Crappy Album Covers #131 — Are you happy?

Album_Cover_Crap_157_showandtelmusic_com Get ready for a feeling of bliss that is beyond belief … The Young Believers are going to impose cheer and goodwill whether you like it or not. Rise and shine! Up with the crows! The happiness you have demanded all your life is now mandatory.
Album_Cover_Crap_158_showandtelmusic_com And after you have complied with the minimum requirements for happiness, you get to consume special pills and fly into a perfect utopia where the food is great, the sex is better, and the best thing about this epic voyage is that you don’t even have to leave the room.

Crappy album Covers #130 — More Do-It-Yourself Covers

Album_Cover_Crap_166_showandtelmusic_com_Greatest_Picks A recurring rule of CACs is that if you don’t want to make your album cover crappy is occasionally in the attempt to overvalue the art of their children and make their art. The motorhome (bus?) looks like a hot dog on wheels.

No information on “Sounds of VIctory” (or is the band name “Jesus Freak?) that I could find.

Album_Cover_Crap_165_showandtelmusic_com_Greatest_Picks You certainly can’t possibly get more late ’60s than this design. These ladies were from The Vassar College Glee Club in Rhode Island.

They sing “America”, “White Rabbit”, and other 60s contemporary (at the time) hits from folk and acid rock genres.

The G-Stringers have been in existence since at least 1965, and various incarnations of them have performed at Carnegie Hall.

Crappy Album Covers #129 — Atomization and Anomization

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Jim Haun, known as Rouvaun (pronounced “Rove-On”) (1932-1975) was a famous tenor, born in Utah. This is likely to be his first album. Wikipedia says that while he was an unknown woodworker studying voice, he relased this album after becoming an overnight sensation at The Dunes hotel in Vegas. Already with this album we can see that he is billing himself as “The World’s Greatest Singer”.

Well, I guess you are in for some notoriety when your vocal trainer was Mario Chamlee, who had to take over the contract at The Metropolitan Opera house in New York, succeeding Enrico Caruso, who died in 1921. That could give anyone a swelled head.

And if you are going to sing in the grand tradition of these folks, then the listener will expect the most standard of tunes to be sung with the greatest of melodrama. Listen to him sing The Impossible Dream, and sing The Lord’s Prayer, using his supreme vocal skill to overdo both songs.

The Impossible Dream:
[audio:http://stridersjournal.net/other/Rouvaun_ImpossibleDream.mp3]

The Lord’s Prayer:
[audio:http://stridersjournal.net/other/Rouvaun_lords_prayer.mp3]

Album_Cover_Crap_151_showandtelmusic_com_Greatest_Picks

With Rouvaun, it was all “ME, ME, ME!!!”, wasn’t it?

With the Musical Four, we get the other extreme: Atomie. Lookit, I’m a fan of Emile Durkeim, the founder of Sociology. He wrote of anomie, a dissolution of character as a result of a lack of social norms; and of atomie, which is a condition where the individual blends into to rigid norms so much that he loses all sense of self. Not enough norms lead to alienation from others; while too many norms lead to a lack of sense of self and eventually an alienation from self. Get it?

Well we see The Musical Four as actually 5 people. Individuality matters so little to them that, hey, who cares if there are 5 people? Maybe 5 is just an augmented version of 4. Atomistic in the extreme.

Obviously, Sybil Godwin had enough of that crap, and hired a lawyer to force the group to say “With Sybil Godwin” whenever “The Musical Four” was mentioned in any publicity. The other four thought quietly to themselves, “God will get him for his vanity”.

Crappy Album Covers #128 — Channelling the Great Rock Legends

Album_Cover_Crap_168_MinstrelOTMorning_John_Bayley The design element (there is only one) that John Bayley uses combines all of the most incoherent elements of late-60s album design, hoping it will amount to something, for this 1976 album, “Minstrel of the Morning”.

Lessee … what do they throw in? A clay tiger, a kid in a lotus position (who will surely become warped when he gets older), a nearly comatose woman in a flowing dress (the feeding tube was temporarily disconnected for the photo shoot), a sitar, a mandolin, John Bayley channeling Mr. T, and a Wal-Mart circular rug, curtains, a painted over Roman blind, and some artificial plants.

