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Author Topic: The "Value Tales" series of children's books.
Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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Was anyone else ever given the Value Tales of biographies as a child? By, say, a slightly weird evangelical Christian "aunt" and "uncle,"(who would at some later stage invite your parents to become missionaries with them in the US. Where I understand they totally have Christianity, by the way?)

Because they were mental. Entirely as a result of reading these crazy books as a small child, I believed, for much longer than is probably acceptable, that various real historical figures had animated anthromorphic personifications of aspects of their day to day life as trusted advisors. I did some pretty weird history essays in primary school, let me tell you.


For example, Jackie Robinson, the first black player in the Major Leagues (whose story, incidentally, has ENORMOUS resonance with a small boy growing up in rural Ireland who doesn't really know what baseball is, and would be pretty disappointed later in life to discover it was essentially rounders.) had a little buddy who was a talking catcher's mitt, who was always bucking up his spirits and telling him not to worry about the racists and all. I was about four. It made sense to me at the time.

Edit: actually, maybe his little buddy was a bat, now I come to think of it. Not the animal, a baseball bat.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Kid Kilowatt
Deck the Malls


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Well, I'd never heard of "Value Tales", but I do seem to remember a book where Jackie Robinson was talking to a glove. The only other thing I remember about it - and this had to have been at least 25 years ago - was little Jackie playing baseball with taped-up rags. So, possibly the same?

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The book says, "We might be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us."
- Magnolia

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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The Johnny Appleseed one looks so familiar to me, but it could be imagined. I was a huge Johnny Appleseed fan when I was a small child.

I do not know why.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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I remember seeing these books when I was in 8th grade, around 1983. They were already showing up "used" in flea markets, and I bought a whole bunch for my Grade 8 teacher who liked them for her two younger kids. But they were already selling for maybe $1 or $2 per book and probably not all that popular with parents because they weren't cheap and there was the temptation to get the whole series - so because you don't want to spend the money to get them all, you don't get any. If that makes sense...

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"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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They're available on ebay for a snip!

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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Tootsie Plunkette
Buy a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella


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Helen Keller looks like Jessica Claus

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--Tootsie

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by AnglRdr:
The Johnny Appleseed one looks so familiar to me, but it could be imagined. I was a huge Johnny Appleseed fan when I was a small child.

I do not know why.

My grandmother had an orchard, and by the time I read The Value of Really Liking Apples Or Whatever (NB: Not the real title) I actually knew quite a bit about planting apple and pear trees. There are some pretty glaring errors in that book regarding how Apples are grown, I can tell you.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Kid Kilowatt:
Well, I'd never heard of "Value Tales", but I do seem to remember a book where Jackie Robinson was talking to a glove. The only other thing I remember about it - and this had to have been at least 25 years ago - was little Jackie playing baseball with taped-up rags. So, possibly the same?

Wait a minute. Maybe the anthromorphic personification buddy was a ball made out of rags. Possibly even called 'Rags.'

That's ringing a bell. There definitely was some sort of ball made up of taped-up bits of rags involved.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Here's the cover: http://cgi.ebay.com/ValueTale-Value-Tales-Book-Jackie-Robinson-Johnson_W0QQitemZ8039813809QQcategoryZ279QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

He doesn't seem to me to be batting a ragball, but maybe that's because it was his friend.

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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Arrow-Tech IV
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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OMG, Dara -- my grandparents gave us those books. I'm 31 now, so you and I must have both caught them in the initial Christian marketing wave.

I had the Will Rogers, Hellen Keller, Jackie Robinson, Beethoven, Florence Nightingale, and Elizabeth Fry ones.

Basically, the books were VERY WEIRD. By the time I received them, I was already reading "real" books ("chapter" books like the Chronicles of Narnia), so at first I thought they'd been given to us (cousins) as a sort of joke. The books are, basically, picture books about historical figures -- and there's always some sort of anthropomorphic friend. For instance, Will Rogers has a talking lasso (as I recall).

