Category Archives: Bagatelles

Frivolous amusements

Wedding Toasts, Death Threats, Kink, Chuckles Eulogy, Pseudoscience Of Carcinogenic Omelets

Vintage Heck Of A Guy Posts In Ascendancy

Heck Of A Guy, B.C. (Before Cohenization) was an era not without its own charm. In any case, a batch of ancient posts  have been especially popular in the last two weeks. I’ve grouped these into categories for the  convenience of readers:

Wedding Help


This time of year regularly triggers a seasonal influx of visitors to benefit from DrHGuy’s wedding wisdom.

Till Death Do Us Part

Mary reacts to eulogy for her WJM colleague, Chuckles The Clown

Clever segue, eh? Regardless, three death-related Heck Of A Guy posts were targeted (in a good way) by followers of various social sites:

Dear Mr. Benito,

While I am not well versed in the assassination biz, I do take some pride in my use of the written word to communicate effectively. I think you’ll find, for example, that careful spelling and adherence to grammatical standards will result in an altogether more intimidating missive. After all, if the intended victim believes you cannot execute a properly composed email message, how is that marked man to believe you can properly execute him?

… perhaps I been too influenced by TV and movies, but $12,000 seems an embarrassingly small payoff for my life. I’m a little disappointed that my death is worth less than the price of a used Mazda.

Kink

As it turns out, an increase in Heck Of A Guy wedding-associated content invariably correlates with an increase in Heck Of A Guy explorations into alternative sexual behavior.

The Leonard Cohen-Bob Dylan Thematic Nexus: Lost In The Rages Of Fragrance

lost in the rages of fragrance
- From “The Window” by Leonard Cohen

The Singer-Songwriter Scent Of Success

Ongoing readers may recall the post, Leonard Cohen & The Sweet Smell Of Indifference, which focused on Cohen’s vision, as reported by Sleep66:

Leonard once told me he was going to come out with his own cologne. It was going to be called “Indifference,” and its slogan was going to be “I don’t give a shit what happens”

That same post also included the Heck Of A Guy ad proposal as a means of furthering this venture.

It turns out that Leonard Cohen is not the only iconic singer-songwriter to consider developing his own line of cologne. The following excerpt is from Carrie Fisher’s book, “Wishful Drinking:”

Dylan wasn’t calling to ask me on a date.  He was calling because this cologne company had contacted him to ask if he would endorse a cologne called Just Like A Woman. Now Bob didn’t like that name, but he liked the idea of endorsing a cologne. And he wanted to know if I had any good cologne names.

Do I look like someone who would be wandering around with a bunch of cologne names rattling around in my head?

Well, tragically, I did. I did have quite a few ideas for cologne names and so I told them to Bob.

There was Ambivalence – for the scent of confusion.

Arbitrary – for the man who doesn’t give a shit how he smells!

And, Empathy – feel like them, smell like this.

Well, Bob actually liked those!

The Dylan-Cohen Defecatory Disinterest  Dialectic

The reader’s attention is called to the description of  “Arbitrary,” the  second of Ms Fisher’s designations winning Mr Dylan’s approval.  The juxtaposition of  that phrase, “for the man who doesn’t give a shit how he smells,” with Mr Cohen’s characterization of the mood evoked by his cologne, ““I don’t give a shit what happens,” readily identifies the hitherto undiscovered motif employed by both of  the men most often acknowledged as the poet- lyricists of their time:

Does Not Give A Shit

The Consequences

The intuitively apparent mythicocloacal significance implicit in this shared  theme mandates a re-appraisal of the corpus of work produced by not only each of these artists but also all those performers influenced by them.

It also opens up, of course,  a synergistic entrepreneurial opportunity for a combined Cohen-Dylan line of colognes for the discerning kind of  man who is governed only  by his own insouciance.

Leonard Cohen Fans: Here's The Drill – First, Take A Deep Breath, . . .

lc-robe

The Leonard Cohen World Tour & Emotional Roller Coaster

Over the past week, Leonard Cohen’s admirers, already dizzy from following the World Tour as it has caravanned from the first concert on May 11, 2008 in Fredericton, NB, Canada, across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States, have endured a mood shift of a magnitude such that Cohen fans, collectively, now meet criteria for Bipolar Disorder.

Titles of  Heck Of A Guy posts during this period indicate the triggers for this emotional whirlwind:

The Well-Timed Hiatus

Yesterday’s Tel Aviv concert was the last performance for Cohen and crew until the swing through the US, the final leg of the Tour, begins October 17, 2009 in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.

Leonard Cohen, the backup singers, the band, the stage crew, and the support staff will, being professionals, relax and recreate to gather strength for the culminating series of  concerts, but how about the fans? What can they do to compensate during this time of profound Cohenemia?

