Remove everything from the waist up and put on a robe, opening in the front. Place your belongings in a locker and make sure to take the key with you.” 

Securing my faded grey robe, I walked out into the pleasantly decorated waiting room. There were comfortable chairs, tables with magazines, and a coffee maker with a variety of coffee, tea and a tin of cookies. Four other women were waiting their turn, flipping through magazines or simply resting, arms folded protectively across their breasts. One woman wore a distraught look, hear eyes terrified and pleading “Please, not again!”

I made myself a cup of decaf, choosing a delicate butter cookie as well. I sat and reflected on the number of times I’ve waited in this room. Once a year for the past 17 years I’ve made this dreaded trek, making outlandish promises and bargains with God which always proved to be superfluous … so far. 

After about ten minutes, a perky brunette in carnation pink scrubs and matching Crocs came in the room and called out “Mrs. Thompson?” I rose from my seat and the brunette continued, “Hi. I’m Kelly, your radiology technician. I’ll be doing your mammogram today. Just follow me and we’ll be done in no time.”  

We entered the brightly-lit exam room, coming face to face with Darth Vader … my nickname for the massive mammogram machine … a sleek black, chrome and glass monolith standing like a sentinel in the middle of the room. Now here’s where two women who are complete strangers instantly become bosom buddies, so to speak. 

Kelly instructs me to slip my right arm out of my robe and reach up to grab the handle on Darth Vader’s side. “Now step in as close as you can,” Kelly says while lifting my right boob onto the flat glass plate emerging from Darth’s chest. Pulling and kneading my breast into the perfect position, she then pushes a button which slowly lowers another flat glass plate on top of my breast. I watch in morbid fascination as my once round and ample breast slowly flattens, spreading out and taking on the appearance of a water balloon about to burst. Satisfied with the positioning, Kelly ducks into a tiny protective glass booth on the other side of the room. 

“Take a deep breath and don’t move, Mrs. Thompson. Hold it, hold it, keep holding … now breath.” Kelly emerges from her protective booth and we repeat the process on the left side. 

“Ok, we’re all done. Just have a seat while the doctor looks over your images. Hopefully the wait won’t be too long.” 

Finally Kelly returns and says the doctor will see me now. More girl-on-girl time as the doctor manually examines my breasts with impossibly cold hands. 

“Everything looks perfect, Mrs. Thompson. Keep doing your self-exams.” I thank her, refraining from saying my husband enjoys examining me regularly. 

Dressing, I frown at the red bruises on my chest, then quickly smile and say a little prayer of thanks knowing the “girls” are ok.

I pass the front desk with a cheerful “Ta-ta, ladies. See you next year!”  

NAR © 2023


There’s a quaint little road not too far from me
Where the sign by a hedge reads “Love Lane”.
People travel for miles and miles to see
The street with that enchanting name.

The houses all look like fairy-tale homes
As psychedelic butterflies flutter by.
Statues of toadstools, angels and gnomes
Make passersby grin and contentedly sigh.

There’s never a cloud-filled sky o’er Love Lane
And the flower gardens bloom all year long.
A gentle breeze spins the old weather-vane
While a cardinal whistles his song.

At the end of the street is a sweet little church
Which has seen brides and grooms come and go.
A duo of lovebirds comfortably nests on their perch
Cooing greetings to all those below.

Alongside the church is a babbling brook
Where ducklings are happily splashing.
A couple cuddles close with their poetry book
While their children are playing and laughing.

Love Lane can fill every heart with great joy
Like it’s Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
Sweet as a crush for a young girl and boy;
It’s just puppy love, or so people say.

Can a place like Love Lane really be true
Where peace, joy and harmony reign?
Is it possible to never feel lonely or blue;
To not suffer heartache or pain?

Someday as I walk down that storybook street
I’ll happen upon the true love of my life.
All the luckiest spouses on Love Lane do meet
And my lover will make me the happiest wife.

NAR © 2023

Why not join Mr. Bump today and tomorrow
in The Rhythm Section as he hosts
The Culture Club and Name That Tune!

🎶 The Rhythm Section 🎶


A dozen years had passed since Danny Cameron had seen his parents. Perhaps he would have handled things differently had he known this estrangement would be the outcome. He asked himself that question every day and the answer was always “no”.

Danny excelled at football in college and had a shot at going pro but his real passion was music. His dream was not shared by his father, Donal, who constantly pushed Danny in the direction of professional sports. Night after night Danny was subjected to the same diatribe:

What the hell kind of musical career do you think you’re gonna have?
If you think you’re gonna be the next Paul McCartney you can forget that pipe dream!
Danny, you can be a great quarterback on any pro team you want,
make millions and have women beating down your door.
You’d be a damn fool to let that opportunity pass you by!”

Danny couldn’t stand another lecture and the dam burst. He yelled at his father in frustration:

Dad! Enough! Football may be your dream but it’s not mine.
I know it won’t be easy but I’m determined to pursue music.
Forget the money and all the women. I’ve met someone and we’re moving in together.
It’s time I started living my life on my terms.”

Before Donal could respond, Danny’s mother Fiona chimed in excitedly:

Danny! Why didn’t you tell us you have a girlfriend?! This is so exciting!
What’s her name? How did you meet?
We must invite her to dinner. I want to hear all about ……..”

STOP!” Danny shouted. “I don’t have a girlfriend. I have a boyfriend. His name is Richard. I’M GAY!! Mom, Dad – I’m gay.”

