They Will Forget You, Mrs. Myszkowski

My son wrote this.  Wish I had …

It was with relief that I saw they had chosen to hold an open casket funeral. Everything was all the more real–the words she had broken through her lips, the things she had bent her fingers to touch. And as it came my turn in the somber casket line, I realized it was indeed 17 years since I had last seen Mrs. Myszkowski.

Truly, it was 17 years since I had last seen most of the people in the church. Other than her family, which was rather large and intimate, mourners flocked in abundance from Fieldsberry High, my alma mater. This much was to be expected; out of the 72 years she sauntered around this earth, 45 of them were spent at Fieldsberry, preaching American History to half-awake teens, disengaged and awkward with few exceptions.

Yet if there ever were an exception, it was me. National Merit Scholar, captain of the lacrosse team, president of student council–you’ll have to excuse my lack of modesty, but I refuse to acknowledge any equal in reference to my high school days. That said, I would love to add straight A’s to the list, but I can’t. So, I won’t lie to you.

Still, my reign at Fieldsberry launched me above the proletariat masses; those many who skated through Mrs. Myszkowski’s sermons with no appreciation of a Gadsden Purchase, those many who now artificially formulate a romanticized vision of her effect on their complacent lives, those many who now surround me seated in the de facto “student section” of the funeral service.

It is under this context that you’ll understand why I chose not to return to that high school world for 17 years; I have others who will confirm. You’ll also understand, as her son offered an invitation for anyone willing to share his thoughts on his late mother, why my walk to the pulpit was met with universal approval.

“Thank you all for giving me a minute to share,” I began, “it goes without saying how much we all love and miss Mrs. Myszkowski.”

“For many of us in the room, that is how we knew her, Mrs. Myszkowski, the loving and caring American History teacher who commands far too much respect to be called by her first name by us lowly students.”

Small chuckles and caring grins materialized across nearly all the faces looking up from the crammed pews of the sanctuary.

“I’m sure we all have dear, personal memories of Mrs. Myszkowski. We hold them close and dare not forget the smiles she gave us. In my case, I don’t think I could ever forget the time I shared with her if I tried.”

“You see, Mrs. Myszkowski has a very special place in my heart. To tell you the truth, she was my first love.”

The chuckles and grins vanished into stares of confusion. I paused as the words settled.

“It was my Junior year of High School, something like 20 years ago when I first enrolled in her American History class, an introduction and experience I’m sure many of us here share. From the start of the class, I could tell there was something unlike anything I’ve had with other teachers or really anyone.”

Hushed murmurs from the crowd began to populate the silence as I looked down, brushing away a tear from my cheek.

“Every day, I couldn’t wait for my one o’ clock period. I’d stay after class, just talking and doing homework with Mrs. Myszkowski’s caring guidance. It didn’t take long for things to become physical.”

The pews erupted, confused murmurs from the family turning to shouts. The students and faculty remained silent, but if embarrassed glances made sound, ear drums would have broken.

Her son, now briskly walking toward my position, was not silent. He screamed something indecipherable. But I got the point. This was not the result he expected. Welcome to my world, sonny boy, I thought.

“I know this is taking a lot of you off guard. It was wrong. It is wrong. But I have an obligation to myself and Mrs. Myszkowski to share what we had.”

I again paused as frenzy engulfed the sanctuary. Looking down on the casket before me, I took a breath. I whispered directly into the mic.

“I loved you, Mrs. Myszkowski. We will not forget you. Thank you.”

No one shook my hand as I paced through the receiving line, avoiding disgusted glances from her family. No one shed a tear as Mr. Myszkowski closed the casket, trying not to imagine the words she had broken through her lips, the things she had bent her fingers to touch.

They will forget you, Mrs. Myszkowski. They will write away all 45 years you spent at Fieldsberry High and question the methods for which you were once so revered. They will forget the romanticized vision of your effect on their pedestrian lives. Soon enough, the memorial bench they put outside the school will fade, splinter and disintegrate, like you.