A copy of this was sold on E-Bay last year for $75.00

Album_Cover_Crap_171_Flickr The closest explanation for this disaster of an album cover is … okay, some guy goes to the Harlem branch of the Salvation Army store in New York City, buys a random mixture of men’s, boy’s and lady’s clothing, then goes to the neighbouring soup kitchen at the Habour Light, and tells four jobless hoboes that he is willing to pay them two cases of beer each if they will dress up in these clothes for an album cover. At this point the hoboes still hadn’t bargained for mascara being part of the deal. But hey, there’s two cases of beer on the line. Each! That wasn’t so bad, but then the photographer told them they had to bathe first.

One of the hoboes angrily responded “What’s wrong with our personal hygeine? We take a bath every February 29th whether we need it or not!” That was almost the last straw, and after nearly an hour of thinking about it, they realised that they won’t be able to afford that much beer for a very long time, so they grudgingly obeyed.

This is why “They have got to rock and roll.”

(May be disturbing) Crappy Album Covers #127 — Plastic Surgery Disasters II

Album_Cover_Crap_186_Flickr This is the kind of thing that gives the LGBT community a bad name. Don’t know the artist, album or anything else about this disaster of an album design.

This is worse than an album cover, because it is a picture disc. Notice the hole punched in the center, near the price tag? Yeah, you take this, put it on your turntable, and watch this guy/girl/whtever rotate as he/she/it sings you some tunes.

Don’t picture this as a rotating CD, because CDs rotate too fast. You need to imagine can i buy tramadol over the counter this rotating at 33 1/3 rpm, where you could still make out some of the details as it spins.

I am usually a curious hound for finding out about most CAC’s but the blog I got this from also didn’t know, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

Album_Cover_Crap_159_showandtelmusic_com_Greatest_Picks This appears to be by a member of the profession that is responsible for disasters like the one above.

With this album design, I would say that John Butterworth should stick to medicine.

Crappy Album Covers #115 — Trophy animals and trophy women

Album_Cover_Crap_195_Flickr First, let’s talk about trophy animals.

Kind of reminds me of the 1986 college radio smash hit “All I Got Were Clothes For Christmas” by Happy Flowers.

Also, looks like the musician is getting friendly with his trophy deer.

There is no info on who this person is or why he has the logo for the American Lung Association painted upside-down on his forehead.

Album_Cover_Crap_192_Flickr Everything was going romantically until Ethel noticed trophies of a beheaded blonde and redhead on the wall, and remembering she is a brunette, she concluded that George must be a collector. Things became tense after that.

Yes, trophy women. That is, women’s heads as wall-mounted trophies. This should have been the album cover for Fine Young Cannibals’ “Hunters and Collectors”.

Elliot Lawrence was an American Jazz Pianist and band leader during the late 1950s. He won two Tony Awards for his compositions in TV and film in the early  1960s.

Crappy Album Covers #114 — Cows and Cliches

album_cover_crap_140_cendella_com

Moving Geltine Plates (MGP) was, according to this bio from progweed.net, was one of France’s finest progressive rock bands. This album, released on CBS Records in 1972, was their second album, and the critical high water mark of their career. Poor distribution was blamed for the fact that this record didn’t fare well in the stores, and the band soon folded afterward.

I would also blame the album cover which was designed for it. At the time of the first writing of this blog article, I mindlessly thought that this was the head of a cow. Problem is, how many cows are hairless? This one also has half-closed eyes. Like a pig. The ears are cone-shaped like a cow. I’m totally screwed up here.

Lookit. I’m not dumb. I know my cows. Here’s a cow:

HappyCow

What’s so funny?! It’s a goddamn cow! I know my cows!

album_cover_crap_141_cendella_com

Former member of White Witch, Ron Goedert recorded “Breaking All The Rules” in 1980, a couple of years after the band broke up. White Witch opened for a lot of seminal 1970s acts, includng Alice Cooper and Grand Funk Railroad.

Allmusic.com makes scant mention of them, except to simply have an entry for Goedert and his record, the only one allmusic.com mentions.

Maybe the fact that one of the members was wearing a yellow sleeveless jumpsuit on the album cover had something to do with it.

