Wednesday, August 01, 2007

JACOB! Jacob and sons!

My cell phone recently died. As long as the battery is charged it works just fine, but it can no longer charge the battery. And since the phone is about three years old and has a rotten battery life, this flaw basically renders the phone useless. The Husband and looked into switching carriers and getting new, cooler phones, but it turns out that our current plan costs less than any plan out there and it also turns out that The Husband and I are cheap. So. No new plan.

This meant I had to get a new phone, but buying a phone without signing up for a new contract is surprisingly difficult, even if you are willing to pay the non-contract "retail" price. So, to make a long, boring story short (too late!), I ended up buying a pre-paid phone which came with 104 minutes which I decided to spend downloading ringtones and wallpapers, something I've never done before (see above, re: cheap).

Now, every time my phone rings, I find myself singing "Your Racist Friend" by They Might Be Giants a few minutes later. Not because my ringtone is "Your Racist Friend." No, it's because "Your Racist Friend" comes after "Dead" on the TMBG album Flood, and "Dead" is the track after "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," and that is my ringtone. To sum up: My phone rings to the tune of "Istanbul." I answer it, have a conversation, hang up, and start singing "I returned a bag of groceries, accidentally taken off the shelf before the expiration date!" without consciously realizing it. I finish singing "Dead" in its entirety to myself and transition into the next song: "This is where the party ends, I can't stand here listening to you! And your racist friend!" Unfortunately, I don't quite know all of the lyrics to "Your Racist Friend" and get stuck in a loop of singing the first verse to myself and only then do I realize what I am doing.

It took me about a week to realize why "Dead" was getting stuck in my head so frequently. When I finally figured it out, I was reminded of the summer I spent temping in Boston and somehow ended up singing songs from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to myself during my commute. For weeks, I could not understand where these songs were coming from every single day, but then I noticed that there was a billboard advertising the show on my route. Although I never consciously registered seeing the billboard, it was obviously having a subliminal effect on me, dooming me to a drive time ritual of singing "AND IT WAS red and yellow and ruby and gold and scarlet and peach and asher and rose and something and something and pink and orange and BLUE!"

Where does this leave me? It leaves me with the somewhat embarrassing admission that I know all the lyrics to almost every They Might Be Giants song out there as well as most of the lyrics to most Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals (not Cats, though). See, I had a recent revelation when Emily and I were having an IM session. I was telling her how I've never heard of [fill in the blank with pretty much any current musical performer], because all I ever listen to is NPR, and I added that my pop musical education has always been a bit stunted, as I "discovered" Pearl Jam in college. She asked me what I listened to in high school, and I typed, "Pretty much They Might be Giants and musicals."

Then I stared at that sentence and thought, "That can't be right. Is that right? I must have listened to something else. TMBG and musicals? That was it? Really?" and I ran through what I could recall of my tape collection in high school. Let's see, there was They Might Be Giants, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables (both French and London original cast recordings), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ, Superstar, an all a capella compilation...

Oh, Merlin's beard.

This new practice of using swears from Harry Potter is not helping my case any, is it?


maggie said...

I didn't even get to your actual POST before I started singing "Joseph, Jacob's favorite son..." DAMN YOU MAUREEN.

(I also listened to musicals in high school. I am totally at peace with my dorkiness.)

Anonymous said...

Now I'll be singing "Particle Man" in my head all day. Thanks.

Tracy said...

I too read only the title and instantly started singing the lyrics. You are to blame for the fact that I dug out my DVD of Joesph too and inflicted it on my family again.

For some reason, my favorite musical in jr/sr high was Fiddler on the Roof. Maybe because most of the good musicals were just being written, since I'm sooooo old now.

I was going to say I'm joking, but since I actually owned LPs and 8 track tapes at one point in my teens, it's not really a joke...

Mo said...

Tracy, I had a Winnie the Pooh record that I listened to about 50,000 times until a huge chunk of it broke off. And my very first non-children's album was "A-ha" on vinyl, and was a birthday gift. But I didn't listen to 8-tracks, so you've got me there.