At this VERY SECOND, I am teching Rumors at my theater. I know, HOW AM I ALSO POSTING THIS. Because I’m staying up in the wee hours Saturday night to write this, I love you all so much I want to squish all your faces, THAT’S HOW.
Amy! What is teching? You might ask. I mean, you might. I don’t know. You might not. You might still be mad at me for all that porn yesterday, what the hell do I know. (BEE TEE DUBS. I totally got linked on a porn site yesterday because of that post. Does this mean I’ve made it? I THINK IT DOES BABY.)
Teching, for those of you who do NOT spend all of their free time at the most awesome place in the world, also known as the theater, means our show opens in a week, so we spend most of the day the Sunday before we open making sure the lights and sound are just right, and then the actors get to act with lights, sound, and costumes for the first time, and the booth ops get to run the lights and sound the first time and see where they might have problem spots, and the director gets to see where he or she might have problem spots, and it is EXCITING and it is EXHAUSTING and there is A LOT OF ACTIVITY and it only makes me want to hide under a table a few times in a day, so that’s alright.
I’m totally the light and sound operator. And the stage manager. Why? Do you really have to ask? Because I rock. That’s why. I’m embarrassed I had to tell you that, honestly. You should just know it.
Also, I made dark chocolate swirl chip brownies for everyone for tomorrow. Again, why? I AM THE AWESOMEST. Yeah, I know. You can send flowers and gifts, if you want. I’ll never turn down a good token of appreciation.
So anyway. I was driving home from work last night (I have a SIDE NOTE about work which I will add in a minute) and I heard two songs in a row that made me think, you know what? I hate bossy songs that attempt to get me to say or do things.
This all ties into I don’t like people telling me what to do. Even SONGS. I don’t like orders. I would really have been a horrible member of the armed forces, wouldn’t I?
I was thinking about how, when you’re a kid, in gym class, they think it’s a good idea to make you sing and dance and frolic along to these totally bossy songs. Like the Hoky Poky. The Hoky Poky is just about the bossiest. It’s got you putting your feet in and your hands in and your head in and shaking like you’ve got epilepsy or something. I was not very compliant in gym class.
Then they’d make you square dance, which was WORSE, because it was a bossy song, but you had to TOUCH A BOY. We were like EIGHT. Touching boys was ICKY. And it would be all “DO SI DO” and “SWING YOUR PARTNER” and “PROMENADE” or whatever the hell and we were all trying to get as far away from our partners as we could but still remain in contact or else our fascist gym teacher would come smoosh us together like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and laugh and laugh and so you had TOUCHING and you had BOSSERY and you had MEAN GYM TEACHERS. Is it really any wonder that I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do?
Then these songs came on the radio, because (I think I’ve mentioned this before) I can’t listen to the GOOD channels on Saturday nights, because they think it’s a good idea to put stupid programming on like oldies and techno, so I have to listen to the weird retro channel which is the lesser of the evils, and so I get to listen to the songs of my ill-begotten teen years. (ZOMG. Tonight, they played “Heaven” by effing WHITESNAKE. Are you KIDDING me. That was AWESOMESAUCE. I totally sang along to that to the top of my lungs even though I’m tonedeaf. There is no self-respecting child of the late 80s and early 90s who wouldn’t do the same exact thing unless you were brought up in a sequestered cult of some sort.)
OK, first. (Let me just say, I didn’t know what these were and had to look them up. I have no musical knowledge. None. Well, Whitesnake. I know Whitesnake. OF COURSE I DO.)
“Whoomp There it Is”
by Tag Team (really? That seems like…a bad band name choice)
Popular in: 1993
Sample bossy lyrics:
“Party people let me hear some noise”
“Jump, jump, rejoice”
“Wave your hands in the air/shake your derriere”
“Bring it back, y’all. Bring it back, y’all. Bring it back, y’all.”
