Sunday, April 30, 2023

Thank You Letter to World

One of the great perks of being a teacher is that in direct contact with students, you can see and feel and know first-hand how you can affect their lives. (And, let’s be honest, how they can affect yours!) When you get letters like the one I posted yesterday, sometimes they’re a bit of a surprise, but mostly you know the moments you’ve shared that happily made an impact. And wouldn’t we all be a bit happier knowing how we made someone’s life a bit easier, a bit more pleasant, a bit more cheerful? That we made some kind of difference?

Doctors and nurses must feel this strongly, especially those in life-and-death treatments. Lawyers as well when they win your case. Therapists. Musicians and dancers when the applause rings, actors when the curtain goes down. The effect of the visual artist’s work, the author’s novel or essay or poem is more distant, but I’m certain that letters of praise cross their doorstop at least sometimes.

But today, riding the Air Train to BART, I thought of the thousands of professions and millions of people in those professions whose work benefits me though I will never meet them or be able to tell them. Take even the tiniest moment of your day— like the Air Train/BART ride after flying in to SF Airport— and reflect how many people’s work made that possible. The people who constructed the trains, the tools and machines needed to make those trains and the tools and machines needed to make those tools and machines,  the steel mills that provided raw material, the electricity industry that powers them, the fabric on the seat cushions, the electric sign announcing the schedule. The farmers who fed all the people who worked on all of the above and the industries that made and produced and distributed tractors and fertilizer and such, the trucks that brought the food to the supermarkets, the people and machines that built the trucks and built the supermarket and made the cardboard boxes for shipping, the people in those industries—trucking/ grocery clerks/ etc., the politicians who approved a transit system to the airport and…… well, like the nested Russian dolls, you see there really is no end. And this is just the tip of the iceberg! Do you see how absolutely necessary we are to each other? 

Millions of people who just did their daily job, mostly for practical reasons (money to survive), hopefully, for pleasurable reasons, but I imagine rarely with the ongoing sense of how they are needed in the world and helping make people’s lives better. From the person on the assembly line manufacturing screws and nails to the President of the local Mass Transit system, I imagine they receive few “thank you” cards from people like me who they helped get back home after a fun weekend with old friends. I suspect that they don’t realize that without them, I couldn’t have gotten back in time to get off BART at Glen Park and see the last quarter of the Warriors/ Kings game 7 in the NBA playoffs and cheer with the rest of the crowd. 

So while none of this approaches the eloquence and heartfelt expression of Marea’s letter shared in yesterday’s post, still I say sincerely to all you millions and more:

Thank you. I truly appreciate your work. 

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Bohemian Hippy from Ohio

You often never know how your life affects others. But sometimes they tell you. In response to a Facebook post of mine, a former student wrote the testimony below. I only worked with her a few years in the mid-80’s and what I mostly remember is encouraging her to play saxophone on a Latin jazz piece I taught called Listen Here. She did and it’s recorded for posterity on a cassette tape of the same title. We didn’t keep in touch after she left, though I believe I saw her again briefly in 2006 at the 40thAnniversary of the school party. Compared to other students I taught for a longer time and kept in touch with, it’s a bit surprising to read about the impact of our brief path-crossing. But of course, it’s exactly the kind of thing that makes any teacher feel that the long hours, low pay and lack of recognition from our confused culture was more than worth the effort. And note that her testimony is as much about the power of music as it is about us. Thank you, Marea Master, for your words and your work and your life and your beautiful Soul. (For the record, I'm from New Jersey, but she remembered that I went to Antioch College in Ohio.)

The biggest disruption in my life was when I left The San Francisco School and entered the public school system in seventh grade. I missed you most of all Doug. It wasn't long before I could no longer hear the music inside of me. It was muffled from all of the chaos in my life. 


I don’t know if it is by some coincidence, however, just yesterday I was thinking long and hard about my life, and where I am today. My thoughts were all about the music inside of me, the healing vibration of my human connectedness. I was thinking about how I am so incredibly blessed to have come back to myself. Those beginning years of my life, playing music with you, saved me. I’m no trained musician by any stretch of the imagination, I don’t have an instrument that I’ve mastered, but I understand the healing vibration of music. I learned it’s language from you. That’s why I have a profound connection to humanity. my music, is translated through my work as a social worker. 


