Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Anti-Dylan

You often see lyrics to classic songs analyzed to glean their every meaning. We want to know what the musical poets were trying to say with their words as much as feeling the notes of the music.

But what about bad song lyrics? No one ever analyzes those. Until now.

This is the chorus to "Everybody Wants Some" by Van Halen

Everybody wants some
I want some too
Everybody needs some
how 'bout you

Judging by the first verse what everyone wants is a sexual encounter on a subway and I don't think it means sloppy kisses between bites of a six inch sweet onion chicken teriyaki sub either. Why you'd want your junk touching bacteria-infested subway seats I don't know but in Van Halen's alcohol-induced haze it must be like a room at the Ritz Carlton. The narrator says "everybody" wants some, but follows it up with telling us he wants it also. The collective "everybody" would encompass the narrator as well so the entire second line is superfluous. He proceeds to tell us "everybody" needs some, but follows by asking us, the listeners, if we want some as well. Again, we would be included in the "everybody" of the previous line so why ask us? The answer of course is the band had the music written and then needed some words that rhymed to call them "lyrics". A few minutes later the song is done and David Lee Roth is combing his chest hair.

This is the chorus to "Working for the Weekend" by Loverboy

Everybody's working for the weekend
Everybody needs a new romance
Everybody's going off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance
You want a piece of my heart
You better start from the start
You want to be in the show
Come on baby let's go

I can't argue with the first line since I spend most work-days wool gathering about anything and everything. The second line uses the collective "everybody" but this discounts people who are happily married as well as those in common law marriages, long term relationships, civil unions or just blissfully "shacking up". None of these people are looking for a new romance. The next line is specious at best again because of the use of the collective "everybody". I know plenty of people who are losing it at any given time, but I also know many who are stable so don't lump them all in together like a Freud-Jung bouillabaisse. I won't argue with the ‘second chance’ line in general terms although what it has to do with working for the weekend, I don't know. A second chance to say no to overtime? Another shot at asking out the girl in accounting?

'You want a piece of my heart'? Is this literal or figurative? I need more context on whether the band is singing to a young lady or a serial killer with an internal organ fetish. 'You better start from the start'. Sorry, but where else would you start from except the 'start', which grammatically should be 'beginning'. Then some mythical show is mentioned and apparently all you have to do to be in it is 'go'. The take-away from all of this is much like Van Halen, Loverboy had written the music but needed lyrics so the singer had something to do. They threw darts at a dictionary and wound up with this hit song.

So there you have installment 1 of a 1,287 part series of bad song lyrics interpreted pedantically.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Wonder Woman Protection Agency

This picture sits on a shelf above my desk at work. It's Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman from the 70s. I have a male friend/co-worker the same age as me and one day we were discussing TV shows we used to watch as kids. We both agreed that we didn't watch Wonder Woman because of any interest in the comic book character but because Lynda Carter is, well, Lynda Carter, and she looked like this and we were 12 and you get the point. I got my picture from a female friend who made them up for all the men in department at the time as a "Fun Friday" gift.

The photo has been sitting on my desk for about 3 years now, although I don't notice it very often anymore. Sure, I might lean back to stretch and it enters my line of sight, those long legs speaking to me in a way . . . hmmm . . . I'm sorry, what was I saying?

Yes, I look at the picture occasionally but not every day. Usually it's someone who has never been at my desk before who sees it and with a quizzical expression asks "So, what's up with the picture of Wonder Woman?" My shelf is filled with little tchotchkes of my favorite sports teams or there's my pen shaped like a rocket or my plastic steam train engine I got at a yard sale for 25 cents.

They all sit on my shelf, a part of my personality, creating a comfortable pocket for me to exist in while at work. Even though I don't look at all of them every day they instill in me a sense of home. I am one of those people who like to be surrounded by my stuff. There is no minimalism when it comes to the areas I exist in every day. My walls at home are covered with photos of family and friends, paintings, posters, banners, anything that can be hung up and displayed. At work I have photos from vacations, pictures of co-workers when we were doing something silly rather than working. Oh, and a picture of the cast of The Loveboat. That's a story for another time.

I admit when I see someone's work area that is devoid of any pictures or memorabilia, that is simply a box for work, I view it as a prison. If it works for that person that's great but I can't make it through the day in a cold, antiseptic cubicle. If I have to be confined to a desk surrounded by three walls I need my Woodstock figurine, shells from the beach, and my sign proclaiming me a fan of the New York Jets so people can feel sad for me.