Anyway, while I sometimes have a bit of fondness for "the good old days," those books weren't it. They seemed to be some sort of desperate struggle to produce an old-fashioned book of virtues that could compete with cartoons.

The end result is both awkward and untrustworthy...talking lassos or no talking lassos.

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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I remember that The Value of Truth and Trust was about Cochise. But even at a very young age, I reckoned that Cochise's trusting nature didn't serve him as well as Spencer Johnson, MD suggested it did.

Oh, and boy that's a big link, Chloe.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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Oh, and exactly how did Helen Keller's cartoon pal communicate with her? I could never work that one out.

If I'd been a little bit older and wiser, that would have been my first clue, I suppose. Maybe I would have thought: "I know, she's imaginary.

There was one about Louis Braille as well. Which is just pandering to the blind, if you ask me.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I guess I must have missed The Value of Brevity. *sniff*

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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candycane from strangers
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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I've never read any of these, but now I really want to. They sound so bad.

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Me: "He's 19? Uh oh, I bought him a beer."
A: "You contributed to the deliquency of a minor in drag!"
"Sweet spell check: keeping drunks off the radar since 1995."- IND
God Re-Animate Green Pork Bush

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
I guess I must have missed The Value of Brevity. *sniff*

No, but they could do The Value Of Making the Thread Hard To Read On a Laptop about you.

Your buddy is a talking computer mouse. Called, oh, I don't know, Biglinky or something.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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BlushingBride
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Actually, I do remember these books fondly. When I was in kindergarten, I used to read these while the other kids were learning their ABCs. To a young 'un, the wierdness is pretty standard fare. Actually, I think the under-7s crowd is pretty much the target audience. Any older kid would just look at you and say "Yeah, sure. That's stupid and wierd."

Of course, even then I thought the introduction of the anthropomorphic character was clumsily handled. For one thing it was done the same way in every book. On about page 3, when the Historical Figure (HF) was beginning to have struggles, but was still a child, this would happen:

HF: Boo-hoo, no one understands me.
Crumpled piece of paper: Hello, HF! I will understand you! I'll be your special imaginary friend that no one else can see, and you can tell me anything! You can call me Mr. Crumply.
HF: Hooray, Mr. Crumply! Now I feel empowered to go out and right the wrongs I see in the world!

Yeah, even at 5 I knew that when grown-ups had conversations with garbage, it was a bad sign.

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"In perfume, as in underwear, the scantiest of applications provides the greatest of returns." -Silas Sparkhammer

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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You're not supposed to read it; you're supposed to click on it, you ingrate.

But duly noted.

Actually, it was months before I started reading "tinyurl" as anything other than tin-yurl. D'oh!

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
You're not supposed to read it; you're supposed to click on it, you ingrate.

But duly noted.

Actually, it was months before I started reading "tinyurl" as anything other than tin-yurl. D'oh!

You know something? You're too late: In my head, the story of Chloe and Biglinky is already gathering momentum. In the movie, he'll have the voice of Michael J Fox, I reckon.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
I guess I must have missed The Value of Brevity. *sniff*

It is never too late!

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Dara:
quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
You're not supposed to read it; you're supposed to click on it, you ingrate.

But duly noted.

Actually, it was months before I started reading "tinyurl" as anything other than tin-yurl. D'oh!

You know something? You're too late: In my head, the story of Chloe and Biglinky is already gathering momentum. In the movie, he'll have the voice of Michael J Fox, I reckon.
In all fairness, though, I think that Catherine Zeta Jones should play Chloe.

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The only one I've read is The Value of Snark.
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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseGirl:
quote:
Originally posted by Dara:
quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
You're not supposed to read it; you're supposed to click on it, you ingrate.

But duly noted.

Actually, it was months before I started reading "tinyurl" as anything other than tin-yurl. D'oh!

You know something? You're too late: In my head, the story of Chloe and Biglinky is already gathering momentum. In the movie, he'll have the voice of Michael J Fox, I reckon.
In all fairness, though, I think that Catherine Zeta Jones should play Chloe.
Well, now Philip Seymour Hoffman has expressed an interest in playing Biglinky, and I've already got Michael J Fox on contract, so, the way things are going, I think he's playing Chloe now.