And there it was – not exactly what Danny planned but the words were out and there was no taking them back. Donal was enraged; he lashed out, slapping Danny’s face so hard he almost fell over.

GAY? Call it what it is, Danny – you’re a fucking queer! You make me sick!
Get out of my sight! Get out and don’t come back!!”

Grabbing his phone and car keys, Danny stormed out. He moved in with Richard, a law school student by day/valet parking attendant by night. Danny had a couple of gigs in a bar but that didn’t last and he eventually got a job as a singing waiter. He hated it but it helped pay the bills.

Fiona secretly phoned Danny from time to time and managed to get his belongings to him, but father and son never communicated.

Richard passed the bar exam and landed a great job. Danny had written several “damn good songs” as Richard called them but he just couldn’t catch a break. Richard encouraged him to be patient and keep trying.

Friday was a busy night at the restaurant. Danny was singing “Something” to a newly-engaged couple when he saw his boyfriend Richard come in with a group of people. When Danny’s song was over, Richard motioned him to the table and said “You have a great voice, man! Do you sing anything other than Beatles songs?”

Curious as to why Richard was pretending he didn’t know him, Danny played along replying that he had written a number of songs.

Well, how about singing one of your own songs for us?” Richard asked.

Wondering where this was all going, Danny sat at the piano and sang one of his original songs. The people in the restaurant loved him. One of the men at Richard’s table handed Danny his card and said “Call me tomorrow”. The card read ‘Bob Ludwig, Gateway Mastering Studios, Inc.’. Trying to keep his cool, Danny expressed his thanks but his heart was pounding and his head was about to explode; Bob Ludwig was a mega recording producer!

Thanks to Richard and that meeting with Bob Ludwig, Danny’s career took off and he became a sensation. They talked about getting married and having kids some day. Richard and Danny were the happiest they’d ever been.

Then the call came from Danny’s mother; his father was gravely ill. Fiona said Donal was asking for him. After all these years Danny knew it would not be easy seeing him again; he reluctantly acquiesced.

Danny returned to his childhood home where Donal was being privately treated. Waving Fiona and his nurse out of the room, Donal beckoned Danny to come closer. He could barely speak and Danny bent down, his ear next to his father’s lips.

Donal rasped, his breathing labored:

I hear you’re a star, a real big shot. You’re famous!
You’re living the life you always wanted, aren’t you, Danny?
Everyone adores you but to me you’re still nothing but a disgusting queer!”

Danny stared into his father’s cold, unforgiving eyes; all he saw looking back at his was loathing and revulsion. Devoid of all emotion, Danny reached for Donal’s oxygen tube and squeezed it as tightly as he could, cutting off his air supply. Wheezing, Donal’s eyes bulged and his face turned blue; then he stopped breathing.

Danny straightened the crimped oxygen tube and walked out of his father’s room without looking back. Hugging his mother tightly, he whispering “It’s over, Mom. It’s finally over”.

NAR © 2023

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If you yelled for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days you would have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee. ☕️
(Hardly seems worth it.)

If you farted consistently for 6 years and 9 months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb. 💣
(Now that’s more like it!)

The human heart creates enough pressure when it pumps out to the body to squirt blood 30 feet. 🫀

A pig’s orgasm lasts 30 minutes. 🐷
(In my next life, I want to be a pig.)

A cockroach will live nine days without its head before it starves to death. Creepy. 🪳
(I’m still not over the pig.)

Banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour. 😖
(Don’t try this at home; maybe at work.)

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the male’s head off. 🦗
(Honey, I’m home. What the ….?)

The flea can jump 350 times its body length. It’s like a human jumping the length of a football field. 🏈
(30 minutes. Lucky pig! Can you imagine?)

The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds. 🐟
(What could be so tasty on the bottom of a pond?)

Some lions mate over 50 times a day. 🦁
(I still want to be a pig in my next life – quality over quantity.)

Butterflies taste with their feet. 🦋
(Something I always wanted to know.)

The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue. 👅

Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people. 🤚🏼
(If you’re ambidextrous, do you split the difference?)

Elephants are the only animals that cannot jump. 🐘
(Okay, so that would be a good thing.)

A cat’s urine glows under a black light. 🐈‍⬛
(I wonder how much the government spent to figure that out. Why doesn’t the government spend as much $$ figuring out how to cross a pig and a lion??
Then in my next life, I could come back as a lion pig!! Not a lying pig; we already have them. They are called politicians!!)

An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain. 👁️
(I know some people like that.)

Starfish have no brains. 🧠
(I know some people like that, too.)

Polar bears are left-handed. ✋🏼
(If they switch, they’ll live a lot longer.)

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure. 👫 🐬
(What about that pig? Do the dolphins know about the pig?)

Aren’t you glad I’m here to provide you with all this vital information? Hey, you never know when it might come in handy.

NAR © 2023

Check us out at


“Say the name of the party you are trying to reach. If you know your party’s extension you may dial it directly. Press the pound sign at any time to hear a listing of the company directory” the robotic voice of the automated answering system at Titan Industries politely instructed me. 

Neville Carter” I replied. For some reason I always felt silly talking to robo machines. 

“Devil Carter. One moment please.” 

Before I could repeat the correct name, I heard a click and the on-hold background music started – a dramatic instrumental arrangement of Climb Every Mountain. About two minutes later the music stopped. 