Crappy Album Covers #69 — Creepy Similarities IV: Music from Other Worlds

album-cover-crap-98_lpcoverlover_com Now we know where This Mortal Coil got their ideas from. The thing about a beautiful woman emerging from the sky (perhaps a visual pun on the “heavenly body”) seems to be with precedent.You can’t go much further back than this 1931 album cover by Johnny Green and His Orchestra, called “Out of Nowhere”. Johnny Green (1908-1989), a former Wall Street stockbroker became a band leader, working with the likes of Guy Lombardo, and producing many jazz albums, which, along with Out of Nowhere, became jazz standards.
thismortalcoil_itllendintears_cd This multi-artist effort, led by producer Ivo Watts-Russell, was populated by personnel from bands signed on to the 4AD record label which Watts-Russell owned at the time. It is considered an ’80s alternative classic. They did covers of other artists like Tim Buckley, The Byrds, and even Emmylou Harris, but the covers were always done the same great care they give to thier original material. Anyone who saw this package knew they were expecting to hear strangely beautiful music that seems to come from another world.

This one is an obvious improvement on the design concept of this above album. The mood you see on the cover is exactly what you get inside. One track that is an exception to this eternally dreamy mood is the song “Not Me”, which is the only track on the album that borders on pop.

I still have this CD in my collection, and it had been released on vinyl. It is not listed on E-Bay, a sure sign that few people want to part with their copy.

Crappy Album Covers #67 — Casting Out The Demon

Before I start, I would also like to say, that you can also access my front page when there are no crappy albums for other interesting and amusing articles. They tend to be published almost every second day starting from Sunday: Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and sometimes on Friday. Right around this time, there have been articles on The Politics of Dancing, a series of 3 articles named after a song from 1983 that I knew from the band Re-Flex. This time, I try to breathe some meaning into the title. But it shouldn’t be a heavy read.

album-cover-crap-89_coverbrowser_comSomeone, somewhere, some time ago, there was an album where someone went around with a mike and recording equipment and recorded the voices of people said to be possessed by demons.

Even if this were real, would it really matter? The only evidence of demonic possession will be the voices on an album, and for all you know they could be acting in a cushy air-conditioned studio and drinking chilled Perrier during their breaks.

Now the question is, is the guy on the album the demon or the body possessing it? To me, he just looks goofy.

album-cover-crap-90_coverbrowser_com“Satan is real unless declared integer” is a twist on an old computer programmers’ joke, known to those who programmed in FORTRAN 77 and earlier. Actually the joke was supposed to settle the theological question of God’s existence: “God is real unless declared integer”. It also was a play on the idea that the default variable type in FORTRAN was floating-point, for which FORTRAN used the keyword “real”.

Charlie and Ira Louvin are stitched into Americana about as much as apple pie. They were an integral part of The Grand Ole Opry for 8 years from 1955 to 1963, recorded with Chet Atkins, and played everything from Gospel to Waltzes. Ira Louvin died in a car crash in June 20, 1965. Charlie, now over 80 years old, has seen himself and his brother mentioned in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

(Images may be disturbing) Crappy Album Covers #66 — Food On Vinyl III

You know that after all that has pased through this blog, I wouldn’t have to put up a warning like that. But I do, if you scroll down.

album-cover-crap-85_normal_vinylcoversfreefr_00338 Look at that pizza. It could easily feed a small army, but these 7 adults are having it all to themselves. Where did they get an oven big enough to fit this monster?This album is called “Pizza Party”, with Joe Biviano on accordion. He, along with two other performers, Abe Goldman and Gene von Hallberg, were the first accordionists to make it to Canegie Hall, where they apparently appeared together for a 1939 performance.He was said to have gone consistently low-brow in music, to which the theme of this album testifies. He had gone as far as any accordionist can expect to go in his career. Unless your name is Weird Al Yankovic.
eulenspiegel Kraut Rockers Eulenspygel’s first album in 1971, called “2”, had a cover with a controversial design (this one) that was soon replaced by something more appetizing.They survived long enough to do a second album in 1972 called “Ausschuss”, recorded at Apple Studios in London. After a breakup, a reunion, and several lineup changes, they made a third album in 1979 and finally broke up in 1983, and haven’t been heard from.

