Just Along for the Ride
A bumpy junket through the versed of world history
by Richard D. Hacken
(All rites reversed)
Chronological Table of Context:
JUST ALONG FOR THE RIDE
FEELING CREATIVE THIS PARTICULAR EON?
THAT'S THE WAY THE TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS
WE'VE ALREADY BEEN DRIVEN OUT, THANKS
YOU'RE SUCH A CAVE MAN!
OKAY, SO WHO'S IN CHARGE OF THE UNICORNS?
MRS. LOT, YOU NEED TO LIMIT YOUR SODIUM INTAKE...
DYING TO SEE THE PYRAMIDS
LET MY PEOPLE BOOGIE!
I DON'T NEED THIS FORTUNE COOKIE
WHO TOLD THE FOX THAT THE GRAPES WERE SOUR?
MY LOVE FOR YOU IS MERELY PLATONIC
WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT ALEX?
GREEK TO ME
CLEO, WOULD YOU ENTERTAIN THE TROOPS?
SO MARY, WHEN'S THE NEXT FAMILY REUNION?
STARTING A BRAND-NEW RELIGION
WHAT SHALL WE CALL YOUR SALAD, MR. CAESAR?
HAVE A NICE DAY, ST. PATRICK!
ISN'T IT TIME FOR SOME MUSIC, POPE GREG?
SURE, HUN, I'LL GET OUT OF YOUR WAY!
IS TODAY A GOOD DAY TO START A JIHAD?
WHO THOUGHT UP YOUR NAME, CHARLEMAGE?
SAY, ISN'T PERSIA SOMEWHERE NEAR IRAN?
WHY DOES THIS BATTLE HAVE TO BE SO HASTY?
THE FRENCH FOREIGN LESION
SO GEOFF, WHAT'S NEW IN CANTERBURY?
SAID JOAN TO THE EXECUTIONER: WELL DONE!
SAY MARCO, CARE FOR A GAME OF POLO?
ONCE UPON A RENAISSANCE
NEW WORLDS DON'T COME CHEAP!
IS YOUR BROTHER'S NAME "SOUTH AMERIGO?"
DR. LUTHER SAYS I SHOULD DO WHAT WITH MY TIARA?
ALL I WANT IS MY RIGHTFUL POT OF GOLD
HENRY, THERE ARE LESS BLOODY WAYS TO GET AROUND ALIMONY!
SIR THOMAS, TELL US MORE!
MAY WE NAME VIRGINIA AFTER YOU?
THE QUIXOTIC AND THE DEAD
PLEASE PASS THE THUMBSCREWS!
STRATFORD UPON AVON CALLING
WHO PUT THIS CHIAROSCURO ON MY WALL?
WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THIS FIG, MR. NEWTON?
IF THE MUSIC AIN'T BAROQUE, FIX IT!
FODDER OF HIS COUNTRY
THE WOLFGANG IS AT THE DOOR
EXCUSE ME, MA'AM, WOULD YOU PLEASE REMOVE YOUR HEAD?
IS MOTHER RUSSIA'S FIRST NAME "CATHY?"
WHY IS YOUR BOAT SO STEAMED UP?
A PHENOMENOLOGY OF GRIND
DID WILLIAM KNOW WHAT A WORD'S WORTH?
YOU'LL HAVE TO CLAP LOUDER -- THE COMPOSER IS GOING DEAF
AN AVOGADRO SALAD
WHAT'S THE MATTER, NAPPY, ARE YOUR FINGERS COLD?
EXCUSE ME, DON'T YOU BELONG BACK IN IBERIA?
SO WHAT IF YOU COMMAND THE POWERS OF DARKNESS?
ADIOS TO THE WILD FRONTIER!
VICKIE, CAN ALBERT COME OUT AND PLAY?
WHEN IT CAME TO SEWING MACHINES, ELIAS KNEW HOWE.
NO THANKS, I COULDN'T HAVE A BITE MORE!
"BRING 'EM YOUNG," SAID BRIGHAM YOUNG...
IS ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING IN THE SUN?
HARRIET BEECHER STOWE WAS NO SLAVE TO FASHION...
HERE COME THE CENSORS, GUSTAVE...
MY THOUGHTS ON THIS ARE STILL EVOLVING
BUT KARL, I DO LIKE THE PROLETARIAN WAY YOU'VE TRIMMED YOUR BEARD
CARE TO JOIN US IN A CONGO LINE?
WHO'S THAT LURKING IN THE CURTAINS?
MA BELL FED ALEXANDER GRAHAM CRACKERS.
LIEUTENANT, HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE "SIOUX?"
NOBODY COULD EVER CON EDISON!
