Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ode To Hall & Oates, 12/8

‘Twas a night in December
And through Our Fair City,
The T was a’hummin’
With a Hall & Oates ditty.
“Watch out,” the crowd sang,
“The woman is wild!”
“She’ll chew you up faster
Than ol’ Sara smiled.”

Murk in his jacket
And I in Clinique
Through the Orpheum’s curtains
We stole a quick peek.
“I see him!” I squealed
To my cute blogger beau.
“That’s John Oates himself!
And he’s still got his ‘fro!”

Up three flights we shuffled
A nosebleed? Who cares!
With tissues in pocket,
We dashed to our chairs.

“Here’s a number,” Hall grinned,
“That you’ll know very well!
It’s a holiday hit,
Called ‘The First Noel.’”
The audience puzzled
Ah well, ‘tis the season...
A carol to start?
There must be a reason!
They’re saving ‘Maneater’ for tune #2
A full Christmas concert? No way! No can do.

Like sheep to two shepherds,
We followed along,
Then perked up our ears
For the duo’s next song.

The first chords swelled up
With a tambourine’s clatter
“This can’t be...,” I murmured.
“Something’s the matter.”
“This next one,” Hall laughed,
“Takes me back to my youth!”
Was he born singing “Rich Girl”?
Or would that be uncouth?
“Children, Go Where I Send Thee!”
Daryl chuckled with glee.
“Bathroom,” I whispered,
“That’s my cue to pee.”

In the aisles, eyes were wandering,
Wondering, too –
Could this be a dream? Was our dream coming true?
All eggnog and thistle,
And no “Private Eyes”?
Had they talked to their agent?
Was this really wise?

“Enough!” someone shouted. “Get on with the show!”
“No Santa! No Rudolph! No ‘dreaming of snow!’”

Hall glanced at Oates, with a grimace most dour.
“We’re saving your faves for the end of the hour.
Be patient!” he grumbled.
The crowd merely hissed:
“Your holiday music is not on our list.”

The bellows and sneers were too loud to deflect.
They triggered a sort of “Reverse Grinch Effect,”
The more protests rang
Off each woofer and tweeter
The more Christmas came,
With no sign of “Maneater.”

At last, Hall obliged,
But his cheer came too late.
For types “lean and hungry,”
We’d just have to wait.
Two encores, and then - the band drove out of sight
With nary “Maneater” to wrap up the night.

And it could be my heart
Is two sizes too small
But I’m holding a grudge
Against Srs. Oates and Hall.
They gave us our Christmas,
Like good little elves,
But the biggest, best present
They kept for themselves!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Not Another Pretty Face

Zen Master/’80s queen Belinda Carlisle once informed us: “Heaven is a place on Earth.” This week, friends, I’ve located that fabled “place.” In a word: Facebook.

What other venue allows, nay, encourages your ninth grade bully to peacefully cohabitate with your office’s IT guy? Weddings, funerals, heaven, and Facebook. You can’t play Scrabble at weddings or funerals, and there’s no sheep-throwing in heaven. Yesterday I threw a sheep at myself on Facebook, just because I could.

I resisted adding my visage to the ‘Book for over a year, dismissing it as a virtual under-21 club. “Oh mah gaw, did you see what he wrote on her wall?” twittered the undergrads in my teaching assistantship. “Soooo funny.” Like any mature B.A.-holder, I did my social networking on Friendster. Sometimes MySpace. And the Times society pages, naturally.

My new co-workers quickly Botoxed the wrinkles in my Facebook faith. “It’s great networking!” they exclaimed. “And you can turn people into zombies!” I tried to protest, but my doubt muscles were paralyzed.

Who welcomed me into the pearly gates? Not my best friend from grade-school. Not the cheerful HR lady who passed around chocolate eyeballs at Halloween. One of my first “friend requests” came from: The Other Jesse (TOJ). Toto, we’re not in Friendster anymore.

To most of my high school classmates she was just Jessie. Short-for-Jessica Jessie. Also blonde, also diminutive. No mascara in her bangs.

It wasn’t like Heathers. She didn’t hide my geometry book, and I didn’t, well, kill her. I’m not sure we shared a class. She got asked to the prom in eighth grade. Some time after that, I stopped turning around when my name was called.

(Not to sound like your junior varsity softball coach, but: there’s no “I” in Jesse. It’s cute, yes, but unnecessary -- like those homes people knit for Kleenex boxes. It certainly isn’t the “girl” version of Jesse. English words don’t have gender. Stick that in your long, fancy cigarette, Pierre!)

TOJ’s “i” blinks at me from the Facebook homepage. So far, our Facebook friendship much resembles our high-school relationship. We’re each aware of the other. We get along fine. We have nothing to say. I hope someone brings Scrabble to my upcoming 10th reunion.

That is, if the Honor Code still discourages sheep throwing.