Crappy Album Covers #65 — Food On Vinyl II

album-cover-crap-88_herb_alpert1 This is the original Herb Alpert album, playing mostly in-tune by the owner of A&M Records and his Tijuana Brass, called “Whipped Cream and Other delights”, released in April of 1965.There is a lot of food referred to in the song titles. There is mention of lemons, tangerines, peanuts, green peppers, lollipops, and honey.The album cover, depicting a young lady covered in whipped cream who would feel a whole lot better if ten guys came and licked it off her, was of such a borderline tasteless nature that it BEGGED for parody, and the two below are likely the most famous examples.
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This 1966 album from The Frivolous buy discount tramadol Five called “Sour Cream and Other Delights”. This album contains lots of standard instrumentals made famous by Alpert, and from time to time they seem to go off-key. They’ve got Tijuana Taxi, A Taste of Honey, Spanish Flea, Lemon Tree, and they even cover The Beatles’ “All My Loving”. MP3s are sampled here.Of course, The Frivolous Five can’t have an album cover without chicks. You have to wonder how did they get access to enough sour cream to cover these five middle-aged ladies? Also, notice one of them is holding a single long-stemmed rose, just like the lady in the original Herb Alpert album cover.
album-cover-crap-84_normal_vinylcoversfreefr_00338 During the same period, stand-up comedian Pat Cooper made this album called “Spaghetti Sauce and Other Delights”. Now, do you think he was parodying The Tijuana Brass? Naww… Can’t be …At least he isn’t holding a rose.Somebody get a fork …

Cooper was doing stand-up and hit it big on The Jackie Gleason Show in 1963. His Italian-American brand of ethnic comedy got him into bigger venues, appearing with Sinatra, Steve and Edie, Tony Bennett, and Connie Francis.

He currently appears occasionally on comedy channels and has been featured on Howard Stern a few times, and has appeared on sattelite radio stations as late as 2007.

Here, Cooper takes liberties with American history:
[media id=47 width=400 height=300]

Crappy Album Covers #62 — The Dance

album-cover-crap-76_lpcoverlover_com This one is from Michelino and his Cha Cha Band. The color scheme of the album obfuscates the black lettering near the bottom. Something about “Cha Cha Cha” and secretaries. This whole thing gives me an understanding as to why lpcoverlover.com headlined this as “Banging The Secretary“.There is the secretary there with her typewriter. Either he is playing bad music and she wants Michelino to stop, or he wants to dictate a letter to her using drum signals, and she can’t keep up.
album-cover-crap-77_lpcoverlover_com I have discovered that the “Cha Cha” has within it a nearly endless goldmine of crappy album covers. Look at “Dracula Cha Cha Cha”. Well, of course one problem I have, and it goes without saying, that the cover looks like it was done in pastel by a 14-year-old.But even the mere idea of doing the “Dracula Cha Cha Cha” is quite another topic. Gone are the images of warm Spanish climes, where you dance the Cha-Cha or the tango, or to any of the many other Latin rhythms that make travelling to Spain or Latin America a treat. Instead, you the Cha Cha, done with an element of fear. Fear that you might get caught, I’d say. Some things can never be forgiven.I guess, then, I would consider this Cha-Cha album where the themes are non-standard, a kind of “alternative Cha-Cha” album to please, say, the punks and the skinheads. Imagine punks and skinheads doing the Cha-Cha. Just imagine.
album-cover-crap-63_badhair2 It seems that everyone had tried their hand at disco during the seventies. Here, the late Danish pop-rocker keyboardist and heavy metallist Tommy Seebach (1949-2003) wants you to believe that he can do disco, with his album “Disco Tango”.It is rather surprising that in the seventies, a person like Seebach could wear his mustache and hair like that and probably still get laid. It sure was a different decade. Those who lived through those decades must admit: in the 70s, we all thought we were something. We all thought that up to that point in modern history, we had the coolest clothes, and the coolest hairstyles. I mean having a blowdryer was a cool thing, as was having one of those hair brushes with the bristles that go all the way around, so that blowdrying your hair could get you that puffy head of hair that made your head look bigger than it really was. And you felt so cool when you wore it! Now, you guys have to admit that if that was the deal with you and your immediate clique, then you didn’t look too different from Seebach over here. If you were on a date, you wore a sports jacket and one of those shirts with pointy collars, and you made sure that you left the top button undone so that the girl can see your necklace and possibly some chest hair. And since ties weren’t cool, you never wore one. Therefore, we must conclude that this album is only crappy in retrospect.This blogger seems to have dicovered in those multiple heavy metal videos he did, that they all seemed to be the same shots of the same riffs of totally different music. Even the images of the drummer hitting the cymbals were in different time with the music. The same girls were dancing the same dance out of the same forest, regardless of the music. On different songs, I saw the same shots of the same guitar riffs; the same shots of the same bass riffs, not even bothering to change the camera angle.
album-cover-crap-73_coverbrowser_com While we’re on the topic of clothing styles, I’m afraid that these guys, The Drifters, have a clothing style that is like nothing in the history of the universe.Tracking information on these folks was next to impossible. There is a polka tune called “Drifters Polka”, which seemingly everyone covered — even Roy Clark. But A band called “Drifters” and an album called “Polka ‘n’ Fun” only led to other crappy album blogs, short on straight info.