I think you all know this song. I kind of knew this song. They are always playing this song when they want to indicate “THIS IS SET IN THE 90s” in movies. Also, Wikipedia tells me they play it at sporting events. I wouldn’t know about that. The last sporting event I attended was in 1992. I AM TOTALLY SERIOUS. Go, go, Shamrocks! (YES, my high school mascot was the Shamrocks. I don’t want to talk about it. I SAID I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. Yes. I realize that shamrocks don’t exactly strike fear into the heart of teams like “panthers” and “huskies” and what-have-you. IT WAS A SMALL SCHOOL LEAVE ME ALONE I DIDN’T PICK THE DUMB MASCOT.)
It’s so bossy, damn. It’s telling me to make NOISE and JUMP and REJOICE and WAVE MY HANDS and SHAKE MY DERRIERE (ugh, really? gross) and “bring it back, y’all” and I don’t even know what they want me to BRING back. What’s IT? What am I bringing back? Library books? An undercooked hamburger? This single, purchased by mistake?
Then THIS song happened. And if I thought the bossiness factor was high on the last song, well, HOLY HELL is this one worse.
“Let Me Clear My Throat”
by DJ Kool (ugh, there’s nothing “kool” about spelling “cool” like that)
Popular in: 1996
Sample bossy lyrics:
“Now when I say uh, you say ah Uh. And now when I say hey, you say ha Hey hey. Now when I say uh, you say ah Uh Uh. Now when I say hey you say ha Hey. Now when I say freeze you just freeze one time. When I say freeze y’all stop on a dime. When I say freeze you just freeze one time. When I say freeze y’all stop on a dime. FREEZE. Now all the ladies in the place. If you got real hair, real fingernails. If you got a job, you going to school. And y’all need nobody to help you handle your business. Make some noise. One, two, three, come on now. When I say freeze you just freeze one time. When I say freeze y’all stop on a dime. When I say freeze you just freeze one time. When I say freeze y’all stop on a dime. FREEZE. Now to all the brothas in the place. That don’t give a damn about what them ladies talking about. Cuz you just trying to get chummy. Make some noise.”
WHAT THE HELL.
No, I’m totally serious. This is ALL ONE SECTION. I transcribed this directly from one of those shady lyrics sites online. It gave me a popup to go back to college so now I’m getting my degree as a vet tech. WHAT. It’s TOTALLY LEGIT. This song went on FOREVER on my radio, and I had never heard it before today (that’s because, in 1996, I was busy HAVING A LIFE and GRADUATING COLLEGE and GETTING DRUNK AND MAKING OUT WITH MEN THAT WERE BAD DECISIONS, thank you very much) and this whole SECTION was telling people what to do. And it was LIVE. So people were all “hoooo” and “yeahhhh” in the background and making some noise and it was ANNOYING ME.
Also, “freeze?” Really? Were people doing this in dance clubs or whatever? That seems foolish, right? People would bash into you and stuff and probably pickpocket you while you were frozen. Like GYPSIES. When I was in Italy, people warned me a gajillion times to watch out for the gypsy pickpockets. And listen, I didn’t even see a SINGLE gypsy. I felt gypped. Pun most definitely intended.
And let’s not even talk about the sentence structure up there, seriously. No, I’m serious, let’s not. It’s making my eyeballs bleed.
“Get chummy?” That’s what they were calling it in 1996? I wasn’t calling it “getting chummy.” I was calling it…well, getting drunk and making mistakes, honestly. But I guess that didn’t work with the totally boss rhyme structure, DID IT, DJ Kool.
Then I thought, you know what other song is all bossy? That TLC song “Waterfalls” that one friend of yours used to be obsessed with and listened to on repeat all the time and it was annoying.
But then I looked up the lyrics so I could show them to you and it’s not BOSSY. It’s WEIRD and DISTRESSING. Look. No, really! Look! I will SHOW you!
by TLC (I can’t think of TLC without thinking of that VH1 Behind the Music about TLC where they were interviewing someone about how Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was a woman scorned and torched her ex’s house and the interviewee was all, “Lisa BURNED THE HOUSE DOWN” in this tone of awe that was HYSTERICAL and my friend and I used to say it ALL THE TIME in inappropriate situations.)