“I’m sorry. There is no listing for a Devil Carter. Say the name of the party you are trying to reach. If you know your party’s extension you may dial it directly. Press the pound sign at any time to hear a listing of the company directory.” 

I cleared my throat. 

“I’m sorry. I didn’t quite get that. Say the same of the party you are trying to reach. If you know your party’s extension you may dial it directly. Press the pound sign at any time to hear a listing of the company directory.” 

NEVILLE CARTER” I annunciated as clearly as possible.

“One moment while I try that party.” 

Click. Classical music.

Ok” I said to myself. “Hopefully we’ll get it right this time.” 

“I’m sorry. There is no listing for a Neville Carver. Say the name of the party you are trying to reach. If you know your party’s extension you may dial it directly. Press the pound sign at any time to hear a listing of the company directory.” 

CARTER. NOT CARVER” I said slowly and loudly. I was getting impatient. 

“One moment please. 

Click. Jazz music. 

“I’m sorry. There is no listing for a Carter Not Carver. Say the name of the party you are trying to reach. If you know your party’s extension you may dial it directly. Press the pound sign at any time to hear a listing of the company directory.” 

“What the freaking hell! This is ridiculous!” I bellowed into the phone, all the while hearing the same monotonous speech in the background. In complete exasperation I hung up. Then I had an idea: if I call back and press “O” for operator I might actually get a real live person. 

Here goes nothing” I thought as I dialed the number. One ring, two rings. 

Upon connecting I immediately pushed “O” while gleefully shouting “Take that, you robotic bitch!” 

Then I heard the most beautiful words ever – “Titan Industries. How may I help you?”  

“Neville Carter, please” I requested. 

“Right away, sir.” 

One ring. Two. Three. I started feeling nervous. Finally my call was answered: “You have reached the office of Neville Carter. Your call is very important to us. We are experiencing extremely high caller volume. You are currently caller number 17. Your wait time is approximately 90 minutes. You may continue to wait or call back at a more convenient time.” 

Click. Country music. 

Damn insufferable machines! I decided to go to Titan Industries in person. I stowed my dog eared copy of How To Make Friends and Influence People into my backpack and headed for the train. 

Finding a seat, I took out my beloved book. The train started then stopped. The lights went out and a recorded message crackled through the speakers: 

“Attention passengers. Due to mechanical difficulties all service is indefinitely delayed. We apologize for this inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.” 

“WONDERFUL!! JUST FUCKING BLOODY WONDERFUL!!” I screamed into the darkness. 

NAR © 2023

NAME THAT TUNE (March 19, 2023)

Judging by the number of people stopping by
and checking out our new music blog
(Yay! You guys are the best!),
you’re already following The Rhythm Section.
If you’re not following, well you’re not interested
and I can’t force you.
As we say in Sicilian, “Basta!” which means “Enough!”
No more re-blogging of posts after today.

So, for my final re-blog, check out the questions
and see if you know the answer! Hope to see you at The Rhythm Section!

The Rhythm Section

Welcome back to another shot at Name That Tune! It’s my turn again and I have the clues; let’s see if you have the answers.

Ok, are you ready? Here are your questions:

  1. This 1965 novelty song by an English band was an instant hit, the 2nd for this group from Manchester.
  2. It’s a snappy little number with one verse repeated three times by the cheerful and likeable (not to mention ‘toothy’) lead singer. That’s right: second verse same as the first!
  3. Known for their jaunty beat sound and the singer’s tongue-in-cheek vocal style, the group ranked as one of the most successful acts in the Beatles-led British Invasion.
  4. This sing-along, bouncy tune about a famous (or infamous) ruler had teenage girls jumping around and just about losing their heads.
  5. Although the name of this group may make you think otherwise, they were a happy bunch and…

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The Culture Club (18 March 2023)

Mr. Bump treated us
to a beauty today.
Check it out! 🎶

The Rhythm Section

A far more lightweight piece this week. From Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907), From the Peer Gint suite, written in 1867 to accompany Henrik Ibsen’s play of the same name, this is Anitra’s Dance.

Okay, a tiny question for you. Post if you wish, but a simple comment will do. So, this piece was composed to accompany a play. Do you like theatre? What’s your favourite play?

View original post


The four month mark was rapidly approaching, four months since my relationship with Elliott fell apart.

We first met at our new jobs in Chicago. We developed a friendship after learning we were both New York transplants. It was comfortable running into someone from home and we began having lunch together. It all seemed quite natural and we welcomed the company.

Our families were out of the picture; my parents were deceased and Elliott’s were estranged. He told me after his parent’s nasty divorce, all form of communication between the three of them deteriorated. Elliott and I were flying solo; in hindsight, our relationship was a safety net and in the back of my mind I think I always knew it wasn’t going to last.

After we broke up, Elliott took another job about 25 miles away. He gave me his new address and we talked on the phone a few times but after a couple of weeks I never saw or heard from him again. Once more I was totally alone. Truth is I was relieved. Every so often Elliott’s dark side came out; he was into drugs and I hated that ugly part of his life. I distanced myself from him and the relationship just disintegrated.

While I wanted someone in my life, I knew I wasn’t ready to throw myself into the dating scene. Clubbing and all its danger zones were not for me so, after some thought, I decided to try my luck at a dating app. While scoping out the various apps, I came across something else that piqued my interest – an online trivia group. I’d always been good at playing Trivial Pursuit and would shout out the answers while watching Jeopardy! on TV. I never lost at those games so joining a trivia team was a no-brainer. It could also prove to be a good way to meet someone new, someone who enjoyed the same things as me.

