The Land Of Oz

“You will bow before me
The dark lord
The one true master
Or I shall summon
The hounds of hell
To bite you in the nutsack!”

SCRATCHY: See, you really do hear Satanic messages when you play a record backwards!

EVIL SQUIRREL: I didn’t doubt that, but that’s my Kylie Minogue record for Pete’s sake!

DEVIL: Did I hear someone summon the dark lord?

ES: No, we were just searching for subliminal messages in my record collection…. begone Satan!

DEVIL: I have been unleashed on this Shelf and wasn’t even allowed to choose a song for this countdown, and now it shall fear my wrath!!!!

DEVIL: (Sporking the record to death) BWA-HA-HA-HA!!!!

ES: Dammit, now how am I supposed to hear The Locomotion?

SCRATCHY: There’s two better versions that won’t invoke the demon of shitty music, chump!

Spork! Spork! Spork! Spork! Spork! Spork! Spork! Spork! Spork! Spork! Spork! Spork! 

ES: I can’t take any more of this desecration of classic hits…. maybe the next Shelf Critter request will ward off this evil…

SPONKIE 1: The next critter request is by…..

SPONKIE 2: OMG!  It’s US!!!!!!!!


SCRATCHY: What are these two kids doing in the countdown?  I mean, they make fine lackeys for my Monday Muzak posts, but they don’t even have any personality to choose a song with!

SPONKIE 2: Sure we do!

SPONKIE 1: Yeah, we’re Australian!

SCRATCHY: Bullshit!  I know both of your parents, and neither of them is Australian…

SPARKLEPONY: That’s right!  I’m Hungarian!  Or was it Bulgarian?

RAINBOW DONKEY: And I’m Pangean since unicorns have been around from the dawn of time.

SPARKLEPONY: So you ungrateful spawn have absolutely no Australian genes in your…

RD: Wasn’t our postman about ten years ago an Aussie, dear?

SPARKLEPONY: Rainbow Donkey!!!  How could you……. er…… let’s just drop the subject, mister!

SPONKIE 1: It has nothing to do with Mum and Dad!

SPONKIE 2: Yeah, we were created by Aunt Sharon, and because she loved her homeland of Australia so much, we carry that Aussie heritage with us!

SPONKIE 1: Oi!  Aunt Scratchy, can we have a Foster’s now?

ES: There will be no underage drinking on the Shelf!  Unless it’s for entertainment purposes….

SCRATCHY: (Pulling the Sponkies choice out of the envelope) I shoulda figured…

In a world where just about every country has its share of stereotypes applied to it by outsiders, there is probably no land on this earth that has been condensed into one large over-generalization more than Australia.  Part of that is because of the island’s continent’s very unique setting, where you can find more exotic animals than Michael Jackson even owned.

G’day, mate!

And when it comes to things Americans will often think of when someone mentions Australia, this 1982 song will always be right up there with Crocodile Dundee and kangaroos…

There is so much fascinating background on Men At Work‘s signature tune, that I could practically write a novel on it.  Aussies have embraced the song as a sort of patriotic anthem, just as Americans like to play “Born in the USA” to celebrate the red white and blue.  And just like The Boss wasn’t exactly flattering Amurrica in that song, Colin Hay wasn’t putting Australia up on a pedestal in “Down Under” either.  Hay thought Australia was selling out its cultural spirit to commercialization and Americanization, the “thunder” he was warning everyone to run from.

Oh, now the video makes sense! Well, not really…

“Down Under” is a treasure trove of Aussie slang and references.  Non natives would probably have no idea what the first two lines of the song meant, assuming they could understand what Hay was singing in the first place…

Here’s a hint on what “head full of zombie” means.

