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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I hear things in my head no one else hears.

You know that song “Ain't Too Proud to Beg”? Am I the only person who thinks the opening sounds like a can of Diet Pepsi falling from a soda machine? Listen for it next time.

I KNOW you wanna’ leave me,
But I reFUSE to lechoo go!
If I have to BAYG and plead
For your sympathy,
I don’t MIND ‘cause you mean that much to me.
You know what I hear?
I KNOW I wanna’ soda…
Every time I hear it, my mouth waters and I feel my hand wrapping around an icy, cold can of Diet Pepsi – not too tightly, because I want it to stay cold. I hear the pshhht of the can opening as I pull the metal tab, anticipating the sharp taste of bubbles, caffeine, aspartame and artificial coloring sliding down my throat. But I don’t really have a soda, because there is no soda machine, just a catchy song. Much like Pavlov’s dog, I’ve learned to expect a certain action to follow that noise. I don’t know why the song makes me want a Pepsi, because facing a soda machine doesn’t make me want to listen to Motown and I’m sure I listened to Motown before I ever had Pepsi. My parents had a record player and some cool albums, but no love for junk food. But I digress.

Because I really wanted to talk about how much I hate beach music, shag* music or whatever you want to call that music so loved by plump, mildly intoxicated white dudes**. There you are, enjoying a Stoli O and soda at someone’s engagement party and here it comes – the opening bars to "Under the Boardwalk." And here she comes – the middle-aged white lady, one or three glasses too many into the Pinot Grigio, making a stupid face like she’s pooping, and bumping into you, with no particular rhythm.

“Mmmmmmmm…” she groans, “I looooove beach music.”

For some reason, she hunches her shoulders while performing this maneuver. She sways forward, she rocks back, keeping her upper body stiff as a board, or a dead person, after rigor mortis sets in. Maybe she’s remembering some sort of house party she attended in high school where everyone got wild and had two beers, which was actually legal, because the drinking age was 18.

“You young people don’t know how to DANCE,” she will claim.

We do, and we think you look silly. And really wish you would stop bumping against us like that, as it is causing us to spill our drink. I shouldn’t mock, though, because my time is coming, isn’t it? I’ll be that sixty-something year old woman, clutching my millionth Stoli O and soda, splashing it everywhere as I bump into the youngsters to the sounds of De La Soul, Outkast or Beyoncé.

“You kids don’t know how to drop it DOWN!”

I already know exactly how aggravating I’ll be and I’m powerless to stop it. Next time that lady comes shuffling up to me, I’ll remember. I’ll put down my drink and indulge her for a few moments, chortling “Oh-ho-ho-ho..we sure don’t know how to dance! Y’all are something else!” When I get tired, I’ll offer to get her another Pinot Grigio from the bar, smiling and pretending to shag as I walk away, never to return. Will a few moments garner enough good karma? Discuss.

For the old folks:

For the old folks of the future:

Namasté, y’all!

P.S. My mom admitted, after sending me an email claiming I had "gone too far this time," to hunching up her shoulders while watching the Temptations video above. Ha! Also, I just watched it and realized that version starts out a capella, so the Bada-BOMP is missing. You'll just have to download it from iTunes.

* Dear British Readers (because I know there are a few), As I’m sure you are aware, “shag” has a different meaning here. What you might refer to as “shag music,” we would call “makin’ love music.” It would include such favorites as Marvin Gaye, Barry White, Luther Vandross or, for you alt types, Mazzy Star. Best line ever in a song: “I’ma play this Vandross, you gon’ take your pants off.” Brilliant. The Shag is our state dance and involves a lot of shuffling and awkward movement, similar to lovemaking, without the nudity. Usually. Um.

** I feel sure I will get a scathing email schooling me on the difference between beach music, shag music and that music so loved by plump, mildly intoxicated white dudes. Bring it.


Anonymous said...

Listening to Pearl Jam makes me want to drink a certain European beer. "Ohhh, Iiiiiii I love Amstel Light."

Anonymous said...

Ah, man! Are you calling me a plump, mildly intoxicated white dude? You are exactly right, except I am a "dudette"! I love me some beach music! Your video put a huge grin on my face, and I definitely (without evening meaning to...) began shaking my butt on my couch!

Oh, well.
Love, Cousin Katherine