Sunday, November 21, 2010

Everyday I Don't Write The Book

A random blog topic I stumbled across tonight is "Books I Want To Write."

So what books do I want to write? I could have answered this question more easily when I was a senior in high school. I had a whole page full of ideas, most of which I don't remember, and most of which are not worth remembering.

Elvis Costello once said that his prime motivators for making music were "revenge and guilt." So it was with me back when I first had the crazy idea of becoming a writer. Write about all the horrible crap that's happened to you and you'll become famous. It doesn't work that way. Nobody cares that I wasn't popular in high school (which I now consider a blessing) or that I spent seven years in college to become an office drone or that...well...I can't get published.

I have written a young-adult novel with a pagan theme, but I can't seem to blackmail anybody into reading it. It probably won't get published, but I'm still proud of it because it showed that I have the patience to take an idea and follow through on it.

An idea that keeps coming back to me is a memoir of sorts about the years I spent writing for Daily Racing Form--sort of a stream-of-consciousness, On The Road type of novel about traveling to and from the various tracks. Think of it as "Racetrack Kerouac."

It has been suggested to me that I could use my racing background and write Dick Francis-type mysteries. The Brie-eating artiste in me protests that this is not hip and that it's been done to death, but hip won't fix the holes in the bathroom wall. My mind doesn't seem linear enough to write a good mystery, though. There would probably be gaping holes in it and it would go off in different directions, like my wife's phone just rang and it plays Herbie Hancock's "Headhunters" and there are two miniature Buddha statues on my desk sitting on a postcard from someone who wants me to refi my mortgage and my dog's legs drag the ground but he still gets around OK in his wheelchair and the Steelers kicked Oakland's ass today and the refs called all sorts of bullshit penalties although it's great that they kicked Richard Seymour out of the game for pushing Ben...see what I mean?

I have thought of writing non-fiction, maybe children's biographies about sports heroes or entertainers. It would be easy research--just find a bunch of news articles on the web, bring it down to a fourth-grade level, fill in with pictures, and presto! Might have to be a little creative with some people. ("OK...and Roethlisberger didn't play at the start of this season because...?")

I also thought it would be really cool to write a new kind of religious text. Put a bunch of proverbs in archaic-sounding language, claim I found the text in a cave somewhere, and see if people follow the teachings. Who knows? I might actually convince people to be nice to each other. What a concept!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rude Awakenings

Much has been said about Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who committed suicide after two classmates webcast him having sex with another male student.

I’m surprised that the outrage has been nearly universal, judging from online comments to news stories about the tragedy. Unmoderated comments to news stories don’t usually bring out the best in humanity (last week some humanoids on CNN seriously suggested hanging an 11-year-old babysitter who accidentally killed a toddler), but this has been different. No quotes from Leviticus, no Fred Phelpsian blather about Clementi being in hell. Even Bible-thumpers (with the possible exception of one Mormon bigwig) joined the overwhelming chorus of “Dude, not funny!”

The tragedy has reminded many people, as it should, that the fight for equality still has a long way to go, but I say that the mere fact that there is such indignation shows that we’ve come a long way in a relatively short time.

The first time I ever saw the word “homosexual” was in Mad Magazine, which is appropriate. When I was growing up in the ‘70s and ‘80s, homosexuality was, at best, a subject for ridicule. Teenage boys used the word “fag” like it was going out of style (which, I guess, it did), and they weren’t talking about cigarettes. I remember one boy in my high school who was strongly rumored to be gay, and some of the things they did to him were, looking back, pretty cruel. One year, he was my class’s highest vote getter for homecoming attendant. Real funny, huh? (A faculty adviser with some decency threw out every ballot with his name on it.)

I didn’t grow up with any “out” gay people. For all I knew, gay men were these weird people who lived in San Francisco and listened to disco and would try to recruit me into their lifestyle if given half a chance. Then came college. Quite a few college classmates, including some of my fraternity brothers, were gay, although I didn’t know it at the time.

The incident at Rutgers reminds me of an event from my college days that has gone down in history—or at least the history inside my head—as “The Rude Awakening.”

I went to college long before webcams, so when we wanted humor at someone else’s expense, we had to use more low-tech means, like the good old rumor mill. One night I heard from one of my fraternity brothers that another brother had told him that two male classmates woke him up one night by having sex.