“Down Under” was also the victim of what may be one of the strangest copyright infringement suits in the music industry, which is really saying something given that John Fogarty was once sued for plagiarizing himself.  In 2007, 25 years AFTER the song was originally popular, an Australian game show called Spicks and Specks asked the question “What children’s song is contained in the song ‘Down Under’?”  The flute interludes in “Down Under” were taken straight from the song “Kookaburra,” which apparently like “Happy Birthday,” is somehow still “owned” by somebody despite being widely believed to be a traditional public domain song.  The question tipped off Kookaburra’s owning entity to sue the band for royalties, which they were eventually successful at.  All because of a stupid game show…

Damned question writers!

Know what’s better than a vegemite sandwich?  Next week’s Shelf Critter request!  Tune in Monday…

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Weekend Threesome – 9/12/21

What’s better than finding a genie who will grant you three wishes?  Reading the Weekend Threesome on The Nest and getting three tidbits from your favorite source of entertainment on the internet!  OK, even I don’t believe that, but here we go anyway…

Since losing our weekly lunch dates at Golden Corral last year, I’ve been bringing lunch to my Mom’s house every Wednesday… and the current regular place to pick up food from has been Steak N Shake.  Those of you who don’t live in the Midwest or the South have probably never heard of them, but they’re specialty is steakburgers and chileh chili, of which I’m a huge fan of the former, and my Mom of the latter.

But when I got to her place this Wednesday and opened up the bag…..


Fucking CHEESE!!!!  On both of them!!!

I’ve ranted before about how McDonald’s will make this mistake a lot with my order, though at least it’s somewhat excusable there since the burger I order comes with cheese standard.  Steakburgers at Steak N Shake cost EXTRA with cheese, so for the cook to throw it on there automatically should not have been an issue.  I wasn’t about to drive 10 miles back up there that day and give them a piece of my mind, so I enjoyed my fries and made something at home, while left the tainted meat in the possession of my mom who probably fed it to her dogs.

One of my Mom’s mutts, who makes Fleabag look like a show dog.

Our idiot Mecca deejay I’m forced to listen to on Monday and Wednesday mornings at work often ends his show with a reminder to tune in to the other idiot deejay’s afternoon show at 1:00 central standard time.  Now, I hate daylight savings time as much as the next red blooded American does, but still… it’s NOT correct to say “standard time” while daylight time is in effect!!!  Standard time is an hour behind, doofus!

Oz Standard Time.

I bring this up because of an ad they’ve run on Mecca radio for a live internet concert that streamed on Mecca’s website last Tuesday.  There were two different spots… one pitched by some country guy I’ve never heard of, and another by Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons.  The country singer did fine, but Dan wanted to remind everyone that the concert started at 7:30 eastern STANDARD time.  Our deejay’s a clueless twit, but I’d expect someone from the best band of the new millennium to fucking know better than to fall for the standard time trap!  People only throw the “standard” in there to sound all intelligent and haughty, and of course, the smarter you try to look, the dumber you end up sounding…

Here’s a solution for people who like to use fancy pants talk…

And for you amateur ornithologists out there, it’s another exciting edition of Name That Bird!

From Saturday Squirrel to Sunday Squab.

From my park collection this past Thursday.  I’m a bird doofus, so if anyone knows what kind of bird it is, feel free to shout it out below!

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You Never Know…

I wonder what’s up there?

Over the many years I’ve been posting pictures I’ve taken of squirrels on Saturdays, I’ve gotten a lot of comments wondering how I can get so many interesting photos of the little guys.  It’s not easy… and it takes a lot of patience and persistence along with a healthy dose of luck.

And that luck cuts both ways…. mostly against me.  I miss many more great photo ops than I actually get simply because I wasn’t fast enough to catch it, or the photo blurred for whatever reason.  I got a whole slew of great pics to share over the coming weeks from my park trip on Thursday…. but there were also many I can’t share simply because of that bad luck.

Same squirrel, same pose, just a tad more zoomed out…

But if you keep trying, keep snapping shots, resist the temptation to just go home and play Minesweeper… you can catch some photos you literally weren’t expecting to get.  I only found Batsquirrel because I was scanning the tree trying with my zoom trying to find a different squirrel I’d lost track of.  The squirrel with the tennis ball walnut in its mouth zoomed past a different squirrel I was taking a picture of, or else he never ends up in my collection and I don’t learn about what those green balls are.

