Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Jammin' On the One

Last week I had, in my actual car, a person who casually mentioned to having been born in, and I quote, “1985.” This meant that by the time I was well into a life of appreciating the finer points of roller skating around and around and around and around and around and around and around and around a hard flat wooden surface as disco lights played on the vomit-stained walls, this kid WASN’T EVEN AN EMBRYO YET.

And I laid my head upon my formerly jelly bracelet-covered arm and I realized: I am old.

The fact that I still contend with an army of zits on an hourly basis does not negate the reality that a baby I remember as being very recently born just voted in his second Presidential election. I am old.

There are certain virtues, however, to being old. You acquire a particular kind of wisdom. You gaze back upon the vast expanse of your life and various aspects of it drift into a unique perspective that leads you to realized that you acted, in your youth, like a putz.

The New Kids on the Block, for example, were perhaps not the musical geniuses I once perceived them to be. Here were five young men, two-fifths of whom had hair longer than mine, whose Christmas album (of course they had a Christmas album) included the instant holiday classic “Have a Funky, Funky X-Mas.”

This is not to say, however, that the New Kids were content to rest upon their proportedly bad asses. In the final months before they bowed off to that big Officially Licensed Product in the Sky, the New Kids released “Step By Step,” a truly powerful pantload of cassette that demanded of The Establishment:

How could you play me like a champ, a tramp, a cramp
Girl you did me worse than a food stamp.

This, I must say, deeply affected the way in which I conduct my adult relationships. “One of the things I love about Tink,” my friends are always saying, “is that she never does me worse than a food stamp.” And I owe it all to Joey-Joe.

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