Doug, you change the world by giving the gift of music to children. when I close my eyes, my pulse is a djembe drum the isn’t restricted by matter. It is this energy that flows right into every living thing around me. I hear the marimba playing when I smile. I see the colors of every Thelonious Monk note when I love. In my work, I get to love on people that the world has marginalized, who have found themselves broken because the music inside of them has been tuned out by the chaos. To me, they just need a little help transposing the notes of the chaos. I get to let them know, that I see them, that I hear them and that they are beautiful music notes in this bitter sweet symphony of life. The profound and incredible symphony of humanity is beyond any words that I have. 


If only every child was able to have a San Francisco School education. I have never had the access of what it would take for my children and grandchildren to have the actual experience of the San Francisco school and I see the impacts in so many ways. However, they get pieces of it when I give them the very best parts of me. I don’t think I’d be able to hear the symphony at all had it not been for my dear music teacher. 


The world that I imagine, is a world where all children, no matter where they are or what circumstances they have been born into, will have a San Francisco School to go to. Can you truly imagine what the world could be like if that were to happen? I see the endless potential we have because I hear the symphony. And so, I will continue to live reimagining the world I hope for children. I love you Doug, profoundly and without limitation. My life is just one of countless others that you have touched. There is magic in your soul. You are the greatest bohemian hippie from Ohio who has spread love hitchhiking around the world sharing his music with everyone he touches that I have ever known.


Friday, April 28, 2023

My Life in the Circus

Dear Mom,

Yesterday was your birthday. You would have been 102! As you used to like to say, “Imagine that!” 

I looked at your photo on my desk a little longer than usual and touched the urn with your ashes still on our mantelpiece. Today, I’ll play again at the Jewish Home, which always evokes your presence even though no one there remembers you. 

But I do. And have and will and I hope you find some comfort and happiness about that, knowing you are wholly remembered and always with love, gratitude and appreciation. So a quick report about my life here down on planet Earth.

When I was in a second grade, we took a rare field trip, perhaps as far as New York, to see the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. I was as enchanted as you can imagine a 2ndgrader would be, but remember the workers selling the popcorn and such were surly and unfriendly. I guess even then I was trying to capture life’s onward motion in the reflecting pool of language and wrote a little poem:

“The circus was keen, but the men were mean!”

A good description of my life, bouncing from one ring to the next under the direction of some unseen Ringmaster. In the past week alone:

• Came back from my first time teaching at a Jazz Festival and wasn’t that a delight!

• Went to a Steppin’ Body Percussion workshop sponsored by the local Orff Chapter and taught by someone I was with in a Ghana Body Music Festival. Who would have guessed that rhythmically slapping my body would become my preferred entryway into both music and dance? 

• Had a Zoom meeting with the folks at a local theater who are sponsoring a SF School  alumni concert I’m putting on three years later than planned. Called for a rehearsal with my Pentatonics band that will be the house band for the concert.

• Went to teach at the school where I’m mentoring/co-teaching with a colleague to prepare the 5th and 6th graders for the upcoming concert.

• Taught my Jazz History Course at SF State through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) How much do I love that?!! (a lot!)

• Had a Zoom meeting with the editors of the next book my Pentatonic Press will publish. 

•Had lunch with old neighbors in our beautiful city on a sunny, warm day. 

• Went to SF Jazz Center to hear one of the finest concerts I can remember— singer Dee Dee Bridgewater and pianist Bill Charlap.

•Today after more school teaching and the Jewish Home playing, I fly to Denver for a boys weekend with my two friends/colleagues Rick and Paul who have left our summer course where we taught together some 20 years (Paul) and 30 years (Rick). 

Do you feel the circus nature of my life? SF School, Children’s Day School, OLLI, Pentatonic Press, Pentatonics Jazz Band, SF Orff Summer Courses (Levels/ Jazz/ Orff Afrique), The Jewish Home, the neighbors, the family and grandkids and yet more— and me channeling the unseen Ringmaster trying to keep it all together. And sometimes failing. Spaced out a singing time last week I was supposed to do at another local school and am double-booked by 15 maddening overlapping minutes with the CDS Concert and my OLLI Jazz Class. A lot (too much?) to keep track of! But each in itself a sheer joy and indeed, “the circus is keen.” I hope it makes you happy to know that I am. 

