Sunday, September 25, 2005

Vox Popular

Ever since last Sunday, when I decided to work my friends into the blog only by way of nicknames, I have discovered something interesting: there are practically no preexisting nicknames among The Singles. Honestly, every time I've thought to talk about someone from that group, I've had to stop and wrack my brains to come up with a suitable alias. Not so for the Parkerites and Book Monkeys; they're practically drowning in nicknames. Heck, I can think of half a dozen for The Wiz alone off the top of my head. But when it comes to The Singles, I'm at a loss. Not quite sure why that is; maybe its a factor of the total amount of time the other groups spent with each other, living and working together, as opposed to The Singles who generally only see each other once or twice a week; maybe it's a factor of age, most of the Parkerites and Book Monkeys being underclassman or surrounded by underclassman at the time of the naming; maybe it’s a result of my having more of an online connection with IMs and Fantasy Football and Message Boards and so on with the first two groups; maybe it's something else entirely, I can't say with any surety. But while the Parkerites and Book Monkeys may share a wealth of nicknames, The Singles do have claim to a singular experience: The Popular Song.

A couple of years ago, Trouble invited The Singles to her parents' place in Colorado for a rafting trip. So, a group of about eight of us crowded into a vehicle and began the day-long trek. Several hours into the drive, while trying to distract ourselves from The Fireman's daredevil driving through the mountains, the topic of my forays into acting in high school came up. I mentioned that I had had a solo in a school play, and Disaster Girl asked if I would sing it. From the front, Mama Lightbulb overheard the tail end of this conversation, and hollered back to us "Are you going to serenade her?" Which effectively put a stop to the possibility of my singing the song . . . or so I thought.

Fast forward to the next day, when our group is paddling down the river. Due to the size of our party, we were split up between a couple of rafts. During a lull in conversation, when our raft was separated a bit from the rest of the rafts, somebody (either Disaster Girl or Mama Lightbulb, can't remember which) brings up the interrupted "serenade." Rehashing the story for the raft, I politely demurred from performing, until after much arm twisting and brow beating I was forced to cast aside my shy persona and perform. Yes, it was torture, sheer torture, being the center of attention. But I digress . . .

Not too long after the requisite polite round of applause, our raft enters a calm area, where several of the rafts have gathered to allow folks to swim a bit. We pull up beside the rest of our group, and someone informs them that they just missed a bravura performance from yours truly. They, of course, are crestfallen, and rather than allow the awesome rafting experience to be tainted by the knowledge that they had been deprived of something truly special, I belted out the song again, to the delight of all The Singles . . . and the confusion of the three or four other rafts full of strangers. I thought that would be the end of it, but oh, how naive I was. For as soon as we had returned to Texas, the tale began to spread, and I found myself constantly being tasked (generally thanks to the Machiavellian machinations of Papa Lightbulb) to transform myself into a performing monkey. Soon, it was decided that you were not really a part of The Singles group if you had not been treated to the wonder that is The Popular Song. By this point, most of the original audience can probably sing along, although they tend to only join in on the last line.

I can hear the restless rumblings from my non-Singles blog monkeys, so I shall now enlighten you as to the nature of The Popular Song. Back during my 8th grade year, the vocal and speech classes got together to put on a musical: Funky Winkerbean's Homecoming, based, of course, on Tom Batiuk's syndicated newspaper strip. I had the pleasure of portraying Les Moore, the school nerd. My selection for this role wasn't typecasting, though. No the story of my casting goes like this: the role had more lines than any other in the play and nobody else wanted to put in the effort to learn them, so I got it by default. Anyway, my solo was a song in which the lonely Les bemoans his status as an outsider . . . nope, not typecasting at all!

And now, I present to you (to the extent that I can remember a song I first performed almost 16 years ago) the lyrics to The Popular Song!