The Cohen Fan’s Guide To Life Until The Tour Begins Again

Well, there may be no cure for love, but, happily, Heck Of A Guy has developed recommendations to alleviate the emptiness now threatening the Leonard Cohen fan.1

  1. Re-introduce yourself to family members who are not Cohen followers.  Photos of you taken prior to the start of the Tour may be helpful in establishing your identity. Don’t forget to check for children you or your spouse may have given birth to since May 11, 2008.
  2. Explore unfamiliar parts of the internet. It turns out that not every Google and Twitter search includes the terms, “Leonard Cohen” and the internet now extends beyond  LeonardCohenFiles, LeonardCohenForum, Leonard Cohen, Leonard Cohen – I’m your Man, I’m Your Live Man, Maarten Massa, Speaking CohenA Thousand Kisses Deep, LeonardCohenSearch, and Heck Of A Guy.2   And no fair going to the sites for Anjani, Sharon Robinson, The Webb Sisters, etc.
  3. This is an ideal time to take care of those household and personal chores you’ve been putting because you had to deal with Ticketmaster or refresh that page at LeonardCohenForum to see if anyone has finally uploaded the set list from the Nimes concert yet.  Take a moment to survey the situation. Do you smell, for example, rotting garbage or smoke? If so, it may prove worthwhile to search out the sources and attend to them. Do you see any paychecks? Ask yourself, “Am I employed?” and, if so, “Have I gone to work lately?”
  4. Talk about topics other than those associated with Leonard Cohen. Decreasing Cohen-content, however, should be accomplished in small increments. The false heroics of going cold turkey not only place one at risk for withdrawal syndrome (family members should be alert for early signs such as the moaning of “I Tried To Leave You”) but also creates excessive confusion among those with whom you converse. As a first effort, try doing without one or two of the more familiar phrases that may have grown oh, let’s say, less beloved by others (e.g., those that trigger in a loved one that unattractive progression of tics).  Likely candidates include “There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in,” “I ache in the places where I used to play, “born with the gift of a golden voice,” “tea and oranges,” and, if you write headlines for a newspaper, blog, or magazine, “Hallelujah.”  Also avoid variations built upon “First We Take ______, Then We Take _______.”  And, consider the possibility that “crack and anal sex” do not fit nearly as well into everyday conversations as you apparently think they do.
  5. Listen to music not sung, written, or co-written by Leonard Cohen. Yes, I know, given the number of covers of Cohen’s songs, that eliminates a lot of your favorites.  Still, one can find the occasional tune written and performed by others that is perfectly pleasant.  I hear good things, for example, about these Beatles fellows.
  6. Attend religious services.  Be aware, however, that  the setting, a performer on stage backed by musicians,  may resemble a Cohen concert sufficiently to evoke inappropriate behavior. Many ministers, priests, rabbis, and other worship leaders may, for example, be taken aback if you videotape the performance. Even if you are Jewish, waving green glow-sticks during the service in emulation of the Tel Aviv concert is unlikely to delight the Cantor as much as it did Cohen. And automatically adding to the benediction blessings, “Don’t catch a summer cold” will cause some puzzlement among the congregation.

And don’t worry – even if you are Cohen-abstinent for a couple of weeks, you’ll still recognize him. He’ll be the one with the golden voice thing.

  1. I may be suffering from Cohenemia myself. How else to explain that I  nearly wrote “average Leonard Cohen fan,” despite the overwhelming evidence that all Cohen fans are notably above average in demeanor, profundity of thought, love of humanity, personal grooming, sublimity of soul, and, of course, attractiveness? []
  2. Rumor has it, in fact, that, at some time in its storied past, Heck Of A Guy published posts that did not mention Leonard Cohen or Anjani. []

Leonard Cohen Is A Puzzle

08Dublin

From Leonard Cohen Concert Photo To Jigsaw Puzzle

Ongoing readers may recall the above photo of one of the set of magical images captured by Michael Foley at the June 14, 2008 Leonard Cohen World Tour concert in Dublin.1

The same picture has been transformed into an electronic jigsaw puzzle that looks something like this:

pieces

You can put Leonard back together by clicking the following link, which will take you to a page with a little more room for maneuvering the puzzle pieces with the mouse: Leonard Cohen Puzzle – Dublin 2008

  1. The Leonard Cohen Dublin Photo Session With Michael Foley []

Does It Have To Be A Beer Summit?

obeer

Beer Strikes The Right Tone, I Suppose, But …

The coverage of the recent Obama backyard get together seemed to focus primarily on the beverage du jour, i.e., the beer.

The White House and the press have even taken pains to inform the public of the brands consumed:

  • Obama: Bud Light
  • Gates: Sam Adams Light
  • Crowley: Blue Moon
  • Biden: Buckler (non-alcoholic)

Articles and news programs have also offered psychoanalytic pontifications about the implications of these choices.

No one appears, however, to have addressed the issue which most concerns me.

I am chagrined to confess that, despite four years of college and another four years spent at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, the latter sentence served at a time when quaffing pitchers of suds at Harpo’s was, if not a requirement for graduation, a moral obligation for Mizzou students, I never developed a taste for the brewskies.

