Wednesday, December 31, 2008

So long to an awful year (mostly)

2008 has been one of the worst years of my life, and a pretty bad one for a lot of other people.

It started out poorly on Jan. 17 when my wife broke her leg. Then came six operations, several weeks in the hospital and a few more in rehab. There was the clerical error that meant that my wife didn’t get paid for two months. Then my father was in the hospital for a few days.

Things weren’t much better for the rest of the world. The world’s general economic condition knocked my prospects for a better job from slim to none. Many are mad at Madoff for the Biggest. Ponzi. Scheme. Ever, while the Big Three American automakers have proven to be as reliable as a ’75 Pinto.

Music continues to get worse, or maybe I'm just getting older. While American Top 40 and other teeny-bopper shows have year-end lists of the biggest hits, I have been reduced to nominating one song a year as This Year's Only Good Song. The winner this year is....Coldplay's "Viva La Vida."

I do have an award for Mondegreen of the Year. Apparently, this is one that was misheard by a lot of people, because Ryan Seacrest actually interviewed The Pussycat Dolls on American Top 40 in order to debunk the mondegreen. (Oh, the crap you stumble into on the radio during long road trips!) So here it is...

WRONG: I wanna have boobies
RIGHT: I wanna have groupies
"When I Grow Up," The Pussycat Dolls

Still don’t think it was a bad year? Did I mention that two of the most critically acclaimed films of the year are a Batman flick and a Pixar movie about a trash compactor? I thought that would shut you up.

It wasn’t all bad. It was a year where a lot of chickens came home to roost. The Spygate Patriots blew their perfect season at the hands of the GEEEEE-MEN (thank you, Chris Berman) in Super Bowl XLII, while the backstretch’s biggest mouth, Rick Dutrow, was suddenly lost for words when Big Brown finished last in the Belmont.

But the biggest comeuppance was saved for George W. Bush and the Republican Party in general, as the American public finally grew some brains and elected Barack Obama over faux maverick John McCain. It’s beyond the scope of this blog to list the many levels on which this election represents change—the country’s attitude toward race and the power of the youth electorate are the most obvious. But the most important trend may be a new-found tendency to respect the mind and leaders who think.

So this year could be likened to the opening of Pandora’s Box. All the ills, evils and diseases came out of the box—but at the end, there was hope.

Hey, the Steelers made the playoffs…


Keith said...

I learned the term "mondegreen" in late 2007. One thing led to another, and now I’m the administrator of a flaky effort called MANDY GREEN Project largely aimed at helping make "mondegreen" a household word, as well as raising money for this library about 100 miles from Fritzburgh. It involves a quirky novel written by MANDY GREEN (yep, a mondegreen of "mondegreen") whose story centers on a mondegreen ("Gesundheit Whistle" misheard as "Gazoon High Twizzle"). Please check it out and tell all your friends named MANDY GREEN.

My son Emmett told me the whole effort is hopeless, adding that he hated to be the BEAR OF BAD NEWS.

The next day Emmett mentioned that he always thought that CIRQUE DU SOLEIL was CIRCUS L.A.

I'm a Vermonter by birth, Pennsylvanian by choice, and this is my favorite mondegreen (from the Beach Boys' "Kokomo"):

To Martinique, that Monserrat mystique

misheard as

Vermont’s unique, Vermont’s a rotten state

Best wishes and Happy New Year.

Bob Fritz said...

Emmett's mondegreen on Cirque du Soleil reminds me of one from the Missing Persons song, "Walking in L.A." I misheard the title phrase as "Walking in a lake."