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Magical Butts         
I was sitting on the porch of my favorite café
Sipping strong coffee on a recent sunny day
The sounds of the neighborhood riding on the breeze
It was real pleasant
There’s another guy sitting right across from me
He’s chain-smoking cigarettes 1-2-3-4
And every time he’d finish one he’d toss it
In the well-kept flower bed.
Near as I can figure
He must’ve had it in his head they’re…
    Magical butts, magical butts
    That vanish in thin air
    Magical butts, magical butts
    Like they were never really there
    With a simple, supple flick of wrist
    They disappear into the mist
    No need to fuss, ‘cuz he’s/you’re smoking such  
    Fantastical magical butts
Well, I could see ‘em, you could see ‘em
Anyone with eyes could see ‘em
What’s the freakin’ deal with this dude
How could anybody be immune
To common courtesy and local litter laws
I mean, what’s up with that!?
So, as much as I hate to be the one to cause a stink
By butt number eleven it had brought me to the brink
So I casually got up and walked over to
The gentleman’s table and I spoke
In my most sarcastic tone
I said, “I guess the brand you smoke has…”

    Magical butts, magical butts…
Well, he looked up from his paper and he looked me in the eye
Invited me to do things to myself I’d never try
Then a waitress and a busboy and some people walking by
See it all and start to point & laugh at butt magician guy
Then we all start to sing…
    Magical butts, magical butts
    Vanish in thin air
    Magical butts, magical butts
    Like they were never even there
    Well there ain’t no magic, ain’t no spell
    It’s just plain trash and it looks like hell
    So don’t be a putz, ain’t nothin’ such as
    Fantastical magical butts
Grow a Pair
He always brought her flowers, artistically arranged
Wrote her pretty poetry and deftly rhymed her name
He called to say “I love you” every afternoon at two
He bonded with her Siamese—called it Madame Wu
Then one night at the movies as he sniffed and shed a tear
She leaned in close and whispered in his ear…
    Grow a pair—you heard me
    For God’s sake, grow a pair
    Could you be a bit more manly
    A lot less namby-pamby
    All the man I know you can be, and grow a pair
Well, being ultra sensitive, her words cut like a knife
But it really got him thinking ‘bout the way he lived his life
She didn’t hear a word from him for at least a year or more
Then one day a ladylike a-tappin’ at her door
There stood a curvy blonde with the face of her old beau
Saying “Hi, I thought you’d like to know…
That I grew a pair (not the pair that you meant)
But I grew a pair
I took your sage advice and got these
Don’t they look nice?
Only took a little slice and I grew a pair
I thought we might be pals
Seein’s how we’re now both gals
With one more thing in common
Well, two really, since I grew a pair

Cirque du So What
They’d seemed like a nice enough couple
They’d invited us over to dine
They said we could meet both their children
Thursday at six would be fine
Well, after some tasty lasagna
They said we were in for a treat
The kids have prepared a brief program
Right up in front’s the best seat…
    Now we’re here at the Cirque du So What
    They’d love to amaze and astonish us but
    Their lackluster feats of non-derring-do
    Don’t do a thing for us poor tortured few
    No jaws will be dropped, no pulses will race
    No wonder no wonder will flit ‘cross the face
    You’ll wish you were just about any old place
    Than here at the Cirque du So What
Brandon bursts in from the bedroom
And launches right into his “act”
It consists of humming and running in place
Mixed in with a few jumping jacks
Then cute little five-year-old Britney
Strolls in to enchant us with more
It turns out her talent is twirling
She spins ‘til she drops to the floor
    And here at the Cirque du So What….
        It’s graceless…it’s endless
        There’s nowhere to hide
        I look at the parents
        They’re beaming with pride
I hold a fake smile ‘til my cheeks are both numb
Still Britney keeps twirlin’ & Brandon keeps hummin’
And soon as they stop I say, “Man, that was sumpin’!”
They say they’re just getting warmed up
So until it’s their bedtime we’re stuck
Here at the Cirque du So What

Good Dog
I got a good dog
A really good dog
Why, a couple years back he was digging in the yard
A few feet down he hit something hard
Lo and behold, it’s a chest full of treasure
All of a sudden I’m a man of leisure
Indulging every little fantasy
I suspect you folks just might agree
I got a good dog
I bought a big house
A really big house
Sits on top of my own private mountain
49 rooms… but then, who’s countin’?
It’s got a swimming pool, a tennis court,
A bowling alley and a heliport
A 55 foot IMAX screen
And the biggest dadgum doghouse y’ever seen
‘Cuz he’s a good dog
I found a sweet wife
A really sweet wife
‘Cuz when you got a big house and a stellar hound
The ladies they tend to come around
So I dated two or three or ten
Had some big time fun and then
Found the one who made me quiver
Said I’d like to live life wiv her as my sweet wife
Y’know what she said?
She said yeah, yeah, yeah
I got a great life
A really great life
I got my health and a loving spouse
Don’t forget that big ol’ house
Lots of friends and a fancy car
Lots of songs from this here guitar
But after all is said and done
When I list my blessings I’d say number one
Would have to be that good dog
‘Cuz he’s a good dog
A really good dog