So, when it inevitably becomes my turn to meet with the President on a sunshine-filled summer day in the Rose Garden, would it be possible to sip something besides beer?  I’m thinking a tall, cold vodka and tonic1 would be nice.

… and maybe we could have some snacks, nothing fancy, cheese and crackers would be OK.

Oh, and Thursday and Friday afternoons usually work best for me, although other days can usually be arranged with a little notice.

  1. It wouldn’t even be all that expensive.  I have a fondness for Finlandia so there is no reason to add to the financial crisis by splurging on Grey Goose  and the like.  Fresh tonic is important, though. Schweppes Diet, if you have it, but don’t buy it just for me. []

Leonard Cohen Finds Love

Leonard Cohen Getting His Licks In1

Upon receiving this photo of Leonard Cohen from Christine Geyer, I instantly sensed there was something special about it.

Note the respect, gratification, and  bemusement reflected in Cohen’s aspect as he contemplates the frozen novelty treat.

This is something more than appreciation for a “frozen drink on a stick,” despite that snack’s undeniable appeal.

popsicle-sign1

Inspiration In A Variety Of Flavors

After many seconds of reflection, the  possibility that the ice pop could have been Cohen’s source of a fundamental set of imagery in his music and poetry became unavoidable. Consider, for example, the opening lyrics to “Lullaby,” the unreleased song  Cohen has been singing at his recent concerts:

I can’t break the code
of our frozen love.
It’s too late to know
what the password was.

[emphasis mine]

The phrase, “frozen love,” was also used in “The Window:”

O chosen love, O frozen love
O tangle of matter and ghost.
O darling of angels, demons and saints
and the whole broken-hearted host

[emphasis mine]

If “frozen love” isn’t the musicological equivalent of a popsicle, I don’t know what is.

But there’s more. A partial list2 follows (all bold  emphasis mine):

…And my heart is like ice. / And it’s crowded and cold / In My Secret Life (My Secret Life)

…it’s a cold and it’s a lonely Hallelujah! (Hallelujah)

…I’m cold as a new razor blade / You left when I told you I was curious / I never said that I was brave / O you are really such a pretty one / I see you’ve gone and changed your name… (So Long, Marianne)

…and the cold is running thin. / Well, what do you expect from / the kind of places you’ve been living in? / Don’t drink from that cup, / it’s all caked and cracked along the rim. /… (Dress Rehearsal Rag)

…and ice upon my soul, / lead on, my son, it is your world. (The Butcher)

Investigating Cohen’s Cold Case Files

Forming an international task force to investigate this hypothesis, Ms Geyer and Heck Of A Guy operatives unearthed from a Montreal warehouse, otherwise filled with a strange assortment of garbage and flowers, a wad of papers that first appeared to be no more than a batch of opened Popsicle wrappings that somehow didn’t make it to a trashcan.

Closer analysis, however, identified fragments of writing, which, when reconstituted by the Heck Of A Guy Lab’s  CSI  Physics-Defier Plot Device 734XL,  yielded  the earliest  known manuscript of what would become the lyrics to “Everybody Knows.” Although the words vary significantly from the final version of the song, the parallels are unmistakable.

Click on images for best viewing.

everybody-licks-sicles

For clarity, a transcription is provided:

Everybody licks raspberry ‘sicles
Everybody licks lime and pistachio
Everybody licks  blueberry and chocolate
Even with a mustachio.
Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
But there were so many flavors you just had to eat
You must come quick,
I’ll give you one more lick.

Everybody licks, everybody licks
When it drips it sticks
So everybody licks

Everybody licks, everybody licks
To get their kicks
Everybody licks

In confirmation, an extended exploration of the same area  turned up this contemporary photo of Cohen …

… and on another wrapper, these few lines which constitute the  link between “Everybody Licks” and “Everybody Knows:”

The transcription follows:

Does everybody lick?
Does everybody know everybody licks?
Of course, Everybody Knows

Frozen Assets Excavation Ongoing

In the course of this investigation, other frozen concoction-related  artifacts were discovered. A torn wrapper with only the title and first lines of “Licks Just Keep Getting Harder To Find,” for example, has been forwarded to the Institute For Advanced Monkees Research for verification.

Most intriguing, however, is this video, which appears to show music being emitted from a primitive device somewhat similar to a compact disk of the sort used by earlier generations.

Scholars are now debating the fine points, but it now seems likely that the song itself, by Jan and Dean (code names for the Sisters of Mercy?), is actually an homage to Leonard Cohen.

Jan and Dean – Popsicle Man

Credit Due Department: Photo atop this post taken by Darcy Hemle

  1. This is a Heck Of A Guy Confessional post. For the description and background of this format, see Meet The Confessionals. []
  2. Inserting pertinent terms into Leonard Cohen Concordance creates an impressively large catalog of similar images []