Al Cody has a minion!

Jersey Devil the Thirteenth Child

Al Cody

The Harvest Fester
Owner: Balloon

Age: 2 years, 10 months, 1 day

Born: October 22nd, 2016

Adopted: 2 years, 10 months, 1 day ago

Adopted: October 22nd, 2016

Pet Spotlight Winner
January 2nd


  • Level: 183
  • Strength: 261
  • Defense: 100
  • Speed: 100
  • Health: 100
  • HP: 100/100
  • Intelligence: 233
  • Books Read: 224
  • Food Eaten: 3
  • Job: Master Key Turner

profile and story by Balloon • background photos from 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

Master Key Turner at Yun Enterprises

I always wanted to be a cowboy.

Everyone thought it was cute when I was a little kid. I mean, every boy wants to be a cowboy at some point, right? They didn't think it was so cute, though, when I never grew out of it. My dad said wanting to be a cowboy was fine for boys who grew up out in Texas or Arizona or something, but not for guys who'd never lived beyond the mid Atlantic. Particularly not for guys named Arthur Milgrum from Short Hills, New Jersey, who'd finished college and had a family business to take over. My mom wasn't so politic about it, especially when I got an apartment over in New York City and started calling myself Al Cody and tried to make a career of playing western folk music instead of taking over that family business.

It all started because I saw so many westerns when I was a kid, growing up in the thirties. I guess we had it better during the Depression than a lot of families did, but we didn't have it great, either. I don't remember a whole lot about it—I was really young after all—but I know we went to the movies pretty often. Lots of people did when they could afford it, kinda to escape their real lives, maybe. Anyway, my dad's always liked westerns, 'cos before he got married he was sort of a rogue. I think he enjoyed watching the westerns and pretending he was free again, out there like the cowboys played by John Wayne or Robert Livingston or Johnny Mack Brown (except my dad never was good at sports). His favorite westerns were the traditional ones, the dramas with maybe a little romance if the girl was a feisty type like Maureen O'Hara. (Mom's feisty. She's got feist to spare, in fact.)

But me, I liked the singing cowboy movies. I still like the singing cowboy movies. I know they're hokey and silly and everything else—my dad never got tired of telling me that, and neither does Llewyn. . . but I’ll get to Llewyn in a minute.  And maybe those movies are silly, but they’re also happy, and we needed happy back then.  I think we still need happy now, thirty years later. Of course I like the traditional westerns and I admire John Wayne, who doesn't, but I love Gene Autry and Roy Rogers and Tex Ritter the most. When I was a kid, I'd watch those guys and pretend I was them, out there and free just like my dad did, but I pretended I was singing and playing the guitar too, making people happy. I didn't care much about the romance part of the story, just the singing part. The singing, and the saving the day, and the making people happy.

Then in the forties, the war came, and the Depression ended, and things got better or worse depending on who you were and who you asked. We still went to the movies as a family the first couple years, until about the time the war ended, but after that, I went by myself.  Sometimes with my friends, every now and then with a date, but mostly by myself.  Part of the reason I quit going with my family was because Dad started spending less and less time at home, but of course, I was growing up, too. Teenagers don't like going to the movies with their parents much. I kept seeing the cowboy movies, though, and I still loved the singing ones the best.

Those were my favorites all the way into the mid-fifties while I finished growing up, and finished college, and they finished making movies with singing cowboys.  There were still lots of westerns coming out, but more and more, they were B movies.  I still liked ‘em, but they weren’t quite the same.  Nobody would see them with me either.  Everybody was real tired of my cowboy thing by then, but I don’t like giving up, especially not on a dream.  So near the end of 1959, I moved into a dumpy apartment on Downing Street in New York City, started going by Al Cody, and tried to make it as a western folk musician. That was the closest I could get to becoming a singing cowboy, since I'm really a Jewish guy on the East coast in the second half of the twentieth century.

My parents hated it, especially my mom.  She hated that I changed my name, even when I tried to explain I didn’t change it because I was ashamed of people knowing I was Jewish.  I changed it because “Arthur Milgrum” just sounds like an accountant or something while “Al Cody” sounds like a cowboy, but she wouldn’t listen.  She hated the way I started talking and told me people were going to think I was ignorant because I used words like “ain’t.”  She hated that I lived in a tiny apartment and that I started smoking, and most of all, she hated the music.

I actually recorded a solo album (it didn’t sell), and I gave my parents a copy.  They didn’t say it was bad or anything, and I think Dad even kinda liked it, but Mom made sure I knew exactly how much time and money I had wasted so far on my silly dream of being a cowboy musician, and how much more time and money I was gonna waste if I kept on with it.  I didn’t argue with her.  I’ve never won an argument with Mom in my life, and anyway, I knew she was probably right.  But like I said, I don’t like giving up, so I stayed in the apartment and kept playing gigs when I could get them, and that’s how I met Llewyn Davis.