And when they look at my transcript from high school, they will forget the the B you gave me in American History


The Curious Grammatical Case of Les Miles


Hi. My name’s Dan, and I am a grammaholic.

Hi, Dan.

I’m so glad I found this group. This is my first GA meeting.

Bob, congratulations on your one-year chip. For me, as a newbie, it is really hard to comprehend that you faced three “should have wents” this week in total silence. The self-discipline you showed is what I’m here to learn. I had one myself this week. I tried, but the sirens’ call came from my dark place.

Tell us about that, Dan.

This is hard. See my face, this shiner?

What happened?

I was in a bar, drinking away a fight with my wife. She actually said, as we woke up, “I could have laid here all day.”

You all know why I drank.

Lie, lay, lain benders are the worst,” a fellow Grammaholic said quietly into the steam off her styrofoam cup of GA coffee.

So, anyway, four bikers watched a football game in a booth behind me. One team was down by eight in the second quarter and scored. They kicked the extra point. One said it.

They should have went for two.”

I walked over, drawn by that tractor beam – you all know that invisible force telling you people want, nay, need to know what is right grammatically. I tapped him on the shoulder, directly on the Lyrnyd Skynyrd patch on his leather vest, above the White Power tattoo, for Christ’s sake.

He turned around, snarling through his tooth.

What do you want,” he said.

“They should have GONE for two,” I uttered with a wagging finger.

That’s the last thing I remember before waking up on the floor. That’s the insidiousness of this disease.

This was bound to happen to me. Thanks genetics. Grammaholism runs in my family. My father suffered his demons. “Impact” was his drug of choice, with a “disinterested” chaser.

We’d have a nice family dinner. The evening news would be on the TV. It would begin as innocently as that. Then, invariably, it would happen. He’d hear it, like a dog whistle, the rest of us oblivious.

The anchor might say, “President Carter said today it was unknown what impact this development will have on the hostages.”

He’d stop chewing. He’s stop talking. He’d shake. A sarcastic tsunami of rhetorical questions flooded from his mouth:

“Oh, is that development going to hit the hostage crisis like a meteor impacts the Earth? Is that development going to leave a crumpled bumper, like when a car impacts a telephone pole?”

We’d then get the inevitable definition of impact: “Impact — The action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.”

The night was ruined. God help us if someone that night who was not interested in something said they were “disinterested.”

Oh, you’re impartial, unbiased?” he’d say with dripping sarcasm.

So, why am I here? Some say there is a moment of clarity, a time when you see your problem.

Mine is Les Miles. Les effen Miles.

That hurts to even hear, doesn’t it? It’s difficult to even say. No one here has corrected me. This either means GA and these meetings really work or you’re not football fans. I hope it’s the former.

Well, Les Miles – I still want to scream “Fewer” Miles – is, or was, a college football coach. He led the LSU Tigers to a national title before being fired recently. It was his firing, and the onslaught of media coverage, that sparked my moment of clarity.

Fewer. Freakin’ fewer. My crack, my crystal meth, my heroin, my fuhrer.

I mean, is it so hard to communicate clearly and precisely in English? Really, we need fewer people who use “less” improperly, and the less society accepts the use of “less,” there will be fewer users like me feeling worthless and spending less time in fewer meetings, right?

It’s not hopeless, is it, for me to think that there are a few of you who more or less understand that the less use of “less” in favor of “fewer” is not useless? It’s not pointless. Rather the less use of less by fewer careless users can be used to cause fewer “less” problems for the “fewer” hopeless, like me, right?

Again, clear communication is not hard.

So, back to Les Miles. Pundits, anchors, LSU’s athletic director, his players and basically anyone with a mic in front of their face kept saying it that week: “Les Miles.”

A mic in front of his face,” the newbie with a “their/his” addiction next to me corrected, to disapproving stares from the circle. “Sorry.”

Yes, uh hm, his face. Thank you.

Anyhow, for a Grammaholic with the “less-fewer” monkey on my back, this was more than I could take. I’d chase the fewer dragon as I switched channels, hoping in vain, for the fewer high, like that first time I heard it used correctly. I was literally convinced some bleach-blonde reporter outside the LSU practice facility would say it.