As for “the men were mean,” that of course, is true as well. Though with Margie Taylor Greene and her ilk, I would add “men and women.” Most of the meanness is from people I’ll never meet throwing their power around to hurt others, but some of that leaks down to the local level as well. Of course, why wouldn’t it? We flawed human beings are forever failing short of the kindness, compassion and understanding bar raised higher than we can reach. But on we go.

That’s the report, Mom. Still loving you to the ends of the Earth and beyond.

Happy Heavenly Birthday!

Your son,


Thursday, April 27, 2023

Art and Politics

“The difference between appropriation and appreciation is intention and knowledge of the culture” said the wonderful body music musician Antwan Davis at a recent workshop I attended. I have been increasingly concerned and upset by too-casual charges of appropriation by the woke crowd that ends up sending us all back to the corners of our tribe, cowering in fear of the “gotcha!” atmosphere created by people who should know better. My entire life is based on the notion that we are all inter-present in each other, awaiting the spark of inspiration that a particular artist or whole culture can awaken in us so that a 7-year-old boy born in Bali and living in Java can hear a Thelonious Monk recording and four years later, is on stage playing jazz piano with Wynton Marsalis in New York. That kids in San Francisco are playing taiko drums and kids in Tokyo are playing bluegrass banjo. That I can help host a course called Orff-Afrique and every person we encounter in Djodze, Ghana happily invites us— music teachers from Iran, Brazil, Spain, Australia, Thailand, China, South Africa, the U.S. and beyond— into the dancing circle or lets us sit down to drum even in the midst of an indigenous trance dance ceremony. That’s the world I live in and love in.

But I note that so many of the people ready to pounce on the artist’s experience of constant borrowing are not artists themselves. And to be clear, there are hundreds of examples of artists inappropriately co-opting another’s music and getting rich and famous for it because of their white privilege. I speak out constantly about this, but we have to be able to distinguish between the levels of borrowing and the intention. Indeed, it’s the literal one-size-fits-all thinking of non-artists, whether from the Right or the Left,  that is the problem. No room for nuance or subtlety. I believe in the power of the arts and I also believe in the necessity to be politically aware and active, but the two don’t always blend easily (see my recent Jazz and Freedom post).

But in re-reading Philip Roth’s novel I Married a Communist, I found a stunning passage that lays bare the difference between the two. I’ll resist comment and let his extraordinary words speak for themselves. (Note that when he says “literature,” he could easily say music/dance/ poetry/ visual arts/ theater— in short, the arts.)

“Politics is the great generalizer and literature the great particularizer. And not only are they in an inverse relationship to each other—they are in an antagonistic relationship. To politics, literature is decadent, soft, irrelevant, boring, wrongheaded, dull, something that makes no sense and that really oughtn’t to be Why? Because the particularizing impulse is literature. How can you be an artist and renounce the nuance? But how can you be a politician and allow the nuance? As an artist the nuance is your task. Your task is not to simplify…to impart the nuance, to elucidate the complication, to imply the contradiction. Not to erase the contradiction, not to deny the contradiction, but to see where, within the contradiction, lies the tormented human being. To allow for the chaos, to let it in. You must let it in. Otherwise you produce propaganda, if not for a political party, a political movement, then stupid propaganda for life itself— for life as it might itself prefer to be publicized.

During the first five, six years of the Russian Revolution the revolutionaries cried, ‘Free love, there will be free love!’ But once they were in power, they couldn’t permit it. Because what is free love? Chaos. And they didn’t want chaos. That isn’t why they made their glorious revolution. They wanted something carefully disciplined, organized, contained, predictable scientifically, if possible. Free love disturbs the organization, their social and political and cultural machine.. Art also disturbs the organization. Literature disturbs the organization.

Not because it is blatantly for or against , or even subtly for or against. It disturbs the organization because it is not general. The intrinsic nature of the particular is to be particular, and the intrinsic nature of particularity is to fail to conform. Generalized suffering: there is Communism. Particularizing suffering: there is literature. In that polarity is the antagonism. Keeping the particular alive in a simplifying, generalizing world—that’s where the battle is joined. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The Perfect Student— Not!

