My name is Clarabelle and I only have two bad records and one good record. Some of the readers might not be fans of Pat Boone, so if that is the case then you can say that we're stretching it to three bad ones like you asked, but I love Pat Boone. I always have. The other two records are ones I got for my cats, but even some of them can't stay in the same room when I play them. I can't remember which ones could listen to Stray Cats and Tom Cat, but that's mostly because I can't remember all of their names right now anyway. There's Boots and Blackie and Sandy and Mr. Bobo and Fleece Feet and Scamp. I'll remember some of the other names later. It's easier if I can see them.


I used to have a lot more records, but there are a lot of little brats in my building and they steal them. I chased the little Johnson kid out of here a few weeks ago with the broom. I think he's one of the ringleaders. I know I have five or six Pat Boone records, but I can only find four. I had one where he's wearing Argyle stockings and I know I didn't give it to that Margaret because she has it already. I can't seem to find that one anywhere. I bought the crazy rocker records from the yard sale the young couple in 3B had a few months ago, the Kabibbles, Brad and Laura. I think it's horrible that my things just disappear sometimes. I caught that little Brenda Hanke walking out of my living room with a candle when she was only two and I liked to whip her right out of her diaper. She's going to have a rough row to hoe later in life if she's already stealing at two years old. She's a sneaky little thief and a liar too.


Pat Boone has a voice that could melt butter. Some of his records are better than the one I chose, "Columbia." I bought this record when it came out. I'm almost ten years older than Pat, but I had a schoolgirl crush on him anyway from the first time I heard him on the radio. When I bought this record, I was still living at home with my Mother, Lord have mercy on her soul. I kissed Pat's picture on the back of the record sleeve and I forgot that I had lipstick on. I had to hide the record so my Mother wouldn't see it or I might have been thrown out of her house. I was almost thirty, for crying out loud. You can still see my lipstick marks on the back of the record. I used to like the swing numbers like "Flip, Flop and Fly" and "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" and "Rock Around the Clock." Now I can see that the truly beautiful numbers are the ballads with titles like "Shake a Hand" and "Pledging My Love" and "Please Send Me Someone to Love." There has never been a singer who could hold a candle to Pat Boone and I mean his voice as well as his looks. Some of the girls I went to school with said they liked Elvis Presley better, but I think they were just saying that so the boys would like them better. I had several boys who said they were sweet on me, too, and I never had to deny Pat Boone his due. There's a song called "Shot Gun Boogie" that can still make me cry all these years later. The closest I ever came to the altar was when my Mother caught me with that Sam Glick from over in Clarkson County. We were just kissing, but my Mother threatened him with a shotgun if he ever set foot on our property again. She contacted Sam's Father and explained the situation and told him she'd be obliged if Sam either married me or stayed to Hell away from me. I thought he loved me, but he avoided me like the flu for eight months and then his folks up and moved clear across the state. My mother tried to keep Pat Boone from me, too, but she never could.


I can't tell you a whole lot about the one called Stray Cats, but I love the name and I think the blonde is very pretty. She reminds me of Marilyn Monroe except her figure isn't as cute and she has rather large feet. I know Marilyn was a tramp, but I always thought she was pretty anyway. I told that Brad Kabibble that I liked Pat Boone and he said I might like this combo, but that they were a little more like Elvis Presley. He got the Elvis Presley part right, but I'll be doggoned if I can figure out why he thought I'd like this sort of noise. I think he was more interested in getting my dollar than anything else if you want the God's own truth of the matter. I thought my cats might like it, but most of them won't hardly sit still on my lap when I put this one on for them. There are a couple songs that I've grown a bit soft on, but most of this record is just abrasive and irritating. The number called "Stray Cat Strut" reminds me of a song I knew when I was a little girl, but I can't remember anything but a little snatch of the melody. The only ones of my cats who seemed okay with this record are Boots and Kit Kat and Fidget and Blackie. The others bolted for the garden area out by the pool. That's when I saw that Johnson kid trying to pick up Sandy. I shook my finger at that little imp and gave him the eye and he sat down and cried. I can't help it. If he gets his stupid little self scratched, I could be sued. I wouldn't put it past his mother to do it either. I can dance to "Stray Cat Strut" and one called "My One Desire." Everything else on this record is too fast and heavy handed.


The Tom Cat record has one of the most beautiful record covers I have ever seen. This one cost me a dollar, too, but that Laura Kabibble said she'd buy it back if I didn't like it. She said it was her favorite record when she was a kid. She must have had a pretty depressing childhood. This is almost as bad as some Jazz records I've heard. I love the record cover and my cats seem to like this record better than the Stray Cats one so I kept it. The cat on the cover wearing a hat looks a little like Boots except the eyes and the hair aren't quite right. The one on the right looks a lot like Blackie. Not exactly because these are just fanciful cartoon pictures of cats, but enough that if you looked at Blackie and then looked at the cover, you'd pick out the cat on the right as looking the most like Blackie. I have cats picked out that look the most like the other three cats on the cover, but the likenesses aren't nearly as good. Kit Kat is a very dark gray cat and she's quite thin so she looks like the cat on the left. Tiger has similar markings and big ears like the cat blowing the horn. I think that is the one who is supposed to be Tom Cat so I call Tiger Tom sometimes. The cat in the middle of the record cover doesn't really look like any of my cats a whole lot, but my favorite cat is Mr. Bobo so I think of that cartoon cat as Mr. Bobo. I had this record on when Mrs. Cale from 2A paid me a visit about a week ago. She had her two least ones with her, Emily and Jeff. They are a handful. I feel sorry for that woman. I let little Jeff hold the Tom Cat record cover while the music was playing and he seemed mesmerized by the picture. The next thing I knew, though, he had a crayon out from somewhere and I knew exactly what that little brat had on his mind. I took his crayon and shook him and turned him so I didn't have to look at him. His mother up and left with both of her kids and I haven't seen them here since. Good riddance to bad trash if you ask me. The music on the Tom Cat record is very nervous and too busy. The songs aren't really songs because there are no words, but most of my cats will sit still and let me pet them while it's playing so I can't really complain about it.


I wrote a poem that would make a good closer for this. I guess this could really be a song if there were some music that went along with it. Some people used to tell me I have a good singing voice and that I should be a singer in a combo or even as a solo singer. My Mother threatened to throw me out of her house if she ever heard of me singing in a nightclub so nothing ever came of that and it's too late for anything like that now. I dedicate this poem to all my precious cats and, incidentally, it's called, "Cats."

 

Cats

I have a lavish Easter bonnet
With lots of lovely flowers on it
I also have a large fedora
It too is crowned with fancy flora
The box that holds my charming hats
Is now a home for chilly cats

I let them nestle in my slippers
I keep them fat on lox and kippers
My love is strong and quite enduring
They pay me back in kind with purring
Each entry to my home has mats
To welcome all my precious cats

 

(Editor's note: At this point, Stubbo was brought in to give a psychological evaluation of Clarabelle.)