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Re: [F_MINOR] Surely this is The Mother of All OTs (and don't call meShirley)

Yo Fred --
An adult human woman took me to a little tourist steam train in North Wales that was not a Euro-Disney Kiddie Ride, but had begun life as an authentic coal train that brought coal down from where Welsh coal miners, including several of her older relatives, had once long ago just dug it out of the mountain. When the steam train ride was over, the adult human man asked the adult human woman if she would mind very much if I asked the engineer one little question.
She had met male humans of all ages before, and had several brothers. She didn't even ask me what I wanted to ask the engineer. She just stood there looking slimed and deeply ashamed. She did not accompany me to the engine.
I approached the steam train engineer, and said, "Hi. Uhhh ... would you mind very much ... could I ..."
He had amazing psychic mind-reading skills. He took my hand. He stretched it into the cab, to a dangling rope with a little circular metal ring. The boiler was still superheated. He looked unsurprised and bored. As if this had happened once or twice before with human males taller than one meter.
Oh man you ain't blown a train whistle until you've blown a steam train whistle! I gave it a real long loud blast! Oh man! Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy!
During the Debates, Abraham Lincoln told the crowd that Stephen Douglas, his opponent, reminded him of a very small steamboat he had once voyaged down the Mississippi on. The boiler was so small that if you wanted to locomote, you couldn't blow the whistle, and if you wanted to blow the whistle, you couldn't locomote. Lincoln meant this as an analogy to Douglas' inability to think and speak simultaneously.
You being from Toronto and all, I am sorry to inform you that the train between Winnipeg and Churchill MAN was NOT steam, but one of them new-fangled boring Diesel locomotives. (Can't use electric, ain't no electricity thereabouts.) Deep in the Manitoba or Saskatchewan midnight wilderness (the thing had just one Cyclops headlamp, which caught trackside foxes, the odd moose, a furtive glimpse of Loup Garou, etc.), Dennis (not to be confused with Dennis) said, "Coming to a highway crossing. Want to blow the horn?"
Check one:
|_| YES
It actually was an excruciatingly horrible ordeal, because I was a male human adult, and so could not wet myself as I screamed WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!
But the hours in the dark Diesel locomotive cab, illuminated only by the 67 dials and gizmo panels (someone must throw a switch, press a button, or jiggle a handle every 30 seconds or the train will automatically stop; this is how the train knows you're not dead or napping), the polar bears, the ptarmigan, the rented ATV trip in a light blizzard 20km into the wilderness beyond Downtown/Centre-Ville Churchill, the beach of Hudson Bay, the chats with Inuit and Cree -- these were not the most remarkable thing of my trip.
The most remarkable thing happened before the trip had really begun, on the westbound express train from Toronto to Winnipeg. When I told some Canadian fellow travellers in the snack car what my ultimate destination was, they said: "Why would you want to go there? There's nothing up there."
Although he was difficult to see, Glenn Gould sat smiling in the seat next to me for the whole journey. At night as I couldn't sleep in the tiny sleeping closet because the music of the train was too beautiful to allow sleep, he had no need to sleep, and just wandered -- some might say haunted -- the corridor of the train from car to car to car. He was so happy to get to take the trip one more time. The rolling stock dated from about 1954.
Enough with train whistles and polar bears, before someone accuses this thread of being OT. Now to the important musicology stuph:
from "200 cc Thorazine stat: The Life and Music of Screamin Jay Hawkins":
Several critics who heard phonograph recordings or live concerts of "I Put a Spell on You" have perceived Hawkins' sense of romantic disappointment in both the lyrics and the interpretation. Langmuir in particular notes that the entire song is an authentic and anthropologically accurate Voodoo Curse from the Louisiana Bayoux, perhaps the only one ever turned into a rock n roll or R&B song.
No, on second thought, just cross out 'Perhaps.'
I would tell you who Jay's Kids are, but then Homeland Security would immediately shut down f_minor, a SWAT team would seize all the computers on the Rutgers campus, and perhaps the entire Internet would go dark forever. Google: "Jay's Kids" Hawkins.
----- Original Message -----
To: bobmerk@earthlink.net;F_MINOR@EMAIL.RUTGERS.EDU
Sent: 6/2/2005 12:08:52 PM
Subject: RE: [F_MINOR] Surely this is The Mother of All OTs (and don't call meShirley)

That's actually quite funny.  I don't know that I can come up with anything that will top your own idea.  However, from this web site here:
is a list of trivia for this song, some of which I'll post here.
Hawkins wrote this as a ballad lamenting the loss of a girlfriend he wanted back. The original version was a lot slower and much more tame. Hawkins was recording for Grand Records at the time, and had a hard time convincing them to release this. A year later, Hawkins recorded the version that became famous for another label, and transformed the song into a spooky tale about putting a curse on the girl so he can have her.
Hawkins performed the ghoulish version for the first time at a Christmas concert staged by Cleveland DJ Alan Freed in 1956. He got a huge reaction from the song, and Freed invited him to perform it on his TV special. Hawkins developed a bizarre stage show around this. He would come out in a flaming coffin and wield a skull on a stick that he named "Henry."
You got to blow a train whistle?  Sheesh, I'm jealous.
Fred Houpt

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