Sunday, October 30, 2005

IN THE VALLEY OF THE JOLLY (ho, ho, ho)...

"Have you heard about the jolly green giant (CORN!)
He's so big and mean (AND CELERY STALKS!)
He stands there laughin' with his hands on his hips,
And then he hits you with a can of BEANS! (ouch!)"
--The Kingsmen, big hit single, 1965

I like to read the papers, but while everyone seems to be obsessing on scandals, negativism and bad news (well, I do notice those things), it's the weird stuff that hits me...such as a little article which said that 80-year old Elmer Dressler died today. "Who's he?", you ask...well, he was the voice that said "HO HO HO" on the old Jolly Green Giant commercials. Rest in peace, Elmer!

Evidently there is a big statue of the Jolly Green Giant, somewhere back in Missouri, that seems to be quite the tourist attraction. This, then, would be that statue. I think the closest thing we've got to that would be at the Paul Bunyan drive-in on Northwest Boulevard, a sign that the ultra-repressive "sign committee" here can't touch, because it was grandfathered in, so to speak. In short, ol' "Paul Bunyan" was in place long before current sign regs were adopted.

So, as so often happens, "one thing" reminds me of "something else". The "Jolly Green Giant" inspired a hit record of the same name, back in 1965, and it was done by The Kingsmen, who achieved relative immortality with their version of "Louie Louie". (Which would make a GREAT "state song" for Washington State). I can just see it now...the senators and reps convene, after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and then singing "Louie Louie" en masse.

And here it is..."THE JOLLY GREEN GIANT" by the KIngsmen. I thot it was really cool, the way one of the band members yelled out names of 'vegetables' in-between the lead singer's phrasings. Really cool stuff. Although, I heard an early Paul Revere and the Raiders album, on which there is a song called "Big Boy Pete"...which has the SAME EXACT TUNE, albeit with different words. Did anyone ever sue the Kingsmen for stealing the tune of "Big Boy Pete"? By the way, "Big Boy Pete", I believe, was originally recorded by the Olympics, back in the 50's somewhere.

So anyway, while I was searching for "Jolly Green Giant" photos on Google, I ran across the following satirical item. Way back when, you could buy these little off-the-wall items and stick them everywhere. I remember when "Ugly stickers" were a big thing. They would picture a huge, slimy, slobbering monster with someone's name typed above. Well, this isn't one of those, but I thot it was kinda cool:

I used to love all of the old MAD magazine articles...I remember, as a kid, reading a Mad satire of "2001: A Space Odyssey"; only it was called, "20:01: A Space Idiocy". That kind of humor really appeals to me. Such as, for instance, you've seen the old sign that says, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." Well, once, I saw a sign in a restaurant that caused me to do a double-take. The sign read:



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