f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

August 19, 2005

friedman & callahan: even better together

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:57 pm

We’ve talked about authors Kinky Friedman (here) and John Callahan (here) before. Yesterday evening, I had the you-nique pleasure of enjoying the prose of the ex-country-singer-mystery-writer (Friedman) in a new book that also features the work of “our most famous, most wickedly-funny paralyzed cartoonist” (Callahan).

KinkyHoldEm It’s the Kinkster’s newest non-fiction book. Texas Hold ‘Em: How I Was Born in a Manger, Died in the Saddle, and Came Back as a Horny Toad(St. Martin’s Press, 2005). As a reviewer for the El Paso Times put it, Texas Hold ‘Em is: “another Kinky Friedman classic: quirky and full of Texas trivia.” Ramon Renter’a adds:

“Friedman writes about anything and everything Texas: riding the tour bus with Willie Nelson, witnessing the changing landscape in the Texas Hill Country, growing up in Houston in the ’50s, and why Austin City Limits never aired his concert.

“As expected, Friedman uses the book to publicize his independent bid to be the next governor of Texas in 2006.

“As with previous Kinky Friedman books, you will read this book quickly, smiling and sometimes laughing as if you’ve had too many shots of tequila. And as the Kinkster likes to say: ‘If the horse dies, get off.’ “

The Kinkster insists that both Molly Ivins and George W. Bush are behind his 2006 gubernatorial candidacy. (Bill Clinton is a big fan, too, but can’t vote in Texas). Since Texas governors don’t do any “heavy lifting,” Kinky figues he could do “some spiritual lifting” — with the reminder that “the best things in life aren’t things.” He also vows “to fight the wussification” of Texas.


Friedman also claims that lawyers come in droves to his book signing gigs (and he often signs “May all your juries be well hung.”). His chapter “Ardor in the Court” focuses on “the legendary defense lawyer Racehorse Haynes,” who appears to be a big Kinky fan (but seems to have no website). (You can see part of the original Texas Monthly article here, including a good quip from a Racehorse protege, David Berg.)

tiny check To be honest, I had never heard of Richard “Racehorse” Haynes.However, through a little Googling, I found Mike Cernovich quoting him in a Comment at The Legal Underground, so Haynes’ pedigree passes muster with me.

Kinky Friedman is 58 (but reads at the 60-year-old level). The Chapter titledf “I Don’t” — on why he prefers to remain unmarried and childless — is worth thefprice of the book (mine’s borrowed from the Schenectady Public Library), andfI suggest you take up Amazon’s offer and look inside it, to enjoy a samplingffrom “I Don’t” and other chapters.


I can’t end this post without a tip of the hat to cartoonist John Callahan. I stayed up late, flipping through various volumes of his work that I located on my dusty shelves and had smile after guilty smile. Here’s one of my favorites.

restrooms p.s. I always enjoy sharing a laugh, and last night I exposed a friend of mine for the first time to both Kinky and Callahan. Our laugh muscles were aching by the time it became too dark out to see the pages. When I met this women 15 years ago, she would have never laughed at such silly “male” humor. I was about to take credit for her broadened horizons, when I got the sneaking suspicion that the years and our friendship now make it acceptable for her to let on that she enjoys bawdy and sick humor, too. I’d hate to think that over all these decades, women have actually “gotten” all the jokes we guys assumed went over their heads.

Kobayashi Issa would surely have loved Kinky and Callahan. Find a couple dozen of his haiku on laughter, here:

a flea jumps

in the laughing Buddha’s


the cricket

“Cricky! Cricky!”

laughing by himself

laugh at my piss flyswatter horiz

and shudder. . .


swat! swat!

the escaping fly buzzes

with laughter

jumping aside

the crow just laughs . . .


cricketGH Kobayashi Issa

translated by David G. Lanoue

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