The Other Side of the Table
It happens on Thanksgiving, again at Christmas too
We meet at Mom’s for dinner in the old house we all knew
My brothers both will be there and we’ll all bring our wives
We’ll catch up on the little things been happening in our lives
    And as long as they stay little we’re okay
We talk about the turkey and praise the pumpkin pie
Comment on the changes on the block as time goes by
But sure as we’re all sittin’ there, at some point it heads south
When a pointed observation escapes from someone’s mouth
    That’s always when the stuffing hits the fan
    Then the other side of the table
    Seems a million miles away
    When we start to share opinions
    On the issues of the day
    We stare right at each other
    But we can’t see eye to eye
    With the other side of the table
Now Kenny’s come to Jesus---it comes up quite a bit
Creeps into every topic even when it doesn’t fit
Brother Bob’s a gun nut---says we’re on the road to ruin
And all them g.d. lib’ruls don’t know what the hell they’re doin’
    That’s about when things start getting loud
With both brothers and their spouses all spouting their two cents
I counter all their notions with my lefty arguments
They think I’m quite the commie and sure to fry in hell
And I think they’re delusional and dangerous as well
    And Mom just does her best to keep the peace
    ‘Cuz the other side of the table…
    I’d like to think we’re bigger than the stupid flames we fan
    That when all is said & done we’re still one big happy clan
    So we agree to disagree and share a second round of pie
    With the other side of the table
    (Ahh, the healing power of pie)

Sock Drawer
I needed a place no one else could find
A little bit of space, outa sight
 outa everyone’s mind but mine
Where I could stuff my stash and stash my stuff
A little hidey hole ‘bout four inch deep
Would be enough.
Then it hit me like a ton o’ feathers
The last place anyone would ever look…
    I put it in the sock drawer
    The sock drawer, baby
    In the sock drawer, safe and sound
    Tucked behind a wall o’ wool socks
    More secure than the gold in Ft. Knox
    Perfect spot to stock what rocks your world:
    The sock drawer
I hid sixteen kinds of contraband
A quarter ounce of weed
    and a 10lb. bag of Kruggerands
A growing stack of panda porn
And as far as the rest
Well it’s best you just stay uninformed.
All the private stuff I prize
Near at hand, away from prying eyes
    Right there in the sock drawer…
If you’re smart you’ll do like me:
Let your argyles work security
    In the sock drawer…

He Calls Me Man
He calls me ‘man’…he calls me ‘dude’
And now & then he calls me something kinda crude
He knows my name, but whenever he can
He calls me ‘man’
He calls me ‘dawg’…he calls me ‘bro’
He calls me on his cellphone and just says “Yo”
He mentions me all over his blog
Where he calls me ‘dawg’
    And when he says that I’m ‘da bomb’
    It doesn’t feel half bad
    But still I wish that just one time
    He’d slip and call me Dad
But he calls me ‘man’ and he calls me ‘dude’
He calls me when he needs a couple bucks for food
And I’ll always do whatever I can
Yeah, that’s the plan
Whether he calls me ‘dawg’, or ‘dude’, or ‘man’

Last night I was with my girl,
She said she’d make me Thai food.
Was I leery? Yes I was,
But didn’t want to seem rude
Expectations going in
Were mighty darn low.
One bite and I knew she’d slipped
Underneath the bar though
    Gagged down some odd pad thai
    Some creepy mee krob too
    When she asked how I liked it all
    I had to tell the truth:
    It’s interesting…very interesting
Made it down to an uptown dive
To see a buddy’s new band
I want’d to make sure his first gig
Had at least one fan
Turns out there was only me
So I stayed for the whole thing.
Worst band I ever heard,
Loud, ugly wanking
    When they finally stopped
    And my pumped-up friend jumped from the stage
    Enthusiastically I offered up
    Interesting…very interesting
    When the truth might lead someplace
    That you don’t want to go
    There’s a word I like to use
    That’s always apropos…
    That’s French.
    Spelled with a P-O-S at the end
    But pronounced “poe”…interesting

