Some recent Plinky prompts:
What would you like to do on your next birthday? List the things that would help make getting older a little more pleasant.
I am still trying to pull together a girls’ getaway to New Orleans, but doesn’t it suck not being independently wealthy? So I guess the things would be dollars. Beyond that, I don’t want for much when it comes to knowing how to celebrate.
What three songs remind you of a specific time in your life? Describe that time and these songs’ ties to it.
Hmmm. Steely Dan’s Reelin’ in the Years reminds me very specifically of early childhood Sunday mornings. There was a classic rock oldies radio show on WTUE by the same name that used the song as it’s theme. Every Sunday, heard it driving either to or from Mass. My dad would tap his fingers on the wheel keeping the beat and I would pester him to explain or enunciate the lyrics of many songs I couldn’t understand. Breakfast with the Beatles was never quite as good.
Weezer’s Say It Ain’t So reminds me of sophomore year of high school. Sleepless nights and blurry days. Puppy love for a man who acted like a boy. So right, so wrong. So beyond me yet so stunted. Simply and innocent and spontaneous yet completely contrived and covert. An introduction, lessons worth learning and a battle worth losing. It usually is a blessing to not get exactly what you think you want.
This one’s shameful, and I can’t even just give a song, it takes two whole albums. The summer of ’99 my family took a trip to Niagara Falls, Canada. I had recently finally gotten my first, really-my-own in-my-own-name car to park at my own squalid apartment, an obnoxious little used Mitsubishi Eclipse. Five-speed, red, but of course. I was trying way too hard, but I will say this for it – having now power steering, it was good exercise for the arms. Welcome to the gun show. Anyhow, so I was not about to be stuck in a car for eleventeen hours or whatever it takes to get there with my parents and siblings, not being able to smoke and be an obnoxious kid with my awful music. Yes, that’s two obnoxiouses in the same paragraph. Because there is no better word for me at this age, I promise. Acting as if I’m doing my family some type of favor by going on a family vacation even though I didn’t live at home with them anymore. The entire way there and back I listed to Dr. Dre’s 2001 and Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP over and over and over and over again. I mean, I kill my favorite songs like that still, but that is just…yes, obnoxious. So any given song on either of those albums reminds me of being young and totally exhilarated by my own freedom and drinking legally at the hotel bar and cruising past the wedding chapels in my little red sports car and buying cigarettes to sneak. Yes, a pack of um…oh, crap. The uh…Players…Lights..? please? Hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. Perhaps you had to be there.
List the worst pickup lines you’ve heard (or can think of). Some people just aren’t as suave as they think they are.
I’ve only got one; it happens to be also from sophomore year of high school, which back in our day, was the first year of high school, as freshman were still housed back at what we called the “junior high schools,” of which there were two in our school district, so when you get to the high school, you’re lucky to know about half or so of the kids in your grade. It was the first day of school, mid-day, I think. Most kids in my classes at least a little nervous I think, being the first day of high school and all. I remember feeling pretty shy. It was Biology class, I walk into the classroom and take a seat in the middle of the room – my strategy is to just blend in as much as possible. The bell hasn’t rang yet, but I’m surely glancing around the room, checking out who is in my class, hoping I can snag someone familiar and friendly to sit next to me, as the desks are set up in twos – lab partners, obviously. This tallish, skinnyish, dirtyish blondish kid walks over, tells me his name, and proceeds to inform me that we should hang out sometime, you know, because he’s hung like a horse. I dissolve into giggles. Poor kid is looking at me like, oh shit, what now? I can’t help it. He obviously doesn’t even know what he’s saying to me, so I can’t really be offended. Dude needs a lifeline. I ask him if he has any idea what that means, he admits not, I let him in on the joke, he blushes, insta-buddy. I honestly don’t remember if he ended up sitting next to me for the year or if he retreated quickly to another seat, but we did stay friends of a sort. At that point I certainly didn’t have my own car and was lucky to catch ride with driving friends until I finally got my license and schemed successfully on occasion to borrow my parents’ car. But he had his own and would cart my girl friend and I home from school on many afternoons. We’d even hang out alone every once in a while, me being careful to clarify that these were not dates. I could just never take him seriously after that kind of opener, as weirdly endearing as it turned out to be. Ah, yes. Adolescence can certainly be hell. I probably wouldn’t want to redo it if I could, but it’s nice to look back and laugh as well.