely lost it.

“How old are you?” He thundered.

“I really don’t see what that has to do with anything?” The young lady wisely and bravely responded.

“Just answer me!” He continued to shout.


“Nineteen! This is nothing personal, but at nineteen a person simply doesn’t have the experience to…”

“Are you saying that my opinions are invalid simply because of my…”

“You are being very rude!” Medved cut her off. “Do you know the scientific background of the people who signed the Kyoto Protocol? Do you? Most of them were behavioral scientists!”

At this point, Medved looked up at me at the outskirts of his diminishing audience. I grimaced, slowly shook my head back and forth, and walked away.

When I got home that night, I went over the discussion several times in my head, coming up with lots of wonderful rejoinders to Medved’s rant. For example: “Even if what you say about the scientific credentials of the Kyoto signers were actually true, there are plenty of real scientist who believe that Global warming is a real threat.” But I didn’t say anything when I had the chance, and I left that poor young girl to fend for herself against the maniacal Mr. Medved. Maybe I really am a writer.

by Richard W. Bray