For some reason, I thought this was hilarious. There is genuine humor in the situation, albeit of the crass variety that is so popular in dude-bro movies nowadays. If you were the person who had been, well, awakened, what would you say? (“Uh…hey, guys, let’s go get some White Castles!”) And, let’s face it—as open-minded as I like to think I am, two men having sex is not on the short list of the things I’d most like to see when I wake up in the morning.

Of course, I was assuming not only that the…uh…captive audience actually was in the same room (he could have just heard them from another room—and why would they go at it with someone else in the room, unless they were really kinky?), but that the incident actually happened. Hey, it was funny! Who cared if it was true?

The incident was good for nothing more than some stifled giggles whenever I heard one of the parties’ names mentioned for a year or so. Then came my fraternity’s Hell Night.

One of the rituals involved each of the pledges being seated in a chair and asked questions with a third-degree light being shined in his face so he can’t see the questioners. The questions were fairly innocent, along the lines of “What does this fraternity mean to you?”

Two or three pledges into the ritual, who should have his turn but one of the alleged participants in the “Rude Awakening”?

I was in my cups—and bowls—(I had not yet learned that, even if I sing like him at karaoke, Jim Morrison was not a role model) and I’m sure you can guess where my mind was going. The problem was that I was laughing too hard to ask the questions, so I tried to get other people to do the dirty work.

“Know what you oughta do?” I whispered to the guy next to me. “Ask him if he’s ever been a fag……better yet, ask him if he’s ever had a homosexual affair with ******! ‘Cause he did, ya know? ****** said they woke him up one night when they was fuuuuckin’!”

Luckily for all concerned, nobody took the bait. Nothing came out of the incident except me making a fool out of myself. It wasn’t the first time and it certainly wasn’t the last.

I would like to think that, given the more tolerant atmosphere now, that if I were in college today, the thought of outing somebody in such a humiliating way would not have crossed my mind.

But the tragedy at Rutgers had me thinking—what if things had gone differently that night? What if I had been able to get those words out of my mouth? How many lives could I have damaged over a puerile, and somewhat mean-spirited, joke?

Could “The Rude Awakening” have become far ruder than I imagined?

[Note: I realize that quite a few people from college could be reading this. I’m not naming names, since “The Rude Awakening” may have never happened (and what if it did?), but if you recognize yourself in any of the above mess, I apologize. Your behavior is not the point, but rather mine and that of far too many others.]

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I blame the Bicentennial

Independence Day creates a dilemma for liberals.

How do you express your pride in your country without being mistaken for some paranoid loon with an arsenal in his basement?

Of all the crimes committed by the right wing in recent times, one of the worst is the hijacking of America’s symbols.

Look at any conservative website (or at least its home page—go further at your own risk). You’re likely to see any combination of the following:

*The American flag, or some other combination of red, white, and blue
*The bald eagle
*Words like “liberty” and “freedom” (never clearly defined, of course)
*Anything connected with the American Revolution

The Colbert Report is especially good at parodying the right-wing look—and outlook. At least I think it’s a parody.

Compare these sites to the liberal website Daily Kos. Kos’ most prominent color is burnt orange, and its main visual image is a man waving a flag that may or may not be the U.S. flag (several other countries have flags with similar horizontal stripes). A person unfamiliar with American politics would have to do a little reading to determine the site’s country of origin.

The worst part of this phenomenon is the portrayal of the American Revolution as an exclusively conservative movement. Right-wingers constantly support their views by invoking the Founding Fathers, as if they somehow know that people who have been dead for 200 years would support their ideas. “Why, of course, George Washington would have wanted every paranoid schizophrenic to have access to an AK-47…”

While liberals have just as much of a right to don three-cornered hats, brandish muskets and quote Patrick Henry, you never see them doing that. Why?

I blame the Bicentennial.

For those who may have forgotten, may have tried to forget, or weren’t born yet, 1976 was a strange year in America. Maybe it was part of the recovery process from Watergate, but the whole nation devoted an entire year to patting itself on the back.

Everywhere you went, the country was bathed in red, white and blue. The media were loaded with programming about American history, particularly the Revolution. CBS ran its “Bicentennial Minute” every night, which told what happened 200 years ago that day—the problem being that most of the events were pretty mundane. “200 years ago today, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to his cousin, and every “s” in it looked like an “f,” zzzzzzz………..” The Bicentennial logo was everywhere from government buildings to sports jerseys. Fire hydrants were even painted to look like Revolutionary War soldiers!

