I was driving south through Florida last month, surfing the radio stations and came upon a station that covered the widest range of classic rock I’ve ever heard. However, their catch phrase, “we play the songs you know every word to.” is a bold-faced lie. Are they denying the fact that most singers are graduates of The Bob Dylan School of Diction?
Singers like Mick Jagger, Tom Petty, and Stevie Nicks. Nobody knows every word of a rock song. How can you know what you can’t understand?
The station is very fortunate that I cannot recall their call letters because if I did I just might have reported them to the FCC. Why? Because it’s dangerous to propagate false confidence. When you’re sure you know the words of a song you have no hesitation singing aloud. And that just might lead to a rude awakening.
Take Jack S, a guy I knew at the Jersey Shore. It was 1969 and he had heard this great song by the Beatles.
He just had to sing it for everyone, “Hey Dude!”
And then there was Mrs. S, the mother of a friend and no relation to Jack S. It was 1974 and Disco was in full swing.
She loved to sing the anthem of the dance floor, “Do the Hot Dog.”
Speaking of disco, Eddie, the Best man at my wedding, couldn’t understand the story behind one of the songs from Saturday Night Fever. There’s John Travolta dancing under the disco ball with his sometimes dance partner, a woman with a full head of disco hair.
So why he wanted to know, were the Bee Gees singing
“Bald -headed woman, Bald-headed woman to me.”
And since people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, I’ll fess up. I recently heard my favorite Bruce Springsteen song, Born to Run, delivered directly into my head via an iPod I was on the tread mill, lip synching along until Bruce and we came to the part where we’re exhorting Wendy to come with him, flee New Jersey, start a new life and I nearly came to a halt. What? What was he saying? Tramps? “Tramps like us, Baby we were born to run.” You mean it’s not champs? Champs are born to run, not tramps!
Maybe I’ll write my own song, about the dude who meets a bald headed lady and they dance the hot dog and when they’re through, they jump on a freight car with all the other champs who were born to run, and they’ll all be wearing their gold medals and blue ribbons.
OK, it’s your turn. What songs did you think you knew? Use the comment section to share. Nobody will laugh, I promise.
I had all the bases covered, or so I thought.
The Mars were taken care of:
- Marcos had reservations at the kennel.
- My friend and neighbor, Alison was going to stop in at The House of Mars each day to feed Marcel and Marceau and
- I, V Margaret had everything booked – plane tickets, airport parking, rental car, and hotel.
I was finally checking off #1 on my bucket list of places to visit – Key West. I wasn’t going there directly, though. My itinerary called for me to fly to Orlando, pick up my rental, then drive to Sebring to spend the weekend with my friend, Selena who’d moved there from NY.
Itching to Get There
If I had to pick a location I’d say the itching began somewhere over Virginia. Without looking up from my book, I absent-mindedly scratched my left leg, the same as I did on the right side of my face, along my jaw bone. It wasn’t until the index and middle finger of my right hand cried out for attention that I noticed the tiny blister-like rash on the insides of each finger. I had weeded my garden the previous day, and the location of the finger rash jibed with my method of pulling weeds. N-o-o-o-o-o-o, it couldn’t be, not on my vacation – in the sun – in shorts, in a bathing suit – n-o-o-o-o-o. Not poison ivy!
I decided to ignore it, and luckily, picking up a rental car in Orlando provides lots of distraction. If you’ve ever rented a car at Orlando you’ll know what a huge process that is – more rental counters than I’ve ever seen, housing rental companies I’d never heard of. And the lines! They were almost as long as the check in lines at Kennedy. Once you’ve signed the papers, you’re on your own finding your car among all the others parked in the two levels of “The garage across the way.” Armed with only a level letter and a parking space number, and the assurance – “your keys are in the car” I found my black Mazda 3 and was soon on my way. The intense concentration brought on by the scarcity of roadside lights punctuated by distant strikes of lightning and intermittent rainfall kept the itching of my face at bay. I was proud of myself, I made the trip in ninety-five minutes and didn’t get lost once – unless you count passing Selena’s street – twice, and her house once. But like I said – it was dark.
Picture This. No Don’t.
Saturday, after a day at the pool, where Selena pointed out that I had a rash on my face) I got the camera out of my suitcase. I had actually remembered to bring it; not always the case! I wanted to take a picture of Angela, Selena’s wide-eyed tortoise-shell cat. She is a slim beauty and I wanted to shame Marceau with it. At eighteen pounds, and holding, he makes three of the dainty Angela.
I pushed the power button as I tiptoed over to the lanai where she was lounging on her very own chaise longue. Nothing happened, the lens remained collapsed within the camera. I pressed it again .Still nothing. This wasn’t happening! I’d just bought this camera in April. It had been working fine. I’d charged it for the first time just before my past blog entry, right after the shot I’d included of the driveway from hell. Based on the fresh charge I’d decided not to bring the charging cord since with the cellphone charger and the lap top power cord I had all the cables I wanted to pack.
Okay Picture it Now
I’m not sure which is worse, forgetting the camera of making a bad decision. One that resulted in no photos to post from my bucket list vacation. But look at it this way, you get to use your imagination.
Are you ready?
- Three nights of fabulous sunsets along the waterfront in Old Town section of Key West where it’s a must for all tourists to gather and applaud the fiery orange orb as it drops into the ocean.
The bizarre characters who gather in the last rays to entertain for donations –
- zebra-striped-leotard wearing man with the matching bathing cap who swallowed fire;
- the hula-hooping juggler making his way along a makeshift tight rope;
- the golden retriever in surfer shorts who collected dollar bills and placed them in a bucket while his seedy-looking owner, a Jimmy Buffett wannabe sang of margaritas and cheeseburgers.
I’m not sure I would have taken any pictures of any of them but at least I’d have had the choice if the #&%*^?! camera worked.
And on my last day when I visited Ernest Hemingway’s House I’d have shown you t he slew of six-toed cats who mugged for the other people’s cameras and Hemingway’s above-the-garage writing studio. I could have kept a photo of it by my laptop for inspiration. But no, I had to settle for watching other people take my photos with cameras that actually worked.
Lest you think I’d actually managed to ignore my poison ivy into submission, let me mention that by Sunday evening, the right side of my face resembled that of an acne-stricken fourteen year old in the dermatologist’s waiting room. But at least there were no blisters. No, those came out on Monday morning on the insides of my the afore-mentioned fingers, twins, resembling two huge red grapes, facing each . Did you ever try hold a fork with two grapes separating your fingers? I became a very clumsy lefty, keeping my right hand out of sight lest waiters and shop clerks thought I had a flesh-eating condition.
While I was Gone
The first thing I did the morning after returning home was to see if I’d kept the receipt for the camera. I had. The second was to see if it needed charging. It did. The third thing was to find out if it worked. It did. So here I was all charged up and nowhere to go. And in my backyard were the flowers that had bloomed with no audience
Oh well. I can’t share Key West with you but I can share what happened at home while I was gone:
Red Hot Pokers poked.
Veronica hung out with Daisy.
And just what you’ve been waiting for:
My Fingers Armed themselves for a return to the scene of the crime.