Wonder Woman watches over all of my things, a protector as well as a boyhood crush. If I could get her to ride the plastic toy tiger I'd have a Frank Frezetta painting come to life.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

All the News That's Fit to Fake

Welcome to the daily news, I'm Brad Fluffymuffin, sitting in for the vacationing Brock Meatthreat who took the place of the retired Harry von Speedlemeister who was given this job after many late night drinks with network president Marilyn Marilyn Shapely. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

In Florida today someone was arrested for doing something mind-bogglingly stupid involving meth or bath salts. The perpetrator was probably covered in profane tattoos and likely human excrement. Police expect to make more arrests tomorrow for similar crimes because it's Florida.

Shifting to world news now, in Belgium a satirical magazine called "Hey, Pay Attention to Us, We're Belgian" is being criticized by Hindus for a cartoon of the goddess Durga using her 8 arms to do such things as wash the dishes, change a baby's diaper, make dinner and other traditional women's household roles. The caption of the cartoon has Durga yelling to her husband "I can't get you a beer, I'm busy. What, you think I have 9 arms?" Hindu men are incensed that one of their gods has been caricatured while most Hindu women have not been allowed to read the cartoon.

In political news Mitt Romney has announced he will make another run at the White House. In response the Democrats have chosen a porcelain cup filled with green tea to run against Romney. Early polls show the cup with a 7 percentage point lead.

In the entertainment world the Oscars are coming up. A poll of 45 kittens at a local shelter show wide-spread support for Ratatouille. When told that film is actually 7 years old and not nominated this year, food bowls were overturned in anger and our reporter was hissed out of the room.

The weather tomorrow is scheduled to be ass-biting cold followed the next day by the brass monkey losing its balls.

The focus shifts to sports now where residents of Seattle still haven't come to grips with the Seahawks losing the Super Bowl. People are still walking the streets grabbing their crotches in solidarity with Marshawn Lynch. Others continue to make terrible decisions at work to show support for coach Pete Carroll and his last second bone-headed play call that lost some of us a great deal of money. What were you thinking Carroll? A pass when you have one of the best backs in the league against a weak goal line defense? My 8 year old made the correct play call from our living room! Big Tony is on my ass day and night. I don't have $20,000 Pete. I like the fingers on my left hand and want to keep them . . .

**The broadcast will be right back after this word from our sponsor "Dante's 5th Circle of Hell Gentleman's Club--now with human strippers"**

Ladies and gentlemen, Brad Fluffymuffin has taken a leave of absence to deal with some personal issues and spend more time with his family. I'm Dan Blunderbuss filling in.

Our last story of the night is a video submitted by a viewer from Montana. This beautiful grizzly bear decided their porch was the perfect place for a nap. Delilah Hoodle taped the sleeping giant for nearly twenty minutes before it woke up and mauled her into a bloody pulp. Isn't nature magnificent?

This has been the daily news. Good night.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Close Encounters of the Idiot Kind

Do you walk into a store and stop two steps inside the doorway so the man behind you trips himself trying not to run into you, falls to the side on his arm snapping the radius bone which breaks through the skin and stabs him in the eye leaving him blinded and unable to work so he has to move in with his daughter who is a vegan that does yoga for 3 hours each morning and doesn't own a TV? Do you drive 15 miles below the speed limit until the driver behind you falls asleep, runs their car off the road into a tree which collapses onto oncoming traffic blocking the road so an ambulance carrying a man who has fallen and broke his arm which stabbed him in the eye can't get through to the hospital? In general, do you behave as if the world revolves around you and no one else's life matters? Then you may have "You're a Fucking Idiot Syndrome".

Doctors have only recently done the first comprehensive studies on YAFIS but have already identified millions who suffer from it, including nearly every person you encounter on any given day.

The spread of YAFIS is alarming. Formerly normal people wake up one morning and have overnight become idiots. The day before they would never dream of standing in a grocery store aisle with their cart sideways thus taking up the entire lane. Then one morning they do it without even thinking and when asked politely to move aside they instead hire Gloria Allred who was in the next aisle buying granola and US Weekly. By Tuesday you're embroiled in a civil lawsuit when all you wanted was a box of Pop Tarts.

How do we combat YAFIS? Sadly there are no good alternatives at this time. Many have taken up arms and shot the idiots they encounter but when examined these people were found to have an alternate version of YAFIS called "Extremist Idiot Disorder" or "Republicanism". Others have tried reasoning with an idiot only to feel after as if their brains had melted and leaked out through their nose. A new study by the Harvard School of Psychology has identified these people as having yet another off-shoot of YAFIS, "Bleeding Heart Disease" or "Liberalism".

