Alice’s Restaurant and Bad Advice from Mme. Zolonga

Posted by Eric Francis

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Alice’s Restaurant is a Thanksgiving favorite because, as the story goes, “It all started two Thanksgivings ago” when Arlo and a friend went to visit Alice, but she wasn’t there. They decided to help her out by taking her trash to the 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.” And so on, and on.

Hello and happy Thanksgiving around the world. Just to show you how multicultural I am, I’ll say that to all my friends who speak Esperanto! Mi amas ĉi ferio ĉar ĝi estas laika.

The video above is something I hadn’t seen till today — a scene from the movie Alice’s Restaurant, the “Group W Bench” scene, fabulously cast, directed and acted. Father rapers! Yeah.

Here is an audio capture of the You Tube of the original 1967 recording of Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie without which no Thanksgiving Day is complete — almost 50 years old and it’s still as fresh as Pussy Riot. In the first comment below, I’ll post the news clipping from Lee, Mass., that tells the story of the littering “massacre.”

One other bit for your holiday. Yesterday, a link came floating into my inbox, featuring an analysis of how to best use today’s astrology — to totally wreck your Thanksgiving experience, especially with your family. This was an I’ve gone to heaven moment — a BAD ADVICE column. Madame Zolonga understands astrology perfectly, and how to use it in the most self-defeating ways. Here you go — Madame’s 5 Fool-proofed Tips for Failing With Astrology This Thanksgiving.

6 thoughts on “Alice’s Restaurant and Bad Advice from Mme. Zolonga

  1. Eric Francis Post author

    YOUTHS ORDERED TO CLEAN UP RUBBISH MESS

    LEE — Because they couldn’t find a dump open in Great Barrington, two youths threw a load of refuse down a Stockbridge hillside on Thanksgiving Day.

    Saturday, Richard J. Robbins, 19, of Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and Arlo Guthrie, 18, of Howard Beach, N. Y., each paid a fine of $25 in Lee District Court after pleading guilty of illegally disposing of rubbish. Special Justice James E. Hannon ordered the youths to remove all the rubbish. They did so Saturday afternoon, following a heavy rain

    Police Chief William J. Obanhein of Stockbridge said later the youths found dragging the junk up the hillside much harder than throwing it down. He said he hoped their case would be an example to others who are careless about disposal of rubbish.

    The junk included a divan, plus nearly enough bottles, garbage, papers and boxes to fill their Volkswagen bus.

    “The stuff would take up at least half of a goodsized pickup truck,” Chief Obanhein said.

    The rubbish was thrown into the Nelson Foote Sr. property on Prospect Street, a residential section of Stockbridge consisting largely of estates on the hill across from Indian Hilil [sic] School.

    Chief Obanhein told the court he spent “a very disagreeable two hours” looking through the rubbish before finding a clue to who had thrown it there. He finally found a scrap of paper bearing the name of a Great Barrington man. Subsequent investigation indicated Robbins and Guthrie had been visiting the Great Barrington man and had agreed to cart away the rubbish for him.

    They told the court that, when they found the Barrington dump closed, they drove around and then disposed of the junk by tossing it over the Stockbridge hillside.

    Unidentified newspaper clipping, reprinted in This is the Arlo Guthrie Songbook, New York, NY, 1969, p. 39.

  2. Bette

    Oh, my! Thanks for this, Eric – I remember the song, & seeing the film all those years ago, & howling with laughter. Love the memories, miss the people with whom I shared those years & that laughter.
    Now I’ll check out Mme. Zolonga.

  3. Madame ZolongaMadame Zolonga

    “Madame Zolonga understands astrology perfectly, and how to use it in the most self-defeating ways.”

    This is certainly the most accurate endorsement I’ve ever received. I will be using it on all my PR material henceforth.

    Thank you, Eric! This was a fantastic surprise. And I wish all the Planet Wavers a very uneventful holiday! xx — MZ

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