Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

A Farting Tale – Don explains the world - #1

There once was a country called Mathmatica. The land was vast with many regions and many problems. In Mathmatica, the country’s problems were always represented by mathematical equations. The people then would select one mathematician whose job was to solve all the equations and make life better.

Life had been good in Mathmatica, but over time there were problems that the elected mathematicians were either unable or unwilling to solve. Unfortunately, if a problem was not solved now, it became much more complex the longer it persisted, and thus much harder to solve by future mathematicians.

The people of Mathmatica were getting annoyed and frustrated by the enormity of their problems and by the mathematician’s inability to solve them. A series of elected mathematicians had failed to find the answers and merely left the equations for the next guy to solve. While the problems could have initially been solved using algebra, now complex calculus was clearly needed. The current mathematician didn’t even make an effort on some of the equations, claiming they were too difficult to solve.

But it was time for the people to select a new mathematician. Many of the most respected mathematicians claimed they were the best choice but none of them gave many details on how they would go about solving the tough equations plaguing the country.

And then, to everyone’s surprise, Mr. Card spoke up, “I can solve every one of those equations,” he boasted. The established mathematicians and their followers derided him and called him a crazy fool. “Why you’re not even a mathematician!” they howled. “How are you ever going to solve the simple equations, let alone the most complex ones?”

It was true; Mr. Card was not a mathematician. He had never done any math; in fact, he was terrible at doing math. Yet, he insisted he alone could solve the problems. However, the math establishment completely disregarded him. “Does he think he can just wave a magic wand, and the answer appears?” jeered the current head mathematician.

However, many people were so discouraged and disgusted with the current situation, unbelievably, they selected Mr. Card as the new problem solver- in-chief.  The establishment mathematicians were stunned and enraged that the people had selected an amateur instead of one of them.

That didn’t bother Mr. Card. He confidently grabbed the chalk, marched up to the blackboard, and worked at solving the complex problems in Mathmatica . And incredibly, he began to have some success, which gave the people great hope. However, the established mathematicians harshly criticized how Mr. Card was going about solving the equations. “You can’t do it that way! It’s not mathematically correct,” they shouted. Mr. Card smugly replied, “I think I just did.”

Now life in the country would have been wonderful, except for one bizarre factor. When Mr. Card was at the board solving problems, he farted, and farted a lot. His critics began to complain loudly about the farts. Unfortunately, once Mr. Card realized this irritated his detractors, he began to fart with more frequency and intensity.

Mr. Card’s supporters attempted to defend his farting. “He needs to fart to solve the equations,” they claimed. Others said, “He just farts because that’s who he is. You just have to accept the farts as part of the process.”

But the farts kept coming until he was unleashing some of the most horrendous, hellacious expulsions that the people had ever smelled. Many people became sick, and some even fainted at the toxicity of Mr. Card's eruptions.

But his supporters learned to become impervious to the awful odor, or held their noses. And Mr. Card continued to work on solving the country’s most complex

But the turmoil caused by his frequent crepitation greatly divided the people. The people who focused on the farting and ignored the progress being made, viewed Mr. Card as an obnoxious, toxic force and demanded he be replaced. However, the people who ignored all the farting and looked only at the results, believed Mr. Card might be the most extraordinary person ever to have held the chalk at the blackboard.

Everything could have been fine if Mr. Card would have just stopped farting. But he loved to fart and didn’t care how noxious his emissions were. He loved bending over and unleashing atrocious missives at all his enemies. He even found a way to fart digitally, meaning his farts could be smelled across the country at all hours of the night.

It then was time to decide if Mr. Card would remain at the blackboard or if a new person would be assigned the chalk. The place smelled so awful due to Mr. Card’s farts that the people choose a new mathematician to stand at the blackboard. He was an old mathematician and could hardly hold the chalk. Most people conceded that the new guy had little chance of solving the country’s most difficult equations, but they were confident he would not fart, and if he ever did, it would smell wonderful.

So, the new guy’s team went in and fumigated the entire place because it smelled so bad after Mr. Card’s years of nasty farts. But then they erased his work on the blackboard …..





Tuesday, June 1, 2021

That '70s Music

Exploring the weirdness of the '70s would not be complete without discussing the music of that era. So gather round again, children – you adult children. Uncle Don has one more ol' story for ya.

Some of the best music ever, was recorded in the '70s. Unfortunately, some of the worst music ever was produced then also. To put it in more literary terms: 

It was the best of tunes, it was the worst of tunes …. 

