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July 2011

July 2011
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Dear Mr. P.C.:

F# or Gb? Jim L.



Dear Jim:

Sharp is more than; flat is less than. Sharps revel in shameless excess; flats suffer in dire need.

How can we promote justice and equality? In the Accidental Community the gold standard is, of course, the circle of fifths. In order to gain some ground for the oppressed flats, I'd set my sights on Fb, two degrees beyond the neutral territory of Gb/F#. Then I'd "settle" for Cb when the sharps push back—and, believe me, their greed is rivaled only by their lack of compassion.

Don't even get me started on double sharps, okay?



Dear Mr. P.C.:

Okay, here's one for you: Last week I played a gig in a bar with a quartet. Part of the deal was free dinner, so I said what the hell and ate a greasy burger and fries. Thusly was my piping lubed, and before long my bowels sent out an urgent cry of distress. I hustled into the bathroom, sat down and produced an enormous stool. We're talking more torpedo than Tootsie Roll; a real plugger.

So I wiped and flushed, and suddenly a torrent of water and soiled toilet paper comes gushing back at me. I jumped back and managed not to get any on me except my shoes and the bottom of my pants. Meanwhile, the floor is soaked, the toilet is full to the brim, and the giant stool remains nestled in the bottom of the toilet. It's clearly not going anywhere, and no amount of flushing will change its mind. It's become a freaking porcelain-framed art installation.

Then I hear the drums start to play a samba beat, which is our bandleader's way of summoning us. What can I do? If I go to the bandstand I'm leaving a disgusting mess, and my wet footprints will mark me as the culprit who abandoned ship. If I stay and try to clean up, not only will I be late, but I'll get more on me, plus with the stool in blocking position inside the toilet there's really no path to victory. I could ask the bartender for help, but that's most embarrassing of all because she's a really hot chick who might kind of dig me.

What would you have done, Mr. P.C.? Stoolie



Dear Stoolie:

Do you really think that just because the bartendress is a "hot chick," she's never suffered a "plugger" emergency of her own? You've so thoroughly objectified this poor woman that you can't even imagine her curvaceous body launching a titanic turd—your lascivious dreams would be shattered!

Anyway, it might comfort you to know that the stopped-up, gushing toilet crisis is a lot more common than you think. A businessman preparing to lead a Powerpoint presentation, an actress minutes before the call to places, and even a politician in his makeup chair before a televised debate are just a few of your kindred spirits out there, pluggers being the great equalizer.

Speaking of politicians, this particular issue brings out a strong partisan divide. Democrats, motivated by a sense of equality and commitment to community, roll up their sleeves and take the plunge, though they inevitably wind up covered in shit (as Democrats so often are). Republicans, motivated by a love of liberty and commitment to the free market system, quickly flee the restroom to get back to work, leaving the shit behind for others to clean up (as Republicans so often do).

Now I'm not one to wear my politics on my sleeve, but if the Green Party were in power, this whole mess would have ended before it began. How? Two words: clivus multrum, the loveable, futuristic composting toilet. Nothing says "Let's end two-party politics as we know it" better than old Clivus. And nobody could possibly describe Clive's festering allure more poetically than Sharon Olds, whose poignant ode is almost too beautiful to bear.



Dear Mr. P.C.:

Why does scat singing and other forms of over-the-top emotionalism in jazz, (or any art form for that matter) embarrass me? I want to hide under the stage, run away and disavow any association with the singer, even the ones that are technically good and not just making "mouth percussion" noises. While we're at it, how about when the lyrics to a song are about jazz or are an homage to a beloved jazzer of yesteryear and there is scat? Does that suck donkey or am I all wrong? Jazz Hack



Dear Jazz Hack:

First of all, your thinly veiled reference to man-on-donkey action is totally uncalled for. Sure, as a pantheistic vegan I view people and animals as one, but it's the oneness of brothers and sisters, not lovers. When you casually use the phrase "suck donkey," you're viciously attacking a downtrodden beast of burden that has no way of defending itself. Shame on you!

But degrading innocent donkeys apparently isn't enough for you. In the very same breath you also take a vicious swipe at jazz vocalists, using bestiality to describe their brave if often tragic attempts at improvisation.

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