Yoknapatawpha Crossing

I’d Rather Have a Bottle in Front of Me Than a Frontal Lobotomy

with one comment

Is the title of a song by Randy Hanzlick, who is (or perhaps was) a real live medical doctor who writes (wrote?) songs as a hobby. This particular song was printed on a 45 in 1980 in a run of about a thousand, but is now available on a larger scale as a track on Dr. Demento’s 30th Anniversary Collection, which is where I’m getting my information from.

The interesting thing, and the reason that I bring it up at all, is that I just found that same quote attributed to Tom Waits, who apparently used the line in a TV show in 1977. So it would at second blush appear that this line, like all great lines, originated with Tom Waits.

But wait! There’s a comment on this page which would seem to indicate that Dr. Hanzlick came up with the title of his song independently of Fernwood 2 Night. But then again, according to that source, Dr. Hanzlick “saw it written on a bathroom wall,” which is suspiciously similar to a quip Waits made about the origin of the line in the interview linked above. Will we never extricate ourselves from this labyrinth of minutiae?

Perhaps the important point is not who said it, but rather that it was said at all. Perhaps the phrase expresses a truth of such fundamental importance that both men gave voice to it completely independently. Yeah. Dig it.


Written by Daniel Grady

September 27, 2006 at 11:14

Posted in Alcohol

One Response

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  1. it’s a complex, if imperfect, spoonerism. corresponding consonants, vowels, morphemes switched. named for William Archibald Spooner. “Let us raise our glasses to the queer old Dean” instead of to the dear old queen. Spoonerism of Kentucky Fried Chicken: Kentucky Schreit Ficken (kentucky yells fuck). and your mom is a complex imperfect spoonerism.


    October 13, 2006 at 11:22

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