Columns » Bob Lancaster

Well, I never...


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I never felt more like singing the blues. — words and music by Melvin Endsley.

I never, as my Grandfather Speck was said to have done, took a faulty appliance out into a field and shot it 50 times with a .22 rifle.

I never opened a can of whupass on Uncle Al, and regret that I didn't.

I never minded landing on one of the high-dollar colored Monopoly squares, even Boardwalk or Park Place, with houses or hotels on them, but that  $75 luxury tax always chapped my butt.

I never expressed my appreciation adequately to those I owed it to. Quite a few of them. Mostly unbeknownst.

I never liked Dr Pepper after they changed the formula from the old nose-burning double-carbonated combination of rat poison and prune juice.

I never got into toad licking, not even when all my contemporaries, it seemed like, were licking them to beat the band.

I never understood the assumption of privilege, although it's been one of the constants of human history.

I never understood how pervs who prey on children can live with themselves.

I never cream-pied one of the Westboro demonstrators, which act I'm fairly certain would qualify as protected speech under the First Amendment, thereby depriving me of a legitimate excuse for dereliction.

I never understood how electricity can contemplate itself, as is happening here, now.

I never considered replacing the plastic pink flamingo as my centerpiece lawn ornament until my new landscaper suggested a bottle tree. I like the one I saw just outside of Arkadelphia that was all Phillips Milk of Magnesia bottles in the familiar cobalt blue, and I might go with some different-themed version of that. Maybe green Campho-Phenique bottles in remembrance of Boyce Alford.

I never learned not to jump when The Man said frog.

I never had the pleasure of picking cotton for a living, my own or somebody else's.

I never was able to shrink my thumbs sufficiently to be able to text. I have to do it by way of a Munchkin I took on an amanuensis.

I never hissed back at a possum, no matter how much it deserved hissing back at.

I never found a greater detriment to good writing than hyperbole, which I hate more than anything in the world.

I never understood how luck works. I know it runs in cycles that whirr silently inside of some larger architecture, the details of which were doubtless worked out and published by Blaise Pascal 350 years ago, or by John Law 300 years ago, or more recently by Jimmy the Greek.

I never did again try riding bareback after that first time.

I never ate a carp, or tried to, it being all scale and bone and a few lazy innards, but I understand you can boil a ground-up mess of them down to a thin soup that's only slightly less tasty than just going ahead and filling your live-well with pond-scum.

I never lost any money by not going into a casino.

I never felt right about drinking from the same bucket using the same dipper as everyone else, and I drew the line when an aunt of mine who was a big snuff user joined the watering queue.

I never suffered unduly from any of the common phobias except pantophobia, described as "a morbid fear of everything" by Dr. Lucy Van Pelt, who offered psychiatric counseling to overcome it for 5 cents at her booth.

I never saw any reason not to speak ill of the dead as long as it was not undeserved.

I never had much time for the argument that this is a Christian nation, and won't until we adopt a total-wuss policy of loving our enemies and gladly (!) suffering whatever abuses and indignities they decide to heap on us — an elementary requirement imposed upon us in the Sermon on the Mount.

I never understood the attraction of stock-car racing, buzzing around in circles like wounded wasps.

I never learned to dance, or saw the attraction in it.

I never climbed a mountain that I could find a way around, or double-dog-dared a volcano in its own jurisdiction.

I never ate a rat (unless you count squirrels), and I never understood why, when G. Gordon Liddy ate his, it wasn't considered cannibalism.

I never saw a purple cow — except the poem, the drink, and the restaurant — until last week when there was a picture on the Internet of a newborn real-life purple calf in Serbia.

I never considered the possibility that some of these fine dining establishments I frequent might use aborted human fetuses as filler in some of their menu offerings, but the Oklahoma legislature thinks it's a strong enough possibility that it's preparing legislation to outlaw the practice.

I never can remember if Blue Boy on Dragnet was the last Beatnik or the first hippie.

I never went swimmin' with bowlegged women — a prudent policy set to music by Popeye the Sailor Man.

I never went fishing again after I realized that I didn't have to.


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