That day in ‘61, I was in a recording studio again, but this time, I was doing backup vocals for a buddy of mine on a novelty song he wrote.  It’s a silly song, but I guess you’ve figured out by now, I like silly.  While we were warming up, another friend of my buddy’s came in to help out too.  That friend was Llewyn.  He was short and kind of rumpled and grouchy and really cute, and when he asked if he could spend a couple nights at my apartment on my couch, I couldn’t tell him no.  I always tried to be helpful and nice to everybody, and like I said, he was really cute.

Llewyn was a jerk—not just to me, to everybody.  He thought our mutual friend’s song was ridiculous, and he mooched off all his other friends until no one would take him in anymore, and eventually he ran his mouth so much he ended up getting pummeled in a fist fight.  As for me, Llewyn said I was so tall and thin, I’d disappear if I turned sideways.  He said he hated my cowboy hat and the only good thing about it was that it covered up how big my ears are.  He said the first time he heard me sing, I sounded like a cow.

But there was something about Llewyn that made me feel like the cowboy I’d always wanted to be.  When we sang, we sounded good together.  I only sounded like a cow on that one song, and it turned out that Llewyn liked my voice otherwise.  I didn’t really mind giving him a place to stay as long as he helped out some, and he started doing that the second time he came around, after he got in that fight and I patched him up.  And I found out that he kind of liked me being tall and thin, and he even kind of liked my ears.  (He really didn’t like the cowboy hat, and he still doesn’t, but that’s just too bad.)  All in all, Llewyn liked being with me because I cheered him up, and not many people could do that anymore.

So being with Llewyn made me feel like singing, and saving the day, and making him happy.  And even though I never cared much about romance in the movies, I fell in love with him.  I fell hard.  If I had been John Wayne, Llewyn would have been my Maureen O’Hara, as feisty as they come.  But I wasn’t really a cowboy, no matter how much I wanted to be, and I wasn’t a movie star either.  I don’t like giving up on my dreams, but a “happily ever after” with another guy, and a guy like Llewyn at that?  How could that dream ever come true?

Well, what the movies don’t tell you is that sometimes, you compromise. . . you learn how to balance your dreams.  I figured that out once the impossible happened: once Llewyn fell in love with me too, I decided I’d do whatever it took to make it work.  So I compromised.  I gave up part of the cowboy thing, in the end.  Like, I got a regular job—I’m not an accountant, but I do work in an office where they call me Arthur, not Al.  But when I go out and perform with Llewyn, I go by Al Cody, and I wear my cowboy hat, no matter how much he complains.  Besides, our daughter Maria loves my hat so much, I bought her a cowgirl hat all her own, and now she wants to be a singing cowgirl when she grows up (and an artist, and maybe a princess to boot).  I think I can safely say I’ve won the hat argument now that I’ve gotten our kid to take my side.

Sometimes they show the old singing cowboy westerns on TV, and Llewyn never fails to tell me how silly they are, but he sits and watches them with me anyway.  I sing for him; and when he’s had a bad day, I save it for him; and I do my best to make him happy.  He does all those things for me too, and we both do everything we can to give our little girl the best life possible.  So I guess you could say I ended up becoming a part-time cowboy—it’s not quite what I imagined while I was sitting in the dark theater all those years ago, but being my family’s hero is a better “happily ever after” than I ever saw in any movie.