Here are nine of the Conner Test criteria for a well-adjusted school student (note two more included from yesterday’s list). Here is an imaginary child or adult who passes the test with flying colors, never doing any of the things that the creator of the test imagines as obstacles to success in school. But at what price? Consider:


1. Easily distracted: Never. Always has head buried in book (or on their phone screen) and doesn’t notice the flock of geese flying overhead.


2. Defiant :Never. Incapable of outrage and excuses bad politicians (and bad teachers) doing bad things. Stays silent and complicit.


3. Restless, always on the go: Never. Stays at home rather than goes out in the evening. Doesn’t own a passport.


4. Forgets things he/she has learned:Never. Remembers all the state capitols and imports of Bolivia, can tell you about the facts regarding the rise of Nazism, but doesn’t know how to apply it to the January 6th insurrection.


5. Argues with adults: Never. Trained to think that “father knows best”— or teacher or priest or politician or expert, doesn’t trust her own instincts or develop her own point of view. Doesn’t stand up for herself when something seems unfair.


6. Only pays attention to things he/she is interested in: Never. Knows how to look like he’s paying attention to get a good grade or be a good student, but actually is not interested in anything.


7.  Lacks interest in schoolwork: Never. Always appears to be interested in every subject, but again, maybe not for the right reasons. Doesn’t cultivate any interests outside of school.

8. Fails to finish things he/she starts: Never. Always completes every task, but can’t distinguish between a worthy task and a boring one or figure out when enough is enough.


9. Excitable: Never. Always calm and frankly, on the bland and boring side of life.


So there you have it. If you pass with one set of criteria, you fail with another. 

But let me be clear. The hypothetical student/ child/adult above can be a great pleasure. When my grandchildren are failing at 1 through 5 above, sometimes falling short of 8 and driving me crazy with a too-ramped-up 9, it’s not easy for me to praise them for their strong character and laudable personality. It’s as short-sighted to dismiss the Conner Test Stellar Student as it is to wholly praise him or her. 

So why did I do it? Because I was excited about finishing this post without getting distracted  by the Warriors game. But I'm off to the local bar to watch the second half now!

Still Misbehavin'

Some five years ago, I wrote a post titled “Extravagant Outbursts of Choreographed Chaos.” Here it is again, with an updated comment at the end. 


“I didn’t love school as a kid and it didn’t love me. And here I’ve dedicated my whole life to teaching in a school. Go figure.


But it makes perfect sense. Ever since reading John Holt’s How Children Fail in my junior year of high school, it occurred to me that schools could be better than they are. And I was blessed to fall into a school dedicated precisely to that mission. 43 years after I arrived at The San Francisco School in 1975 (now 48 years later, the last three “retired” from that school, but still working with kids at various other schools.),I’m still figuring out how to do a better job cultivating the “intellectual, imaginative and humanitarian promise” (part of our mission statement) of each and every child. And so are my fellow teachers at the school. Always a work in progress. 


I think part of what makes such ventures successful is a healthy distrust of what normally constitutes success in a student and/or success in a school. Often the criteria is measured in right answers on tests and good behavior in the students. I believe in both—but only up to a point. I’m as much (if not more) interested in vibrant questions not easily answered (or ever answerable) in tests and behavior that reveals the deep character and the soulful needs of the child. Schools prefer the desks in rows, the margins aligned, the neat and orderly lines of children walking quietly in the halls, but some of the best moments in my classes come in exuberant outbursts of choreographed chaos.


I recently was asked to fill out a questionnaire from a therapist working with one of my students. This was a boy I actually kicked out of class the first day of school, so yes, he needed some support and attention. His behavior at times was making everyone miserable, including himself and the therapist and the test were one of the ways we listened to his call, knowing that “behavior is the language of children” and we had to de-code what he was trying to tell us. (And FYI, he made some impressive turnarounds and that's happy for everyone.)


But reading through the test that was attempting to corral his wild impulses into a graphable profile, I just had to laugh. Below are 7 out of 28 questions and be honest, how many of these apply to you on any given day? And how many applied to Albert Einstein, John Lennon, Louis Armstrong, Steve Jobs, Paula Poundstone and host of other crazy geniuses who couldn’t walk between the narrow lines set out by schools? If we are truly to meet the needs of children, holding them to the standards of civil group behavior is essential, but not enough. We need to dig deeper and find ways to affirm their wild, restless, distractable, defiant, excitable selves, find the right containers—like music, art, drama, for example—and pay them some courtesy.