Crappy Album Covers #60 — Creepy Similarities III

album-cover-crap-74_coverbrowser_comBruce A. Tweten was once known as “Mr. Bat”. This is his 1981 album, called “Mr. Bat Sings”. What else does he do in his spare time? He probably also scares the hell out of small children. If you play the album backwards, you may hear the sound of children screaming in horror as he pummels them with his fist he is now waving in the air. While you are keeping an anxious eye on your loved ones and holding your children a little closer tonight, let Mr. Bat teach you the meaning of coulrophobia, firsthand.

Much rumors and speculation abound as to what he does these days. This blogger speculates that he might be playing “Mr. Moth”, while his wife plays accompaniment on something called a fart horn (I thought this was a made up slang, but such horns really exist, and one such horn is being auctioned off for 20 bucks on E-Bay as I write this) every time he hits a high-C. I have also now learned that there is such a thing as a butt-horn fart, defined as a fart that sounds like a horn. So, he should forget about playing high-C and start playing flautulent duets. They would have to play in tune, of course, and if Bruce can still fart in high-C, that would be worth the price of admission.

buttholesurferslocustabortiontechnicianWell, I do recall around that same decade, a 1987 punk rock album from The Butthole Surfers, called Locust Abortion Technician. But this time, the clowns had smiles on their faces.

Like Mr. Bat, having clowns showing up on an album with a name like that does not generally give a positive portrayal of clowns.

Like much of this blog, this all has a precedent. One example of a clown with issues was mass murderer John Wayne Gacy, who also went by the name “Pogo the Clown”.

gacy2Gacy was known as “the Killer Clown”, and here he is, standing in front of his house. 30 bodies were found in his basement by 1974. He is depicted here in this black-and-white photo.

It would seem that once the Gacy murder trials started in the Early 80s, that left a void in the evil clown market, which is about the same time that Mr. Bat took over to fill in the clown shoes left behind by Gacy. Gacy, beset by legal problems (arrests, trials, convictions and jailtime can cramp your style, you know), was finally put down by lethal injection in 1994. What makes Gacy particularly repugnant is, that unlike Charles Manson, he did not produce any crappy albums, nor crappy album covers. Society will never forgive him for this heinous crime.

Enter Mr. Bat, who obviously wants to restore dignity to the good name of evil clowns everywhere. Bat has a big job to do, and big clown shoes to fill. He now must perform evil and terror-filled acts, but in a law-abiding way. We still await the outcome.

A NatLamp article at a White Supremacist site

I have been a fan of the National Lampoon since I was a teen in the 1970s. One of the most shocking articles for me to read in the mid 70s was P J O’Rourke’s “Foreigners From Around The World”, which appeared in the National Lampoon in May, 1976. The article is really a heap of ethnic jokes strung together, formulated to piss off all minorities equally. Maybe some more equally than others.

Even in my teens I realised that the humour is meant to be taken in irony. Problem is, O’Rourke dropped few hints that he was actually joking, outside of the fact that the entire article was totally outrageous. It is an orgy of stereotypes said without much apology. I felt at least a little disturbed by the article for that reason.

The reason I am bringing it up now, is because for the first time since I disposed of my NatLamp collection, I found the article using Google. Problem was, it was found at a White Supremacist site. Like most racist sites, you never actually know for sure you are at a racist site until you do some poking around. Then you begin to stumble on actual hate literature. For reasons of my own sense of ethics, I won’t post the link, but anyone can still easily Google to that site and find it easily enough if they really want to.

