A Thanksgiving Dinner that couldn’t be beat

Jim Adams’ challenge is to write about a piece which includes the words – Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Snack, Supper.  Arlo Guthrie Alice’s Restaurant Massacree released in October 1967 mentions a “Thanksgiving Dinner that couldn’t be beat.” I have always loved this song, and its rambling story. It is well worth a listen, especially since it has been selected for the National Recording Registry as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant.”


This song is called Alice’s Restaurant, and it’s about Alice, and the

Restaurant, but Alice’s Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant,

That’s just the name of the song, and that’s why I called the song Alice’s


You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

Walk right in it’s around the back

Just a half a mile from the railroad track

You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant

Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago, was on – two years ago on

Thanksgiving, when my friend and I went up to visit Alice at the

Restaurant, but Alice doesn’t live in the restaurant, she lives in the

Church nearby the restaurant, in the bell-tower, with her husband Ray and

Fasha the dog. And livin’ in the bell tower like that, they got a lot of

Room downstairs where the pews used to be in. Havin’ all that room,

Seein’ as how they took out all the pews, they decided that they didn’t

Have to take out their garbage for a long time.

We got up there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided it’d be

A friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So

We took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW

Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed

On toward the city dump.

Well we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the

Dump saying, “Closed on Thanksgiving.” And we had never heard of a dump

Closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off

Into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

We didn’t find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the

Side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the

Cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile

Is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we

Decided to throw our’s down.

That’s what we did, and drove back to the church, had a thanksgiving

Dinner that couldn’t be beat, went to sleep and didn’t get up until the

Next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, “Kid,

We found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of

Garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it.” And

I said, “Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope

Under that garbage.”

After speaking to Obie for about fourty-five minutes on the telephone we

Finally arrived at the truth of the matter and said that we had to go down

And pick up the garbage, and also had to go down and speak to him at the

Police officer’s station. So we got in the red VW microbus with the

Shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the

Police officer’s station.

Now friends, there was only one or two things that Obie coulda done at

The police station, and the first was he could have given us a medal for

Being so brave and honest on the telephone, which wasn’t very likely, and

We didn’t expect it, and the other thing was he could have bawled us out

And told us never to be see driving garbage around the vicinity again,

Which is what we expected, but when we got to the police officer’s station

There was a third possibility that we hadn’t even counted upon, and we was

Both immediately arrested. Handcuffed. And I said “Obie, I don’t think I

Can pick up the garbage with these handcuffs on.” He said, “Shut up, kid.

Get in the back of the patrol car.”

And that’s what we did, sat in the back of the patrol car and drove to the

Quote Scene of the Crime unquote. I want tell you about the town of

Stockbridge, Massachusets, where this happened here, they got three stop

Signs, two police officers, and one police car, but when we got to the

Scene of the Crime there was five police officers and three police cars,

Being the biggest crime of the last fifty years, and everybody wanted to

Get in the newspaper story about it. And they was using up all kinds of

Cop equipment that they had hanging around the police officer’s station.

They was taking plaster tire tracks, foot prints, dog smelling prints, and

They took twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy photographs with circles

And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each

One was to be used as evidence against us. Took pictures of the approach,

The getaway, the northwest corner the southwest corner and that’s not to

Mention the aerial photography.

After the ordeal, we went back to the jail. Obie said he was going to put

Us in the cell. Said, “Kid, I’m going to put you in the cell, I want your

Wallet and your belt.” And I said, “Obie, I can understand you wanting my

Wallet so I don’t have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you

Want my belt for?” And he said, “Kid, we don’t want any hangings.” I

Said, “Obie, did you think I was going to hang myself for littering?”

Obie said he was making sure, and friends Obie was, cause he took out the

Toilet seat so I couldn’t hit myself over the head and drown, and he took

Out the toilet paper so I couldn’t bend the bars roll out the – roll the

Toilet paper out the window, slide down the roll and have an escape. Obie

Was making sure, and it was about four or five hours later that Alice

(Remember Alice? It’s a song about Alice), Alice came by and with a few

Nasty words to Obie on the side, bailed us out of jail, and we went back

To the church, had a another thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat,

And didn’t get up until the next morning, when we all had to go to court.

We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten

Colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back

Of each one, sat down. Man came in said, “All rise.” We all stood up,

And Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy

Pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he

Sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the

Twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows

And a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog.

And then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles

And arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry,

‘Cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American

Blind justice, and there wasn’t nothing he could do about it, and the

Judge wasn’t going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy

Pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each

One explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And

We was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but thats not

What I came to tell you about.

Came to talk about the draft.

They got a building down New York City, it’s called Whitehall Street,

Where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected,

Neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one

Day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so

I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. ‘Cause I wanted to

Look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted

To feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York,

And I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all

Kinds o’ mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave

Me a piece of paper, said, “Kid, see the phsychiatrist, room 604.”And I went up there, I said, “Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I

Wanna kill. Kill.

I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and

Guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill,

KILL, KILL.” And I started jumpin up and down yelling, “KILL, KILL, ” and

He started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down

Yelling, “KILL, KILL.” And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me,

Sent me down the hall, said, “You’re our boy.”Didn’t feel too good about it.