Here’s part of the test. Not much room for “exuberant outbursts of choreographed chaos.” How do you measure up?"


CONNERS’ TEACHING RATING SCALE      Mark: Never/ Sometimes/ Often/ Always


1. Easily distracted

2. Defiant

3. Restless, always on the go

4. Argues with adults

5. Only pays attention to things he/she is interested in

 6. Fails to finish things he/she starts

7. Excitable


So while I scored myself a “sometimes” on numbers 1 and 6, I was “often” to “always” on all the rest. And damn proud of it! Tomorrow let’s look at the person who scored “never.” 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Ain't Misbehavin'

            “Behavior is the language of children.”

One of the most useful quotes I’ve come across in all my years as a teacher. If you understand that a child’s behavior is their way of trying to tell you what they don’t have words to explain, it changes everything about how you react to their behavior. For example, in my music classes, a kid fooling around and not attending to the activity may be “misbehavin’” for a variety of reasons:

• The activity is too challenging, so better to blow it off than fail.

• The activity is too simple and the kid is bored.

• You, the teacher, are talking way too much, and the kid is restless and anxious to do something.

• The chosen activity is not worthy of any effort— simply not interesting.

• The kid had a bad day— no breakfast, their pet died, their friend was mean, etc.

• The kid has some ongoing issues based on heavier things like abuse, abandonment, trauma, etc. 

Your job is to try to figure out which of the above— or other—dynamics are at play before knowing how to react accordingly. Their job is to keep searching for words or searching inside for feelings to try to understand themselves why they behave the way they do. Then the both of you discuss strategies to break the pattern and make progress.

And so in one of the classes that I’m helping teach, the group focus of 24 Middle School kids has left a lot to be desired. A lot of calling out, side-talking, not listening, not focusing, a general sense of not being with the program. My mentee and I tried every strategy in the book to more effectively engage them, including the important realization that the “them” is often two, three or four kids. It has been a long, hard road.

But today, we turned the corner with two effective strategies.

1) Half went with the other teacher to work on something, half were with me. Smaller group, easier to focus, better to play coherent music.

2) They reached the place where all their musical efforts, no matter who scattered they seemed, came together to produce something that actually sounded good. Once they got that vital feedback, their own motivation to play yet better came from within rather than our outward demand. It simply had its own timetable that we couldn’t rush, but were so happy to finally arrive. No need to speak sternly about paying attention— they were with us because they knew they needed our help to bring it into yet sharper focus.

So while all of the above makes clear what every teacher knows (or should know): that there is no one sure-fire strategy to get each and every kid paying attention the way we would like them to and the way they would most benefit from, behind all the attention-getting tricks, fun or strict, lies the basic fact of giving them something worthy to do, something that they can work to master and finally enjoy the fruits of their labors. I told them that they have been working hard in the garden and the raw vegetables are ready to pick and now is the time to cook them. It would be a shame to have done all that work and then put together a lousy meal, so let’s cook well and enjoy the flavors, get stronger from the nutrients, have fun breaking bread together.

And we did! 


Monday, April 24, 2023

The Wisdom of the Hand

Back to the theme of machines replacing humans. In my book Teach Like It’s Music, there’s a chapter titled: “The 4H Club: Hand, Head, Heart, Hearing.” Here I suggest that a thorough education touches all four aspects of our human faculties, developing each as organs of intelligence.

In the section on the hand, I talk about the two big evolutionary advances that allowed for a brain development that put us at the top of the hierarchy despite our lesser speed, strength, sensory awareness compared to our animal kin. The first was the opposable thumb, which opened the door to tool use. Anthropologists speculate the tripling of brain size between Australopitchecines and Homo Sapiens was due in no small part to a million years of tool use.

The second advance came from the change to upright posture, from a four-legged being to a bi-pedal one. Because the hand did not have to support weight, it was free to take on other tasks. See tool use above.

The punch line is that the hand helps shape the brain and each new human being's intelligence (remember “phylogeny recapitulates ontogeny?”) replays that evolution as the young child first begins to grasp objects and later manipulate them, moves from a slithering being to a crawling one to an upright one. Their verbal and abstract intelligence proceeds side-by-side with increased ability to carry things, build towers, use spoons/forks/ chopsticks, put on clothes, tie shoes, use pencils, pens, markers and paintbrushes, chop carrots, fold clothes, play drums, bounce balls, shape clay and on and on, each advance with greater precision, control and mastery.