The Hong Kong Boomerang
It’ll straighten your hair and curl your toes
Leave you gasping for air and shedding your clothes
Put a smile on your face, get under your skin
Then send you off to a place like you’ve never been
    It’s a tres kinky thing for one, two, or three
    It’s X-rated ecstasy--the Hong Kong Boomerang
    One false move and you could slip a disc
    But they say that it’s worth the risk
    The Hong Kong Boomerang
If you’re doing it right you’ll feel no pain
Some can do it all night ‘til they’re almost insane
It’s an underground rage, the dirtiest dance
It’ll land you in jail in Sweden & France
    ‘Cuz it’s a tres kinky thing for one, two, or three
    Full-frontal fantasy—the Hong Kong Boomerang
    It’s all the buzz on the Internet
    Y’mean y’ain’t tried it yet?
    The Hong Kong Boomerang
    Ooo…the Hong Kong Boomerang
    It’s a tres kinky thing for one, two, or three
    X-rated ecstasy—the Hong Kong Boomerang
    I swear one time before I go
    I’m gonna try that sick so-and-so
    The Hong Kong Boomerang

Just a bunch of Humpernuckers knockin’ up the nation
Another bunch of Bongledoodles bangin’ on the do’
Bongledoodles playin’ on the peoples’ aggravation
Brayin’ that the Humperknuckers really gotta go
Sho’ nuff the ‘Doodles whup the ‘Nuckers in the next race
Looks a little funny—kinda smells like a rat
‘Doodles just shrug it off—say they got a mandate
And git t’guttin’ ‘Knucker budgets just like that
        gut the ‘Nucker budgets
    And don’t give a goddang inch
    Til the culture war is won
    Don’t give a goddang inch
    Y’might get something done
Well, the pendulum swings like a…pendulum, duh
Til a put-upon populace is less on board
People still searchin’ for the land of milk & honey
Findin’ only where the grapes of wrath are stored 
So along come the Teepleweenies wantin’ revolution
Kickin’ up a ruckus, yellin’ how they’re pissed
Wrapped up in the flag as they quote the Constitution
A heartfelt performance not to be missed!
        y’can’t miss it
    And they don’t give a goddang inch
    Til the culture war is won
    Don’t give a goddang inch
    Y’might get something done
Pretty soon the Humperknuckers start to lookin’ better
Time to bounce the Bongledoodles out the driver’s seat
‘Nuckers pull it off and win the next one in a landslide
Settin’ up the stage for the cycle to repeat
Just a bunch of Humpernuckers knockin’ up the nation
Another bunch of Bongledoodles bangin’ on de do’
Bongledoodles playin’ on the peoples’ aggravation
Brayin’ that the Humperknuckers really gotta go

Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock All Night
I was three weeks shy of seventeen
Home alone for the whole weekend
Had the keys to the family Rambler
And a couple of crazy friends
So I picked up PJ and Boogaloo
To aid and abet my scheme
And as we rambled off into the night
We all let out a primal scream:
    We’re gonna rock, rock all night
    We’re gonna rock, rock all night
    We’re gonna raise some cain
    Feel no pain, go insane
    We’re gonna rock, rock, rock, rock, rock
    Rock All Night
Well, they wouldn’t let us in any clubs
They scoffed at our fake ID’s
Couldn’t score so much as a six-pack
We even said “pretty please”
Then Boogaloo said he was getting bored
And PJ had a paper due
So we pulled the plug by 9 o’clock
But promised someday real soon—

    We’re gonna rock, rock all night...
(spoken) Well, obviously I’m quite a bit older now, and looking back, I just gotta say, that I’ve tried rockin’ all night many, many times
 and not once did I make it all the way.
    I’ll tell you what’s more, I’m not even sure I could tell you with any certainty what it really even means to “rock”. You know, to feel it down deep inside your bones, and not just talk the talk.
    Could be something totally mindless like bobbing your head to the beat. Or making that stupid hand sign while you’re standing up on your seat.
    Could mean y’got a whole mess of body parts just festooned with piercings and tattoos. But I kinda suspect it’s more about having a certain attitude that just loves to tweak taboos.
    And maybe the concept of “rockingness” defies conventional description. And my idea of what rocks is merely mine, and yours is yours alone. And the verb “to rock” means something entirely different to every single son of a rolling stone….whoa
I could sit there in my favorite chair
For hours and hours on end
Philosophizin’ up a storm
With a cold one in my hand     

    We’re gonna rock, rock all night...