And sometimes good luck comes my way in different forms.  Like how I took multiple pics of this squirrel standing in a tree, one arm on a higher branch, looking upwards.  The first shot blurred.  The second and third, you see above.  And for the heck of it, I decided to take a fourth…

I like to get a handful of shots even if the pose never changes so I can choose the best one to keep.  And because sometimes…… very rarely, but sometimes…… my redundancy will capture something unexpected like this:

Ack! Not that human again!

In the second or two it took between clicking the button and the camera actually getting the photo, the squirrel turned to look right at me.  I couldn’t believe the result when it popped up in the viewfinder!  And of course, as soon as I looked back up to the squirrel…. he was gone!  As soon as he saw me, he beat it… meaning I’d have never gotten this great photo had I just reacted to it, and not merely gotten lucky already being in the process of shooting while he turned!

This week’s surprised Saturday Squirrel was brought to you by Lady Luck…

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Share Your World – Week 140

Wild? Yeah, about as wild as boiled rice…

The Nest’s Share Your World showcase of my Shelf Critters continues this week with the gang’s resident know-it-all Umbreon, Shadow.  Shadow was the first critter I ever obtained specifically to work into a blog skit… one of the final Bashful stories that SCT spun off from in October 2016.  That happened to be the summer of the Pokemon Go! craze, which brought the pocket monsters from the late 90’s back into vogue again.  Though I know little about the Pokemon universe, I learned of many of the creatures within the last decade, and the Umbreon was always my favorite… thus why Shadow was too tempting not to purchase from Mecca’s checkout counter full of collectibles…

Oh look, I have apparently been transported to the 17th Century! Good thing I know Morse code…

Due to the smugly superior look on Shadow’s face, he has taken on the personality of a narcissistic brainiac who tends to look down upon the common riffraff of the Shelf.  His godlike facade can come crashing down in an instant with just a little flirting, as it gives him an uncomfortable feeling inside of his Pokeballs, which it turns out is his greatest weakness.  Shadow’s appearance on Jeopardy Shelfardy (inspired by Ken Holzhauer’s champion run in 2019) is one of the Theatre’s epic moments…

What is “I should have won an Oscar for this performance?”

A Share Your World question inspired by Shadow…

If you were on a trivia show and had to correctly answer ten questions in one subject to win a million dollars (or whatever currency is used in your locale), what would you hope the category would be?

And now, let’s share our world with Melanie’s questions for this week!

Shadow will appreciate the astrophysics theme of this logo…

Do you believe in soul-mates?

No.  There’s too many unique variables in each individual human to match up.

I now pronounce you fuck buddies! You may kiss the groom…

What are three scents you like?

Nooooo… wait!  Not that!  But my list will be just as gross….

#1. Leaded gasoline, which hasn’t been sold in about 30 years…. but I loved the smell of as a kid! (Yes, that should explain some….. things.)

#2. The bug spray truck, which I thought had been banned since I was a kid, but they still spray in the summers!  Just not that good smelling cancer causing shit that made kids everywhere follow the truck around to get a good huff back in the day…

#3. My own farts, because when it comes to farts, we really do believe our shit doesn’t stink.

Don’t worry, I won’t judge…

What are some things that you might be considered too old to do, but that you enjoy?

A lot of “sensible” adults think trying to catch and chase down batting practice balls before baseball games is a kids thing, but I was one of many adults who played along and hoarded baseballs.  At least, I did until they put in metal detectors at the gates that made getting into ballparks such a hassle that I haven’t gone to a game in five years.

I could also put down playing with my dollies shelf critters, but that’s merely done for the entertainment of my readers…. not myself, of course.

All in the name of SCIENCE!

What is one food you absolutely refuse to share?

Given my selfish nature and voracious eating habits, that would be pretty much anything I like.  You won’t be getting any of my fries, burnt Cheez Its, or candy cigarettes…

Yes, I’m going to bogart them. Go get your own!