The old children’s song “The Mulberry Bush” helps children practice a wide range of hand motions as it mimics old-fashioned ways of work— “This is the way we wash our clothes/ rake the garden/ stir the soup/ stack the hay/ milk the cow/ dial the phone, etc. etc. and etc.” But the modern version does all these things the same way— with a push of a button with a finger or thumb. The grand intelligence of the hand and its great sweep of expressive movements reduced to one, one that works electronically and doesn’t require the nuance of touch, the different weight or energy or grace. And that makes a difference not only in the quality of our life, missing that sensorial engagement with smooth and rough and cold and hot and soft and hard surfaces and the different feel of wood and metal and fur and skin and flesh and more, but according to the wisdom of the hand-brain connection, can affect the level of our brain’s intelligence.

Music (and art) are great antidotes to the move to replace hands and bodies working with machines doing it all for us. The diverse motions of percussion instruments— shakers, scraper, wheeled ratchets, struck drums, rung triangles and bells— alongside acoustic instruments like fingered recorders, plucked guitars, bowed violins and more, is a carnival of hand intelligence. 

Thinking back to the Mulberry Bush, I began to make a catalog of simple work motions, not all of which are obsolete yet, but all endangered. The list— incomplete— is impressive. And depressing when you look at how much richness is lost when our clever machines do it all for us. Read it out loud and have your kids do the motions! Then make up some new verses.


© 2019 Doug Goodkin


Shelling the peas, grating the cheese.

Slicing the bread, making the bed

Kneading the dough, tying the bow

Dialing a phone, pulling meat from a bone.


Drying a dish, cleaning a fish

Turning the key, pouring the tea

Beating the egg, twisting the peg, 

Turning the knob, scraping corn from the cob


Hammering the nail, sorting the mail

Winding a clock, giving a knock

Sawing the log, petting the dog

Chopping the wood, opening the hood


Turning the screw, buckling the shoe

Washing the clothes, sorting in rows

Hanging the shirt, digging in dirt

Stirring the soup, scooping the poop.


Packing the bag, wringing the rag

Pulling the weed, stringing the bead

Spraying the can, waving the fan.

Shaping the pot, untying the knot


Sweeping the floor, opening the door,

Raking the leaves, binding the sheaves

Scraping the ice, looking for lice

Shoveling the snow, shooing the crow


Pushing the broom, cleaning the room

Watering the plant, killing the ant

Strumming guitars, driving the cars, 

Playing the flute, buttoning the suit.


Tying the tie, zipping the fly

Typing on keys, bending the knees

Shaking the drink, wiping the sink

Combing the hair, eating the pear. 


Opening the jar, washing the car,

Pouring the beer, shifting the gear. 

Popping the cork, lifting the fork

Beating the egg, stretching the leg. 

Palette Cleanser

After a few weighty protein-rich meditations on freedom, jazz, administration and such, it feels like it’s time for a palette cleanser. This from a Facebook post. Which is your favorite? (I like the Dijon-vu)



·     Energizer Bunny arrested - charged with battery.

·     A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.

·     Practice safe eating - always use condiments.

·     A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.


·     Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.

·      I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.

·     Marriage is the mourning after the knot before.

·     A hangover is the wrath of grapes.


·     Corduroy pillows are making headlines.

·     Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?

·     Sea captains don't like crew cuts.

·     Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?


·     A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.

·     Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

·     A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.

·     Without geometry, life is pointless.


·     When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.

·     Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.

·     A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

·     Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.


·     When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

·     A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two-tired.

·     What's the definition of a will? (Come on, it's a dead giveaway!)

·     A backwards poet writes inverse.


·     In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism, your count votes.

·     A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

·     If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.


·     With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

·     Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft, and I'll show you a flat minor.

·     When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

·     The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.


·     A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

·     You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

·     Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

·     He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.


·     Every calendar's days are numbered.

·     A lot of money is tainted. It t'aint yours and it t'aint mine.

·     A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

·     He had a photographic memory that was never developed.


·     The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

·     Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.

·     Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.

·     When an actress saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.


·     Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.

·     Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

·     Acupuncture is a jab well done.