Friday Night Clam Bake – #8: Ride a Painted Pony Let the Spinnin’ Wheel Spin

In the last Clam Bake, I had a rather swell time sifting through old comments and cultivating some of the jewels. So, to somewhat continue the trend, with this Clam I’ll be sharing some of my responses to what others have written, both here and on their own sites. Consider this a dozen bits of color in my kaleidoscope. Enjoy.


In response to Marple25Mary:

I’ve already accepted the fact that my memory has reached a critical point of degradation. In my youth, I had a near photographic memory. Now? It’s an Etch-a-Sketch, and somebody keeps shaking it…


In response to Lily:

When I run into these people that are super-confident and have no qualms about anything, I know that most of them have never had to deal with situations where they were forced to feel inferior, inadequate, shameful. On the one hand, it’s nice that they didn’t suffer. On the other hand, they can’t fully relate to me. I would much rather be around people who have tripped and fallen and felt broken, who have their hang-ups, who have experienced the downside and the invalidation. Those are the friends I want, the folks who know of disappointment and solitude and distant longing.


In response to Paula:

And that last bit reminds me of more trivia: One of the nicknames my dad had for me was “Sir Brian”. Apparently. I was perceived as a snobby little tyke. I don’t know why they got that impression, although it might have something to do with the fact that I really didn’t like interacting with most people and would instead go to my room and write stories in my Big Chief tablet…


In response to Fred:

I edit the hell out of my first drafts, but I never throw anything away. (Which means that my laptop is burgeoning with crap.)  But despite the manipulation and the afterthoughts, when I’m in the mood and I dig in the archives, I usually find that what I originally thought was what I really meant.  It’s just that we walk a fine line between reality and acceptance, and the part of us that seeks validation nudges us toward the softening of edges, and we blur what we are, and the only one who really knows us is that file folder packed with the words that we did not release.


A random Facebook snippet sent to my friend Tiffany. (You may vaguely recognize the name from many of my stories.):

So I waited all day to make a birthday post on your page because I wanted it to be “all that” and you would cherish it forever but nothing was coming to mind and I kept waiting and I was getting really frustrated and then those damn storms rolled in (hate them!) and I lost a few hours of not being creative because I was freaked out that me and Toto would be airborne any second and that’s really just not on my bucket list and then the storms passed and I still didn’t have a good idea and then we watched a little bit of TV (okay, three hours) and then I almost had a moment of inspiration during “iZombie” (which is really cute and clever, you should be DVR’ing it, be there or be square) but I’m old and the memory is no longer stellar and I forgot my idea a few scenes later and then Mom texted me that a tornado apparently played squat tag in Tulsa but they were okay and I felt really bad because I hadn’t even bothered to check on The Fam even though I had been staring at weather radar all day and I could clearly see that the storms extended up through Oklahoma but that’s sort of making it all about me and this is really about you so I eventually got on the Internet, filled with the sudden firm conviction that finding a “16 Candles” parody video would be the perfect digital gift for someone who always has well-applied lips, but I was stunned to learn that there isn’t a decent parody clip for that movie (How can there not be? What is wrong with this world?) which meant that I was completely out of ideas and there would be tears and bitter accusations and then I realized that maybe I should just post the longest run-on sentence in the history of the planet so that by the time you got to the end of it you would be concerned about my mental health (that poor boy is spending TOO much time alone with the cats) and you would sort of forget that I hadn’t been particularly inventive with my words and you might even be relieved that the post was finally over and forgive me for all my sins, which are many, and we all just sigh and move on because, people.


In response to Christi:

I love consignment (and antique) stores as well. There’s the budget aspect, of course, but there’s also the “other life” aspect wherein you not only get an item but you get a history as well, even if you never know that history. You can sense it. My two favorite consignment finds: One, a long, black coat that I bought in Tulsa during my college years. It somehow transformed me from mundane to striking but mysterious leading man from the 1940s (at least in my own mind). I still have that thing, decades later, shoved in the back of a closet. It still smells like promise.

Two, a pair of shoes I ran across in a Goodwill store in… Irving, Texas, maybe? Sometime in the 90s, when I was constantly going to Goodwill stores so it’s a bit of a blur. I found the left shoe first, in one of those “discount” sections where they are basically begging you to pay whatever price just so they can get rid of some of this piled-up, unrelated, unwanted merchandise. It took me a while to find the right shoe, but I finally did, triumphant. (There may have been an uncontrolled squeal.)

The initial allure of this footwear was that the upper part of the shoe was composed of glossy blackness with a metal half-moon covering the toe section, making it look like an inverted tap shoe designed by Salvador Dali. (Love him.) The second erogenous aspect was that the shoes fit me perfectly, meaning there is somebody out there with my EXACT feet, no small feat (ahem). Lastly, the thick rubber sole had the image of a rose cut into it. Which meant that every time I walked through dirt or sand, or splashed through a puddle and then onto dry pavement, I would leave a trail of flowers behind me, however fleetingly. It just made me smile.

Unlike my Raymond Chandler coat, I have no idea what happened to those shoes. I haven’t seen them in years, so I’m assuming that I passed them on at some point, and someone else with feet like me is enjoying a stroll that creates its own garden…


In response to Treese:

All of my stories have a baseline of truth and actuality. I just embellish them with a bit of flair, because that’s the birthright of the Rainbow People and one of the many reasons why Someone decided to sprinkle us on the Earth…


Another random Facebook tidbit:

And in the quiet of the night, when the dawn is distant, you see or read or hear a little thing that once used to be a big thing to you, and you remember why that thing was big once, and still should be, and you hope that in one of your tomorrows you can make the little big again…


In response to Lizzie:

8 siblings? Honey, how did you ever get any kind of individual affirmation in that challenging environment? Then again, due to the short-attention span of my father and his multiple marriages, there was a time when I actually had 10 half-siblings and step-siblings, but that was only for a few short years and legal maneuverings since then have greatly reduced the official total. Now, your mention of farm-life antics has reminded me of many stories buried in my archives, concerning things that involved cows and/or poor decisions about what one should do with those cows. I might have to unleash those tales in the near future. Stay tuned!