Fewer Miles” I’d hear in my head, only to be washed away, time and time again, by “Les Miles,” furthering my descent into the gutter of grammatical madness.

The week after his firing, as “Les Miles” dominated the college football airwaves, I fixated. Shocker, I know. Abbot and Costello scenarios infected my brain.

A recurring one was an English class while Coach Miles was in high school:

Coy, why are you late?” the English teach would ask.

Sorry I’m late, but I had to drive Les Miles today.”

Fewer,” she’d say.

Late because drove Les Miles,” Coy responded, puzzled.

Fewer, Coy.”

“Late Les Miles?”


“Late LM?”

Another one is where …

Folks, I need to shut this down,” a janitor interrupted from the back of the room. “I hate to impact your meeting, but I have went and cleaned all the other rooms. I ain’t go no more to do. There’s less chairs than last week but stack ‘em please, irregardless.”

I stay in my chair, silent.

Oh my God, people, GA works!


Southwest Airlines — SWA — Soaring With Alcohol

This is real and the God’s-honest truth.  I got a call from SWA’s customer relations department after sending it:

Dear Southwest:

I am a loyal customer, A-List member and generally a “big fan.”

As I write this, I am on flight 1055 from Philadelphia to St. Louis at 9:30 a.m. on December 14. I purchased a Business Select ticket for the flight and received the drink coupon.

This is where my bewilderment begins.

I asked the flight attendant, Deborah, for an energy drink, displaying my Business Select coupon.

She said, “Sorry, it has to indicate ‘speciality drink’ on it.”

“Really? I can ONLY get alcohol?”

“Uh, huh. Sorry.”

Can’t be.

Lo and behold, I looked at it, and Deborah was right.

It says: “ONE DRINK COUPON, Valid Day of Travel Only.” It then states: “1 Coupon = Beer, Wine, or Liquor.”  Nothing else.

I can’t believe I’m the first to point this out, but in case I am, here are the inherent problems with this:

I don’t drink. So, your Business Select “Beer, Wine, or Liquor” coupon is absolutely no inducement or use to me whatsoever. I’m already A List, so getting in the 1-15 boarding is not that big of a deal and I get Fly By lane already.

Other than the extra points for Rapid Rewards, there ain’t much to offer me. A $4 Monster to get my heart pumping in the AM would probably actually cost you less than the airplane bottle of Mad Dog I could get to wash down the Nabisco 100 Cals Deborah just handed me.

If I did drink, unless I was Nicholas Cage in Leaving Las Vegas or Michael Keaton in Mr. Mom (“Wanna beer?” “It’s 7 o’clock in the morning.” “Scotch?”), what on Earth would I be doing slugging down luke-warm beer at 9:30 in the morning? I think the right to tie one on during a three-hour flight to Vegas is a God-given inalienable right, up there with wet wipes from KFC, but I can’t believe the market research shows your Business Select customers on a PHI to STL flight at 9 a.m. on a Wednesday drink like David Hasselhoff eating floorburgers, but you guys are the experts.

Plus, not that I’m a Teetotaler or anything, but is it really appropriate to have ONLY alcoholic options for your current and potential Business Select customers? I suppose that big Business Select marketing campaign to the Southern Baptist Convention, MADD, and AA might want to be put on hold.

The civil defense lawyer in me also cringes a little thinking about the Business Select customer weaving his way home from the airport, crashing into the bus load of Make a Wish kids on their way to the puppy store. There he is, his tongue thick and slurring from the mandatory SWA alcohol as he stares at the cop’s dash cam: “Occifer, I swear I asked for Monster but they told me no. Jus’ booze.”

I can hear it now: “Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, in considering your verdict against Southwest, they chose a $4 Monster over my client’s safety. I ask you, who’s the real Monster here?”

I guess one could say there are non-alcoholic beers, within the definition of “Beer” on the coupon, right? Wrong.  No non-alcoholic beers. I just asked.

“We used to. Couldn’t get rid of it,” Deborah said.