I was 10 at the time—and don’t get me started on the school curriculum. Every school subject, with the possible exception of math, centered on the American Revolution. Which is something kids should learn about, but it seemed as if it were the only event in our nation’s history. There was a traveling exhibit called the Freedom Train, which I visited twice, but I’ll be damned if I could remember any artifact that was on the train. (Shame, really--some of them sound pretty impressive.) There was a school program where each of us dressed up as a figure from the Revolution and read some dry facts about that person off index cards. I remember wearing a puffy shirt and knickers and telling a roomful of parents about George Washington. And the local middle school presented a musical called “Let George Do It,” which I haven’t seen staged anywhere since. One of the few songs from it I recall was called “Cooperation”:

Things will operate (clap!) more straight
Things will operate (clap!) more straight
Things will operate (clap!) more straight
If we all cooperate, cooperate
Cooperate, cooperate

Come to think of it, those lyrics don’t exactly sound like they’re about the beginnings of a democracy…

So what does the Bicentennial have to do with patriotism being such a one-sided affair nowadays? I contend that it overloaded the country with red, white and blue to the point where any thinking person had enough of it to last a lifetime. For many people, patriotism died of overexposure.

Maybe it wasn’t necessarily the Bicentennial, but something happened since then that has driven patriotism squarely into the hands of the reactionary and the jingoist. As hokey and excessive as the Bicentennial was, I don’t recall it being limited to people of a certain political viewpoint. Everybody was invited to the party.

When people speculate on the intents of the Founding Fathers, they might do well to ask themselves if they intended to limit the benefits of the new nation to those who agreed with them.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mystery Science Scam E-mails 3000

It looks like Nigerian scam e-mails are making a comeback--except now most of them aren't from Nigeria. I received one in my inbox a few weeks ago that was especially egregious, so I could think of nothing better to do than give it the MST3K treatment.

Dearly Beloved, [we are gathered here today to get through this thing called a scam!]