MARY BAKER GOT CAUGHT IN A SPIRITUAL EDDY.
NOW WHO'S DEAD, FRED?
WHERE DID CARRIE NATION INTEND TO CARRY THE NATION?
PARDON ME, SIGMUND, YOUR SLIP IS SHOWING!
YOU'RE CLEARED FOR TAKE-OFF, ORVILLE!
WHO DUG THIS TRENCH IN FLANDERS FIELD?
PANCHO, LET'S RAID THE GRINGO'S VILLA!
MAY I RECOMMEND THIS MANURE ENTITLED "BOLSHEVIK?"
MR. LINDBERGH, CARE TO FAVOR US WITH A SOLO?
MR. CAPONE, YOU'RE SUCH A CIVIC-MINDED GUY!
GRAPES OF WRATH MAKE FOR SOUR WINE
WHY IS MRS. EINSTEIN SHAKING HER WATCH?
WHO'S BEEN MESSING WITH MY FUEL GAUGE?
YUKIKO, SHALL WE VISIT PEARL HARBOR?
ENRICO, I DON'T KNOW YOU FROM ATOM!
THIS IS JUST DESSERT, MR. "ZEKE HYLE"
JOE, IT'S A COLLECTIVE CALL FROM THE UKRAINE!
MR. BURBANK ALWAYS COUNTS TO TREE...
SORRY, I REFUSE TO WEAR BRITISH TOGS
YOU DON'T HAVE TO ANTHROPOLOGIZE TO ME, MARGARET!
WHY DO I GET NAUSEOUS JUST THINKING OF LIFE?
LOOK WHAT YOU HOUND DOG JUST DID TO MY BLUE SUEDE SHOES!
NORMA JEAN, DID YOUR SYMBOL JUST CRASH?
WORDS OF FROST WARM MY HEART...
"ICH BIN EIN IN-BETWEENER!"
MAO-TSE, BITE YOUR TUNG!
NOW WHO HAS THE DREAM?
MOON OVER MY NASA
GIVE HER LIBERTY, OR GIVE HER REST
YES, BUT NEUROTICISM SELLS MOVIE TICKETS
NOT JUST JUSTICE -- SUPREME JUSTICE!
THEY ALSO SERB WHO ONLY DECIMATE
THE LEGACY LIVES?
BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE
STILL JUST ALONG FOR THE RIDE
JUST ALONG FOR THE RIDE The richness of life's meaning Transcends even... spring cleaning: It encompasses the lifetime fun Of six or seven dozen trips around the sun. (How rewarding that all life styles Count toward frequent-flyer miles!) Up to -- and even after -- we've died, We're (all of us) just along for the ride. So swallow your cosmic dramamine And hold on tight... While we review the comic scene Of our extended planetary flight. FEELING CREATIVE THIS PARTICULAR EON? Creation was rough and surly, A sort of primal twang That reverberated early Throughout the whole Big (she-)Bang. Black holes deformed the universe When some Greek goddess dropped her purse, Then we were formed from lumps of clay (Which helps explain the way I feel today). Slowly from the sea, From energizing storms and gales, You and me, We came ashore And dropped our tadpole tails In order to evolve some more. We've grown from simple cells that fester To beings that wear pants of polyester... From a simple acid named "amino" We've come to sit at slot machines in Reno. THAT'S THE WAY THE TYRANNOSAURUS WRECKS In the era Triassic Dinosaurs were monastic, Rooting about With their snouts And squinting through pits of tar At the stars. In the era Jurassic, Dinosaurs were bombastic, Nibbling a leaf Or sinking their teeth With a crunch Into each other for lunch. In the era Cretaceous, The reptile god was not gracious, And the dinosaurs had to die. One of them blinked... Then they were extinct. We don't know why. If birds are the dinosaurs' descendants, I harbor some resentments For the way they take to prehistoric flight And stain my sidewalk guano-white. WE'VE ALREADY BEEN DRIVEN OUT, THANKS East out of Eden, Adam and Eve Suddenly had to leave, 'Cuz there was no pardon For what they had eaten in the garden. (It seems that God had been watching from His chapel When they bit into that apple...) Although it was a Fall Involving low cholesterol, It became clear when they munched On the fruit that had been bunched Upon that tree (within God's sight) That this was a clear-cut case of sinful overbite. With Devil as ill-wisher on the sidelines, Adam and Eve had no nutritional guidelines... When they ate from that tree of knowledge, Perhaps they thought it would lead to college Rather than as a portal To sins that are mortal. After being blamed For eating those fat-free fruits -- And unable to deny it -- Adam and Eve were ashamed Of their birthday suits And of the Red Delicious that ruined their diet. YOU'RE SUCH A CAVE MAN! Oog MacFroog was having quite a ball Socializing at Neanderthal, Dating shapely cave girls who, demure, Had at least a four-foot long coiffure. With such, he'd drag the streets in dusty leisure, Or spend his time at other sorts of pleasure. With his Stone-Age chromosomes Oog developed the sciences And crafted crude appliances For prehistoric homes: Within his darkened condo cave (The largest on his block), He scraped a rock Across his face to shave... And