To be honest, I think I'm losing control of the project. I should never have signed up with Miramax.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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Well, the first draft of the script has come back:

quote:


Chloe: It's no good. It doesn't matter how much I try, I'll never find a big enough link to make the screen go all funny. I should just give up. Yes, there definitely is no point in me trying to achieve my goals, and I am entirely justified in this defeatist attitude which is not a storytelling device at all.

Voice! Don't give up Chloe! I'm your new friend who is going to help you in your quest!

Chloe: Who said that? What's going on?

Biglinky, for it is he: It's me, Biglinky your computer mouse! I have become your sidekick who is going to help you achieve your goals, and although I am quite clearly imaginary, we will not make it clear, thus confusing an entire generation of schoolchildren.

Chloe Er, okay. To be honest, I was just going to leave it. It's not a big deal or anything.

Biglinky Listen, bitch! You've wished me into existence now, so we're doing this! Don't make me come back there with some sort of inspirational song...

They've made Biglinky edgier than I would like, I think.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


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Dara, that's excellent! More, please.

Do we get to hear the inspirational song? [Smile]

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I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from "Now We Are Six" through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head. So there!

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Tarquin Farquart:
Dara, that's excellent! More, please.

Do we get to hear the inspirational song? [Smile]

Oh, alright.

Biglinky (sings)"Don't be afraid to post big links,
Even if that nasty Dara fellow says they stink.
You and me are going to make the screen so wide
It'll give us a lovely warm feeling inside."

Chloe (speaks) Gosh, Biglinky! I've never thought of it that way. Let's go! You and me are going to post a link with so many characters in it, people are going to need two monitors

Biglinky: attagirl!

They walk off (poss. through enchanted forest?) reprising the chorus.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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bab5nutz
I Saw Three Shipments


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Ah, yes ...

I do remember...

Although there are quite a few there that I have never heard of.

But Lucille Ball?!! WTH?

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Dara, that was excellent. You have given me a non-existant ear worm though.

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I'm trying to grasp the concept of a non-existant ear worm. It's very difficult.

Is it anything like an imaginary parasite?

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by bab5nutz:
....
But Lucille Ball?!! WTH?

Lucille Ball? They did one on the ONLY undisputed member of the Communist Party that HUAC turned up in its hearings on communist influence in films and TV? My, my.

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"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Goes right along with Helen Keller: The Value of Being a Socialist

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Seaboe Puffinchucker:
I'm trying to grasp the concept of a non-existant ear worm. It's very difficult.

Is it anything like an imaginary parasite?

Seaboe

No, more like a product of my demented mind. You see, Dara suppled the words, and my brain supplied the music. And now it has become an earworm. So even though there is no real song, it's stuck in my brain.

Curiously, the tune is quite related to that I supply for the sorting hat when I read Harry Potter. That and "Weasley is our King".

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Curious: do you invent your own tunes for these purposes, or press another into service? I must admit I couldn't come up with an original tune to save my life, let alone at the drop of a sorting hat.

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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It's my own tune. They're not particularly complex or lyrical.

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There are people who drive really nice cars who feel that [those] cars won't be as special if other people drive them too. Where I come from, we call those people "selfish self-satisfied gits." -Chloe

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseGirl:
It's my own tune. They're not particularly complex or lyrical.

If anyone's interested, it already has a pre-existing melody.

Which is that of the "Hello, my name is Louise" song from the late 1990s Channel 4 comedy programme "The adam and Joe show."

Someone, somewhere must have it on the internet. I can't find it myself, as it happens.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Kid Kilowatt
Deck the Malls


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So, who was the hero of The Value of Going Completely Off Topic?
[Big Grin]
Maybe John Madden? And his l'il microphone pal, Rambler? I dunno...

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The book says, "We might be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us."
- Magnolia

Posts: 252 | From: East Greenwich, RI, what! | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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