Now I am wondering if my willingness to be entertained by the article was actually an acceptance of hate literature, and was O’Rourke an earlier version of talk show hosts such as Ron Imus or Rush Limbaugh? O’Rourke does rescue himself, however, by lampooning his own ethnicity, which by his surname appears to be Irish. The illustration for the Irish is one of a nasty-looking lerperchaun, describing the Irish as “Pie-faced, neckless, bandy-legged sots who almost never fuck.” Maybe that gets him off the hook. For my part, I didn’t keep a scorecard.

But in addition, there is a larger idea that he appears to lampoon that is easy to miss among all of the sniping about individual ethnic groups. The United States is composed almost entirely of the ethnic groups he is making fun of. Ultimately, if we follow the logic to the end, it is America itself, his own country of residence, which he lampoons.

I wannabe Chris: A parody about Chris Crocker Parodies – Updates

Some updates to the story I wrote.

There are some minor changes to my story. (link above)

The Chris Crocker video in question.

His imitators (parody, of course, and not all male). Many of these stray far off the topic of Chris Crocker: 1 2 3 4 5 (Israel?) 6 7 8 9 10 (a hockey player?) 11
There are dozens more, but I haven’t got anywhere near that kind of time to collect them all.

I have a link to the original story about The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier.

Some related comments in an earlier article I wrote.

Threes (by John Atherton)

I think that I shall never c
A # lovelier than 3;
For 3 < 6 or 4,
And than 1 it’s slightly >.
All things in nature come in 3s,
Like , trio’s, Q.E.D.s;
While $s gain more dignity
if augmented 3 x 3 —

A 3 whose slender curves are pressed
By banks, for compound interest;
Oh, would that, paying loans or rent,
My rates were only 3%!

3² expands with rapture free,
And reaches toward ∞ ;
3 complements each x and y,
And intimately lives with π.
A circle’s # of °
Are best ÷ up by 3s,
But wrapped in dim obscurity
Is √(-3).

Atoms are split by men like me,
But only God is 1 in 3. digestive health nausea

Four Ugly Colours (or, colours not found in nature)

There is a certain set of color values somewhere in the visible spectrum that do not seem to have a category. These colors seem to go with nothing in your house, and do not seem to come from anything in nature.

The commonest of the ugly colors appear to be (by their RGB values — it seems to look different on different monitors):

149 255 183 industrial green 180 233 255 industrial blue

The colors of the “industrial” spectrum are most often found in factories and warehouses. The really good paint was probably left for head office. The colors also appear most often in low-rent housing and greasy-spoon restaurants.

226 255 187 puke green

A color favoured mostly by people suffering from red-green color blindness. Often mistaken for “moss green”. Consists mostly of canary yellow with just enough green to make you think the canary was unlucky. Associated with festering sores and infectious disease.

255 205 245 hospital pink

For similar reasons, industrial blue is also called “hospital blue”. Associated with strerility. People who decorate their homes in hospital pink or hospital blue favour what is called in interior design as the “anaesthetic aesthetic”. Enjoyed most often by people under anaesthesia.

A shaggy dog

I have always been in stitches every time I read Peter Applebome’s imitation Hemingway:


We were young and our happiness dazzled us with its strength. But there was also a terrible betrayal that lay within me like a Merle Haggard song at a French restaurant. …

I could not tell the girl about the woman of the tollway, of her milk white BMW and her Jordache smile. There had been a fight. I had punched her boyfriend, who fought the mechanical bulls. Everyone told him, “You ride the bull, senor. You do not fight it.” But he was lean and tough like a bad rib-eye and he fought the bull. And then he fought me. And when we finished there were no winners, just men doing what men must do. …

“Stop the car,” the girl said. There was a look of terrible sadness in her eyes. She knew about the woman of the tollway. I knew not how. I started to speak, but she raised an arm and spoke with a quiet and peace I will never forget.

“I do not ask for whom’s the tollway belle,” she said, “the tollway belle’s for thee.”

The next morning our youth was a memory, and our happiness was a lie. Life is like a bad margarita with good tequila, I thought as I poured whiskey onto my granola and faced a new day.

— Peter Applebome, International Imitation Hemingway Competition
Click here for the unedited version Once there, scroll to the bottom.