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Archive for November, 2008

Yes folks, late late late again, and here come the reasons (because that’s what they are, reasons, not excuses)…

1) The teenager just had his ACL surgery. I am now a nurse as well as cabbie, father, husband, writer, whatever else I think I am…

2) The pre-schooler and the teenager are both home quite a lot which means less time to idle, er sorry, write.

3) There are things which pay the bills which require me meeting their deadlines first. You don’t opay my bills (yet) so until such a time as you do, sorry, back of the queue (and I can hear your tears of disappointment from here)…

4) I am shortly going to watch Harold & Kumar Escape Guantanamo Bay for the third time this week. Which right now is a very important moment in my day…

See you soon…

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“Can I hear “Mrs.Robinson?”

An innocent enough request you might think, except this will be the 12th time I’ve played “Mrs.Fucking Robinson” (that’s the nu-2008 mix of “Mrs.Robinson” incidentally) in the last hour, and there will be many more requests for it before the day is out. And then there will be requests for it all week. And then there will be requests for it for the rest of the month. And the rest of the year. So forgive me for re-titling “Mrs. Fucking Robinson” but in all honesty it can currently have no other name for me. By the way, if ‘Jesus really did love me’ he’d let the pre-schooler know that Simon & Garfunkel wrote other songs (she, of course, is not especially interested in ‘other songs’)…put it this way, if she one day asks to hear ‘The Sound Of Silence’ I might well weep with joy. There again, perhaps I should just force it upon her one unsuspecting day, you know, slip it in amidst the ‘Robinsons’. I recently tried that with Slayer’s ‘Angel Of Death’ just for a giggle, and was met with such a resounding wall of wailing I quickly withdrew and slunk back off up the itunes playlist to ‘the song’. 

“Guess who I’m going to be next Halloween Daddy?!!!” says the pre-schooler with glee as I cue up ‘Mrs. Fucking Robinson’ AGAIN.

“I have no idea honey…”

“I’m going to be Simon.”

“Well you’re the right height! And you’re going to wear a big cap, hippy hair and a moustache?”

“Yeah! And I’m going to sing ‘…here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you…’

She continues to sing the entire song. For the umpteenth time. I ponder if anyone will have to be Art Garfunkel (was he christened ‘Art’ or his his real name ‘Arthur’?) next Halloween before my question is abruptly answered.

“Mummy’s going to be Garfunkel!”

“What, complete with blond/orange afro-style frizz wig?”

“Yeah!”

That will be quite a sight.

And the obsession shows no signs of diminishing. The other day, in discussion with the teenager, when asked what she wanted to eat for dinner, the pre-schooler replied ‘SIMON & GARFUNKEL!’

“That’s silly, you really want to eat them?”

“Yeah! YEAH! WITH SQUEEZY YO-YOS TOO!!! Daaaaaddy…can you please play “Mrs…” 

And so I did. But in doing so, I made a fatal error. Having heard the song, at that point, at least 250 times, I felt a little bit of singing along was perfectly understandable, not much of course, just a smidge.  And so I sang a bit, well OK, I warbled it…well, the point is I could’ve Celine Dion’d the bastard, it wouldn’t have mattered. The pre-schoolers tears and anger were loud, copious and instant, as if she’d been tazered. What dirty, filthy, egregious crime against humanity had I ACTUALLY perpetrated? I had ‘sung’ the words ‘hey’ ‘hey’ and ‘hey’ from ‘Mrs.F**king Robinson.’ And THIS, it transpired, was Gitmo-style torture for her.

“WHY DID YOU SING ‘HEY HEY HEY’ DADDY? YOU CAN’T SING ‘HEY HEY HEY’ DADDY, ONLY GARFUNKEL CAN SING ‘HEY HEY HEY’ NOT YOU, N…N…N…UUUUUUUUTTTT YOOOOOOOOO  BOO  HOOOOOOOOO…”

There’s really not much to say when confronted with such things other than ‘sorry’ and ‘I won’t do it again, I promise’ because the alternative path, you know, the ‘Jesus Christ will you snap out of this absurdity before my head explodes with the stupidity of it all’ response would cause the sort of deep and horrific scarring that sees children shut down from their parents. And our future relationship was not worth compromising because of either ‘Mrs.F**king Robinson’ or my apparent unsuitability to be even a substitute Garfunkel when Mum’s away.

I suppose her obsessive love of this song reveals the pre-schooler to be a true populist. Look up the different versions of it in itunes (and trust me, we’ve listened to most of them too) and you’ll find tens of dozens of them, including one by Sami Pitkamo on the Valkokankhaan Helmet album (clean lyric version too, which made me realize I needed to listen to the original more carefully), plus a particularly horrible version by The Lemonheads. I must also confess that I quite liked The Dixie Chicks version, had a good giggle at Booker T & The MG’s elevator-style assault, and am very confused by the categorization of Simon & Garfunkel as ‘pop’ because it most certainly is NOT ‘pop’, much more like PROPER folks music.  And a quick dance through Wikipedia’s entry on the song (yes, it has it’s own history) reveals that the director of famed ’60s film “The Graduate” (for which this song was written) had become obssessed with Simon & Garfunkel’s music, had cornered Paul Simon to write for the movie, had been told he only had time to pen a couple of tunes and had himself pushed Paul Simon into re-jigging some old ideas and themes into the now-timeless classic. Thank God for Mike Nichols, otherwise the pre-schooler would be lost in a sea of silence, no ‘Mrs.Robinson’ only the occasional burst of ‘Omnibus” by Deutscher trance-pop-technotrons Katie skate and Laut Sprecher for occasional aural relief.

And so here I am, sitting, writing this, humming ‘The Sound Of Silence’ before I realize that I should just go to itunes and buy the bloody thing. And then I decide to buy ‘Scarborough Fair’…and then hey, what’s ‘Scarborough Fair’ without ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’?!!! And I take a quick look at my ‘Purchased’ column, and see my last four songs bought were ‘Bojangles’ by Pitbull and the aforementioned S & G trio. I won’t be playing Pitbull for the pre-schooler anytime soon, but the other three? It’s a gamble for sure, but one I’m prepared to take if only to try and not hear ‘Mrs. F**king Robinson’ again for at least two days…the reality right now, however, is that I’ll be listening to it again in about 90-bastard minutes, and trying very very VERY hard not to sing  HEY HEY HEY…

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