Please feel free to share something positive!

Positively scary!

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A Killer Beat

EVIL SQUIRREL: I’ll bet you’ve never seen a real record before, Tina!

TINA: Dafuq you talkin’ about, Uncle Evil?  Vinyl is, like, the big thing now!  Wanna listen to my BTS album Aunt Scratchy bought me at Mecca?

SCRATCHY: Stop embarrassing me, Tina.

ES: Gee, I thought you young kids these days would know more about CD’s than….

TINA: Aunt Scratchy!  What’s a CD?

SCRATCHY: Pay no mind to the squirrel, he’s hopelessly out of touch with reality.

ES: Sigh…. let’s just get on with the countdown.  Kids!

SPONKIE 2: It looks like #25 on the list is Zeeba!

SPONKIE 1: Should we hide now, Sis?

BEARCAT: That’s you, Sis!  Your song is up!

ZEEBA: Fuck!  I almost had this possum’s intestines to play jump rope with!

BEARCAT: We already played intestine jump rope last week, silly!  You grossed out all of our friends.

ZEEBA: Fuck them!  Alright, it’s Zeeba music time!!!!

*Crickets chirping*

ZEEBA: Y’all don’t have any smartass song requests to mutter while I walk by?

TROLL: Errrmmmm…. no, ma’am.

ZEEBA: Bullshit!  Buncha pussies!!!

ULTRAVIOLET: Now dear, wasn’t I supposed to be your father?

ZEEBA: As if!  Zeeba’s daddy had balls, and you…. none of you have balls!  BALLS!!!!

BUB: Actually, it’s my weewee I’m missing.

ZEEBA: Saves me the trouble of having to cut it off!  Losers!

ZEEBA: Zeeba the adorable zeebacorn reporting for duty!!!!!

SCRATCHY: Get your hooves off of my equipment!

ZEEBA: Make me!!!

SCRATCHY: I never have to deal with this shit when I’m hosting the Dusty Vinyl Archive…

ZEEBA: You guys are boring!

Zeeba jumps off the turntable and takes the record with her….


ES: How does she do that?

SCRATCHY: She’s fucking haunted.  Oh well, at least it’s only your Billy Ray Cyrus 45…

ES: My what!?!?!?  Give that back now!!!

ZEEBA: Achy breaky hearts BLEED!!!!!!!!!!

SCRATCHY: (Pulling Zeeba’s request from the envelope) She can mutilate this song next…

The New York based band Talking Heads was one of the more influential “weird” bands that have become associated with the 1980’s.  What I would call fucked up, hoity toity art critics often refer to as avant garde, and David Byrne’s group was avant garde in spades.  If you watched MTV at all in the 80’s, Talking Heads probably conjures of thoughs of a hyperventilating Byrne dressed like a nerdy goofball doing chops on his arm, the projected image of Byrne’s head drifting down a deserted road, or Byrne dressed up in a suit three sizes too big telling us to stop making sense…

The Nest hasn’t made sense in ten years. BTW, nice suit.

David Byrne was no doubt at the center of this band, and despite the fact that he had three talented musicians around him that did some successful things in their own right, David Byrne was all about the creative genius of David Byrne, and thus he broke up the band by bailing out on them in the early 90’s.  Talking Heads is often cited in the lower ends of lists of the greatest bands of all time, and it isn’t just because of the commercial success they achieved in the 80’s.  The band formed in the mid 70’s, and their self-titled debut album in 1977 contained a song that has become one of the most loved and revered songs by the group’s fans….

Yes, David Byrne wrote a song about the inner thoughts of a serial killer, set it to music, and it actually become the group’s very first Hot 100 hit peaking at #92.  As I mentioned, this song is held up as one of Talking Heads’ best, though it isn’t necessarily a favorite of mine.  I just included it in the countdown for, you know…….

If it bleeds, it leads…

Come back next week as we’ll let another critter musically burn down The Nest…

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