I wish you can understand the heart of a loving mother [it beats and has four chambers], I want you to know that every word that I am about to tell you is sincere and deeply from the heart of a loving mother [who writes a lot of run-on sentences], so I want you to take me like your sister [to a good restaurant?], treat this letter as how you will treat that of your sister [let it sit in my inbox for two years and then throw it out?] and that of your best friend who believes in you and count on you. [Sorry, but my dogs can’t write.] with tears droping from my eyes, I am writing this message to you with the utmost sincerity and it is my wish that you be very honest with me because I am a desperate mother who is seeking your sincere assistance to safe the life of my only beloved son. [Screw those three sons that I hate.]
My name is Almira Muhammad Zayed Al-Nahyan. [Almira, Almira, my heart’s on fire for Almira…] You may have heard through international media about the death of my husband Sheikh Zayed Al-Nahyan [six years ago]. He was married to six wives and father of more than 40 Children. [Note: Muslim men are allowed only four wives.]
You can read media report about my late husband through these following websites.
[Not the Blog of Death! AAAAAAAAAIEEEEEEEEE!]
my husband was assassinated by his half-brother with the help of his other five wives, but the media was made to believe another thing.
[Because they had to be forced to believe that an 86-year-old man died of natural causes.]
Although I was the last wife of my husband’s six wives, I was also his best friend and confidant, because of the love he has for me, my son become his favorite among his other children, the name of my son is ( JEFFERY AHMED ZAYED AL NAHYAN) he will be 11 Years of age by 18th November. [That great Muslim name, Jeffery. The son of Muhammad they never talked about.]
My husband also made me his personal assistance and trust me so much to the extend that he told me all his secrets [even why they called him Pee-Wee] and handed over to me the affaires of his family multi-Billion Dollars companies including a crud oil refinery [CRUD OIL?! Are its initials BP?] and made my son the sole inheritor / beneficiary of 50% of all their family wealth and his successor, ready to make him a crown prince when he is of age, by that he will become the future king and prime minister of United Arab Emirates (U.A.E) after my late husband. [But he still won’t own a Kentucky Derby winner.]
Because of this and other things which I can not say here irrupted to the killing of my late husband and I was accused of mismanagement of over US$8.6 Billion Dollars. [Note: that figure would make her the 106th richest person in the world.] With that allegations, I and my son was placed under house arrest, I was also denied access to talk with the press in other not to tell them the truth how they killed my husband and framed me with the allegation of mismanagement, also, they do not want me to tell the press how they have poisoned my husband so that the world will know the truth. [But somehow they’ve allowed you access to a computer.]
The reason why my husband’s family is making me to suffer all this is because they want me to give to them the original documents of the crud oil refinery [if the oil’s refined, how can it be crud?] and companies inherited by my son from my late husband, the documents which proved that my late husband declared by son the sole inheritor of fifty percent of his family wealth and companies.
The reason I am taking this desperate step to contact you is because I want to safe the life of my son and his inheritance. I am now very sick, I have a feeling that I have been poisoned [That’s not poison, Almira. That’s overexposure to bullshit.] and they have refused to give me access to a physician. This people are very desperate to get their hands on these documents, to kill me and my son but I won’t let them and that is why I need your help, I can not get in contact with any of my friends, relatives or even anybody that I use to know, all my communications are monitored except this internet because they don’t know about it yet. [That’s right—the royal family of Dubai hasn’t discovered the Internet yet.]My late husband confided in me that he has deposited those documents and the sum of US$31 Million (Thirty One Million United States Of America Dollars) [How much, again?] in a Security Company’s Vault far away from this country, outside this continent where I will tell you later. He decided to deposite it far away when he got the feelings that his other wives and his brothers want him dead, he has to travel to a far away country to made the deposit in the name of my son to safe his inheritance and his future. [If he were that worried about his safety, why didn’t he just leave permanently? And take you and your son with him?] My utmost concern right now is to get my son and his inheritance proof out to a safe place, to you, which I must succeed now that I still have little strength. [That, and to find some decent Chinese food.]
This is very urgent; I count on your help to safe the life and future of my son. Also you will find in the bank vault the copy of my late husband’s last testament declaring my son the rightful beneficiary to the multi Billion dollar companies. [But wait, there’s more! Also in the vault is a year’s supply of Lee Press-On Nails, just for playing our game!] Incase if I die, if they kill me, you will hand those documents over to my son when he is of a matured age, so that with it in the future he can claim what rightfully belong to him. [And when I die, and when I’m gone, there’ll be one child born in this world to carry on this stupid con, yeah…]
Please, I want you to be very sincere and honest with me [OK, lady, you’re full of shit!] because you are my last hope, I will like to see your face, please send me your picture so that I will have a visible knowledge of how you look like, I will tell you what to do and send our picture to you when I get your reply. [With or without numbers at the bottom?]
Thanks for your time

Almira Muhammad Zayed Al-Nahyan [Jingleheimer Schmidt]
My private Email: almirawahab@insing[Sing?].com

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What is truth?

I used a random blog entry generator today, and it gave me the topic, “What is truth?”

They sure know how to throw the puffballs at you.

When I was a kid, I always knew what truth was. It was all around me. It was the only worldview I’d been exposed to. Truth was everything I’d been told. It was not just the truth, it was the Truth with a capital T.

I knew that I was the smartest person who ever lived and that I would be President someday, and, for that reason, everybody else was jealous of me and hated me.

I knew that nobody in the history of the world ever worked harder than my parents, and for that reason, everybody else was trying to take advantage of them.

I knew that I was white, male, American, Protestant, and of northern European descent, and, therefore, better than anybody who wasn’t all of those things.

I knew that my family was perfect.

I knew that, if I got a bad grade, it was because the teacher wasn’t smart enough to appreciate my genius.

I knew that God was this thing up in the sky that I couldn’t see, but He would make sure that everything turned out for the best and that nothing bad would ever happen to me.

Life was good. Life was Truth.

Then a funny thing happened. I found out that the Truth wasn’t the truth after all.

It started with books. There were always lots of books around, and nobody minded me reading them. It was proof of how smart I was, after all. But then I started to actually remember what was in those books, and it wasn’t long before they began to contradict the Truth.

Of course, when there was a conflict, I was always told in no uncertain terms that the Truth prevailed. The people who write those books don’t know what the real world is like! They don’t know what it’s like to work for a living!