So, it’s alcohol or nothing, as my useless drink coupon sits idly next to me in empty Seat 4E, soon to be tossed like so many empty peanut bags into Deborah’s white plastic sack, and just as valuable.

Don’t get me wrong. You guys are the best and I’m a loyal customer. Still will be. I just wanted a Monster energy drink with my Business Select ticket. Is that too much to ask for in America?

Instead, you got a rant. At least you know it’s not a drunken rant, despite your best efforts.

You should know I wouldn’t pay for the Monster I wanted (I have a shred of dignity, after all), but think about how bad this would have been were I all hopped up on a Monster energy drink I had to actually pay for?

Yours truly,


Back in October 1999, Columnist Rick Reilly wrote an article in Sports Illustrated mocking cheerleaders and cheerleading.  Link is below.

As the father of a cheerleader, here’s my response:

Dear Mr. Reilly:

Oh, why did I cancel my SI subscription in August ’99? You may recall, from your long career writing from the sideline about what those between the sidelines do, it was that month when Trent Green went down in a blue and yellow heap on the Jones Dome turf during the Rams pre-season, his ACL DOA. After all, my sports year was as shredded as his knee, as some Arena League grocery clerk from Iowa named Kurt Warner removed his Aldi’s apron and trotted onto the field to replace Green.

I canceled SI right there. How could I know that this guy Warner would stack TD throws like cans of Campbell’s on empty shelves after double-coupon day.

So, not only did I miss the October ’99 issue with that same guy Warner on the cover, introducing the country to the Greatest Show on Turf, but more importantly, I missed the life-changing parental advice in your column in that issue titled “Sis! Boom! Bah! Humbug!” You may recall that article, warning parents and others of the “dumbness” of cheerleading. I hear you wrote a book about it.

You see, my daughter Abby was just seven months old when that article ran, having tumbled into our lives February ’99. But thanks to Trent Green’s knee, I missed your article, causing what I only now know, through you, was my spiral into parental depravity.

Fast forward 17 years. On the eve of my daughter’s high school’s last home football game of her senior year, she sent me your 1999 SI article. She’d hid it from me for four years, undoubtedly her cult’s directive.

I read the article, as she wildly smiled at me like Squeaky Fromme during the Manson Family trial. She knew it was too late, nothing I could do. As I finished it, a wave of revelation and shame washed over me. I peered out the window, expecting DFS and a SWAT team to arrive and forcibly remove my minor child from her criminally negligent parents.

“I didn’t know! I didn’t know!” I’d scream. “Tell it to the judge,” they’d say. “He’ll never hurt you again,” they’d say, comforting Abby, as they put their coats over her head to shield her from the news cameras outside my house.

You probably guessed where I’m going with this. It’s hard to type what I’m about to say, but it’s true. So, here it goes – I allowed my daughter to, well, be (gulp) a cheerleader. And this is even harder to admit – she’s the Captain of the squad. Please forgive me – of Reilly I knew not.

The devious Cult of Cheer brainwashed me for years. Thank you for showing me the evils and “dumbness” that lurk behind the Cheer Cult’s eerily real mask of accomplishment, pride, dedication, hard work, teamwork, charity, physical fitness, athleticism, discipline and just plain high-school fun. I now know all she really got from cheering was that “circle skirt and tight sweater.” How blind I was.

Because, as you aptly state, we certainly don’t “want them on the sideline when most of them could be between the sidelines,” I’ve instructed her to become a sports reporter like you. Writing from the sideline about those between the sidelines is way different than cheering from the sideline about those between the sidelines. After all, you face the field, and sometimes, I hear, you can even see the field over the laptop, the tray of nachos and an expanding gut as you sit in a chair for the three hours of the game, night after night.

And maybe she can even marry a cheerleader, like you. She had a male cheerleader on her squad. He didn’t wear a circle skirt and tight sweater, but oddly, he too was named Amber, as you accurately point out of all cheerleaders. (Tell your wife Amber hello. I messed that one up with my daughter Abby too. Got the “A” part right, though, so I got that going for me, which is nice).

