Entries in things i find amusing (24)
This is yet another song in the chain of musically simple pieces of that have a far greater hold on me than they should. Part of that is the narrative: The improviser in me loves the triumph of the low-status protagonist, and high school-aged me relates to it — not to the Iron Maiden part, but to the crush from afar part.
A bigger part of it, thought, is the effect of re-contextualization. My theory of humor has a lot to do with violating expectations — but just a little bit and in a coherent way. So it’s odd to hear a group of ukelele players fronted by a female vocalist perform a piece about teenage angst — and even more so to hear “Lives on my block / Drives an Iroc” in a British accent. But it’s a farce played straight, as the Ukes never let on that they’re in on the joke. It has that in common with my favorite Monty Python sketches, like The Killer Joke, Nudge Nudge, or the Cheese Shop. They’re not completely absurd; there’s an inner logic to them that makes you think there’s a world in which they’re completely normal — it’s just that that reality is slightly adjacent to our own.
This week I attended two holiday beer tastings: one at the Mercury Lounge last Sunday, and one yesterday hosted by one of the local homebrewing clubs. The former was moderately serious, with a beautiful printed program and several discussions about the history of the beers we were tasting. The latter — entitled the 12 Beers of Christmas — was distinctly less formal. One of the hosts, under the pseudonym of Irving Berlinerweisse, had re-written the lyrics to a number of Christmas carols around the topic of beer. So in between the “Brewer’s Dozen” (which turned out to be fifteen) beers we tasted, we sang songs like “It’s The Most Wonderful Time To Drink Beer”, “Let It Flow”, and “Simcoe the Red-Nosed Hop Cone.”
The only problem was that we ran out of songs in the first third of the event, so the organizers asked us to come up with new ones on the fly. My table’s contribution was a re-working of “I Have A Little Dreidel” that went like this:
Pitcher, pitcher, pitcher
A pitcher I will drink
And when I find it’s empty
Another one I think.
Sadly, we couldn’t come up with good enough lyrics for our favorite title, “Do You Taste What I Taste?”
Thanks to the same folks who brought us Oktubafest, tonight the Mercury Lounge was filled with sounds of Christmas carols… played in four-part harmony on a dozen tubas. It was simultaneously quirky and exactly right.
One point Gwen looked around and I said, “I could see you running a place like this.”
It’s important for me to keep track of which fictional person I am at any given time.
I’m now playing in two on-going LARP campaigns. In Houses of the Blooded, I’m playing Xander Yvarai, a distinguished composer of opera and renowned duelist who is recently married and is trying to put his rakish past behind him. In Dying Kingdoms, I’m playing Marcus of Albeira, a street-raised orphan who pulled himself out of the dire circumstances of his birth through service (as a quartermaster) in the legions of the Illumin Empire and is trying to use his newly-acquired position and powers to improve the lot of the people who are in the same circumstance he was in. When these games have events on back-to-back weekends, I occasionally get confused while I’m doing my preparations about which character I’m planning for.
That my friend Laura is playing both Xander’s wife and Marcus’s sister doesn’t help.