Home » Comments about Shep » JEAN SHEPHERD early daze- in 1959. Part III

JEAN SHEPHERD early daze- in 1959. Part III


[Our mentor is talking to an engineer–we presume–and Shep is, in a sense, as we are “listeners,” talking to us also. He is pissed.]


So come on now, you know. Let’s can this. You know what the phrase is. Man, you are like all the rest of us. You are up the same creek. And you know the name of that creek. We all do. And we have all lost the same paddle, man. So don’t give me any of that jazz.

[<A Scottish slang term meaning to be stuck in a bad situation without any way of fixing it. The bad situation being ‘**** creek’ and the ‘paddle’ being the solution.>]

I am not being fooled for one minute. That is, no more than you’re being fooled, Mac. Which is to say, most of the time. But at least I have the good grace to be with–a certain style. So let’s cut it, you know? All of you.

[See, he is also talking to us. Pause. Loud piano chord.] 

Eh! Now I want to do it once–I want to do it. ‘Course I’m not going to do it tonight. So you might as well knock off. It is not going to happen tonight. But sometime, somewhere, someplace, somebody somehow is going to say it–for all of us–not me–I’m chicken!

But then again, who are you to say I’m chicken? You slob! Sitting out there throwing your beer cans into the air shaft, waiting for Gisele McKenzie to do it for you on The Hit Parade. It ain’t going to happen. So I mean, you know–and by the way, don’t–don’t be without next week’s TV Guide. You gotta have some kind of guideposts in this world. So what are you trying to say to me, you know, are you trying to tell me?  Because I’ll tell you one thing, daddy-o, I’m not trying to tell you–I am just trying to tell me all the time. Me. And if you happen to stick your miserable eves-dropping ear into this thing, don’t come around and tell me I’m getting commercial with me. Because if I’m fooling me, that’s me that’s going down the tray [“tray”?], and not you–except the sad part of it is that I’m only joining all the rest of you because–you know–it’s the same problem with the creek. You know the old creek, man. So do I.

It’s–it’s, you know? Let me tell you this–ah–what’s the point, you know? I know–you know. So who’s kidding who? You think that little  old lady there made entirely out of celery and Brillo pads is….The only thing she’s doing is she’s taking a different tack, man. She is trying to make a paddle out of crochet needles and it ain’t gonna work either.

[Is this incoherent–or stream-of-consciousness, or has he begun celebrating New Years Eve a night early? CHAOS? WHAT IS “CHAOS THEORY” ANYWAY?*]

shep with drink

 I mean, you see, each guy makes it his own way. And goes down his own way–that’s the thing. So if you think you’re gonna make a paddle out of –no–it ain’t gonna work. It’s been tried before by better men. By better men! That one’ll strike right down in there like it’s made from a soldering iron. Pow! Better men. Than any of us can ever hope to be. And where did they go? Yeah. So, you know? Don’t give me any of your lip, Mac. None. N–o–n–e–e–e–umlaut. [Piano. Cymbal.]

[That seems to be the end of that evening’s rant–at least as it appears on this particular recording. Because what follows immediately, about Little Orphan Annie and her dog and her propensity to say “gloriosky,” is surely an audio-recording-error by the original listener/recording person, splicing a different program segment here–reminding us of Shep’s engineer’s errors earlier in the program. What an ironic, appropriate way to end this particular, chaotic audio. Little Orphan Annie. Leapin’ lizards! This whole magillah will probably forever remain a mystery–what happened, what was he thinking–what is going on here in The World of Shep–in The Voice in the Night?]

I can’t say that I’d want to hear too many strange and incomprehensible

programs end-to-end. But this one, beyond total understanding,

with all its surrealistic mystery, remains with me

a thrilling jolt of chaotic pleasure.

<Chaos Theory

Chaos theory word cloud glowingPhoto by: Kheng Guan Toh
“Chaos theory” is a scientific principle describing the unpredictability of systems. Most fully explored and recognized during the mid-to-late 1980s, its premise is that systems sometimes reside in chaos, generating energy but without any predictability or direction. These complex systems may be weather patterns, ecosystems, water flows, anatomical functions, or organizations [Such as monologs?]. While these systems’s chaotic behavior may appear random at first, chaotic systems can be defined by a mathematical formula, and they are not without order or finite boundaries.>

End Part III

No more Parts

(in the foreseeable future).



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