And writing, like you, I told her, leads to traditionally happy and healthy people, without the dangers of cheering. Look at Edgar Allen Poe, Stephen Crane, Theodore Roethke, Herman Melville, Delmore Schwartz, Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemingway. Sure, they all died of alcoholism after decades of torment, but they never suffered a “broken hand and finger” or a tooth through the cheek as those poor twins did from cheering. I’d take Cirrhosis, tremors and suicidal depression over a broken finger. Duh.

So, thank you. While I failed for years (thanks to Trent Green’s knee), I now know.

Your new disciple, Dan

The C Word

Ironically, based on what I’m about to write about the issue of “compromise” and how our politicians view it as the new “C” word, I’m from Missouri, home of the Missouri Compromise.  During the primary seasons, one of our attorney general candidates  — for Missouri attorney general, mind you — attempted to slander his opponent by literally saying he would “compromise with the liberals in Washington.”

Initially, a state’s attorney general has nothing to do with D.C., either its “liberals” or its “Tea Party” hawks.  Thus, unless he was talking about the seven “liberals” in Washington, Missouri, his point made no sense.  More to the point, however, “compromising” is what our Democracy is all about, as is marriage, friendship and virtually any human endeavor aimed at accomplishing anything.  

Sadly, this guy not only won the primary but is our new AG.  The Show-Me state showed that this type of one-sided, closed-minded, refusal to compromise is what we want.  So, how did we get here?

To me anyway, it’s not surprising we are where we are today in light of the concentration-camp-type brainwashing of modern media 24-7 for the last two-plus decades that presents only extremes.  Following the money truly does answer most questions.  Extremes sell ads, not “politics” or “compromising.”

How can the civil discourse of debating the merits and actually compromising to make progress in the interests of the country compete with the either-your-first-or-your-last, Jerry Springer sound-bite culture that paints “compromising” as merely the first step in winding up with nothing?

I mean, watch C-Span (“politics” in action) for 20 minutes (if you can stand it). It’s boring. Then flip the channel to Maury to see a paternity test battle to confirm whether Wanda was really sleeping with Coy, the dude who sold the IROC Z to her boyfriend, Waffle House manager Zeke, and whether Lynyrd, the 3-year-old with a rat tail, acid wash jeans and Kid Rock T-Shirt, will finally know which double wide lies in his future.

Would you wait out that hoosier drama or flip back to see how the Senate Bill on Monkey Grass restoration in the Sierra Nevada turns out? Americans have answered, for nearly two decades now: “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” and now “Donald! Donald! Donald!” There’s a reason there are no ads on C-Span. Politics doesn’t sell. It was just a matter of time.

For the first 230 years of this country, we were not exposed on a literal daily basis to such extreme-viewpoint content in our media, entertainment, and communications. Not so surprisingly, our political parties, with some obvious exceptions, were largely able to compromise and get things done for the country. The barrage of extreme viewpoint entertainment and media, combined with the ability to mass communicate on an unprecedented scale, has sparked all this.
Further, the means of mass communication were controlled for more than 200 years — in not only the distribution of the information but in the actual content of the message — by a few, wealthy elite, largely beholden to Madison Avenue advertising dollars for both print then TV. Heck, until a few years ago, we had only ABC, NBC, CBS and Channel 11 and one local newspaper. Short of a few letters to the editor or Archie Bunkeresque 30-second public commentaries after the 11 O’clock news (which they still controlled whether we would see either), the public was shut out of communication on a mass scale. We were pretty much spoon fed the facts and views on those facts that just a few thought we should know.

With Al Gore’s Internet, cable, Twitter and things like this here Facebook thingy, literally anyone with an Internet connection and an opinion (which are like you know what, as everyone has one), now has the ability to reach millions. Ironically, this new millennium technology is now used to espouse, on grand scales, largely Neanderthal thoughts. Gorg’s cave, indeed, now has wi-fi.

As for information, we are on overload, with anything that occurs in public, or even private, standing a good chance of residing in the photo library of an I-Phone, one click away from being seen by millions. That click is more often than not made. Our founding fathers never contemplated such a thing.