then in his simplicity He discovered static electricity By touching amber which he'd saved... Yes, Oog's meat was the first to be microwaved. OKAY, SO WHO'S IN CHARGE OF THE UNICORNS? The sins of mankind grew as rotten As weevils in a boll of cotton. Whereupon The Almighty, His anger seething, Tested mankind's deep-sea breathing And found that bad guys curb their tongues When water has filled up their lungs. Noah, wise to the Wash Day From Sin, Had taken all the animals in And had arked across the many waters With all those animal sons and daughters, With all those chiquitas and chiquitos (But it's too bad he saved those two mosquitos). MRS. LOT, YOU NEED TO LIMIT YOUR SODIUM INTAKE... Oh, did you hear Gomorrah's Male contralto chorus As they hit the G Above High C In the grief Of disbelief On the occasion Of their annihilation? All Sodomites Definitely deduced That their breathing rights Would be imminently reduced. Yes, Sodom Hit bottom. Off to one side, righteous Lot, In a speech calm and well-reasoned, Told his wife not to look back, but she got Curious and then well-seasoned. Lot gave a tweak To his wife's right cheek. It crumbled in a pile Which he poured into a vial, Saying: "It's not my fault She turned to salt." Lot savored His flavored Wife and implored Of his Heavenly Sustainer: "Will she be all right if I keep her stored In an air-tight container?" DYING TO SEE THE PYRAMIDS The sun gets very hot At a certain spot In Egypt, by the Nile, Where the Pharaoh forced the rank and file To sweat And groan To get A stone Pyramid made. Pyramids don't give very much shade (Neither do most palm trees), But shade was hardly the point, Since only dead Pharaohs and their Mummsies Were going to occupy the joint. LET MY PEOPLE BOOGIE! Crossing the Red Sea, Moses Saw no roses. Nor did he set up camp; The ground was too damp. But at a later desert dwelling, The middle managers and staff Began kvelling Over their handsome golden calf. Meanwhile, from the dried-up slopes of Sinai Moses brought down Ten Commandments from On High... It took his women and his men Several hours to transgress all ten. Whenever not kvetching About water they had no hopes of fetching, The Children of Israel Kept shmeicheling Moses for a meal Of fruit salad (especially banana), Lightly sprinkled with manna. They were looking to inhabitate A Land of Milk and Honey, But wouldn't real estate Like that be much too runny? I DON'T NEED THIS FORTUNE COOKIE... Taoists may wow us, And Buddhists may woo us, But nobody can confuse us If we hearken to Confucius. Born in the feudal state of Lu, Confucius knew (And told everyone he met) That ritual and etiquette Are smart for us... But not as smart as human-heartedness. "What's cool," Confucius say, "Is Golden Rule." Confucius' teachings were finest among The Dynasty of Sung, And were a meditative thing For the Age of Ming. Because of these teachings, happy people sang During the T'ang. (T'ang, if you think as astronauts think, Is a powdered orange breakfast drink.) WHO TOLD THE FOX THAT THE GRAPES WERE SOUR? In Ancient Greece, Aesop wrote fables Without cease, Giving animals labels (Like "good" and "bad" or "fast" and "slow") In order to show Animal traits that humans share. For instance, of the tortoise and the hare, It was the "slower" one who gained the glory. The moral of that story (Of which we are to be aware) Is that the "slow" and "steady" Set the winning pace. But wait a minute! Should the "slow" ones win it? The way modern logic is leaning, Fables lose all meaning: Nowadays the "fast" and "steady" Win the race. They then sit down to dinners To commemorate the winners, Consisting of: "12-Step-Support-Group Turtle Soup" And "Quick-Like-A-Bunny, Fast-As-A-Zephyr Hasenpfeffer." MY LOVE FOR YOU IS MERELY PLATONIC... Plato was one of those wise guys Who philosophize. Plato was a pupil of Socrates, Who taught with dramatic ease... And who used to try to jog While carrying on Socratic dialogue. The student Plato most liked to coddle Was Aristotle, Whose own most astute observation Was that the earth is at the center of creation. Thus Aristotle's mentor was the ironic Platonic, And Plato's mentor was the dogmatic Socratic, Whose teachings went against the local norm. The point is: poisons in their lethal form In early Greece