Thursday, August 17, 2006


Mary Beth Ellis is a highly esteemed scientist regulary showered with peer recognition and prizes (most recently: second place, St. Jude Elementary School's 1989 Junior High Science Fair, for a groundbreaking representation of the solar system featuring styrofoam balls and Tempora paint.) Currently she is studying the effects of popular music upon natural and social phenomena, which is to say she watches reruns of Mystery Science Theater 3000 until she runs out of Cheez-It money, at which point she resigns herself to slapping together some attempted science (see below).

QUESTION: What effect does Andy Williams have upon fine motor skills?

MATERIALS: 1991 SounDesign AM/FM receiver/double cassette recorder/CD player; Andy Williams Greatest Hits: Live From Moon River Theater in Branson

HYPOTHESIS: I predict that 47 minutes of exposure to Andy Williams will result in a significant drop in fine motor skill abilities — those functions that allow us to type, perform self-grooming tasks and prepare a really fine gin and tonic.


1) Remove Andy Williams Greatest Hits: Live From Moon River Theater in Branson, Mo., from case.

2) Experience concern with Andy's hair on album cover photo. What's going on here? It's too ... comby.

3) Take scientific nap.

4) Press "play."

5) What the hell? Become alerted to something serious going down in CD player. Immediately investigate as to why Andy Williams sounds like The Bangles.

6) Remove "Rad Hits of the '80's" from underneath Andy Williams Greatest Hits: Live From Moon River Theater in Branson.

7) Check on progress of "Summer Spectacular of Pro Figure Skating"on We.

8) Press "play" again.

9) Press "pause" again.

10) Visit Little Scientist's Room.

11) Flush.

12) Press "play" again.

DATA AND OBSERVATIONS: The Hawaiian Wedding Song: Test dexterity by opening one (1) 12-ounce can of Coors. Successful save for experiencing small chip in fingernail of right index finger.

Moon River: Begin filing down fingernail, which results in tragedy when, in act of filing, accidentally chip index fingernail of other hand.

Can't Get Used to Losin' You: Give up on fingernail. Turn attention to 12-ounce can of Coors instead. Williams is suddenly easier to bear.

Born Free: Terrifed to discover an inability to tie shoes until reach realization that am in fact wearing cowboy boots.

MacArthur Park: Concern with fine motor skills suddenly surpassed by overpowering desire to off self.

Canadian Sunset: Drag self from floor, vastly relived that Williams is no longer concerned with striped pants and drinking wine while it is warm and never letting you catch him, as stated in "MacArthur Park." Attempt to do "This is the church, this is the steeple." Fail miserably. Sob.

Lonely Street: Greatly comforted by fact that can still do this thing where I sit crosslegged on the floor, push off with my arms and make a complete, 360-degree rotation on the axis of my buttocks. Beer now warm.

May Each Day: Still recovering from terror of MacArthur Park. Fine motor skills are slightly diminished, but notwoiwaeeoiu !oag7yn%,8uA43T?}.

L.O.V.E: Oh, the hell with it.

CONCLUSIONS: What's up with my nails? I buff them, I apply calcium overcoats, I avoid manual labor. Still I get this chipping.

Also, I highly recommend "Rad Hits of the '80's." It has Cyndi Lauper AND Richard Marx.

CONTROL EXPERIMENT PROPOSALS: This groundbreaking information raises more questions than it answers. I cannot sleep nights fretting about the following:

-The effect of Perry Como on the apogee of the orbit of Mercury

-The effect of Whitney Houston on the performance of Proctor & Gamble stock options

-The effect of John Denver on the setting of a Mandarin Orange Jello salad

Only with further experimentation can we fully develop the Andy Williams Theory of Fine Motor Skill Interference, which, although formerly a corollary of the Law of the Mutating Effect of New Kids on the Block on Kraft Cheese Singles, is poised to revolutionize formerly held scientific assumptions and create a safer universe. For instance, will we ever again subject the secondary of the Cincinnati Bengals to the Ray Conniff Singers.

I will, of course, require a massive amount of federal and private funding in order to continue. So if anyone out there has a copy of "Poems, Prayers and Promises" and/or "Savin' All My Love For You," pitch it my way. Proctor and Gamble stock, too. Lots and lots of P&G stock. Also Cheez-Its.

branson must be stopped at:


Monica said...

I am a huge fan of 80s music too, but beware. I have made a study of the effects of Richard Marx music on hair. After listening to 'Hold On To The Night', this scientist observed the mutation of her previously cute and stylish bob to a strangely pouffy mullet. Thankfully, the condition can be reversed by listening to anything by The Killers.

your said...
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Cbell said...

I swear... this is hysterical. This is what I needed to start my Friday work day.

Now I can move on... Thanks.

laney said...

You are nuts! That's why we L.O.V.E. your blog!

FYI: Stronger nails begin with a good hand moisturizer.

mike, snakes on a plane said...

10) Visit Little Scientist's Room.

11) Flush.

You forgot to wash your hands.

my kidz mom said...

Your timing is cosmic, saith I. Just last night I quizzed my daughter on these very same steps in scientific research [Q, hypothesis, etc]. Lo and behold, here you have them colorfully illustrated today! Perhaps she should read for herself this real-life description of how these steps would apply. ...mmmm, then again, maybe not...

Anonymous said...

Back away from the coors!

Josh The Pilot said...

Anon, you're right. MB, I love you, but it's gotta be Bud!

MB said...

But... but... it's the Silver Bullet! From Colorado! It's made from mountain sweat! It HAS to be good!

Anonymous said...

It's "Procter" and Gamble. And as a shareholder, I can say that nothing seems to be improving the value of the stock.

tamar said...

Y'all crack me up!!! :P

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