So one time, I made the principal’s daughter cry.
No, it wasn’t a broken heart, or even a noogie on the playground taken too far. Being the devout patriot she was, she took exception to my project on advertising in our gifted and talented class. See, I made a series of newspaper ads for a car dealership …
My spokesmen: Dead U.S. presidents.
I had Honest Abe, George Washington and others pushing off used cars to the public. I had them jive-talking and contemporary-acting (“No money down?? Say WHAT, GW??” that sort of thing.) and that’s just not dignified for any of our forefathers, not even Lyndon B. Johnson, Chester Arthur or James Polk.
I didn’t actually get into trouble.
Today, we use dead presidents to sell insurance and toilet paper. The Human League gives soundtrack to Swiffer mops. Everything from Danica Patrick in a pushup bra to pop-up ladies telling you which dishwasher crystals work best try to persuade us to buy.
Third-annual going-out-of-business sales, Toyotathons, and Christmas in July … nothing’s off limits.
1. What’s the point of Christmas in July?
Long before Christmas in July served as a summer excuse to pimp furniture and sedans, it saved Santa from heat stroke down under.
You might know it at Yulefest or Yuletide. In Australia, July’s cold as NBA free agency. Unless you want to see Santa in a Speedo, you concoct Christmas in July. So our Aussie friends get two Christmases. We get Matthew McConaughey and Johnny Manziel. I want a revote.
The concept of Christmas in July far out doesn’t-suck half birthdays. Holy hell, kids. We were lucky to get one birthday a year, let alone two. I feel staunchly strong against kids having two birthdays just so they can have one during the summer and another during the school year.
Unless I get a cupcake out of the deal. Wait, are we still allowed to bring cupcakes to school?
2. Is A# the same as B♭?
Yes, my philosophically musical child.
It’s the same, but notated differently for many reasons. I challenge you, though, to tell the difference on sound. It’s more ironclad than the idea that an adult small T-shirt is the same as a kids’ extra-large.
A piece of music might notate something as A# or b flat to make clear which key it’s in.
I was horrible at naming notes. I knew them in relation to each other when I played sax. I’d memorize finger changes faster than Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge and FACE to remember lines and spaces of the treble clef.
Eli Gets By Despite Failures would have worked, too.
Either way, girls, in music and in life, always try to … B#.
3. How many NFL teams play on turf?
Seventeen of 32 pro football teams play on the fake stuff.* (The Jets and Giants, given the price of real estate in New York, shack up together.)
AstroTurf, or Field Turf, the most popular artificial surface out there now, takes its lumps as an injury causer. A 2010 NFL Players Association survey revealed 82% of players felt artificial turf causes more injuries than grass. Players said the Steelers’ Heinz Field had the worst turf in the biz.
Atlanta Falcons legend Tommy Nobis told me players would tour AstroTurf fields before the game to identify trouble spots. And by trouble spots I mean huge exposes seams, bumps, rips and other atrocities that could end a player’s season in a hurry.
Some categorize artificial turf as a hazard to our goalkeepers.
*-It doesn’t figure into this figure, but we’ll assume what the oakland raiders do on Sunday can be classified as playing the football.
4. Why is pounds labeled lb.?
The Seahawks had a linebacker in 1977 named Turd Ferguson who ate a pound of raw salmon on game day, so they labeled pounds with his position – Line Backer – rather than his unfortunate first name.
The Latins abbreviated pound as lb as a shoutout to Libra, of zodiac fame. Libra’s sign is scales, you know.
The Romans measured stuff by what it called libra pondo, which is how they sold panda meat.
That’s not true!
It just meant “pound by weight.” The panda story is better, though.
Although I’m sure a slovenly beast like a panda tastes way gamey. Might need a pound of A1 to choke one of those down.
5. Is Stereo Love in English?
This Euro-junk tune topped charts in Finland, France, Great Britain (pre Brexit!), Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey in 2009. (Basically, it has a better track record than the Americans’ men’s soccer team.) It’s a tale of rekindling a dying love.
Edward Maya kicks a pound of ass with his accordion riff. The English version is better, of course. The other one? Barely bearable. Of course, even the English version sounds non-English. Maybe I’m biased.
I’m getting ready for the Olympics in my contempt for most of the rest of the world.
The English version played all the time at the gym I used to go to. The accordion part just made me want a plate of linguine and a chunk of Italian bread.