Proceeded on down the hall gettin more injections, inspections,

Detections, neglections and all kinds of stuff that they was doin’ to me

At the thing there, and I was there for two hours, three hours, four

Hours, I was there for a long time going through all kinds of mean nasty

Ugly things and I was just having a tough time there, and they was

Inspecting, injecting every single part of me, and they was leaving no

Part untouched. Proceeded through, and when I finally came to the see the

Last man, I walked in, walked in sat down after a whole big thing there,

And I walked up and said, “What do you want?” He said, “Kid, we only got

One question. Have you ever been arrested?”

And I proceeded to tell him the story of the Alice’s Restaurant Massacre,

With full orchestration and five part harmony and stuff like that and all

The phenome… – and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, did you ever

Go to court?”And I proceeded to tell him the story of the twenty seven eight-by-ten

Colour glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on

The back of each one, and he stopped me right there and said, “Kid, I want

You to go and sit down on that bench that says Group W … NOW kid!!”

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W’s

Where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after

Committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly

Looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father

Rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And

They was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the

Bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest

Father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean ‘n’ ugly

‘N’ nasty ‘n’ horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me

And said, “Kid, whad’ya get?” I said, “I didn’t get nothing, I had to pay

$50 and pick up the garbage.” He said, “What were you arrested for, kid?”

And I said, “Littering.” And they all moved away from me on the bench

There, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I

Said, “And creating a nuisance.” And they all came back, shook my hand,

And we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing,

Father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the

Bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of

Things, until the Sargeant came over, had some paper in his hand, held it

Up and said.”Kids, this-piece-of-paper’s-got-47-words-37-sentences-58-words-we-wanna-



Officer’s-name-and-any-other-kind-of-thing-you-gotta-say”, and talked for

Forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said, but we had

Fun filling out the forms and playing with the pencils on the bench there,

And I filled out the massacre with the four part harmony, and wrote it

Down there, just like it was, and everything was fine and I put down the

Pencil, and I turned over the piece of paper, and there, there on the

Other side, in the middle of the other side, away from everything else on

The other side, in parentheses, capital letters, quotated, read the

Following words:I went over to the sargent, said, “Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to

Ask me if I’ve rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I’m

Sittin’ here on the bench, I mean I’m sittin here on the Group W bench

‘Cause you want to know if I’m moral enough join the army, burn women,

Kids, houses and villages after bein’ a litterbug.” He looked at me and

Said, “Kid, we don’t like your kind, and we’re gonna send you fingerprints

Off to Washington.”

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder, is a

Study in black and white of my fingerprints. And the only reason I’m

Singing you this song now is cause you may know somebody in a similar

Situation, or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a

Situation like that there’s only one thing you can do and that’s walk into

The shrink wherever you are, just walk in say “Shrink, You can get

Anything you want, at Alice’s restaurant.”. And walk out. You know, if

One person, just one person does it they may think he’s really sick and

They won’t take him. And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,

They may think they’re both faggots and they won’t take either of them.

And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in

Singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and walking out. They may think it’s an

Organization. And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day, I said

Fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice’s Restaurant and

Walking out. And friends they may thinks it’s a movement.

And that’s what it is, the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and

All you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come’s around on the

Guitar.With feeling. So we’ll wait for it to come around on the guitar, here and

Sing it when it does. Here it comes.

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Walk right in it’s around the back

Just a half a mile from the railroad track

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

That was horrible. If you want to end war and stuff you got to sing loud.

I’ve been singing this song now for twenty five minutes. I could sing it

For another twenty five minutes. I’m not proud… or tired.

So we’ll wait till it comes around again, and this time with four part

Harmony and feeling.We’re just waitin’ for it to come around is what we’re doing.

All right now.You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Excepting Alice

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Walk right in it’s around the back

Just a half a mile from the railroad track

You can get anything you want, at Alice’s Restaurant

Da da da da da da da dum

At Alice’s Restaurant

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Arlo Guthrie Alice’s Restaurant Massacree lyrics ©

Kohaw Music Inc., Primary Wave Songs, Appleseed Agt, Appleseed Music Inc


Mildred: Part One

Cheesetown, Dutch, Holland, Fest, History, Medieval

Mildred was a laundress.  She was by all appearances an unremarkable woman, but she had a good heart, and was very good at her job.  Gwendolyn, “The Washer Woman,” relied on her in her absences, and Mildred was often entrusted with the keys to the laundry house and with the day’s receipts.  Though a spinster, Mildred had quite the following of surrogate “nieces and nephews,” for she had the ability to make most anyone feel that she was their favoured aunt.  

It was on account of this latter trait that “Aunt Mildred” was given operational control of Gwendolyn’s High Guild’s Laundry.   Mildred was trusted by everyone, and they readily confided with her.   Gwendolyn, ever the sharp businesswoman, capitalised on this and owing to Mildred’s trusting nature, was able to glean valuable trade intelligence from across the guilds which she used to make several lucrative investments.