So I held out as long as I could as a defender of the Truth. Of course, it helped that I went to school with kids who had heard some variation on the Truth in their own homes. And it also didn’t hurt that I went to a college where diversity meant your roommate was Catholic. So I could laugh off any challenges to the Truth.

I grew up and entered the real world—which, I was always told, would just reinforce the Truth—and found that very little of the Truth was true at all.

I found that not everything turns out for the best, the good guy doesn’t always win—and that there are times when the good guy isn’t me.

I found that most of my problems are my own damn fault and not part of some grand conspiracy against smart people.

I found that there are many forms of intelligence that can’t be measured by an IQ test.

I found that no ethnicity, gender, nationality, belief system or surname has a monopoly on intelligence, hard work or goodness.

I found that most people are too wrapped up in their own problems to mess with you.

I found that everybody has issues, and most people have subscriptions.

I found that most people are doing the best they can.

And truth? I’m not sure what it is anymore, but I can live with that. I have to.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And the answers are...

For those who care, here are the right answers to my mondegreen quiz.

1) WRONG: We were cool on Christ
RIGHT: We were cool on craze
“Dance Hall Days,” Wang Chung
Oh, the pitfalls of a heavy British accent. This made quite a few people do a double-take up at Otterbein in my day.

2) WRONG: Requesting quiet, requesting quiet
RIGHT: Big boys don’t cry, big boys don’t cry
"I’m Not in Love,” 10 c.c.
I misheard this one for decades before I saw the right lyric on a mondegreen calendar a couple of years ago.

3) WRONG: Religion is a lie in the fall
RIGHT: Religion is a light in the fog
“What I Am,” Edie Brickell and New Bohemians
If the wrong lyric were the right one, this song might be remembered as something more than a pseudo-hip anthem today. It’s Mrs. Simon’s loss.

4) WRONG: My name is Dick Cheney
RIGHT: My name is Slim Shady
“My Name Is,” Eminem
I misheard this off a recent ad for one of those faux-musical video games that’s all the rage.

5) WRONG: Wraps a dollar ‘round her
RIGHT: Wraps a towel around her
“Another Day,” Paul McCartney
Remember that I was five when the song came out. It didn’t occur to me that an Englishman probably wouldn’t be singing about dollars.

6) WRONG: Red Army girl
RIGHT: Wait on me, girl
“I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues,” Elton John
Come to think of it, I mishear a lot of Sir Elton’s songs. Wonder why?

7) WRONG: I got my ass wiped
RIGHT: I got my hash pipe
“Hash Pipe,” Weezer
Well...this may not be the mondegreen I thought it was. It seems that he does say "I got my ass wide." Cool video in any case.

8) WRONG: Livin’ in the swamp
RIGHT: An eminence front
“Eminence Front,” The Who
Another one it took me quite a few listenings to get right.

9) WRONG: Rivers, Connecticut
RIGHT: Well versed in etiquette
“Killer Queen,” Queen
One for the special category of mondegreens that I call “Dada.”

10) WRONG: Barmy, barmy, barmy
RIGHT: Fall on me, fall on me, fall on me
“Fall On Me,” R.E.M.
I think I must have been pretty barmy to mishear this one. Could they have made the words any clearer in the video?

11) WRONG: Break your tuck hole! Break your tuck hole!
RIGHT: Breaking the law! Breaking the law!
“Breaking the Law,” Judas Priest
After spending most of ninth grade wondering what a tuck hole was, one day the right words dawned on me. As Emily Litella would have said, “That’s different. Never mind.” Love the video. Very Spinal Tap.

12) WRONG: Hanging to the jury
RIGHT: Hanging in a chow line
The theme from the TV show “Good Times”
Had to throw one in that was a bit off the radar. Pretty cool as far as TV themes go. Or, as J.J. would say, dyn-o-mite!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

At last--a mondegreen quiz

It’s time to see if anybody is reading this blog.

From time to time I have posted my favorite mondegreens—song lyrics that I have misheard at some point in my life. The problem is that I keep forgetting one when it comes to mind. But I’ve solved that problem in a low-tech way—I started writing them down.

So now I’ve got enough mondegreens saved for a quiz. I list the wrong line and you come up with the right one and the song. I’ve ranked them in order from easiest to hardest. The first two have been anthologized quite a bit (no fair Googling them!), but I included them because I misheard them, too. You may respond through Facebook or to this blog entry, unless you are representing the widow of a government official in Nigeria.

