Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ho AND Hum

I’m taking a new path today, blazing a new trail, breaking new ground, going where no man has gone before (oh wait, that one is probably copyrighted), going where no male has gone previously (ha, try to get me now!), forging new frontiers, being unique, exploring, mapping new vistas. I am hunkered down in the fetal position of the old cold war bomb shelter that we writers know as writer’s block. Instead of taking the easy way out and declaring defeat by subjecting you to a repost, I am going to write through my writer’s block and you are going to come along with me. What will happen? Where will we travel? Beats me. If I knew, I’d have a decent post to treat you to today, but since gas is just about 4 smacks a gallon here, it won’t be far. Plus, I don’t feel that usual limber feeling in my fingers which tell me that I am about to hunt and peck my way to writing satisfaction.

Well, I’ve managed to come up with one paragraph already. I was tempted to do an entire post today using nothing but song titles or lyrics. I did that one several months ago, so I’m overdue for another one. Here’s how it works: after every song I reference, you will find the name of the artist that performed that song in parenthesis. When you read the artists in parenthesis, promise me you’ll do so by saying it one octave lower than everything else you are reading. Why? Because it’s fun and that’s how I do it. Let’s practice: you might be saying right now that “Michael, we don’t want to do ‘the way you do the things you do’ (The Temptations). See, did you lower your voice when you said The Temptations? If you did, then we’re all set to go.

That’s two paragraphs right there in no time flat. I know I don’t often share intimate details with you, but since I’m blazing new forges today (or whatever), I am going to be very honest with you. Breaking through this writer’s block thing is a lot easier than I thought it would be (oooooooh, I hope I didn’t just jinx it. I’d knock on wood, but no one uses real wood anymore. It’s all laminate. I think it’s time that that phase is updated, don’t you? So, knock on laminate, this post is going as smooth as a baby’s butt after a close shave. Wait, am I mixing my metaphors again??). I think in honor of National Karaoke Week, I will continue with the song reference theme because, well, ‘I like it, I love it, I want some more of it,’ (Tim McGraw).

Three paragraphs in the can. Seriously, I am getting ready to start boasting here. It feels like I’m ‘on top of the world’ (The Carpenters). Of course, many of you have probably sensed the lack of substance and have decided to be ‘Movin’ Out’ (Billy Joel) in favor of a better blog, but it’s ok, I understand. ‘I will survive’ (Gloria Gaynor). Honestly, ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ (Paul McCartney) that any of you are still reading this. I figured by now that I’d be ‘alone again, naturally’ (Gilbert O’Sullivan) after putting up such a fruitless effort today.

Wow, four paragraphs already, though that last one really shouldn’t qualify. It was ‘Bad’ (Michael Jackson). I promise I won’t ‘do it again’ (The Beach Boys). Really, ‘I should have known better’ (The Beatles) then to try to get something that lackluster by you all. ‘With a little luck’ (Paul McCartney), I’ll find something better to write about ‘tomorrow’ (Annie soundtrack, though don’t start thinking I go around singing that one much). Thanks for your willingness to ‘Keep on truckin’ (Eddie Kendricks) with me though. How do you all deal with writer’s block? For some reason, my writing today didn’t come as ‘easy as Sunday morning’ (The Commodores/Lionel Ritchie).

I was also tempted to write about all the things I am going to have to sacrifice now that gas is just about 4 ‘green back dollars’ (The Kingston Trio) a gallon here. I took my Chevy to the levy (Don McClean) (assuming that the rest of you refer to the gas station as the levy, like I do so that I can make yet another futile attempt at being clever) this morning and had to spork out about $3.80 a gallon (it’s time we updated that phrase too, because many people do actually favor the spork to the traditional spoon or fork. It’s so much more efficient). Not only is that way too much ‘Money’ (The Beatles), it also caused me to use way too many parenthesis in that last sentence and since I used to be a copywriter (as in: I actually used to get money for my writing), I should know better. It’s that type of poor composition that will prevent me from ever becoming a ‘paperback writer’ (the Beatles).

The first place I’ll notice the pain of the 4-dollar thing is at the convenience store. Getting gas seriously ‘cuts like a knife’ (Bryan Adams) into my Slurpee and Diet Mountain Dew purchasing when I’m out ‘Cruising’ (Smokey Robinson). When I am out driving around for work, I gotta ‘get my drink on’ (Toby Keith). I think that means that I get thirsty. I guess I should’ve just said that. I think Mountain Dew is actually an older word for ‘White Lightning’ (George Jones), which is another word for moonshine, which looks like ‘cool, clear water’ (Marty Robbins), so I need to make sure that you understand that I mean the soft drink, not the illegal liquor that led to the birth of NASCAR. Perhaps many of you didn’t know that little tidbit about this country’s biggest spectator sport. After reading that you’re probably thinking wow ‘ain’t that a kick in the head’ (Dean Martin). That’s the problem with useless facts: you don’t get to share them that often. Eventually, you have to let all those little Cliff Clavens floating around in your head out to ‘Breathe’ (Faith Hill).

Ok, I’m done now. This is ‘the end’ (The Doors). I’m not sure I actually accomplished anything today, but at least you didn’t have to read a repost. And now you maybe have a little better insight into why I rarely meet deadlines, think something all the way through or make decisions easily. Or have trouble putting my pants on, matching my ties to my shirts for work, am not able to navigate easily through the city I have lived in since 1997 without my GLAND (Getting Lost Avoidance Navigational Device), am not able to go to a drive-thru and get the orders correct for my coworkers, have to sometimes walk around with Post-Its attached to my shirt to remind me to do something or tell my twins apart in the middle of the night without asking ‘which one are you again?’

Didn’t I start this post writing about the circus down the street from my office? What happened?


Anonymous said...

Any post that references Post-it notes and NASCAR is All Right (Christopher Cross) with me.

magickat said...


Oh my god that is awesome. Yes - I am going to try and get everyone on the East Coast to start using that. Let's infect the nation with "Knock on laminate". It's too good.

chefmom said...

You are a truly talented man. And I think my voice has dropped an octave lower just from reading all the singers name in a lower voice.

Selma said...

You had me at Gilbert O'Sullivan.

Amy said... said Lionel!!!


Odat said...

That was anything but Ho Hum!! My lil dog is now wondering why I'm speaking so low

Mel Heth said...

Darnit - I left a comment this morning and apparently it glitched out and erased itself...anywhoo...

From one copywriter to another: This post was extremely entertaining and made me Smile (Lilly Allen).

Way to work through the writer's block!

Patti said...

Thanks for the Low, Lowdown (Boz Scaggs). You know how to Light My Fire (The Doors, Jose Feliciano)

Your writing had me Dancin' on the Ceiling (Lionel Richie).

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