When signing up for the group, I learned everyone had to provide an email address. Scanning the list of addresses, I was shocked to see one I recognized – it belonged to my ex, Elliott! I had no idea he was into trivia and I certainly wasn’t expecting this little snag but I was determined to see it through. Maybe with any luck he’d end up on the opposing team.

The games were to be held via ZOOM two nights each week with the option to meet more often. Two teams of six were formed; as luck would have it, not only was Elliott on my team – he was named as team captain! This ticked me off a bit but I kept my feelings to myself; I had the smarts for the game and was secretly hoping I’d be the team captain. Well, we’d soon find out how much Elliott knew about trivia.

The games started up a week later and proved to be a lot of fun. They were fast paced and highly competitive but in a friendly way and I looked forward to our twice weekly meets. Elliott was, for lack of a better description, proving to be an asshole. It’s possible I picked up on his erratic behavior before anyone else because I knew him and what signs to look for. I decided to let it slide; let Elliott dig his own hole.

Besides acting like a jerk, Elliott was also playing stupid mind games with me. I’d catch him looking at me out of the corner of my eye. Sometimes he’d make lewd gestures or mouth something inappropriate – asinine stuff like that; if anyone else noticed, they didn’t let on and neither did I. “Just take the high road and let it go” I reminded myself.

Then I started getting calls from an unknown number. Coincidence? At first I’d answer but no one would reply. I blocked that number but prank calls started coming in from another anonymous number. I was sure it was Elliott using burner phones. What was his problem? I was enjoying the trivia group and I didn’t want his actions impacting my game so once again I turned a blind eye and ignored him.

Things took a strange turn when Elliott didn’t show up for a game one night. We carried on without him and he was there for the following game so no one questioned his whereabouts. Elliott was all over the place that night, giving wrong answers, shouting out non sequiturs and just being a total jerk. He signed off from the game as soon as it was over and the rest of us just laughed about his outlandish behavior afterwards.

The mind games escalated and Elliott started gaslighting me. I’d see him sitting in his car outside my apartment at night and other times I saw him standing across the street when I left work. He didn’t try to make contact or follow me but it was still freaky. I refused to let him get to me and I’m sure that pissed him off.

One day I got a delivery of a box of dried up flowers with a couple of pathetic dead birds tucked inside. Of course, it was absurd to think there’d be a card but I didn’t need one to know it was from Elliott. Another time I found a brown paper bag outside my front door. I tentatively kicked at it with the tip of my shoe and a dead rat tumbled out. I thought about reporting the incidents to the police but kept them to myself; after all, I didn’t have any solid proof. It wasn’t always easy but I was the epitome of restraint.

Elliott missed the next two trivia nights but by now we were used to his unexplained absences. We all joked about what a clown he was and decided to name a new captain and reached out to someone on the standby list to join the group. Elliott was officially MIA and nobody really cared. Good – out of sight, out of mind.

A few days later one of our teammates went digging around for information. He learned that someone with the same name as Elliott, same age, same neighborhood, got arrested for operating a crystal meth factory in his basement! Everyone thought it was the most bizarre thing they’d ever heard. As for me, I thought it was typical of Elliott and no big shock; it was bound to happen sooner or later. Elliott deserved everything he got – not just for the drugs but for all the sick things he did to me.

But the very best part was the fact that nobody ever knew it was me who called the cops on Elliott. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

So long, Elliott. I guess nobody told him not to mess with the smart girls.

NAR © 2023

AT THE MOVIES (March 16, 2023)

Thanks for joining me today
At The Movies!
See you on the flip side. 😎

The Rhythm Section

Are you ready to go to the movies? Me too! You’re gonna need your popcorn and candy for this one! 🍫 🍿

Welcome to the wonderful world of Disney!

You don’t have to be a child to enjoy an animated movie, a fact I was reminded of after my grandchildren came along. Animation is a whole different ballgame from those early days of my childhood.

The song I’ve chosen for you today is “Circle Of Life” from Disney’s 1994 film “The Lion King”, the highest-grossing traditionally animated film of all time. The movie received two Academy Awards, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.

Now it’s time to release your inner child and enjoy “Circle Of Life”.

I thought that was fantastic and so did my 3-year-old granddaughter who gave it an enthusiastic 👍🏼.

Now for the (easy) question…

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world music – b

DA is taking us down Bahama way today!
If you’re as tired of the cold as I am,
come join us for a taste of World Music
at The Rhythm Section!

The Rhythm Section

Welcome to World Music – a musical journey around the world. The object of this segment is to showcase artists from around the world, and in particular the musical styles synonymous with each country, and since this week we’re looking at B.


The music of the Bahamas is associated primarily with Junkanoo, a celebration which occurs on Boxing Day and again on New Year’s Day. Parades and other celebrations mark the ceremony. Groups like The Baha Men, Ronnie Butler and Kirkland Bodie have gained massive popularity in Japan, the United States and other places. Other popular Bahamian artists include Stileet and Stevie S.

The Bahamas features many styles of music including:

Calypso – Calypso is a style of Afro-Caribbean music which originated in Trinidad and Tobago. This form of music has spread through many parts of the Caribbean, including The Bahamas.

Soca – Soca is a form of dance…

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IN THE GROOVE (March 14, 2023)

Here’s my In The Groove post for today.
Great to see so many of you liking and commenting.
Sunday, March 19, I will stop re-blogging these posts.
If you’re not logged in to follow us, the links are or
in your search box. Add us to your list of follows
to keep getting great music posts and videos!
See you on the flip side!

