Tuesday, March 02, 2010


St. Lucy, Martyr

This post will, ultimately, be about song lyrics and a saint, however off-kilter the rambling intro might be. And, this is not the kind of "Eh?" people refer to as Canadian, speaking of the recent Vancouver Olympics, which I am heartily glad are over. I have no use for ice fornicating (Robin Williams calls it something else) or maybe I should call it ice pornicating, but I love speed skating, half-pipe, and skiing. Other than that, I can't stand it. I mean, girls, cover up your waggy little fannies with real clothing and quit dragging your ponytails on the rink [you're too old for a ponytail, by the way!] and quit simulating orgasms in public [perhaps I should have dropped the L and said "in pubic"?] , and quit crying the disgusting glitter off your eyes like a baby if you don't get a gold! Wash out the industrial-strength hairspray and have real hair! JEEZ!

Which digression randomly brings me full circle to my thesis: my "Eh?" is the Old Person kind of "Eh?" The kind old people used to say when they couldn't understand what they thought they heard, or perhaps they heard nothing because they were too stubborn to wear a hearing aid. It's the kind my great-grandfather used to say at the Sunday dinner table, peppered alternately with, "Suuuuurrre." "Suuuuurre" always meant that he sure hadn't caught what we'd said and could he have another slice of rhubarb pie please, Gramma Flo.

As I get older, I admit that as my body diminishes I grow less tolerant of general foolishness: bad driving, buckwild crazy parents allowing their children to run like bulls at Pamplona in large public places such as warehouse discount stores, "journalists" working for such esteemed publications as the WSJ who cannot distinguish between the words "gads" and "scads" when context says they clearly mean "scads" (and by the way why are such colloquialisms showing up in the WSJ? I will tell you why--they have almost certainly fired all my colleagues, the copy editors, and no longer even have dedicated beat reporters but use random remote quickie stringers who have no clue about their location, audience, OR content.)

Retreating now from the rant about my beloved newspaper industry, I also have no tolerance for women in really noisy
clicky high heels; I want to stick my leg out and trip them. In addition, I can't stand people who whistle aimlessly and improvisationally and cannot carry a tune to save their lives; this holds for people at home as well as those in public. And the people at home know who they are and are regularly admonished to STOP IT! I want to smack my hand over their lips and take them down. That is just the beginning. Clearly, there's not room on the entire Internet for my list of peeves and grievances.

Lately, what really gets my goat is not being able to understand the lyrics of the music my younger son, the champion swimmer, likes. I hope with all the maximum iPodding his ears don't wind up looking like Michael Phelps's, although he is eating almost an actual pig in a blanket and three gallons of--coffee--ice cream--every day. (See Saturday Night Live on Hulu episode with Michael Phelps--v. funny to a swim mom.) Also, regularly, he says, "Mom, listen to this awesome song!" And I listen, but I don't hear and comprehend anything. I don't understand the lyrics AT ALL. I might hear and understand, in my own way, the words of the lyrics, but I don't know what they mean in the context of the songs.

He listens to more and more pop and rap and I just don't get it. I ask him to translate. And I still wind up saying,
"Eh?" Recently, he started playing a pop, not rap song that he and I really like. Not terribly new. Very dancy. It's called "Replay." The artist is Iyaz, and the music is poppy/Caribbean. It opens with, "Shorty's like a melody in my head." Tyke was streaming the song from Rhapsody way across the open family room, and I was trying to listen, but all I could pay attention to was what I could NOT understand. So I said, "Wait, Tyke, did he just say '/Like my eyeballs stuck on a plate?'" My son nearly sprayed his ginger ale all over the monitor. "Mom, you are an R-tard!" And I was laughing, too, because just when I said it I did realize that not only was I an R-tard in his eyes, but also that I had made a completely subliminal reference to artistic representations of Saint Lucy, and my son did not get it because he knows nothing about saints or art history, and I thought that was hilarious right back at him. I was laughing more because he did not understand my allusion than because I hadn't understood the lyrics.

I guess this may be a generational thing, but so be it. So I asked him to play the song again, and he said, "Mom, it's 'like my iPod's stuck on REPLAY! Not 'my eyeballs stuck on a plate!'" In truth, these are the lyrics:

"Shorty's like a melody in my head/that I can't keep out, I be singin' like/
Na-na-na-na every day/Like my iPod's stuck on REPLAY [echo replay]"

I stood corrected, but now every time he plays the song we deliberately sing it "Like my eyeballs stuck on a plate!"

But my mishearing doesn't stop there. Another line from the song I did not understand sounded to me like, "I'm afraid of a pork chop." So, again I said, "Tyke, tell me he did not just say 'I'm afraid of a pork chop'!" And he said, "Mom, what is WRONG WITH YOU?"

"That girl--like somethin' on a poster . . ./some other line/That girl she's the gun to my holster . . ."

It may be neither here nor there, but furthermore I take umbrage at the metaphor of the girl being the "gun to the holster." Because, I think if you consider the image you will concur that the boy is probably the gun to the girl's holster, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.



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