Call me Blogger or Blowhard, whichever you think is more apt or accurate. I bet you're itching to scold me for being a Melville-mugger since I've shamelessly snagged Ishmael's famous opening from Moby Dick; or, The Whale. For your information, I'm also referencing (pilfering) from the intro to Cat's Cradle. Oh yes, Foma and Grandfalloon fanatics, Mr. Vonnegut repackaged, re-purposed that juicy opener in his scrumptious Calypso Rhapsody. Ahem, here goes Vonnegut's twist. "Call me Jonah. My parents did, or nearly did. They called me John." I dare you to find a snazzier or snarkier greeting. I double dog dare you.
Referencing is not only a high compliment to the artist, but it tells something about the person who is refashioning the thought, line, or idea and shaping it into a novel context. It shows you did your homework that you're not hiding under some rock but are engaged in your passion. Jazz musicians are masters of this trick. Poets too. Lately, I've been noodling with variations of this luring first-liner like an overzealous kid given an unchaperoned tub of Legos. It's good exercise. Better than dumbbell-curling or Chia Pet-grooming. Below you will find a few of my latest concoctions.
The New and Improved Lolita
Call me Humbert Humbert or Big Papi, but never, under any circumstances, call me Humperdinck don't even mention that lout even if you're in a lampooning mood because that greasy lounge lubber Jerry Lewis wannabe makes my skin crawl. I don't even like his superfluously-named superior that ho-hum composer from the 19th century with the kooky beard. Give me a book and a babe and I'll gladly shut my piehole.
Stop Whining Lot 49
Call me Mucho. All the swinging señoritas do while I'm spinning my set. You like Chuck Berry, the Four Tops? Got Vinyl? Meet me in the back of the Walmart parking lot and I'll take you for a whirl in my Dodge Duster.
Huck For Hire
Call me Huckleberry or Huck my homeslice Tommy often does. Can't ya tell this is my big break, my big launch and I'm gonna shine. You might recall I made my first appearance in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer some years back when I was still wet behind (maybe even dirty) behind the ears and that's kind of like how Spider-man got cooking. First, he appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 and then the focus groups and the comic-a-razzi gave him the big thumb's up and then boo-yah he got his own deal. You got a crib in Bushwick or Bed-Stuy I can crash in just till they front me my advance?
Jane (I'm Every Woman) Austin
Call me Jane or Zombie Queen. Nobody let's me sleep anymore. Frankly, if I may be so flippant, I feel like somebody turned me into a Seven Eleven. You might as well think of me as that lovable chameleon from Woody Allen's Zelig. I don't know how much of this morphing I can go through and where's my bobblehead and my bubblegum card? How can you say somebody is great unless they've had their picture plastered on a bubblegum card. Hmm.
That's all the noodling for now. See you at the local coffee beanery.