The Rhythm Section

Welcome back to In The Groove. Hope you’re all doing fine and are looking forward to another great song and video.

There really isn’t too much I can tell you about today’s performer that you don’t already know so I’m going to concentrate on the song.

Can’t Help Falling in Love” was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1961 for his album “Blue Hawaii”; it is also featured in his movie of the same name.

This beautiful tune has been covered by many artists and was listed as one of the greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone. According to a 2020 survey, the song is the most popular choice for couples as the first dance at their wedding.

Now’s the perfect time to take that special person in your life by the hand and dance to “Can’t Help Falling In Love”. Here is The King:

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Denise hosts Six Sentence Stories, where there is one simple rule: stories must be 6 sentences –  no more, no less. This week’s prompt word is: SILK

When my sister was born, there was no question what my parents would name her; since both my maternal and paternal grandmothers were named Rose and my maternal and paternal great-grandmothers were named Marie, my sister was given the name Rosemarie – simple, no questions asked.

When I came along four years later, there were no more available grandmother names; of course, my parents could have named me Marie Rose but even they thought that was a bit too cute although I’m sure my grandmothers and great-grandmothers would have done cartwheels over such a name. 

The search for a name expanded to include my aunts – a concept which my mother was not thrilled about since she was an only child and there were no aunt names on her side; however there were two paternal aunts, Vincenzina and Francesca and the family feud began – (would I be simply Vincenzina or Francesca or perhaps a combination of the two?) – but the argument grew as to which name would be first and which would be the middle name. 

The fighting became so intense, all visitors were told to leave my mother’s hospital room so she could rest but sleep eluded her as names kept spinning around in her head; besides, I didn’t look much like a Vincenzina or a Francesca with my peaches and cream complexion and silk-like platinum blonde hair.

After all our squabbling relatives left the hospital, the night nurse came into my mother’s room; seeing the distressed look on my mother’s face, she asked if there was anything wrong, to which my mother simply replied, “Family nonsense” and the nurse nodded knowingly, saying she understood how family members meant well but could be the cause of much upset, an explanation which pleased my mother greatly, so much so that she was inspired to ask the night nurse a question.

“Excuse me but what is your name?“ and the nurse replied “My name is Nancy … Nancy Ann”; my mother thought that was a lovely name which suited me very well and in the quiet empty room of St. Francis Hospital, my mother happily told the night nurse that was the name she wanted on my birth certificate …. And the rest, my friends is history.

NAR © 2023



Check out my post for Name That Tune
today on The Rhythm Section!
Do you know the answers?

The Rhythm Section

Welcome to another edition of Name That Tune; I’m Nancy, The Sicilian Storyteller and it’s my turn to toss out the questions.

Ok! Let’s see how you do this week with what I have prepared for you. And we’re off:

  1. The singer of today’s song was born on June 7, 1940 and is primarily of English descent. Hmmm. He received an OBE in 1998 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005 for services to music.
  2. This campy 1965 tune was the singer’s second U.K. hit and is the theme song for a star-studded movie of the same name. The movie received mixed reviews and changed cast members several times before being released.
  3. Today’s wildly popular, hip-swiveling ‘sex-bomb‘ of a singer has the same name as a well-known period piece movie which was described as “bawdy as the British were bawdy when a wench had to…

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The Culture Club (11 March 2023)

Mr. Bump knocks it out of the park
with this piece today.
Turn up the volume for this classic!

The Rhythm Section

Something much more sinister this week. To mid-ninetenth century Germany, and the strange world that is Richard Wagner. Much of Wagner’s music might be thought of as heavyweight, including the famous piece I will present today.

Wagner is well known for opera, and todays piece comes from the start of act 3 of Die Walküre, the second of the four operas comprising Der Ring des Nibelungen (frequently just called “the Rings”). First performed in 1870, The Ride of the Valkyries.

Okay, a tiny question for you. Post if you wish, but a simple comment will do. We often think of Valkyries as associated with the iconic movie, Apocalypse Now. Can you remind us of any other movies which use famous pieces of classical music?

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Eugene was a wreck – disheveled clothes, bloodshot eyes, tired, hungry and freezing. He had been working in the lab nonstop throughout this sleety March night, frantically perfecting a classified formula. He still had 300 small black-capped vials to fill, wrap securely in packing materials and stash inside porcelain statues before he could neatly stack them in crates and deliver them to the transportation facility before dawn. A HIGHLY TOP SECRET ASSIGNMENT, he was told.          

The harried chemist was momentarily startled by a swift scurrying motion across the room. A rat? “Keep going – no time to dilly dally” he muttered to himself, choosing to ignore the unwelcome intruder. 

There it was again, that scampering scurrying movement. Eugene glanced in the general direction of the noise, then did a double take, squinting. He removed his thick glasses and rubbed his tired eyes. Putting his specs back on, he snuck another peek. On a shelf, partially hidden behind urns and sculptures, sat a leathery-skinned troll with enormous eyes and long, pointy ears. 

Great”, Eugene mumbled. “Now I’m hallucinating.” 

“Real, am I. Working too hard, are you. Weebly will help”, whispered the troll in a raspy voice. 

What the…? This is insane!” Eugene rubbed his eyes again and took a swig of his now cold coffee, grimacing at it’s acrid taste.

