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Take this job and…

Weird Al's "Atlantic Records Sucks" ...

Weird Al’s “Atlantic Records Sucks” shirt worn during his performance of “You’re Pitiful” on August 8, at the Ohio State Fair. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like to change the lyrics to songs to suit my tastes and I think it’s pretty hilarious when I do even if at times it is irritating to others. Regarding my driving, I half-jokingly tell people, “If you don’t like the way I drive, then get off the sidewalk.” As to my singing, I offer the suggestion to change the channel or put your noise-cancelling ear buds back in; I remember when “buds” were good friends. Nevertheless, I don’t listen to what you’re listening to and it’s easy not to hear me in return. Actually, I sometimes go days and weeks without people hearing anything I say.

Honestly, people don’t hear me all the time. It’s like Rodney Dangerfield and his lack of respect. But there was this one time (not in band camp, either), when I was cleaning up after dinner at the senior living community I work part-time as a server. I began singing what I refer to as my nonsense songs–kinda like Weird Al, only better (hey, it’s not braggin’ if it’s true). There is always music coming in over the loud (not soft) speakers in the background. Usually it’s 50’s soundtrack songs. This time of year it is typically holiday music. Well, this old guy with white hair and a walker (that narrows down the number of identities at this place nicely) says, “Bob, it’s really disturbing when you sing nothing.” I thought about this for a second, and was inclined to chuckle, but I saw the displeasure in his face and thought better. He had previously called me a clumsy bastard when I knocked a butter dish into his dinner plate earlier. I gathered he wasn’t feeling well and I just chalked it up to his having a bad day. I was respectful of his wishes and did stop flexing the golden pipes.

Mean Girls

Mean Girls (Photo credit: mrlerone)

I’m not someone who is easily discouraged, so I’m going to sing and play guitar part-time in the dining room there soon. There was a talent show a few weeks back. Four of my kitchen co-worker back-up singers and dancers and I took home first prize. The offense, I mean, performance, was captured by a videographer. Is that the term I am looking for? It’s a video, but it’s digital, so that’s where I get confused. When I think of video I think of VHS and BETA cassettes or earlier than that, 8 mm reels of film–you know, a freakin’ video, man. Anyway, I know that you know what I mean. As Lee Michaels crooned, You Know What I Mean! I will be contacting the entertainment director before too long. I will sing parts of songs I do not know the lyrics to as part of my performances after I’m hired. Not knowing the words hasn’t been a deterrent for my blogging nor will it be one to my singing and playing guitar.

English: Rodney Dangerfield at the Shorehaven ...

English: Rodney Dangerfield at the Shorehaven Beach Club in New York in 1978. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When it comes to taking requests, it isn’t always easy to remember all the words of a song. It’s like when someone gives me a request to blog about something here. I will sometimes do a shorter post when I don’t know all the words to the subject matter I am writing about; same thing when it comes to song requests.

I use parts of songs to say hello to residents entering the dining room. The other day, I greeted one wonderful old woman (who had a walker and white hair–hey, I change the names, but leave the looks ((they’ve all got the same aged, physical characteristics) to protect the innocent) whose name somewhat rhymes with the David Allan Coe classic popularized by Johnny Paycheck: “Take This Job and Shove It,” by saying, “How are you so and so (whose name somewhat rhymes with Take This Job…) and Shove It!” She had a classic comeback of her own for me: “You are a great waitress, but I have a good mind to take you out back directly now.” I love feisty old people.

Music is great and we all sing to songs we enjoy while we work. Check that, we listen to music we like at work. Studies have shown listening to music while working increases productivity. Some work places don’t allow music, though and workers will listen on the sly (old people speak for down low as in one hung low down low). This is always funny for me to hear. I’m always picturing, “Quick! Turn off the music, the boss is coming!” What we should be saying, is, “Quick! Cue up McFadden & Whitehead‘s Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now!” This would seem much more appropriate. When it comes to actually singing instead of listening to music at work, though, less is better, generally-speaking.

The other thing about music in the workplace is concern regarding playing music in reverse. Can we even do this anymore? I mean on vinyl LPs we could slowly and manually move the record in reverse and listen to the scraping, wacka wacka noises the disintegrating needle would make as it scratched the record into a state of disrepair (state of disrepair is big word speak for condition of brokenness). Would whatever hidden words that might sound out when engaging in this endeavor come back to fulfill an eerie prophecy? Nah, I didn’t think so either. Playing music in reverse is/was always a dumb idea that spoke of sheer, unadulterated idiocy.

Speaking of idiots, could you in theory have village idiots, who, back in the day, could tell their bosses (what were village idiots’ bosses called? Mayors?) to take this job and shove it? That would be one way of climbing the ladder to municipality or borough idiot–a position idiots at villages or elsewhere could aspire to. At the least, and in order to expand their horizons, they could try reading all of this in reverse to see if there is some hidden meaning.

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2 replies »

  1. Perhaps you are taking the Biblical direction to “make a joyful noise” (sing no matter what you sound like) to the extreme. It sounds like, though, you wrote this while under the influence of too much Red Bull (or your stimulant of choice). Regardless–you reminded me that my husband and I go through “opera days” where we sing instead of talk. We also have some favs we great each other with, like: “Hello there. Gee, it’s been a long, long time. How ya doing?…” Or when in the midst of some problem: “Gloom, Despair, Agony of me …” It’s the smiles and the laughter that are important. So — keep singing whatever lyrics you find whenever the spirit moves you!

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    • Opera days are terrific, Carla! I used to have them at work awhile back. I will keep singing until my last dying breath–which will hopefully be at the keyboard (while I’m singing)! Thanks for reading and for taking the time to post such wonderful comments. The blogging community is so much greater and nicer, for people like you. Happy Holidays! ~Bob

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