Popular in: 1995
Now, I thought this song was bossy because it was all “Don’t go chasing waterfalls” and I was GOING to make some humorous jokes about “well, what if I WANTED to chase waterfalls, TLC” but then I read the lyrics? And WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING IN THIS SONG.
Do you know what this song is about?
So it tells these two stories. The first is about a mother who can’t control her son and then he gets shot. I think. It’s kind of poorly written.
Then TLC tells me “don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.” So, are the waterfalls my DREAMS? Or are the waterfalls bad things, like drugs and street crime? If so, why are you calling them waterfalls, which are usually considered good things? This is kind of a mixed message, TLC. LISA BURNED THE HOUSE DOWN.
Then we get ANOTHER story, about how some guy is dying and some woman is to blame and “three letters took him to his final resting place” and I ASSUME those three letters are ESS EEE EXX but what killed him? AIDS? (Or, as my grandmother would say, “The AIDS?”) If so, wouldn’t that be four letters?
Then we get the warning about the waterfalls and the rivers and the lakes and the yadda yadda. I’m still confused. So now don’t go chasing whores, stick to nice girls, I guess? But again, if so, why are you comparing whores to waterfalls? Waterfalls are NICE. And CLEAN. Waterfalls don’t have VD.
Then there’s this INSANELY LONG RANT about rainbows and God and “tootin’ caine into your vein” (I’m not 100% sure the lyrics site spelled any of that right, what’s “caine?” Cocaine? I have NEVER heard cocaine called “caine” in my life. Honestly, the first thing I thought of? Michael Caine) and it is the WORST. It makes NO SENSE.
The best part of it:
“Dreams are hopeless aspirations
In hopes of comin’ true
Believe in yourself
The rest is up to me and you”
Dreams are “hopeless aspirations?” WHAT THE HELL, TLC. Are you trying to inspire people, or make them suicidal? I DO NOT GET THIS SONG AT ALL.
Also, “believe in yourself, the rest is up to me and you.” That doesn’t even make SENSE.
Then it’s more waterfalls and lakes and rivers.
This song won ALL THE AWARDS. Do you think no one was listening to the damn LYRICS? Were they too busy tootin’ caine into their veins?
This song, to me, is saying to not have dreams, because why bother? They are hopeless. But also don’t do drugs. Or have sex with whores. Or get shot in the street. Rainbows seem to be ok. Maybe. That’s a little up in the air. But rivers and lakes? Totally kosher.
I can’t even keep track of all these rules, seriously, I need a damn flowchart.
LISA BURNED THE HOUSE DOWN.
So, to sum up: songs that tell me what to do are not ok with me. Songs that make a suggestion: possibly ok, depending on how hectoring a tone they take with me. Songs that let me make up my own mind about how to go about my day: we’re cool, songs. We’re cool.
Happy Sunday, my little jellybabies.
(OH SNAP. I totally forgot my SIDE NOTE from up above! OK, here’s the scoop. I think the world would be a better place if, at some point, someone sat each and every human down – not ME, obviously, and not any of YOU, as you are all PERFECT and WONDROUS – and said, “Listen, you are an ADULT now. And as such? You need to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN SHIT. If you forget to fill your prescription and you realize it’s Saturday and the doctor’s office is closed? So sorry, Charlie. Plan better next time. If you have a colonoscopy on Monday morning and realize SATURDAY AFTERNOON you have no idea how you’re supposed to be prepping for that? Too bad. Play again another time. You lose this round. Plan ahead. It’s part of being an ADULT. In ADULT SOCIETY. If you need to make lists, write shit on a calendar, have pop-ups in your phone, whatever works for you – that’s fine! That’s not breaking any rules! But YOU ARE AN ADULT. And you are expected to behave as such. We are no longer going to pull your ass out of jams from now on. Pull up your big-boy and big-girl pants and TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE.” Whoo. OK. Just needed to let off a little steam. Much like my disgusting microwave meal I had last night that had a little hole marked “STEAM VENT DO NOT GET TOO CLOSE.” YOU are my steam vent, my friends and readers and possibly enemies who are reading this to make sure I don’t excoriate you online. THANK YOU FOR BEING MY STEAM VENT.)