“Finish, you won’t. My help, you need. Watch.” Raising one gnarled finger, Weebly pointed to the formula and magically poured it into the vial, sealed it, carefully wrapped and hid it inside a statuette and gently placed it in a box. Eugene was too stunned to move. 

Understand now, you do? Work together, we will. Four hands better.” Weebly cocked his head to one side, his long finger rubbing his chin.

Despite his incredulity, Eugene accepted the fact that this clever troll was his only answer if he hoped to finish the project in time or face the deadly wrath of the powerful men in charge. Working together, the duo swiftly got the job done. Eyeing the clock, Eugene saw he had ten minutes to carry the heavy crates to the terminal across the compound. 

Weebly’s help, you need. Too heavy, they are. Transport you, I will”, offered the sage intruder, but Eugene dismissed him. Straining, he placed the boxes on a hand truck and walked toward the stairs. 

Beware the stairs! Frozen, they are!”

Unwisely, Eugene ignored his helper’s warning. Struggling up the frozen stairs, his feet suddenly flew out from under him and he lost his grip on the hand truck. Eugene tumbled backwards, crashed into a shelf and knocked over a hefty basilisk statue which crushed his skull, killing him instantly. The hand truck slid down the stairs and landed with an incredible crash inside Eugene’s laboratory, scattering its shattered contents everywhere. 

“Listened, you should have” clucked the wise old troll before scurrying away. 

NAR © 2023


If there’s such a thing as a “religious mutt”, that would be me:

• Born and raised Presbyterian (totally laid back)

• Attended Lutheran school for 12 years (spiritually ardent)

• Married a great Catholic guy and converted to Catholicism (not a huge leap from Lutheran but a billion light years from Presbyterian)

I now think of myself as a Christian; it’s a long story for another time.

Though diverse in many ways, one basic tenet these three denominations espouse is the existence of heaven and hell. 

As a teenager at our quaint Presbyterian church, I taught Sunday School to kindergarteners. We read Bible stories, watched animated videos about the Old and New Testaments, sang songs, did religious arts and crafts. It was uncomplicated – until one of the children asked what happens when we die. 

“You go to heaven, unless you’ve been really bad” one girl adamantly answered.

“Yeah! Then you go to H-E-L-L!” another kid chimed in, spelling out the bad word. 

“That’s right but only the girls get turned into angels and then God tries to do the best he can with the boys” claimed an intrepid little girl.

That’s not true” yelled the boys. ”Everybody in heaven is an angel and God is the head angel!” 

Suppressing a laugh, I figured I better take back control of my class and start asking some questions.

“Who thinks they know what heaven is like?” I asked.

The girls all agreed that “there’s lots of singing and dancing to harp music and everyone wears flowers in their hair.” 

But the boys had different opinions, especially about wearing flowers in their hair. “Boys have halos just like Jesus and they help feed the animals in heaven.” 

One boy raised his hand and answered very seriously “There are no doctors or lawyers in heaven because God does all the healing and arguments aren’t allowed.”

“There’s always angel food cake – not devil’s food cake” giggled a blue-eyed tyke. 

A little girl was next to answer the question. “God sits in heaven but he isn’t on a throne or anything like that. He sits in a garden playing with the children, puppies and kittens and lets them climb on him. And the grownups just do stuff like they used to do at home.” 

I asked another question: “How did heaven begin?” 


Then one timid, diminutive girl answered quietly “A really long time ago a lot of kids were crying because their grandmas and grandpas were dying so God said ‘Don’t cry. I’m going to make a beautiful place way above the clouds where all the grandparents and parents and pets can stay forever’. And so he made heaven.” 

I felt a lump in my throat, perhaps thinking of my own grandparents, but in all honesty I’m sure it was the simple yet poignant answer of that sweet girl. I coughed a bit to mask the emotion in my voice and asked another question. 

“Is there a special test to get into heaven?” 

I was rewarded with a resounding “NO!”

I countered with “No? Well if there’s no test how do we get into heaven?” 

An adorable red haired boy covered with freckles quickly raised his hand and said “When you get to heaven God whispers one question in your ear.” 

“He does? What’s the question?” I asked

 “He asks ‘Do you love me?’ It’s really not a hard question. And when you say ‘Yes’, God kisses you and says ‘Come on in!” 

Intrigued by that answer I asked “And how do you know this?” 

Displaying a toothless grin he declared “My grandpa tells me every time I talk to him. That’s what God asked my grandpa when he got to heaven and he said ‘YES!’” 

And all the kids shouted “YES!!” 

I think I’m ready for my final exam. Are you?

NAR © 2023

AT THE MOVIES (March 9, 2023)

Hope you’re enjoying our posts from
The Rhythm section.
Here’s one I just did for
At The Movies.
Take a look!

The Rhythm Section

Hi and welcome back to At The Movies! I hope you had a great week and are looking forward to the song for today. I have chosen a fantastic tune –“Alfie” – by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

“Alfie” was written in 1966to promote the movie of the same name. The film was about a young womanizing man in London who leads a self-centered, uncaring life as a handsome chauffeur. “Alfie” was nominated for the 1967 Academy Award in five top categories, one of which was best music. The movie starred the great British actor, Michael Caine.

While the song was originally recorded by British singer Cilla Black in 1966, I’m focusing on the 1967 version by Dionne Warwick, the most prolific interpreter of Bacharach/David compositions and the composers’ original choice for this song.