Like '70s fashion, the origins of '70s music was rooted in the hippie movement and the hard drug use of the '60s. Those hippies could belt out some excellent tunes when they were high on mind-altering drugs, but they stopped producing hits when they stopped tripping. The classic example is the Beatles. Once the drugs wore off, they no longer could hear and play notes no regular person could imagine, and they quit seeing visions of endless fruit fields. The exception here are the members of the Rolling Stones, whose drug use didn't kill them and apparently never wore off, permitting them to be perpetually high, and perhaps live forever. 

Once the '70s began, all the decent rockers were burnt out, or still sleeping off their drug binges in communes. The airwaves were filled with what was called soft-rock, which is a lie, children! It wasn't rock at all. It was stuff designed to put you in a musical coma. It was a form of cultural anesthesia. It was a melodic morphine drip. 

And the prominent purveyors of this woeful sound were all phonies. There was a group called the Carpenters, but they didn't build nothing. There was Carol King, but she wasn't royalty. And the former Beatle, known as Paul, was reduced to singing silly love songs. The weirdest act was the Captain and Tennille. The dude wore a sailor's cap, but he wasn't the captain of anything. Maybe he did own a yacht, paid for by the huge profits from these horrible songs, including a "hit" about rodents having sex. And he didn't even sing; he just benefited off his wife's tremendous lungs – and legs. But children, I digress.  

So, there was this constant stream of pablum dripping out of stereo speakers, putting the children of the '70s into a deep sleep. No one was producing any energetic tunes at all.

Well, nature abhors a vacuum, children. Not like a Hoover, though.

But nature would learn to abhor the music of the '70s even more! 

Into this calm, boring, serene musical atmosphere, something called "disco" burst upon the scene, jolting people awake like a triple espresso on speed. Gloria Gaynor's "Never Can Say Goodbye" is credited as the first disco hit in 1974. Then the disco craze spread like a virus. 

Every aspiring musician was laying down that disco beat. Unfortunately, you didn't have to be talented; you just had to have energy – or speed. In fact, one of the most famous disco artists was not even a person, children; it was some sort of insect called a "Bee-Gee". This bug could sing tremendous three-part harmonies and, when you squeezed it, would sing in falsetto. 

Some of this music was the worst ever recorded in the history of mankind. I know you still hear some of these songs on the radio today. But remember, children, what you hear today is the very BEST of that era. The worst of the era was terrible, children - really, really terrible. The worst disco song ever was called "Disco Duck", and this insult to your auditory nerves actually made it to #1 on the charts. I believe the original studio tapes of most of the disco songs of the '70s are in a Jersey landfill, strategically buried on top of Jimmy Hoffa, because no one ever is going to dig them up. 

Now, if the music wasn't bad enough, children, when my generation, the children of the '70's, emerged from their soft-rock induced comas, they started dancing, and signing, and movin' to the groovin' in the worst way possible. It was called "disco dancing". 

It was like some evil force was controlling us: 

"Ahh, we made them dress stupidly. Now we make the dance stupidly – while wearing their stupid clothes! Oh, don't hurt yourselves boogying in those high platform shoes. Baawaaaah ha ha ha!"   

Unfortunately, the children of the '70s were exposed to so much disco music that it is deeply ingrained in our brains. If we hear any disco music, our bodies are programmed to respond. 

So children, if you see some boomer making weird gyrations in the street. Please check to see what music is blasting through his earphones. He's probably not even sick, but he just has night fever, night fever, and he knows how to show it. Likewise, I'm in favor of police granting waivers to any older speeders clocked going over 90 mph if KC and The Sunshine Band is blasting through the stereo. 

But this latent disco effect can be harmful. After we played "Shake Your Booty" at our last class reunion, we were visited by police because neighbors thought they had experienced an earthquake. I guess our bootees have grown a bit since the '70s. And I hope they never play "Get Up and Boogie" at any nursing home because the result would be tragic. 

However, the disco effect could also be used for good: 

"Doctor, we've lost him. There's no sign of a pulse." 

"Hit track 1, stat!"  

Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive

"Doctor! He's alive! He's staying alive. It's a miracle." 

Well children, that concludes our look back at the crazy decade of the '70s. But you can be sure that '70s disco music will be heard until the last child of the '70s is laid to rest because we will: 

Lay down the boogie and play that funky music till we die 

'til we die 

whoaaaa, 'til we die.


(Still) Stayin' Alive 

Well, you can tell by the way I use my walker

When my are teeth in, I'm a talker

Bed pan cold but body warm

I've been breathin' in

Since I was born


And I'm all right, I'm okay

My vitals are just fine today

And I can stand my maladies

Cause I got Medicare Plan B


Whether you're a geezer

Or whether you're a sneezer

You're stayin' alive, stayin alive

Bones that are break'in and hand's that are shakin'


But we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive

Ah, ha, ha, ha stayin' alive, stayin' alive