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Vitamin Q: the book!

~ Wednesday, November 10, 2004


I recently heard at last some of the work of Shooby Taylor – The Human Horn. In the wonderful book Songs in the Key of Z, Irwin Chusid looked at some of the most eccentric (and some downright bonkers) musicians of recent decades. Taylor, an African American from Brooklyn, thought to be a retired postal worker, recorded a series of songs in a local studio in the early 80s which have come to be cult classics. He is basically a scat singer and Chusid helpfully offers a list of Shooby's most common utterings which he describes as 'Mother Goose nonsense simmering in a rich Afro-Yiddish stew':


dwee da-da-sah
feedilee-oat'n dwee-bee
la-da-dah shree, lo poo-pah
lah chilidee-dah-dah-dot, raw chidily blah-bah
pa shiddle-ee da-da-la
poppy-poppy dah-shrah, dobby-dobby dob-shrah
pwee-dot, dwee-dot, wah e-saw
shooby-splaw, shabala-raw
shree-shrah-ha, shrabala-rah, shala-rah, sada-EEE, sidily-blobby
sidily doot-in-doot splaw
tweeding-da, tweeding-da ta dob-de-dah, lye-ah
we dah-dah sah, pee-pah


One of the growth areas in dubious foods has been unusual ice cream flavours: in Japan, you can have octopus flavour, or ox tongue; in the Philippines, purple yam ice cream with lumps of cheese can be sampled; celebrated UK chef Heston Blumenthal has experimented with flavours including bacon and egg, mustard and sardines on toast. But the Mecca for ice cream madness must be Heladeria Coromoto in the Andean town of Merida in Venezuala.Offering over 800 flavours, many of them savoury, the parlour currently claims the record for most varieties. These include:

black bean / shrimp / cornflakes / white mullet roe / rice / spaghetti and cheese / garlic / meat / Pepsi cola / corn on the cob / ark shell / mushroom / smoked trout / potato / pig skin / hot pepper / crab / cheeseburger / squid / ham and cheese / seafood stew / mamey colorado / rose / carrot / tuna / whiskey / spearmint / sausage / chestnut / prune / red wine

Some of the flavours are more figuratively named:

Goddess Venus / Viagra – the Hope / World Cup / Andean Condor / Honeymoon / For the Mothers / You Stepped On My Toes / Good Night / Temptation / The Reporters / Forgive Me My Love / Lonely Planet / My First Kiss

Source: various

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