Jul 11, 2006

Time to write the post!

Apparently some time in the past there was a commercial for Dunkin Donuts where the guy wakes up really early in the morning and says, "Time to make the donuts! Time to make the doh... nuts..." in this very sleepy voice, the point being that he's getting up early for YOU, for your sake, to make you a hot and fresh donut. So just about every morning, T.J. wakes up and says "time to make... the... doouugghnuts..." and now it's one of those lines that goes through my head every time there's a donut around or every time it's "time" to do any particular thing. Even though I never saw this ad, because as I recall we didn't have Dunkin' Donuts in California, we had Winchell's.

I think that's something T.J. and I have in common. We have, like, tape-recorder brains. Things get stuck in them, audio things. Sometimes we're in the house together on the weekend and I realize we're both singing versions of the synthesizer musical segue NPR uses between Terri Gross and Marketplace. And I look at him as if to say, "I can't believe you're singing the NPR thing, but so am I."

So, now we have this phenomenon where I get things stuck in my head that I've never heard first-hand. Like the donuts thing. Or this Peter Sellers movie he always talks about where Sellers plays "a well-meaning, but hapless, Indian actor who is accidentally invited to a major Hollywood party, causing havoc." There's a scene where he kind of gets lost at the party and befriends a parakeet, to whom he feeds "birdy num nums" (which I guess are bird snacks). In the movie, Peter Sellers keeps saying "birdy num num" in this Indian accent. T.J.'s friend Ashu (who happens to be a real Indian dude) naturally likes to do exaggerated Indian accents for fun, so I guess the two of them used to spend a lot of time watching this movie and saying "birdy num num" like Apu from the Simpsons.

Ok, so the point is that I have never seen this movie, but regularly wind up imitating T.J. who is imitating Ashu who is imitating Peter Sellers who is playing an Indian Actor in a largely improvised 1968 comedy film. So I can't possibly be doing it right. When I say "birdy num num" I probably don't sound anything like Peter Sellers.

There's a reverse example, or maybe ten. But here's one. Once upon a time, I was visiting a youth hostel in Massachusetts for my thesis research. There were some highschool kids in the kitchen cooking lentils, they were there for a youth leadership something-or-other. Well, these people were listening to a recording on the boombox, and singing along really loudly, with much gusto. The song was called... ehem... Dancing on the Ruins of Multinational Corporations. Yeh, that's what the song was. Really. And the kids were singing and stomping around and I was cracking myself up because the truth was I was too old for taking that kind of modern-day labor song seriously at all. Even though I am naturally suspicious of globalization and stuff.

So, much later, I told T.J. about this song and we both cracked up a little bit and then we started singing it. Of course he was imitating me who was remembering a song that a bunch of kids were screaming in a hostel kitchen. So nowadays, he'll occasionally bust out Dancing on the Ruins... and when he gets to the HA HA HA HA HA part, he's singing it WRONG. But I never have the heart to tell him he's doing the HAs wrong.

Should I tell him, dear reader(s)? Should he tell me I'm doing the birdy num nums wrong? OR should this be the kind of things we gently let go of...

(By the way, I told him about my blog. I wonder if he's looked at it yet!)


Blogger capella opined...

I am jealous of your thesis because it - or at least its abstract - is comprehensible to laypeople, and also because it is finished.

My college boyfriend grew up in New Hampshire and he had a rather disturbing level of attachment to all things Dunkin Donut-y

8:55 AM  
Blogger Dubin opined...

Ehh, writing my thesis was sort of fun, but no one in my department cared at all, my advisor didn't even read it, neither did my reader, I was not terribly invested in nor impressed with my graduate program in general, and the whole experience was disappointing both socially and academically. The only reward was learning about real estate development in historic preservation, tax credit implementation, etc., as well as the people I met at AYH themselves, who were obviously at least slightly interested in my thesis.

At the time, I was jealous of people like you who had a point in life, as well as a community of people who agreed that the general drift of your work was interesting and/or slightly important.

I should have been either a polymer scientist or a detective. It's funny that everyone always tells me that they always wanted to be an architct...

10:21 AM  
Anonymous AEW opined...

I say "nope, just regular type" in your voice, rather than Cheerleader's. I like it that way, because it reminds me of you and TGS at the same time. So don't tell me I'm doing it wrong. Don't you ever. P.S., I have noticed that pregnancy really amplifies the effects of the head soundtrack. Exponentially. You will be amazed to realize that you remember the lyrics to really obscure junior high school songs while shaving (or trying to shave; it's getting hard to bend over) your legs in the shower.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Lazlo Hollyfeld opined...

holy crap, i can't believe you know that song. i actually WENT TO THAT GUY'S CONCERT in Berkeley, at La Pena, circa 1993. I can't remember his name, but I had the CD at one time (I also had lots of leg hair during this period). There is another killer song on that album about what a rabbit feels like when he is being hunted. ooooh, on this kind of note, guess who is soon to be taking lessons with the guitar player from Rebecca Riots? (No, not the strangely attractive one, the OTHER one.) Jealous much?

10:09 PM  

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