The Week That Was: Desert Safari

...Way out in Kenya far from home!Ladies and Gents —

When we were pre-fab and livin’ as The Lids, our homemade (and gloriously dodgey) folk cabaret act, one of our numbers was a pithy ditty dubbed Desert Safari (an ersatz ode to the Empire in the key of “pith helmet” in G&T time). Life-long chum Orion Letizi and I wrote the bit in a fit of post-Python pique, which was endemic among we adolescent troubadours of the late 80s. At the time, Letizi was stationed in Tujunga answering phones for the WB. I was on-leave from Lumaville and impressed that, at 17, the flight attendants served me canned Coors and lit my smokes on my first (unaccompanied) sojourn south. Twice that lifetime later, I have finally produced a typed record of the breathless monologue I would orate in lieu of a proper bridge mid-song. It goes as follows:

Dearest Margaret –

It’s been weeks in the desert now and we have yet to find the Sacred Brass Monkey Skull of Pollimonpari. The desperation of our search has reached manically mammoth proportions and the elephants are none to happy either. R-R-Regret to say that Punjab, our fearless guide and faithful friend was devoured last night by a swarm of syphilic and underfed and malnourished locusts that escaped from a local entomologists’ onvention near the Ritz Carlton in Cairo where we happened to dine with none other than the famed Hans Kipling Libido. I had an entire bottle of Pop’s Red Eye — Jon had an Ovaltine. I’m on a desert safari…


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