Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: Andy Griffith took my virginity

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. From time to time, a reflection on the movie will appear below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not talking about sex. I’m talking movies. It was in the mid-1950s. The first movie I ever saw was “No Time for Sergeants” and it became the movie that I measure all other movies by. The story of a country boy who goes into the army, it was first a Broadway play where Andy perfected his art of the country boy who goes off to visit the city. He turns out to be a lot smarter than we’d want to give him credit for. Man, I loved this movie. Still do.

Part of the experience of seeing this movie, and movies like it, was going into a movie theater, getting myself a big bag of popcorn and a coke. Sitting there in front of the big screen with the actors larger than the fifty-foot woman, I was in what used to be called “hog heaven”. There was nothing like it. At least, not in my young life. It was one of the great pleasures of my life. A way to get away from all the kidding I took from other kids because I had big ears and was clumsy and a bit nerdy, though not nerdy enough to be really smart like Steve Wosniak or Bill Gates and make a fortune inventing stuff.

No matter how many movies I have seen since that first Andy Griffith moment, I will never forget the buzz I got from “No time for Seargeants”.  He really made my day.

What was your first movie?

The Poker Game of 1776

Song for this post. Kinky Friedman: Sold American

July 3, 1776. A tavern across the street from Independence Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

John Adams couldn’t bluff at poker if his life depended on it. Thomas Jefferson knew it. Benjamin Franklin knew it. Old Stone Face, George Washington, sitting across from Adams, knew it.

Ben and Tom folded. Neither of them had any kind of hand to play. But Adams was staying. He didn’t believe Stone Face had a winning hand.

“I call you,” Stone Facesaid to Adams across the table.

John Adams, a big smile on his face, threw down three aces.  Stone Face threw down his full house, then reached over and pulled the wad of English pound notes toward him.

Adams’ face dropped into a frown. Lost again. Here he was doing the very thing Abby warned him against. Playing poker with Stone Face. Washington always won. Over the course of the last two months, he had just about wiped out all the delegates of the Continental Congress of their cash. But he had done it for a good cause. He needed a new set of false teeth.

Adams said, “I give up. I’m broke. So what are we going to do about John Hancock?”

“We should shoot the son of a bitch,” Stone Face offered. Washington seldom lost his cool but John Hancock had gotten under his skin in a way that British General Howe never did.

Jefferson followed up with, “That’s what we’d do in Virginia.”

“Now, boys,” Ben interjected, “let’s be serious. But not that serious.”

Washington said, “I can’t believe I came back to have to deal with this. My guys at Valley Forge are going to mutiny if we don’t get this settled once and for all.”

“Why don’t we just get him drunk?” Franklin suggested.

Jefferson said,” That is your answer for everything.”

“Just about,” Franklin answered. “How you think I survived that thing with the kite? Remember the old saying, ‘Three strikes you’re out.’ When that lightning bolt hit the kite, I was as drunk as Gulliver must’ve been the day he saw those Lilliputians. The lightning struck me three times, and yet, here I am.”

John Adams knew Hancock too well for that. “He’ll just fall asleep.”

Jefferson was miffed. “All I know is that I am not letting him put those words into the Declaration of Independence.”

Stone Face put in his two pences. “I agree with Tom. I mean, Hancock and his ‘when in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to kick King George’s butt because he is, and ever shall be, a pantywaist’ is a little too much. Even for this Congress. We all don’t like the king but that is a little too much. The British will never take us seriously.”

“Totally destroys the mood,” Jefferson added, “don’t you think?”

The Virginia delegation was unanimous about its approbation against John Hancock. Either the Continental Congress gave Hancock his walking papers or they would be walking. But everybody knew what would happen if Hancock went home. The whole New England bunch would leave with him.

From the beginning, Hancock had been cause for alarm. First he wore that pink outfit. Oh, my gosh. And the chicken costume. It looked like he was trying to out-Elton-John Lady Gaga. Then his proposal that the country use “We are the champions of the world” for its national anthem. It had taken months for John Adams to get his friend to calm down and be reasonable. Now this.

Ben had an idea. “Bet Betsy Ross could get him to go along with the program.”

“You know what she’s going to charge?” John Adams inquired.

Stone Face, always a pragmatic man, said, “Yes, but she does get results.”

“Ben,” Adams asked, “have you been able to get her price down? Last I heard she was charging an arm and a leg.”

Jefferson said, “Yeah, just look at Long John Silver.”

“On this one,” Ben said, “she knows she has us over a barrel. She wants the flag concession.”

“Can she get the job done?” Tom asked.

“I believe so,” Franklin said. “She has a long history with Hancock. Something about babysitting with his kids when they were just knee-high-to-a-grasshopper.”

Stone Face was satisfied. “I say we give it to her.”

Jefferson and Adams nodded their heads in agreement. But Franklin was not finished. “In perpetuity.”

“What?” the other three said as a chorus.

“No way are we going to go along with that,” Stone Face said. “John, can’t Abby help in this department?”