Warwick performed “Alfie” at the 1967 Academy Awards. In 2008, Warwick’s recording of “Alfie” was…

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world music – a

Welcome to our newest member
of The Rhythm Section –
DA Whittam
(the artist formerly known as Nope, Not Pam).
This segment is unlike any of the others –
it’s a global melodic excursion.
And what’s even better is
you don’t have to pack your bags
for this musical journey!
Sit back and take a trip around the
Word of Music.

The Rhythm Section

Welcome to World Music – a musical journey around the world. The object of this segment is to showcase artists from around the world, and in particular the musical styles synonymous with each country, and since this is the first segment, we will be starting at A.


Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, is a sovereign landlocked microstate on the Iberian Peninsula, in the eastern Pyrenees, bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south.

Andorra is the sixth-smallest state in Europe, with an area of 468 square kilometres (181 sq mi) and a population of approximately 79,034. The Andorran people are a Romance ethnic group of originally Catalan descent. Andorra is the world’s 16th-smallest country by land and 11th-smallest by population. Its capital, Andorra la Vella, is the highest capital city in Europe, at an elevation of 1,023 metres (3,356 feet) above sea level. The official…

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“How do, ladies and gents? Allow me to introduce myself. I am Dougal James MacTerrier, but everyone calls me ‘Mac’. I’ve been top dog at Barktower Manor for ten years now. You see, his lordship, Hound Ruff Branan saved my life one night after that fleabag Angus ‘Scotty’ Montgomery caught me sniffing around his bitch and nearly tore me apart. In my clan, when another saves your mangy life, you’re beholden to them forever. Truth be told, I’ve had a good life here. 

Tonight I’ll be donning my vest and tam as I’m the greeter for the weekly poker game. Sir Ruff and the boys always have a great night playing cards, drinking whiskey and smoking cigars. Well, there was that one game a few weeks back that didn’t turn out so well. 

That particular night started out like any other. Sir Ruff, his four cousins the Hounds of Baskerville and the two Boxer Brothers were having a grand time. M’lord’s sweetheart, Madam Pompadour, owner of the fabulously successful pup salon Shampooch, and her saucy poodle assistants were there to cater to everyone’s needs. They looked extraordinarily fetching in their French maid outfits. Tails were wagging, for sure! 

It was no secret that the Boxers were in debt big time to loanshark Weezy “Pit Bull” Mulally, and had cooked up a scheme to win back their losses that night.  The game was going strong and the pot was getting bigger when one of the Boxers slipped the other a card under the table. Things were looking good for them and they surreptitiously exchanged a few more cards without anyone noticing. The hounds were growling their displeasure as the Boxers won game after game. 

Just then Madam Pompadour and her delightful maids came in carrying silver trays of bones, kibbles and bits. When Sir Ruff looked up from his paw of cards, he saw on the bottom of the tray the reflection of the Boxers who were passing winning cards back and forth to each other. M’lord began barking and howling loudly, alerting the other hounds who immediately pounced on the cheating Boxer Boys. The two connivers were no match for the five ferocious hounds and things did not end well for the brothers that night … but they did end permanently. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear our guests scratching at the door, eager for tonight’s game. Let’s hope the night goes well. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, you know!” 

NAR © 2023


Here is my post for a new segment
of The Rhythm Section called
In The Groove.
For me to start with any group
other than The Beatles,
especially George Harrison,
just would have been wrong.
I hope you enjoy being In The Groove!

The Rhythm Section

Hi, everyone, and welcome to my first post at In The Groove! This site is dedicated to all the great songs we’ve come to love, anything from Ella Fitzgerald to Led Zeppelin. Maybe you’ll come across an old favorite you haven’t heard in a long time or find a new tune that really turns you on. My hope is that whatever videos I play here, someone will say “Yes! I love that song!”

Anyone who knows me also knows I love The Beatles so it seemed only appropriate that I open this site with a Beatles song. Now, for those of you who don’t like The Beatles (a concept I cannot wrap my head around), don’t panic – this site is not devoted to them but I believe you’re going to like what I’ve chosen today.

As Mr. Bump said in his first post, we’re going to try to…

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On behalf of Mr. Bump and DA Whitam, I’d like to thank all our WordPress friends and followers who jumped on board The Rhythm Section bandwagon. It is extremely gratifying to see so many of you enjoying our new site.

What you’ve seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg; there are still three new categories we have yet reveal so you’re in store for lots more music, videos, interesting tidbits and a whole lot of fun!

We have posts scheduled for Saturdays through Thursdays with something in the works for Fridays. Just like any new project, it’s been a lot of work getting everything ready for you but we enjoyed every minute. This is a labor of love for all of us to enjoy together.

Mr. Bump has a cool new segment coming up tomorrow; I’ll be back on Tuesday with a new category and every Wednesday DA Whittam will take us on a musical journey. There’s plenty to read, see and hear; you won’t want to miss any of it.

We’ll continue to reblog The Rhythm Section posts for a while so you can have easy access to them. You can always check out the site at or just search for and it’ll take you right there.

Have any ideas, comments or suggestions? Let us know. Hitting any snags viewing the site? Let us know that, too. Whenever we can we will try to accommodate you.

Once again, thank you! We’re so happy to have you with us. See you next time at The Rhythm Section! 🎶

I’m The Sicilian Storyteller

NAR © 2023

Name That Tune (5 March 2023)


The Rhythm Section

Anybody fancy a bit of fun? Exercise your memory?

