2003   MARCH 29   #088

Paul Winchell & Jerry Mahoney - (excerpt from) Chips Of Wisdom

This is off an album my dad made in the 1960's called, "Chips of Wisdom" (my dad was a pretty famous ventriloquist back in the day). Ostensibly, this was an album for kids, but it was so disturbing we couldn't listen to it when we were little.

I don't know if it was the horrible subject matter, my dad's acting or the album cover, but this thing gave us the willies. We had nightmares about it.

(Image courtesy of April Winchell)

The premise is that my dad takes his little puppet out into the woods to have some father/son chats with him. So already, the creep factor is at a 10. He proceeds to teach him all about character and wisdom, which is admirable I suppose, but he does it by telling some of the most terrible stories you've ever heard.

There's a teacher at school with hooks for hands. A man at the newsstand who lost his eyes in the war. And in this track, a girl named Mary Smith, who lost both her parents to the flu. Mary was adopted by a loving family, which was very lucky for her, since "she wasn't pretty".

File this away under terrible things we used to do to our children, before we knew better. And then take just a brief moment to reflect on what my childhood must have been like.

- April Winchell, http://www.aprilwinchell.com

TT-2:35 / 2.4MB / 128kbps 44.1khz
from the LP, "Chips Of Wisdom"