Archived E-mails – Actors and Temperance Hymns

I have some extremely witty friends.  So, from time to time – like if I write a really downer post like I just did but then feel bad about leaving you all on that depressing note – I will post some of the many laugh-out-loud funny things people have e-mailed me which I have kept for years and continue to re-read.

#1:  In which my playwright friend Chris sits in on a rehearsal of his show for the very first time.

Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2002
Subject: Marmot Jacket For Sale

Here’s a new little play I wrote called “The Making of Call Me Bob.”
Tell me what you think.

(Chris enters the Blackbox to see the first run-through of “Call Me Bob”)
Josh: Oh man, I am so hungover. I just got up a hour ago. I’ve been partying all weekend.
Pat: Hey Alden, give me a dollar for chips.
Alden: No!
Pat: C’mon… I skipped dinner.
Josh: Hey Alden, we’re not supposed to be off-book, right?
Alden: Yes! Yes you are!
Josh: Well, too bad.
Alden: C’mon guys… let’s get this show shizigity-started.
Pat: Aldeeeen…. dollar…..
Christian (riding skateboard around the blackbox): Y’know what’d be really cool? If you had a stopwatch that could stop time…
Alden: You mean like on that Duck Tales episode?
Ben: Hey, I’ve seen that episode.
Christian: Have you seen that one where they find Atlantis?
Pat: Alden, this is part of my character. I need chips to be in character. You’re holding me back.
Josh: Can we just leave? I’m tired.
Alden: You fuckers! I hate you all.
Christian: Scrooge had this huge scuba outfit. It was hilarious.
Chris (whispered to Max): Are all rehearsals like this?
Max: Pretty much.

I think it’s got potential.


#2.  In which my Anglican minister Friend Nathan unearths a treasure trove of Methodist temperance hymns.

Sent: Saturday, June 5, 2004
Subject: Temperance Hymns

So, in sorting through my mounds of books, I came across this old Methodist hymnal I pilfered from Ohio last summer. I was flipping through it, wondering what kind of people used to sing “Go Work In My Vinyard To-Day” and “Don’t You Want to Live with Jesus?” when I came across a whole section of gems that, sadly, don’t get sung anywhere anymore. I thought I’d copy out the lyrics for your edification. Remember them, next time you’re out getting drunk.

“Cold Water Song” by Mrs. C. D. Martin and W. Stillman Martin:

Some love the wine cup, tho’ sharp is its sting,
Water, cold water the song I shall sing:
Sparkling and bright from the beautiful spring,
Cold water the bev’rage for me!

CHORUS: Water, cold water, the bev’rage for me!
Water, cold water, my song now shall be!
Never the wine cup, praise God I am free,
Cold water, cold water for me.

VS. 2: Made by the wine a poor slave and a tool,
Robbed of all reason to be like the fool;
Give me cold water, so sweet and so cool,
Cold water the bev’rage for me.


VS. 3 Come, friends, we’ll sing, the cold water song;
Temperance soldiers, the music prolong;
Let this grand motto ring out clear and strong:


This one I like awfully well also. It’s called “Waiting for Father” and it’s by Lizzie Dearmond and W. B. Judefind.

Watching for father, the light’s growing dim
Up in the room cold and bare (cold and bare)
Only a baby afraid of the dark,
No one to help or to care

CHORUS: Down in the liscensed saloon,
Breathing its woe to the soul,
Hundreds of fathers are there;
Death everlasting their goal!

VS. 2: Watching for father, the swift falling tears
Freeze on the little wan face (wan face);
Dear ones must suffer because of the drink,
Share in the woe and disgrace.


That’s for all you winos and lushes out there. Remember the little tykes at home, waiting for Father. I’m off for a glass of cold, cold water.

Fighting the good fight,



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