Pet Treasure


Fabulous Cowboy Sticker

Snakeskin Hat Band

Knotted Red Handkerchief

Plain Brown Cowboy Vest

Cowboys Raincoat

Cowboys Plain Shirt

Cowboys Dark Gunbelt

Cowboys Jeans

Sturdy Chaps

Nice Cowboy Boot

Functional Spurs

Mustache Trimming Scissors

Cowboys Lariet

Photograph of Them Thar Plains

Sougara Wasteland Cowboy Hat

Sougara Wasteland Cowboy Broken Comb

Sougara Wasteland Cowboy Dust-Guard Eye Drops

Sougara Wasteland Cowboy Dirty Bandage Tin

Sougara Wasteland Cowboy Kerchief

Sougara Wasteland Cowboy Leather Armbands

Sougara Wasteland Cowboy Scrap of Flannel

Sougara Wasteland Cowboy Leather Belts

Sougara Wasteland Cowboy Rugged Leather Pants

Sougara Wasteland Cowboy Sturdy Leather Boots

Sougara Wasteland Cowboy Old Photograph Print

Romero Badlands Saddle Wax

Bow-E Peyote Saddle Suspenders

Boot Collar

Brown Cowboy Boots

Dark Brown Cowboy Boots

Light Brown Cowboy Boots

Olive Cowboy Boots

Dark Ochre Cowboy Boots

Black Cowboy Boots

Red Cowboy Boots

Tan Cowboy Boots

Turquoise Cowboy Boots

Purple Cowboy Boots

Pink Cowboy Boots

Monochrome Cowboy Boots

Brown Buttless Chaps

Dark Brown Buttless Chaps

Tan Buttless Chaps

Olive Buttless Chaps

Dark Ochre Buttless Chaps

Black Buttless Chaps

Folksy Security Robot

Bow-Legged Book of the West

What in Carnation Sticker

Howdy! Kumos Sticker

Hay There Sticker

Pilgrim Matter

Country CD

Music and Emotions

Folk Music Flyer

Broken Record Player

Music Sheet

Unorganized Sheets of Music

Strange Music

Blank Composers Book

Boy Band Microphone

Microphone of The Voice


Red Microphone

Bloodred Microphone

Reborn Microphone

Blue Microphone

Dark Matter Microphone

Just Some Boy Headphones


Guitar Strap

Guitar Plushie

Kumos Forest Guitar

Acoustic Guitar

Burnished Acoustic Guitar

Sunburst Acoustic Guitar

Spring Acoustic Guitar

Pink Acoustic Guitar


Basic Ukulele

Sunset Tie-Dye Ukulele

Sunburst Ukulele

Flowery Ukulele

Galaxy Ukulele


Gold Guitar Pick

Berry Guitar Pick

Spotted Guitar Pick

Turquoise Guitar Pick

Striped Guitar Pick

Guitar Picks



Lifetime Achievement Award

Book Of World Records

Musical Matter

Musical Note

Musical Fruit

Music Note Axe

Banshee Screeching Wail

Music 101

Music Theory Grade 1

Music Theory Grade 2

Music Theory Grade 3

Music Theory Grade 4

Music Theory Grade 5

Music Theory Grade 6

Music Theory Grade 7

Music Theory Grade 8

Beginning Rhyming

Intermediate Rhyming

Advanced Rhyming

How to Sing Off-Tune

Romantic Arrangements

MusiNews Issue 1

MusiNews Issue 2

MusiNews Issue 3

Melodys Songs for Beginners

Book of Ticket Stubs

Muddy Flyer

The Big Book of Questions

The Questioney Book of Questions

The Mysteries of Subeta

What is Out There?

Random Drinking Game Rules

Why Emus Cannot Fly

What is Love?

Random Balloon

Random Candies

Random Mystery Ball

Random Scimitar

Questionable Scarf

Random Plushie

Random Beanbag

Oddtu Sticker

Random Sticker

Question Mark Sticker

Mystery Subreze

Mysterious Muffin

Question Mark Carved Pumpkin

Space Oddity Sticker

City Helper Pin

Getting Rid of Pests

Blank Hello My Name Is Sticker

Pining Hard Sticker

True Love

Be My Love Rocket Candy Heart

It Is Canon Sticker

Perfect Match Sticker

How to Keep a New Years Resolution

No More Smoking Resolution Sticker

Cold Water

Trampled Resolutions

Secret Love Letter

I do Sticker

Tied the Knot Sticker

Happily Ever After Sticker

Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Roaming Gelatin

Retro Green Gelatin Dish

Applesauce-Berry Gelatin

Winter Ice Jelly Cakes

Jelly Float

Strawberry Jelly Shot

Orange Jelly Shot

Lemon Jelly Shot

Lime Jelly Shot

Blue Raspberry Jelly Shot

Grape Jelly Shot

Priberry Jelly Shots

Rabid Jelly Cup

Gelatin Caviar

Bloodred Gelatin

Cherry Gelatin

Poison Gelatin

Lime Gelatin

Grape Gelatin

Emo Gelatin

Red Banana Jelly

Pimbi Jelly

Oofa Jelly

Flubkin Jelly

Dark Matter Fruit Jelly

Spiny Gelatin Fruit

Dad Jokes

Jersey Devil Plushie

Long Lasting Music CD

Hebrew Textbook

Basil-Tov Sticker

Bottle of Kosher Salt

Gold Menorah

Silver Menorah Candle Pack

Silver Menorah

Gold Menorah Candle Pack

Fire-Safe Menorah

Golden Holiday Star Necklace Charm

Silver Holiday Star Necklace Charm

Enamel Dreidel

Pretty Ceramic Dreidel

Heart-Shaped Dreidel

Delicate Ceramic Dreidel

Gold Dreidel

Silver Dreidel

Riverside Dreidel

Mystical Dreidel

Wooden Dreidel

Childs Dreidel

Sparkly Dreidel

Dreidel Plushie

Gold Foil Gelt Coins

Silver Foil Gelt Coins

Decorative Star of David Pillow

Decorative Dreidle Pillow

Pet Friends

the love of my life