Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Oh, What Can I Do?

I'm developing a thing about this perfectly awful song (given even more of an absurdist twist in this nearly phonetic karaoke cover).  See below for why in God's name that should the case.

But first, proof positive that my life, whatever else is happening, remains more interesting than some people's:

Getting on an elevator at the hospital yesterday, followed by two (even) older gentlemen.  The doors close, and after a beat, one remarks to the other:

"So, I was watching television last night."


"What did you see?"

"A program about industrial fans."


Hey, even if I'm only watching House Hunters International (which, veterans of overseas life that we are, we call Festival of Clueless Americans with Unrealistic Expectations), I'm doing better than that.

Now, I suppose I really mustn't complain, for on the whole, things are going well.  I'm feeling pretty lively, and I realized yesterday that one of the reasons I was getting so tetchy about some minor aches and pains was because I had no major ones to worry about, very definitely a step in the right direction.  I'm going faithfully to cardiac rehab, where the endlessly patient therapists are steadily ramping up the exercise to the point that I really start to feel it (and Mr. Muscato is saying very complimentary things about my legs, which really do look rather well.  Although they were always a strong point, I must say.).  I've started chatting with the good people at Golden Handcuffs about once again darkening their doorstep, and on the whole life is regaining some sense of normality.  Sighs of relief all around.

I do find that all these weeks of quasi-leisure have had their consequences, perhaps the most annoying of which is that I've gotten rather (more than usually) scatterbrained.  I laundered my wallet, for example, earlier this week, and I'm constantly forgetting where anything from my phone to the dogs are (the latter are almost always on the sofa in whichever room I was last in; the former, embarrassingly often in my pocket).  And, perhaps most infuriatingly, I keep forgetting to bring earphones to rehab.

You see, I am generally by a factor of at least a decade the junior participant in these thrice-weekly hijinks (which is rather pleasant, as I've always excelled at being That Nice Young Man, and as one heads into one's mid-fifties, it's a diminishing opportunity).  The atmosphere is determinedly upbeat, and in support of that, a steady stream of music is piped in via satellite radio (which I've learned is more or less the Muzak of this new century).  The station chosen is generally one that presents a medley of hits from the mid-'50s onward for a decade or so, and while it's of course always pleasant to hear some Dusty Springfield, some light Beatles, or even a little Connie Francis, some of the repertoire requires more patience.  "The Ballad of the Green Berets" comes up with distressing regularity, for example, and, as of this week so does the very peculiar tune up top.

Now, I have to admit that my knowledge of early '60s tragedy songs isn't nearly what it should be, but even to my scant expertise this stands out as particularly unpleasant - it's sort of an inverted, distaff "Fancy," and it's by no stretch of the imagination a rival for such classics of the genre as "Tell Laura I Love Her."  Even after repeated hearings and a little research into the only very moderately interesting career of its creator, one Dickey Lee, I find it hard to believe that "Patches" wasn't written to feature in some aborted film project from the people behind A Mighty Wind.  Listen at your own risk.  I do find that the just-this-side-of-really-off consonants on this cover make it almost tolerable.

Well, it seems to make the old folks on the rowing machines happy, so I suppose it's doing the trick.  As for me, I do have to remember to put those damn headphones into the bag.  If I have to hear "Hang on, Sloopy" one more time, I may not be answerable for my actions.


  1. "Sloopy" is played ad-nauseum around The Ohio State University, so those in central Ohio not only feel your angst, but are want for relief which will never come.

    The "Patches" video in conclusive evidence; you must return to work. Your legs may be developing into a shapely form, but your mind is withering with such wanderings. Now, before you leave your unspeakable place of maudlin oddities and things where words fail, kindly give this a look-see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF5WYaoWXI4

    You should be back in The Admiral's Club in no time.

    1. I am not sure what is worse - a karaoke version of "Patches" or the Old Chinese People's Lady GaGa Choir...

      Surely even an ECG must be preferable. Jx

    2. Good God - I hadn't before encountered the geriatriac Asiatic "Bad Romance," and you made be go and look it up. I may forgive you someday.

      On the other hand, it did lead me to the hitherto-unsuspected Revolutionary Opera version of the same work, which is kind of a treasure...

  2. My best friend and I used to sing the cautionary songs of the 60's on the bus coming from choral engagements. We were teens in the 80's and no one knew them but us. Teen Angel, Tell Laura I Love Her and Endless Sleep were favorites. J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers (we called them the "Cadavaliers" always brought down the house.

    1. How funny - Miss Rheba and I did that, mostly with "Town Without Pity," when we were on the bus. If only we'd known it, I'm sure we would have killed with "Patches."