Works in Progress #9: Brown Flamingos

I like this song. It makes me happy. It makes me happy for a number of reasons. First, it’s a summer song about partying on the beach at the lake when you’re not quite sure if you’re old enough to be partying with the older kids. And there are little phrases that poke out like wildflowers on a freeway median: “watermelon kisses,” “a canvas tent held together by bugspray,” “hillbilly arcade.” Best of all, we get to hear Jay sing, “some motherfucker stole all of my crayons,” which — to be completely honest — I feel is worth the price of admission. This song picks up after the campfire scene at the lake in “Crazy Uncle.” The party is dying down and the weirdness is about to begin.

Permanent flip-flop tanlines are a sign that you’re doing something right:

Your screws are not too loose — your screws are not too tight.

Don’t get mad at me man because I figured it out: I don’t want to fight.

Me and her, her and me: I’m afraid I disagree.

You and her, her and you. Do I mind? Yes I do.

They’re playing Whack-a-Yankee down on the beach at the hillbilly arcade.

Her hair smells like the lake and Old Milwaukee.

We’re swapping watermelon kisses in a canvas tent held together with bugspray.

Me and her, her and me: I’m afraid I disagree.

You and her, her and you. Do I mind? Yes I do.

We stick our heads out when we hear a sound like a crashing chandelier.

We see the light and hear a voice that says, “Come on up in here.”




Brown flamingos, black-and-white rainbows,

Fireworks exploding in sepia-tone.

We’ve got sunsets rendered in shades of gray.

Hasta la vista, amarillo.

Good-bye red and good-bye blue —

They have gone so very far away.

This is not about life lived without love:

Some motherfucker stole all of my crayons.

We’re going to find him: we’re going to make him pay.


Are you ready for volcanoes?

Are you ready for King Kong?

Are you ready for the bats that live in your hats

And magical creatures gone wrong?

The answer is “No” so don’t be slow — it’s just a fortune cookie song about

Me and her, her and me. I’m afraid I disagree.

You and her, her and you. That won’t do.

Me and her, her and me, I’m afraid to disagree.

You and her, her and you. Well then I do.

All of this particular material is copyrighted ©2013 Jeff Nelson.

Works in Progress #3

Everybody has a crazy uncle. And if not an actual crazy uncle, then at least a “crazy uncle.” Ten-four?

“Hold my calls.

I’m polishing the balls…

…On an equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson’s horse —

If you know what I mean.

Things aren’t always quite as they seem.

Thank God.

Thank God.

Thank God almighty I can see myself in the gleam.”

What in the hell does that even mean? I don’t know, but I do remember hearing a story about how the freshmen at some college or military school would traditionally polish the testicles on one of the horse statues on campus, which struck me as brilliantly subversive. It’s not vandalism — it’s bringing something completely natural to light but makes it ludicrous by pulling it out of context without hurting anybody or anything. And that is the perfect joke: refulgent, gleaming, sparkling horse balls for all to see.

“Crazy Uncle” is a song about the people I know who are fortunate enough to see life like this as their default setting — people who can perform these feats of inversion and subversion while making others vaguely uncomfortable. It’s also about a magical blender and a gym bag full of mystical talismans, but that is neither here not there.

Happy December,



All of this particular material is copyrighted ©2011 Jeff Nelson.