This new means of wildfire information spreading has built a platform for the traditionally oppressed in our society for making inroads never imaginable, much less possible, and at a rapid pace. When the flow of information and viewpoints was controlled by the few, who were in turn controlled by the advertising dollars, such rapid change was impossible. Gay marriage and gay rights under the Constitution? An African-American, two-term president? A female on the top of a party’s ticket?

Madison Avenue certainly never went there on such traditionally polarizing topics when the means of communication were in the hands of the few. It took the means of mass-scale communication in the hands of everyone – especially the oppressed – before any progress could be made. Now, the inroads happened seemingly overnight, at least viewed historically, and it appears largely communication based.

Every ying has its yang, however, and not everyone likes them there inroads for “those kinds.” And they too have wi-fi, computer doo-hickies, and the Internets, and commercial breaks during Maury and Jerry to help Make America Great Again! by getting their message out, responding to all of these so-called, new-fangled “advancements.”

The inroads for the oppressed groups, however, have sparked a corresponding feeling of “inequality” running amok in a bass-ackward way for the white middle-class male. Right or wrong, he seems to feel a real sense of persecution coming at him from many sides. He is then ripe to be marshaled into a Xenophobic amoeba hell bent to set things right, aka, making America great AGAIN!

This slogan – “Make America Great Again!” – was first used by Reagan in 1980, but without the exclamation point. Reagan, however, did not trademark it as Trump literally has, owning it for its use on all clothing etc. The slogan itself is so loaded in its hopes to some and so loaded in its scariness to others that it actually perfectly captures the divisiveness reality we face in this country. “Make Great Again?” Inherent in the slogan is that if we go back to some undefined time period or era, perhaps in Doc Brown’s Delorean, we will be “great again.”

Those scared by this would ask, “Just exactly what time frame did you consider America ‘great’ so that we can get back to that ‘again’?” Was it 1860? Was it during the Eugenics movement of the late 1890s? Was it during internment of the Japanese in the ‘40s? Was it during the red scare of the early 1950s? Was it during Little Rock in 1953? Was it during “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the 90s? When, exactly, did we stop being “great?”, they would ask.

Those inspired with hope by this slogan would ostensibly stammer a little, and give a vague little, “You know, how things were before.” What they mean to say is “Before political correctness ran wild.” As the pie of rights that Coy and his ilk expect for dessert is only so big, they seem to believe, any sharing of a piece of that rights pie necessarily means less for me and “my kind.” Mexicans, Muslims, etc.

Logical? No. Is the feeling real? Yes.

So, we now face a standoff where “compromising” with those seeking to munch on the pie of rights is literally viewed as meaning we will just get less pie than we want, and eventually no pie at all.

We’ll now see if anyone gets dessert.

Suck My Lemon?

I want to talk about sex, drugs and rock and roll, really more about sex and rock and roll. I’m already really high right now, so got the drugs part under control.

So, in the 50s, as we all know, people were freaking out about rock and roll, thinking it would lead the innocent poodle skirt virgins to spread em like Seka in Swedish Erotica. (What is really weird is they actually thought that in the ‘50s, when Seka was born in ’54 and was like two, and she didn’t do her first porn until 1977, but somehow they knew that little toe-headed toddler was bad news enough to make that analogy. Weird). I mean look at what a bimbo Marty McFly’s mom was at the Under the Sea Dance, trying to give Michael J. Fox a tug in the parking lot.  Thanks Marvin Berry and his cousin’s rock and roll. But I digress.

In any event, they were freaking about rock and roll leading to sex. They banned Elvis, censoring his gyrations, which we all now know he learned from a young Forrest Gump. “Hey man, show me that crazy leg thing again.”

But in the 50s, the songs were like “Tootie Frootie,” which no one knew was Little Richard’s gay-ode to sodomy. But lyrics like “A wop-bom-a-loo-mop-a-lomp-bom-bom” could only mean one thing, right? And that’s exactly what they meant but they were all clandestine and double entendree and shit.