In response to Whitechapel Welk:

The truth, once revealed after several rounds of emotional chess, can be quite startling…


In response to Michnavs:

I will freely admit that I have liberated items of personal couture in a number of interesting places. Heat of the moment, you know, nothing intentional or too terribly tawdry, but I end up arriving back home without a few things. There’s a certain boutique hotel in New Orleans that could probably start a small art exhibit…


In response to Claudette:

Wow, Claudette, I don’t even know what to say. Oh, yes I do, who are we kidding? (It’s me!) This post completely made my day, and the week, and probably the month. I won’t go so far as to say that it made my year, because we’re still in the tender young months of such, and there might be another trip to Spain in June that might edge this post out a tiny little bit, but not by much. I am so glad that we’ve gotten to know one another.

This is one of the reasons why I love blogging, the chance to stumble across someone who, sight unseen (relatively speaking), is someone you know right away is a kindred soul. We might have different flavors and experiences and dreams, but there is a definite connection that sparks and kindles, a seed that can be planted, a sapling tree that is eventually strong. So, you water the ground, and you make sure there’s sunlight, and you look forward to the fruit that will grow and the harvests of the future. Thank you, Claudette. Big hugs.


And with that, I think I’ll close my digital scrapbook for now. As a parting gift for scrolling this far, here’s a primitive video concerning the song that inspired the title of this post. This is neither the single or album version of the song, truncated as it is for a TV performance, but it’s fun to watch obscure, pre-MTV videos, especially when the lead singer’s comparatively giant hand is clutching perhaps the tiniest microphone in existence at that time.


P.S. Big hugs as well to Terry at spearfruit. I often don’t have the right words of comfort that I so wish I could give you, but I think of you every day…



20 replies »

  1. I just love your FB happy birthday comment to Tiffany! OMG, surely that’s not copyrighted as I think I’m totally going to “borrow” it. But, I don’t live in Tulsa nor nowhere near, and we don’t really have storms like you do down there, so I’ll have to make something up for that part, but no worries as we get lots of wind and power outages so I’m sure I can come up with something to replace that part…

    Thanks for tolerating me, dear Sir. Totally enjoyed this post per usual. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Paula! And please, borrow away. This little methodology has gotten me through quite a few moments of writer’s block, especially when I’m late with my salutations. Just babble until it becomes absurd and silly and hope you are forgiven… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. (Serious but not sugary moment alert): this encapsulates what I love and possibly unerringly adore about you … Your writing is a given, I’m helplessly hooked , but its the thought and care and consideration you give to the whole process… Not dashing off mindless remarks but making each interaction a delicious morsel to savour and treasure. And your message to dear Terry. That. (Normal service resumes shortly) x

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you. As soon as I started poking in the archives and picking out bits, I knew that I shouldn’t show any current fingerprints. Just quietly arrange the snippets and let them breathe. As for Terry’s message, that was unplanned but organic, seeded by the post…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am humbled to be included in the comments. I love all the words you put forth (even when I miss the whole point of the movie/music references – I know they will be clever). Whilst I am on the whole “let’s adorate Brian trip”, I love the way you have lots of little serial segments, all different and delightful, insightful and sarky, and all just bubbling with wit and warmth, and emotions of all kinds created from just 26 letters arranged in a pleasing manner – HOW you do that is beyond me, but do it you do!
    Loved the description of the shoes, and the fact that your tread created flowers is just so wonderful – made me smile just reading it. They should make all soles create marks that souls can cherish!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, to be fair, I couldn’t craft some of these things without the lovely folks such as your delightful self who help me decide the validity of the selections I’m serving, from “oh, that went down rather well, let’s have some more of those” to “hmm, might want to pop that one back in the oven for a bit longer”. I do create my own little worlds, but I don’t necessarily want to live in them alone, so it’s quite satisfying when folks show up at Bonnywood who are willing to join the dance… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks Brian for another delightful post – you my friend always bring at lease a smile to my face and many times a belly laugh to go along with it. And thank you for your daily thoughts, I truly appreciate you mentioning me and I truly appreciate you as a good friend. Happy Weekend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That is a fabulous sentence/birthday greeting. Folks think lengthy sentences are easy, but they are not. Sentences like that are like a glorious roller coaster ride – thrilling until the end when you realize you’ve been holding your breath the whole time.

    Love, LOVE the idea of the shoes with the rose imprint on the sole. Have decided to make it my Mission to find a pair of similar shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really enjoy the longer sentences, trying to keep the linguistic acrobatics tumbling in a rhythmic manner without falling off the balance beam. (To be fair, I’ve got quite a few fading bruises from my tumbles over the years.) As for those shoes, I miss them so. I really don’t recall getting rid of them, but I haven’t seen them in a very long time. Good luck on your Mission!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “…you see or read or hear a little thing that once used to be a big thing to you, and you remember why that thing was big once, and still should be, and you hope that in one of your tomorrows you can make the little big again…”

    Solid gold. Because it’s the little things that were so big that made us choose to be who we are. Here’s our wise friend Kurt, worthy of rotation in email sig lines.

    “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things.”
    ― Kurt Vonnegut

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww. And you are one of the few people whose comments I will read ON MY PHONE, when the email notification comes IN, instead of waiting until I’m comfortably seated at my laptop. (This is high praise, please welcome it as such.) We have a perfect relationship… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.