Monday, June 30, 2008

Up Next: Balloon Doggerel?

In my Highlights days, I picked up an usual talent. It was a job requirement -- one I’m positive I’ll never have again, though words like “can’t” and “never” aren’t exactly Gallant-sanctioned.

At office events -- open houses and the like -- I twisted.

Not that sort of twisting, Chubby Checker. I’m talking about balloon twisting. Lots of dogs. A few rabbits. One or two snakes (my favorite, since snakes require no twisting at all). No swords, per H’lights policy.

I got pretty good. Someday, I might even try this:

A balloon Kathie Lee Gifford (right, next to the real Kathie Lee – left. Can you tell the difference?)

This twisterpiece was created by my Boston co-worker Naomi, on “The Today Show” a couple of weeks ago. How cool is that?

Daytime celeb-twisting may not be in my immediate future, but Naomi and her friend Sara have faith. The tagline on their directorial debut -- the film they discussed with K.L. -- is: “Once you can make a balloon dog, you can do anything.” Twisted: A Balloonamentary is showing in a few theaters, and it’s available on DVD.

The storyline follows eight balloon twisters who gripped their lives firmly, made a few turns, and ended up with Trojan horses, flying octopuses, and happily ever afters. See it!

On the morning of Naomi’s NBC appearance, my officemates and I camped between the glow of our iMacs and our one, impressively large TV. “I think she’s up next!” someone shouted. “After this carpet commercial!” We suffered several false alarms: the very short guy from “Will and Grace,” a K.L. monologue on Jamie Lynn Spears, and a live performance from Rihanna. With every not-Naomi event, our rancor grew. Some people went for more coffee; others checked their email. I began rhyming.

The following lyrics will only amuse if you know the Rihanna song “Umbrella.” Even then, maybe they won’t be funny -- I’m so out-of-practice with rhyming and writing that my “Goofus Muse” is looking for temp work. I am only hoping that Naomi and Sara’s philosophy of twisting applies to “moon” and “June.” Once you’ve got the basics, you’re set?

Rihanna's "Umbrella"
Rewritten for Only Children, Misanthropes, and People Who Don’t Like Getting Wet

By me

When it’s sunny out,
You can know without a doubt
You’re part of my very core
An’ I just can’t love you more
But now the sky is dark
I’m going to my car
My umbrella’s there –
Really wish that I could share
But, see -

When the clouds meet it means bad weather
And I just bought a brand-new sweater
Well, of course, I am your friend –
If it weren’t J. Crew, y'know I’d give in
Now that it’s raining more than ever
Can we stand farther from each other?
Would you please get your own umbrella
Go on an’ buy your own umbrella -ella –ella eh eh eh
You can afford your own umbrella -ella –ella eh eh eh
Go purchase a new umbrella –ella –ella eh eh eh eh

These cowgirl boots
TJ Maxx, yeah aren’t they cute?
Only $30.96
A pleather/cowhide mix
Really hate to see ‘em drip
On account of your mental slip
Weatherman predicted rain
Really, boo, where was your brain?


You can go to CVS
Pay with cash or pay express
They’re on aisle 3
Near tha candy
You can try another store
But you’ll end up paying more
It don’t matta, see, because


A poncho – ooh, baby, a poncho – one size fits all, one size fits all

Galoshes – ooh, baby, galoshes – try the mall, yeah try the mall...