Is It Me?
I can see her lips are moving
I hear something coming out
But I haven’t got a clue
What it is she’s talkin’ ‘bout
Is she speakin’ freakin’ Klingon?
Is she lashing out in tongues?
Is spouting so much jibberish
Just her twisted form of fun?
  Is it me? Is it me? Is it me?
I try to make out what she wants
By looking in her eyes
Like one might do with household pets
Or mumbling homeless guys
But that turns out to be useless
There’s nothing there to glean
I have to answer something
Dear God, what does she mean?
Is it me? Is it me? Is it me?
    Well, if it is me maybe
    I must be deficient in the head
    But it’s easier for me
    To believe that the fault lies with her instead
    That she’s one tool shy of a full kit…
    I say “full kit”
I cough into my hand
Just to buy another beat
It’s time to take a stand
Time to stand the heat
So from her tone of distress
And the stray word I make out
I take an educated guess
What she’s babblin’ on about (I say…)

    Is it me? Is it me? Is it me?
    Is it me? Is it me? Is it me?
    It’s me, right? You can tell me.
    Is it me?

The “N” Word
I was back home in Ohio for Thanksgiving to see the folks, share a few jokes, and gobble down some turkey. Before the big dinner, Dad & I were bonding in front of the tube, watching OSU play a crucial game. It was late in the second half and the Buckeyes were down by three, when all of a sudden one of our guys breaks free from the pack. He’s at the 50, the 40, the 25—it’s like he was shot out of a cannon. That’s when Dad yelled, “Look at that nigger run!” The crowd on the TV was going wild but to me everything seemed to freeze for a moment. You could hear a jaw drop. That was not a word that was ever used in our house growing up, and hearing it felt like ice water being splashed in my face.
I thought for a second or two about ignoring it in the name of holidays-with-family harmony, but instead came out with, “What the hell was that? That’s not how you raised us!”  I could tell that Dad was embarrassed. He mumbled something about, “you don’t know what it’s like around here anymore”….
    The “N” word---don’tcha just hate it
    Can’t we just take it outta everyday use
    The “N” word---how ‘bout we trade it
    For an “O” or a “P” or a coupla “Q’s”
    The “N” word---I don’t go near it
    Even when it seems to fit like a glove
    The “N” word---hurts my ears to hear it
    When it comes from the lips of a person I love
There’s a little socio-linguistic phenomenon, one that we’re all well aware of, such that, if you’re a person of color—African-American—black---you can simply change the “e-r” at the end of the word to an “a-h” and then feel free to use that very “N” word with abandon. Just say that you are thereby co-opting its derogatory usage and robbing it of its racial sting.  That’s the rationale, at any rate. I have two words to say about that: niggah please.   Can’t you see it’s still…
    The “N” word---it’s just plain offensive
    Don’t matter who says it, it’s still not okay
    The “N” word---the “N” word—really?!
    I’m sure you can find something better to say
    The “N” word---it’s worn out its welcome
    Time to retire it---show it the door
    The “N” word---insulting and then some
    I’d be happy to hear it no more
Now, we’re only human, and there are times when another human, perhaps a human of color, will rankle us to such an extent that we need to vocalize our frustrations, vent our irkedness. So, in an effort to avoid the minefield that is the “N” word, I offer an alternative: the “D” word”.  That stands for “dumbass”, dumbass.  It removes the racial charge, since, as we know, dumbasses come in all colors & creeds, all shapes & sizes. Yet it’s still got a little bite to it—you didn’t like it when I called you dumbass, did you?  I know it’s a far cry from world peace, but I maintain that if we come together as Americans of all races to embrace the “D” word, we can rid society of this verbal outcast known as….
    The “N” word---refuse to use it
    Why not substitute an “A” or a “D”
    The “N” word---it’s hard to excuse it
    Even when it’s used by the darker than me
    The “N” word---no reason to keep it
    Let’s put it to pasture, lay it to rest
    The “N” word---I say we bleep it    
    And fill in the space with a little respect
        Fill in the space with a little respect
        Fill in the space with a little respect

Buddhists meditate on stuff
Like “When you clap, is one hand enough
To make a sound?”   Whatever
Mormon men tend to dig their wives
So much so they’ll have four or five
All hanging ‘round 
Some Jews use different sets of plates
One for cheese and one for steak
I’ve seen it done 
Whatever, whatever…
    Whatever they believe, they all believe in love
    Whatever they believe, they all believe in love
    Whatever they believe, every blessed one
    Believes in love

Hindus don’t look at cows as food
Your mom’s meatloaf would be seen as rude
And tasteless 
Catholics claim there’s a guy in Rome
Who’s infallible, never wrong no matter what he says
Islamists insist it’s sick
To stick their man Mohammed’s picture
In the press 
    Whatever they believe, they all believe in love
    Whatever they believe, they all believe in love
    Whatever they believe, every blessed one
    Believes in love
    In love, in love, they all believe in love
    In love, in love, they all believe in love

all songs ©2015 Tom Manche/ManCheese Music (BMI)

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