Sunday, February 1, 2009

Doodle Penance:
"my wife is always mad when i leave town."

Here's another "Doodle Penance." This week, someone came to the site looking for information on "my wife is always mad when i leave town." (with a period at the end of the search, just like that) and spent no time at all on the site. Clearly, we need to address this topic.

I think there's a historical figure who would like to address the topic. Yes, you there, in the golden mask?

I don't know. Maybe that's not a convincing rendering of that famous mask. Maybe you'd recognize that fellow better if I showed you a drawing of him by a much better cartoonist?

That's an altered image from Eric Shanower's gorgeous Age of Bronze.

And damn, does Shanower's line make my lettering look sloppy. Ouch.

Or maybe your range of reference extends more to recent filmic
adaptations of ancient myth?

Those don't look so convincing to me. As far as I'm concerned, only one movie Agamemnon stands the test of time.

Now that's the mug of a high king.

Mike, what's your take on this one?

...Well, gosh, Isaac. When I read the search term, I couldn't help being struck by the strong, song-like pulse of its five iambs; I was sure I'd heard it before somewhere. And while its metrical perfection might serve for the first line of a sonnet, the down-home register of the language led me to follow my hunch that its true poetic home lay in an old bluegrass track.

Sure enough, a little online sleuthing confirmed that the line leads off the first verse of the little-known "Homebody Holler," where a henpecked hillbilly sings, smokes, and drinks away his frustration at being cooped up at home in an Appalachian hollow by his needy bride, who can't abide his forays into town. My discovery inspired the following doodle:

I like the dialect touch of "tater bug," referring to the round-bottomed mandolin as pictured in the singer's hands. Yet the rhyme with "shrug" in the last line seems a bit too precious for a genuine bluegrass tune. These doubts compel me to confront a hard question: WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

Well, for starters:

1) No mandolin has a neck that long.
2) No hayseed would wear a ten-gallon hat; that's for cowboys.
3) There's no way that jug would still have a cork in it if the pipe is already smoking.
4) About that pipe: do you really believe that a hick like this would have a holder fitted to the end of his corn-cob contraption?
5) That there beard is more Amish than Appalachian. Where's the 'stache?

All these errors cause me to doubt the authenticity of the song itself. I believe I may be the victim of a cruel internet hoax. Well, it wouldn't be the first time.


Isaac said...

I know this is not a contest, Mike, and yet this week you win:

1. for the goofy doodle, perfect riposte to my color classicism;

2. for the silly pome;

3. for the mock scholarship;

4. for the final link.

Take a bow, my brother.

Ben Towle said...

Of the song, I can confirm only that the chords from the doodle work with the lyrics pretty well. (Although, I tested with a ukulele, not a mandolin!)