I’m going to present a famous tune. I guarantee, it’ll be one you’ve heard. But the catch is, I’m not going to tell you what the tune is. Instead, I’m going to give you five clues. Can you guess the tune from my clues?

But it’s the weekend; I want this to be fun, so I’ll actually present the tune at the foot of the post. Maybe you’d like to share with us which clue gave it asway?

So, are you up for a challenge?


My song today is considered to be this artist’s signature tune. It was his debut single, gives rise to one of the artist’s nicknames, and also the name of the album on which it appeared.


The artist is synonymous with New York City. He was born in 1949 in The Bronx, grew up on…

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Out of chunky peanut butter again!”  Bruce had just woken up and all he wanted was a cup of black coffee and toast with chunky peanut butter. Was that too much to ask? Standing in front of the open cabinet scratching his substantial stomach, he began searching the kitchen shelves but there was no chunky peanut butter to be found. Sure, there was creamy but nobody likes that insipid crap except wusses and prissy women like his wife, Betty.

BETTY! WHERES THE GODDAMN CHUNKY PEANUT BUTTER?” He listened closely but got no reply. Probably at her stupid writing club — as if she could ever be an author!”  

“Gotta do everything myself around here”  Bruce muttered as he got dressed and headed out for his beloved chunky peanut butter. First stop – Acme Grocers. No luck. Damn!”  grumbled Bruce. On to Shoprite. Again no chunky peanut butter. Bruce was starting to get really pissed off, a huge headache beginning to pound in his brain. Another stop at Wegman’s; they have everything. There were all sorts of butters –peanut, almond, cashew, walnut, sunflower – and they were all creamy!

“Where’s my fucking chunky peanut butter?” – the words raged through Bruce’s brain. “What is this, a freaking conspiracy?” 

Bruce started frantically searching the shelves, knocking all the jars onto the floor. Broken glass flew everywhere and Bruce bellowed in pain as huge shards ripped into his hands. That’s when he completely lost control. Customers ran from the the store in a panic as Bruce began roaring and morphing into The Incredible Hulk.

Hulk Bruce stormed out of Wegman’s and bounded down the street toward Walmart, ripping the doors off the store in his fury. People cowered in terror as an enraged Hulk trashed the store.

Just as he reached the peanut butter aisle, Bruce woke up in his own bed, sweating and panting. Oh, sweet Jesus! It was just a nightmare.” Slowly Bruce got out of bed, splashed cold water on his face and shuffled into the kitchen. Betty came in through the back door with an armful of groceries just as Bruce poured himself a cup of coffee. 

Then, as though off in a distant fog, he heard Betty speaking in slow motion: “SORRYBRUCE — BUT — THEY — WERE — OUT — OF — CHUNKY — PEANUT —BUTTER.” 

Bruce’s roar and Betty’s blood-curdling screams could be heard all the way down at Walmart.

NAR © 2023

The Culture Club (4 March 2023)

Happy Saturday, one and all!
I hope you’re enjoying
The Rhythm Section!
Now here’s Mr. Bump’s first post,
something a bit different
but quite glorious.
Read on!

The Rhythm Section

For this week, I’m posting Handel‘s Arrival of the Queen of Sheba. Handel (1685 – 1759) was a German-born baroque composer who moved to the UK in 1712. Educated in Halle, he is famous for (among others) his operas and oratorios. He became anglicized, and was closely associated with the British nobility. He wrote music for four coronations, much of which is still used today. He died a rich man, and was so well-thought-of he was given a state funeral at Westminster Abbey.

Today’s piece comes from one such oratorio, Solomon, based largely on the biblical stories.

Okay, if, like me you’re asking What’s an oratorio?, it was basically a large composition of the time. Orchestra, choir, soloists… Italian in origin, as you can probably guess from the name, oratorios are very similar to operas, although while you can think of an opera as musical theatre, an…

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AT THE MOVIES (March 2, 2023)

Greetings everyone and welcome
to our new site –
The Rhythm Section.
We hope you like everything
you see and hear.
Let’s get the show on the road!
Check us out at

The Rhythm Section

Welcome to “The Rhythm Section”, a new site shared between The Sicilian Storyteller in the U.S.A., Mr. Bump in the U.K. and DA Whittam in Australia. We are here to entertain you with great music videos, give you some super interesting information, exchange thoughts and comments about music but mostly we just want to have fun.

As you follow our new site you’ll see us take turns posting about themes of great interest to us individually and as a team. And as a little bonus feature, we will invite you to play along by tackling our question of the day at the end of each post.

Today I’m kicking things off with a very cool category – “At The Movies”. As you can undoubtedly guess by the name, this is all about songs from hit movies (and possibly a few bombs as well!) and let me tell you…

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How’s everyone doing? I’ve got big news!

I’m delighted to announce tomorrow’s launch of an awesome music site called “The Rhythm Section”.

We’ve been hard at work for a couple of months and the big day is finally here. I’m happy to say that now DA Whittam (the artist formerly known as Nope, Not Pam) has jumped on board the soul train with me and Mr. Bump (

This project has been a labor of love and these last two months have gone by very quickly as we did research and compiled all we needed for a cool-looking, informative and fun site. We’re thrilled with it!

I will reblog the first couple of posts from The Rhythm Section right here so you’ll be able to see them and easily click on to the site.

I hope you’ll stop by “The Rhythm Section” tomorrow; I think we’re going to make beautiful music together.

See you on the flip side, friends! 🎶

NAR © 2023