What was not widely known was that Mildred was not in the strictest sense “of Capital stock.”  She was 1/8th Fairy on her mother’s side, and this residual enchantment was faint enough not to arouse awareness in magical beings or psychics, but strong enough to allow the instant bond that others felt with her.

There were exceptions of course.  Dennis Dennison’s greed and his partner Helen’s duplicity blinded them to her welcoming spirit, and others of foul heart also from time to time made their way into her precence without being won over by her.  For the most part though, Aunt Mildred was a breath of fresh air to those who met her.













Relaxing, Lounging, Saturday, Cozy, Fireplace, Winter
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay 


My kids say that I’m laid-back

To stand me would require a crane

It’s not that I’m apathet-ac

I care, but I don’t like the strain

But most things in life are not so important

That they require us to make a big fuss

In fact, if you let them just flow over

Like water on the back of ducks

You will see the things that really matter

The rest are superfluous




Fandango’s Dog Days of August #20:your temperament


Moon, Tree, Sky, Clear, Blue, Daytime, Half Moon


Monday – Day of the Moon

Beginning of the work-week

Which can’t be over too soon

It is oft a day of struggling

To get yourself dressed

After a weekend of parties, and all the rest

But there are – about every blue moon

Bank Holiday Mondays to our boon

Extending the weekend

From two days to three

Giving the illusion of being free




Fandango’s Dog Days – Monday

Early Start To A New Beginning

Covered Wagon, Wooden Cart, Wagon, Nostalgic, Wheel


It was a bit too early in the year to venture beyond the western hills.  The last of the winter snows hadn’t even fully melted on the more guarded slopes, but Halian knew that if he was to get a crop in before autumn, he would need to begin the venture.

He, his brother Dalvin, their wives Karianna and Helgi, and Dalvin’s four-year-old son Keelin, therefore began their westward trek on the last day of March.  Progress was good up to the frontier settlement of Caston.  There they stopped, as it was the last sure source of supplies, though water and some small items might be available from the sutler at Fort Wren at the head of the pass.  From there however, the pioneers would be on their own.

“I don’t know why Hal is starting off so soon,” Helgi said quietly to her sister-in-law.  “He could have at least waited a month for you ho have the baby first.”

“Helgi, I don’t know why you carry on so.  I’ll be fine,” Kari assured her.  “Besides, we need to find a suitable plot, and get the grain planted or we might starve once the next snows fall.”

Helgi, gave her quick sideways hug, and the two went into entered the merchants to acquire salt and molasses.

Meanwhile Dalvin tended the oxen, and kept an eye on Keelin who was playing with the hounds Dunder and Blisser.

“I will be back shortly,” Halian called, ” I want to see if I can get some iron nails from the smitty.”

“I will wait for the girls here then shall I?” Dalvin said with a chuckle, as if there was any other choice in the matter as the livestock and little Keelin needed to me watched over.

Dalvin tightened the thick leather belt around his waist.  It felt odd to be wearing a sword-belt.   He was a farmer, nothing more. Okay, Hal had been a conscript in the Count’s regiment two years before, but that was the only taste of war that any in the family had had.   No, it was not since their grandfather’s time that there had been a “real” warrior in the family.

Here they were though, on the road westwards.  “An early start to a new beginning,” his older brother Halian had said.  Beginning of what? he mused.

“Keeli, don’t antagonise those dogs.”

“Sorry Father,” the lad called and tossed the stick he had been playing tug-of-war with Blisser with.  The stick didn’t go far, but both dogs took the few steps to retrieve it.

“New beginning,” Dalvin said aloud.



The Piece

Rust, Wall, Texture, Old, Vintage, Rustic, Grunge, Door


Andre had no formal qualifications, but he loved to paint and draw, and he had even tried his hand at some sculpting in wire.  He had become proficient in doing city-scapes, and eked out a meagre living selling them to tourists.

His “studio” was no more than a garden shed.  It was there that he transformed the sketches he made while waiting for customers into paintings.

One evening there was a ferocious evening storm.  It seemed to rock the very foundations of his humble home.  In the morning, Andre discovered that a tree had fallen onto the roof of his beloved shed, collapsing the roof.   Shelves had tumbled, and canvases and paints alike were strewn willy-nilly about the ruins.

There would be no sales that day as Andre began to pick through to detritus of his livelihood.  He managed to salvage two completed paintings of the Lion Bridge, and three other canvases which were salvageable, though they were splattered with assorted paint and garden grime.  The grim task completed, he went inside to await the slim possibilities of the next day.

In the morning, he carried his remaining artwork to the Lion Bridge, and set the two extant works against the railings, in the hope of drawing some custom.  With no studio to work in, he next took one of spattered canvases and placed it upon an easel.  He was just starting to paint a faint outline of one of the lion sentinels onto the canvas when a distinguished looking couple approached.

The hatchet-faced lady picked up one of the completed paintings and held it up to her gentleman companion.  The man pulled a face, and the pair both shook their heads disapprovingly.   As the man picked up the other work to give it a closer examination, the woman stepped up to Andre’s work in progress.

“Reginald,” she called in a nasally noise, “I think I have found just the piece for above the fireplace in the villa.”




Tale Weaver – #281 – Artwork