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Category Archives: Alienation of Affection

Okay, so I’ve roughed out a provisional draft of alternate lyrics to “My Favorite Things” for our own Jackie of Finland to record, per our contractually-binding exchange in this comment thread. I’m also in negotiations to get the two surviving Seidlitz Brothers to dub some backing vocals, though according to their agent, Shlomo’s voice box is pretty much shot from three packs of Chesterfields a day since the McKinley administration. No matter: that’s why God made Pro Tools and the electrolarynx.

I’m kind of going back and forth on the first verse here, as it lacks the 100% concrete historicity that the other verses have. Though maybe I could fix that by nailing down concrete references to back it all up.

Barrel-clad hobos and window-ledge pastries
Irish patrolman and drunks with the DTs
Blackguards and maidens and oncoming trains
These are a few of my favorite thangs

Phials of acid in ex-lovers’ faces
Naked wild women in desolate places
Negroes with blue gums who kill when they bite
This is a load of my favorite shite

Mince pies for breakfast, and luncheon, and dinner
Corpses injected to make their eyes glimmer
Med school students defiling the dead
This sort of thing tends to fuck with my head

Cuckqueaned wives killing spinster cult leaders
Cats sold as rabbits to unwitting eaters
Show-offs igniting their cee-gars with bills
These are symptoms of society’s ills

When the dog brings
Dynamite back

When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I feel truly bad

Jackie: Far be it from me to impinge on your creative process, but I was thinking this would work best Lento assai and in a minor key.

Omaha Morning World-Herald, May 13, 1895. Even as tied-to-the-tracks dramas go, this story’s a weird one. Or even as real-life precursors to Park Chan-wook films go, for that matter. Read more.

New York Times, January 25, 1899. I’ve long been fascinated by the folkloric/pop cultural/editorial cartoon trope of the arrogant rich guy lighting his cigar with a flaming banknote, which I reckon I first encountered while basking in the majestic comic strip universe of Walt Kelly’s Pogo. Read More »

Bellevue News-Democrat, January 28, 1921. Oh, those suave Italians and their dark arts of seduction. Without the Mann Law, where would we all have been?

pokesNew York Times, February 7, 1935. Interesting to see a judge urging a defendant to take the law into his own hands. With the tacit, winking approval of the New York Times, no less.

flogsflog2Chicago Defender, September 15, 1928. Even more than most dudes, Dr. Martin here should not have been stepping out on his wife. flog3He’s the last word in gallant cavaliers, our Dr. Martin. flog4My theory is that Dr. and Mrs. Martin were actually S&M buffs acting out some creepy, well-rehearsed power-exchange ritual. They probably went through a couple of school marms every year.

hagAChicago Tribune, October 30, 1871. This is rather an ungenerous little bit of reportage on several counts. Imagine that you’re just out of the city lockup, your ex-boyfriend shoots your current beau in front of you, and then the newspaper blames for you and all your sex for it, and then calls you “an old Bridewell hag” in the bargain. All told, a pretty rough week for poor Rose Clark.

arkAAChicago Tribune, December 8, 1929. Here’s a mysterious dialect-laden little drama set among the feuding hillfolk of Arkansas. Read More »

fireman stumpMattoon (Illinois) Daily Journal, October 28, 1904. Reader Erin F. obligingly shares with us this exemplary acid-attack romantic triangle. I’m thinking it was to the advantage of Fireman Stump that his eyeballs weren’t buffered by cocaine when he took it in the face. There’s a fairy-tale ending to the story after the jump. But it goes without saying that if you have acid-attack anecdotes on hand, we have space for them here at the Hope Chest.
Read More »

shootsADetroit News, March 18, 1931. I can’t imagine this strategy succeeded in winning back his mother’s love.