Campfire Songs: Humdingers, Thingamajigs and Whatnots

Click here to read this adventure from the beginning.


Elton John: “Thank you for joining us this evening, ladies and gentlemen, for this sudden, one-song concert that I really hadn’t planned on doing. But the fair Brian of Bonnywood has asked me to compose a little ditty to describe what belongs in this final category of Campfire Songs. I’m not really sure what the hell he’s trying to do here, but as a fellow artist I understand the burning need to see your vision completed, and that’s good enough for me.

You’ll have to forgive the rough edges to the lyrics, as Bernie usually takes care of that angle for me, but he’s currently quarantined at the Tantrums and Tiaras Pub in Strapit-on-Strumpet, Hemington. I understand they serve the best quarantinis there, so he should be good.

Speaking of the lyrics, I hope you’ll join me as we sing along. You should already know the words, since the song was released on the internet before I even finished writing it. Such is the nature of the business beast these days.”

Brian: “Do I get to join in, too!”

Elton: “No, dear. Only the people who can actually carry a tune should sing. You just sit there and look pretty.”

Brian lowers his head: “Okay..”

Elton: “Alright, then. Ready? Here we go.”


I sat on the roof

And picked up my mossy laptop

You see I’ve forgotten

If the Word doc is green, or it’s blue


Anyway, the thing is,

What I really need

Is words that can fill up

This screen that I see


Then Lucy and her diamonds

In the sky, so high

Jet-packed to my rooftop

And let these words fly


“I give you Philadelphia Freedom

To write of whatever you wish

As long as it doesn’t make anyone

Want to throw back the fish”


Shine the light, oh, shine the light

Lead the others through the night

Tell one and all, near and far

This last category is completely ajar


The one-offs, the cast-offs, the square into round

This is your landing, this is your ground

Scatter your saplings from hither to hog,

This is our safe place, this is our blog


Elton then ended the song with a clever bit of fingerplay, the last note echoing across the empty auditorium. “There, now. Think that’ll nick me another Academy Award?”

Brian: “Let’s just say that I sure wish Bernie was here.”

Elton: “Spot on, mate. Well, we tried. Let’s go find some dive bar with a really good torch singer. And some of those American nachos.”

Ellen, offstage: “Hey, Elton, before you take off. You want any of this jambalaya? It’s going fast.”

Elton: “Does it still smell like Portia Porridge?”

Ellen: “Um, maybe a bit.”

Elton: “It’s a pass, then. Thanks, though. Maybe next time.”

And thusly, Rocket Man and Pretty Boy slipped out the back door of the auditorium and out of this story.


Two hours later, Bucky St. Clair, who was here to spray for both termites and the Covid-19 virus (it was a package deal, online only, login now), stumbled across a torn scrap of paper. He picked it up, blew off the odd, rust-colored dust, and began to cipher it.

It was the last page of Brian’s abandoned script and, on the back of it, he had scribbled out the liner notes that would accompany the Original Cast Recording he had hoped to release after today’s star-studded presentation. (This dream died once things hit the fan and Portia fell in the pot, but at the time of the scribbling that dream was still a fevered vision.) The scrap was small, so most of the words were missing, but Bucky was still able to read a few lines, once the toxic fumes cleared out of his brain:

“…and naturally, I was most excited about the final category, wherein folks could contribute whatever they wanted, without any structure or limitations. I had hopes that this would create a heady, intoxicating brew, flavored with quirky stories and odd happenings and twisted poetry and, well, things that readers don’t always get to see or writers necessarily want to share. But the truth is, we all go a little odd sometimes, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Just like there’s nothing wrong with anything you write, as long as it’s honest. After all, here at Bonnywood, we celebrate difference, and it’s one of the reasons why our little community is so supportive and welcoming. Perhaps one day…”

Bucky tucked the scrap into one of the pockets on his protective gear and went back to spraying. Maybe later tonight, after a 20-minute scalding shower, he might pull out the rough draft for that parable he had been tinkering with, the one with the kumquat who wanted to open a bed-and-breakfast in Lancaster. If he could just get that third act to work, all would be right as rain. And then he might join a little campfire that he’s heard about…




28 replies »

    • Thanks again for sharing. As I’ve mentioned in previous comments for this Campfire series, this is the stuff I love. Honest stories about how each of us navigate the planet…


  1. Another steaming hot pot of crazy, even with a dash of Portia. Sorry again, looks like your ‘Like’ don’t like my ham-fisted pressings. Much like leggypeggy said in the above comments.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m just at a loss with this WordPress “like” situation. I fully understand what you’re saying, as I run into this with other blogs from time to time, but I can’t figure out what the trigger (or non-trigger, I guess) might be. Maybe it’s a deep-state conspiracy? There seems to be a lot of that going around. Especially if you work in the Trump Administration….


  2. You need to put on a mask and get some oxygen. But at least you’re not taking to writing bad limericks like I have, Craig said after I read him the worst one was – do you think that will offend dime people? I said honey that’s the point of the contest. He said oh, I guess it’s okay then but it’s really baaaaad. I said go get some sleep my little lamb. Here’s the limerick for you if you care to read my nsfw poem:
    Traffic was very light yesterday
    Officer Joe went to his mistresses apartment to play.
    But his wife had a fever
    And before he could leave her
    He slipped the virus into her beaver.


    • I’d put on a mask, but apparently such things are in short-supply these days. But I AM doing my best to breathe, accompanied by the ingestion of lots of little anxiety pills in prescription bottles carrying a warning label of “perhaps you shouldn’t drink alcohol and take these”, a prohibitive that I blatantly ignore.

      But enough about me and my foibles, on to your limerick.

      You’re a bit naughty.

      Come sit by me so we can make fun of everyone else… 😉


  3. Bernie with a Quarantini, now that does sound like a good idea. 😉

    True story: campfires always made me a little nervous. All that closeness and willingness to share… it threatened to uncover my soft chewy center.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let’s work on reducing the campfire anxiety, shall we? Because if we’re going to remain friends, and we will, there will come a point when we will be gathered around such a fire and I fully expect you to join the call-and-response medieval madrigal that we are performing for the night’s feature presentation. This WILL happen, so you might as well go ahead and schedule those therapy sessions right now… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Every time I write a post like that I worry about TMI. To get something like that out requires flipping my FTW switch. And then its been pulled and reposted multiple times.

    As I get older I have become insecure once again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand the TMI angle, as I often worry about such. But I generally tip towards truth. If we can’t honestly share our thoughts and emotions and experiences, how can we ever be truly happy? Sure, you might lose a few folks who don’t care for the share, but do you really want those people around you if they don’t support your journey?

      Liked by 1 person

      • As an Aspie, my TMI filter is broken. When I get wrapped up in something I tend to spill everything. It is later when I’ve calmed down I start to worry about what I said. My judgment of how people react to something is poor. So having spilled out something I am insecure about peoples reactions.

        My FTW switch kicks in and I get angry. I switch from being fearful of people’s responses to trying to provoke them with “in your face” behavior.

        The next day is full of regret, whether I have alienated everyone or it didn’t matter at all..

        Liked by 1 person

  5. In respect of nothing really, I have changed my Twitter name (@bryntinish), from the accurate but plainly too short ‘Bryntin’ to the more apt ‘Bryntin Quarantino’. The 18 followers the account has were absolutely beside themselves with complete indifference to this comedic genius.

    Liked by 1 person

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