“When Hancock puts his mind to a thing,” Adams said, “he puts his mind to a thing. I’m afraid Betsy is our only option. If we want Hancock, we are going to have to give in to her demands.”

“Then,” Stone Face finalized the discussion, “Betsy gets the flag concession in perpetuity. But you tell her that I want a free ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ for each of my Regiments, and according to my specifications.”

John Adams breathed a sigh of relief. He was going to get his revolution, after all. The other three had given him a big thumbs up with their agreement on the Hancock Matter. “So, Tom, looks like you’ll be able to do a press release.”

Jefferson took out his pen and pad and began to write. Then he looked up at the others. “I just realized we have another problem.”

“”What now?” Stone Face was just about fed up with all the back-and-forth going on at the Congress. Why didn’t folks just do what they were told? It would be so much easier.

Jefferson thought so too but he didn’t say anything out loud. “It’s Tom Paine. He’s going to insist on editing my text and publishing it the way he wants.”

Adams was now in the fray. He didn’t like Paine. “Please. No more ‘These are the times that try men’s souls’ crap. God, that man has an ego.”

“Yeah,” Ben agreed. “He gets a fifth down him, and there is no telling what he will write.”

Stone Face had an answer. “We could just draft him. I need a good secretary and he does take shorthand.”

The others smiled. Stone Face once again came to the rescue. Guess that was why folks were calling him “The Father of the Country”.

“Glad we’ve got all that settled,” Stone Face said. “Now I have to go and kick some British hineys.”

“Don’t forget,” Adams requested, “to take a piece out of Cornwallis for me.”

The four men gathered up their things and made for the door, then John Adams said, “I just remembered. Just one more thing.”

“No,” the other three said.

“’Fraid so. It’s Paul Revere. Every time we get ready to attack the British from behind some trees, guerilla style, Paul shows up on his horse. He lets the Brits know where we are by yelling, ‘The Americans are coming. The Americans are coming.’”

Episode 160: Ciara Shuttleworth!

Don Royster:

You just never know where Uncle Bardie will show up. His review of “Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare” shares the stage with poet Ciara Shuttleworth, Thanks, John, for featuring moi in another of your great podcasts.

Originally posted on The Drunken Odyssey:

Episode 160 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on iTunes, or right click here to download.

In this week’s episode, I talk to the poet Ciara Shuttleworth,

Photo by Drew Perlmutter. Photo by Drew Perlmutter.

plus Don Royster writes about how Isaac Asimov helped him to appreciate Shakespeare.

Don Royster

TEXTS DISCUSSED

Camus NotebooksThe Great Shark HuntAsimovs Guide to ShakespeareNOTES

To read about Ciara’s post-residency road-tripping with Flat Jack, here is part 1 and part 2.

To read Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of The Declaration of Independence, go here.

View original

Friday’s Creator Corner: Misty Copeland, Dancer

Each Friday I feature a Creative Artist on Friday’s Creator Corner. Creativity is the art of making something out of nothing. I leave the post up for a week, then replace it with another post. After taking it down, I link it to Friday’s Creator Corner Artists page.

Today’s Creator’s Corner artist is Misty Copeland:

 

Hamlet and the Ten Reasons

Song for this post. The Killers: For Reasons Unknown.

“This is the short and the long of it”. -Merry Wives of Windsor Act 2, Scene 2..

For Hamlet’s plot till now, see Hamlet So Far.

Act 1. Scene 5 (Continued).

Ten Reasons for Hamlet to Take-out Claudius

1. Claudius did Dad in.

2. Claudius is doing Mom.

3. Claudius is out to do the Hamster in.

4. Claudius is out-acting Hamlet.

5. Claudius is a drunk. That is a polite way of saying that Claudius is an alcoholic.

6. Taking Claudius out would prove that the Hamster is really, and truly, Big Man on Campus.

7. Claudius stole Hamlet’s crown.

8. Claudius couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag. And Young Fortinbras is about to prove it.

9. Behind Claudius’ smile is a mean s.o.b.

10. And Claudius is Claudius.

Can you Readers think of any other reasons Hamlet should kill the big guy?.

 Ten Reasons for Hamlet to Not Take-out Claudius

1. Claudius did Dad in. But that was okay. Dad did his dad in too.

2. Claudius is doing Mom. And Mom is loving it.

3. If Claudius is out to do the Hamster in, he has a funny way of showing it. He gives Hamlet a round trip ticket to England.

4. Claudius is out-acting Hamlet. Hamlet could use a few tips from a better actor.

5. Okay, Claudius drinks a lot. He’s a real party guy.

6. Not taking Claudius out would prove that the Hamster is really a forgiving kind of dude. Ain’t that the Christian thing to do?

7. Claudius didn’t steal Hamlet’s crown. He just borrowed it for a while.

8. Claudius couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag. But he sure is smarter than any Fortinbras and he’s about to prove it.

9. Behind Claudius’ smile is a mean s.o.b. Would you expect less from a king?

10. And Claudius is Claudius.

Can you Readers think of any other reasons Hamlet should not kill the big guy?.