Then came the ‘60s, free love, drugs, counter-culture and a big FU to the Leave it to Beaver 50s. If the 50s were like Leave it to Beaver, the 60s were like Leave it IN THE Beavers – ALL of them. But it still was the 60s – we were 30 years from 2 Live Crew. Ed Sullivan wouldn’t let Jim Morrison say “Girl we couldn’t get much higher,” because of the sex and drugs reference.

So, the rock and roll songs still used the double entendre for sex but it just got more graphic.

What got me to thinking about all this was Led Zeppelin’s “The Lemon Song,” released in ’69 as the third song on Led Zeppelin 2, which more famously sported “Whole Lotta Love” and “Heartbreaker, Livin’ Lovin’ Maid.” The Lemon Song came on my Pandora today, a live version.

Now, the Lemon Song might just be the king of the Double Entendre sex rock songs of the ‘60s and it logically came out in ’69, at the very end of the decade. Think about the 60s. We went from the Beatles “I wanna hold your hand” and Herman’s Hermits’ “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” in ’64 and ’65, with the British Invasion, to the “Lemon Song” five short years later in ’69.

If “I wanna hold your hand” and “Mrs. Brown, you’ve got a lovely daughter” came out in ’69, they would have been called, with a wink and a smile, “I wanna hold your pussy,” (Trump would have loved it) with veiled references to your girlfriend’s cat, and “Mrs. Brown, you’ve got a naughty daughter.”

So, back to the Lemon Song. Now, I must confess, while I knew all the lyrics and the sophomoric double entendres, I had no idea it was actually called “The Lemon Song.” You know the lyrics, “Squeeze me baby, til the juice runs down my leg, the way you squeeze my lemon, I’m gonna fall right out of bed.”

Now, in my 48 years on earth, I have heard eleventy-scrillion different terms for the purple cyclops, but never – not even once, not even in my Billy Bush-esque “locker room banter” – have I ever heard or called it a “Lemon.” (A few disappointed gals after dates with me undoubtedly thought they got a lemon, rolling off the genetic assembly line of Minis with factory defects, but no one ever actually called it that, at least to my face).

But Zeppelin did, and even named the damn song after it.

I listened to the live version of the Lemon Song on Pandora. Robert Plant screams, “Squeeze my lemon, til the juice runs down my leg.” Now, I get that the 60s were a confusing time. I get that with the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK (bad decade for people with last names starting with “K”), people were questioning lots of things. I get they did a LOT of drugs. I get all that.

But what I will never get is what Robert asked the crowd next, right after telling some cheating woman to “squeeze my lemon til the juice runs down my leg.” What does he ask?

He inquires of the audience, “Do you know what I’m talking about?”

Really, Robert? You had to ask?

I suppose there could have been some Mennonite at his first rock concert, truly wondering why the skinny guy with hair like his sister before putting on her bonnet in the morning, and with a tin-foil wrapped cucumber stuck in his Levi’s, is asking a woman to squeeze his lemon. After all, Ezekiel may have thought, he didn’t like lemon, but when his brother Jedediah wanted lemon juice in his sweet tea, he’d always squeeze his lemon himself.

And Jedediah’s lemon juice always ran into his cup when he squeezed his lemon. Why would he want this woman to squeeze his lemon, not over a cup like Jedediah always did, but until the lemon juice ran down his leg? None would even get in the tea?

I suppose Robert Plant could have been asking Ezekiel if he knew what he was talking about when he told the woman, with whom he was originally displeased when the song began, to “squeeze his lemon until the juice ran down his leg.”

Short of that, everyone then, and everyone now, knows what you’re talking about, Robert.

Sadly, Zeppelin was dethroned as the king of double entendres of sex rock when AC/DC, appropriately enough from the Land Down Under, took the crown in a 1970’s coup. “Big Balls,” “Giving the Dog a Bone,” and “Let Me Put My Love into You,” (who could forget this gem of a lyric, “Let me cut your cake with my knife”), made the “Lemon Song” look like “Great Balls of Fire” in the Guinness Book of Rock Sex Double Entendres.

That said, I still don’t get the “lemon” analogy.