So where, as a society, do we go from here? Do we all build compounds, listen to Hank Williams Jr. records and eat meat-like products from a can? Do we bring back talk shows like Phil Donahue so we can work through our collective problems in daily televised therapy sessions paid for by male enhancement pills and diet supplements?

No. The solution lies within us. It isn't found in Eastern philosophy or Western nihilism. Each of us, as individuals, need to promise one another we will do better. We will be considerate of others and understand that we are not alone.

If that doesn't work there's always flippin' 'em the bird and shouting "What are ya, a fuckin’ idiot?"

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Foodie Fairytale

Dilly Dan was a pickle man, selling his gherkins and garlics on the corner of 1st avenue and 12th street. His cart was in the shape of a dill and he wore a uniform of all green, down to his socks and shoes. Dan lived for pickles. He ate them at every meal, canned them, sold them and slept on a green pillow.

All was green and briny in Dan’s world until the day a new food cart opened for business across the street.

Funnel Fran was a funnel cake girl, a fourth generation food cart vendor. Her great grandfather Penny Candy Stan the Cheap Candy Man opened a cart on 4th avenue in 1932 selling licorice, bubble gum and ribbon candy. Fran’s grandfather Corndog Bob operated his cart throughout Central Park. He passed the cart onto his son, Fran’s dad, who transformed into Apple Pie Peter whose pies were known all over the five boroughs.

Funnel Fran opened her cart across the street from Dilly Dan on a warm July morning. It only took until the afternoon for Funnel Fran to be out of ingredients. The local people were crazy for her cakes. Meanwhile, Dan had only sold one pickle, a Texas Dill to a small child who took a bite and dropped it down the storm drain.

That evening Dilly Dan concocted a plan to get his business back from Funnel Fran. Dilly Dan was a big fan of plans as well as cheese in a can, spray tans and ’64 Chevy oil pans. When Dan made his way to 1st avenue the next morning he was sans cans, tans or pans. In his mind he carried only his plan. And in his arms he carried a 5 gallon drum of pickle brine.

He found Fran hard at work inside her cart. She had four plastic containers each filled with her famous funnel cake batter. Dan needed to distract his rival so he set her cart on fire. While Fran sprayed the flames with an extinguisher, Dan snuck into the cart to pour his pickle brine into the funnel cake batter. Dan stirred the juice into the batter until you couldn’t tell it was there.

Dilly Dan snuck away to watch from the shadows as Fran’s business was ruined when she sold funnel cakes that tasted like pickles. However, to Dan’s astonishment, people loved them. Fran couldn’t make them fast enough. The line at her cart stretched across the road, blocking traffic. Drivers abandoned their cars to purchase a Funnel Fran funnel cake.

Dan got in line himself and purchased one of Fran’s confections. As he ate it he fell into a state of bliss he didn’t know existed. The combination of the sweetness of the sugar, the thickness of the dough and the tartness of the pickle juice made for a flavor that outshone pork rinds, fried Oreos and pheasant broiled in a white wine reduction and covered in mango hollandaise sauce.

Dan looked at Fran with her frizzy blond hair, crooked smile and giant, mannish hands and realized he was falling in love. As he ate his funnel cake he envisioned the two of them working side by side in their carts selling pickles, cakes, pickle flavored cakes, cake flavored pickles, and assorted souvenir hats, shirts, bumper stickers, iPad cases, nasal inhalers, lunch meats, lemon reamers, cutlery, hair clips, antiperspirant, window decals, combustion engines, flower vases, front end loaders, breakfast cereal, balloons, alpacas, finely crafted furniture, ceramic mugs, notebooks, pocket watches and sunglasses. Lots of sunglasses.

Dilly Dan wandered the streets until the end of the day. When Fran finally put out her closed sign, Dan approached the exhausted confectioner. He introduced himself as Dilly Dan the pickle man. Fran smiled shyly.

“I’ve seen you with your cart,” she said.

Dan smiled back and told her how much he loved her funnel cake. Fran thanked him but explained she didn’t even know how they got that flavor.

“I’d love to sell more,” she said, “but I don’t know how I did it.”

“I can help you with that,” Dan told Fran. “You could say it was my recipe.”

Dan explained how that morning he had been angry with Fran for taking his business. Using animated hand motions he described his love of plans, cans and tans and how he executed his plan at 8 a.m. by setting her cart on fire then sneaking in and pouring pickle juice in the batter. Dan continued his story and was at the point of the souvenir combustion engines when Fran punched him in the face. Repeatedly.

Dilly Dan was a pickle man until he lost all his teeth and his eyes swelled shut and that cut on the bridge of his nose wouldn’t stop bleeding and his ear drum perforated and his brain swelled inside his skull . . .