Why must I be all alone
No girlfriend to write
No girlfriend to phone
Oh why, oh whyyyy
Can't I be

I'd just like to have some friends
Once before the school-year ends
Oh why, oh whyyyy
Can't I be

Everyone seem so excited
So happy and carefree
So why must I spend homecoming night
with Dallas on TV?

Maybe there's still hope that I can get
A cheerleader, or a majorette
Oh why, oh whyyyy
Can't I be

Is there someone out there just for me?
And does she live in the same country?
Oh why, oh whyyyy
Can't I be

Maybe I'm too introspective
Maybe I'm too deep
While the other kids are having fun
I'm getting lots of sleep.

I hope that I can ge-et a date
Once before I gra-aduate
Oh why, oh whyyyy
Can't I be
{long pause}

So, tell me, good and faithful blog monkeys, was it everything you dreamed it would be? I know, I know, it couldn’t help but be a bit of a disappointment without the benefit of my dulcet tones, and for that you have my deepest sympathies. Maybe, someday, if you live right, say your prayers, and eat all your vegetables like good little blog monkeys, you’ll get to hear it in person. After much arm twisting and brow-beating, of course.


Anonymous said...

No more monkey business!!!

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Well, who am I to argue with Anonymous?

Sorry, loyal blog monkeys, hate to do this to you, but you heard the faceless stranger, everybody out of the pool!

CAP'N Disaster said...

I PROTEST! THAT'S IT I WILL STAGE A SIT IN AND STOP EATING UNLESS THE MONKEY BUSINESS CONTINUES. Oh Whoa is me, what if the monkey business does come to an end? I think it would drive me to the brink of severe depression, what would be my outlet for my monkey needs? I'd start lingering around the zoo and people would think I'm some crazy person loitering at the zoo all the time, particularly at the monkey cages. Then eventually they'd kick me out of the zoo and I'd be banned forever and I would have nothing to do, so I'd go to a bar and drink my sorrows away and then become an alcoholic and lose my job because I kept showing up drunk and end up living on the street, in perpetual drunkness living for the day that I may see another monkey....sigh....please please please don't stop the monkey sanity and sobriety depends upon it, and I don't want to be banned from the zoo.

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Well, now I'm torn. On the one hand, I would hate to be the cause of d-is-for-Disaster-Girl's descent into drunken squalor. But on the other hand, how can I argue with the wit and wisdom of Anonymous. I mean, it's such a compelling argument: "No more monkey business." The logic is irrefutable.

Plus, the fact that every negative future scenario Disaster Girl dreams up for herself somehow leads to her becoming a homeless drunk (No, the dry cleaner's can't close early, if they do then I shall have no clean clothes, and shall have to go to work in dirty ones, and my boss will not approve, and I shall lose my job, and take refuge in the sweet solace of alcohol, yada yada yada) has led me to think that maybe, just maybe, she exaggerates a bit.

Anonymous said...

Captains Anonymous!!! By all means, please continue the monkey business! I was attempting to add to the Infinite Monkey-ness that this blog is so definitely infected with. Remember this?

Jeffrey Goines: Then, they took everything about me and put it into a computer where they created this model of my mind. Yes! Using that model they managed to generate every thought I could possibly have in the next, say, 10 years. Which they then filtered through a probability matrix of some kind to - to determine everything I was gonna do in that period. So you see, she knew I was gonna lead the Army of the Twelve Monkeys into the pages of history before it ever even occurred to me. She knows everything I'm ever gonna do before I know it myself. How's that?"

See, in the spirit of all things "Monkey," I believe a review is in order of all "Monkey" movies starting with the movie from which the quote about is from -- 12 Monkeys.

There's also: Spanking the Monkey, Monkey Shines, Monkey Business, The Great Monkey Rip-Off, The Monkey's Mask, The Tale of the Golden Monkeys (TV), The Monkey's Uncle, The Monkey's Paw, Monkey Planet (aka Planet of the Apes), and many, many more...maybe even The Monkees. Just a rambling thought from a anonymizer...