Howard Johnson is Moving his Bowels

I sometimes wonder if it is worth opening the tavern on some evenings. While I am fairly sure it is not technically possible to die of boredom (leaving aside the question of whether or not I am already dead), it sometimes seems as though it might happen.  At least I have my writing to keep my mind occupied.  That and my continuing investigation into the music of the future.  My future that is.  From Gwyn’s point of view and certainly Brigitte’s, the things I was trying might be golden oldies.  Or maybe not.  I am sure some things still apply; that some songs are ephemeral, sung and listened to a few times, while others continue to be popular years after they were first performed.

My selections tonight were by somebody calling themselves Meatloaf and something I couldn’t quite read – IOCC. The former made me think of the various nicknames that fat children got called at school and I wondered if that was the origin of this name.  The latter, I cannot imagine. Maybe it is a word in some other language, or perhaps the letters stand for something.

The first song seemed simple enough; boy takes girl out in his carriage, parks somewhere secluded by the lake in the hope of some intimacy. The girl, perhaps being built of stronger moral fibre, stops him at some crucial point, refusing to go any further without the promise of marriage. Fair enough, maybe morals aren’t so different in the future. Sadly, it would appear that this was a bad decision, as both seemed to regret it afterwards.  What I didn’t quite understand was the rather excitable gentleman who intruded in the middle of the song, sounding like he was talking in a tin box.  I think he was describing some sporting activity, though quite what this had to do with the amorous adventures of the protagonists, I do not know. I will have to ask Gwyn, or one of the other ‘moderns’ about it.

The second song left me completely baffled.  I assume that the singer was trying to give a visual impression of the city, but very little of it made sense, other than a line about Bloomingdales, which I seem to recall was a department store in the city. I caught a reference to Keats somewhere in there, but it was in relation to a burgher, an archaic term for a city official, or possibly it had something to do with food.  I never did fathom what the “strange apparatus” referred to in the chorus was about, and why anybody should want to inform anybody else, in song, that “Howard Johnson was moving his bowels” I cannot even begin to imagine. Perhaps it makes more sense in whatever year the song was performed.  It did, at least, have an interesting melody.

My musical investigations were interrupted by that rather strange girl, Luna, out in the courtyard with Hadley, unaccompanied by any suitable adults.  Now if Hadley had been with Wren or Ember, I would have been less concerned, as both, cinnamon sugar aside, seem fairly responsible.  Luna, on the other hand is just strange, and to my mind, unpredictable.  She did not improve my opinion of her, when I tried to entice both into the tavern for drinks and cookies, by claiming that the mean green lady, presumably Aoibheann, had hit her and made her cry, which I was fairly certain was a lie.  Luna would not be budged from her intention to go and play in the woods.  Had one of the guards, or Hadley’s maid been present, I would have let it go, but Hadley, on her own with Luna, did not seem a good idea.  I followed them out of the castle, pausing only to bribe the young woman who hangs around outside the bath house to go up to the castle to fetch a maid or a guard.  I watched them from the path until one of the maids appeared.  So far, they seemed to be doing nothing out of the ordinary, but I felt better for having made sure.



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