There are no obscure songs here. All but number 12 received significant radio airplay at some point from the 1970s to the present. Number 12 was not a radio hit, but you were still likely to hear it if you grew up in the U.S. during the ‘70s. (Think television.)

So what do you win if you get all of these? The knowledge that your mind is as warped as mine.

Just don’t ask me what a tuck hole is.

1) We were cool on Christ
2) Requesting quiet, requesting quiet
3) Religion is a lie in the fall
4) My name is Dick Cheney
5) Wraps a dollar ‘round her
6) Red Army girl
7) I got my ass wiped
8) Livin’ in the swamp
9) Rivers, Connecticut
10) Barmy, barmy, barmy
11) Break your tuck hole! Break your tuck hole!
12) Hanging to the jury

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Where do I begin?

Here’s the story of the bizarre events of last evening:

I was driving home from work last night and was getting off the Parkway East onto 22 when I was confronted by the carcass of a dead animal (I think it was a deer, but could have been a large dog). It looked small enough to straddle with no problem, so I ran across it and heard a thump.

I thought nothing more of it and continued on my way home, and became wrapped up in this interesting news story on “All Things Considered” about how Robert B. Parker and Erich Segal both died over the weekend and how they were both from Cambridge, Mass., but were very different and how they reflected two different social classes in Cambridge and so forth. And I got to thinking about how my mom has always liked the “Spenser for Hire” books and how she once told me that Spenser has this Red Sox all-star team that he recites in his head whenever he’s in a tough situation. And how Erich Segal sounded like a pretty interesting guy even though he inflicted “Love Story” on the world, and how “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” has to be the dumbest line in cinematic history. And I wind up with the theme to “Love Story” stuck in my head. If only that were the worst part of the evening.

So I got home and looked under the car in the dark and saw a few small pieces of animal detritus hanging from the muffler but figured it was no big deal. And I told Jamie what happened and she said I should go wash the undercarriage of the car right away so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the car.

So I went to the nearest car wash and tried to rinse the car off in the hand-wash bay. Then, in better light, I saw not only the pieces on the muffler, but also a large piece that I had apparently been dragging for several miles. I was able to dislodge that with the high-pressure hose, but the job still wasn’t complete. I pulled the car forward and thought, “I can’t just leave animal guts lying in a car wash bay.” So I looked in my car for a bag—no luck. (Which wouldn’t have mattered because the car wash’s dumpster was padlocked, lest anybody put garbage in it.)

Luckily, there was a shovel propped against the dumpster, so I scooped up the random animal parts and chucked them in the field behind the car wash, making it a glorious night for the vultures.

So then I ran the car through the cheapest automatic car wash that offered an undercarriage wash. Bear in mind that I had already washed the car last week. When this is all over, I thought, I’m going to have the cleanest car in Allegheny County.

So I went through the car wash and found there will still those few hanging strings from the beginning. I spent 15 minutes on the ground, in near freezing temperatures, lying next to a wet car, vainly hitting venison piƱatas with my ice scraper. Then it occurred to me—why not use the brush end instead of the scraper? Knocked them right off.

So now, as far as I know, my car is free of any random animal parts—although my dogs still find my car a little too interesting for total comfort.

Getting the theme from “Love Story” out of my head will be about as easy.

P.S. About a week after this incident, the weather grew colder and my car began to rattle behind the dash. I took it in to the dealer and was told that one of the exhaust hangers had been knocked out of position. What caused this? " was caused by deer." So that took care of the last deer remains. I think.

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Year's mondegreens, or who in the hell is Danny Heidelman?

Well, it's a new year with lots of new challenges and lots of lyrics to mishear. I haven't posted any mondegreens lately, so here's another round.

I have been accused of making up these mondegreens after the fact. But I did mishear all these lyrics at one point in my life. You'll notice that most of these mondegreens are of older songs (I think the newest song in this entry came out in 1981), which is no accident, as I misheard most of these lyrics when I was younger.

WRONG: I am Danny Heidelman
RIGHT: I'm the dandy highwayman
"Stand and Deliver," Adam and the Ants

WRONG: When my finger goes east and lights
RIGHT: When I think of those East End nights
"Someone Saved My Life Tonight," Elton John

WRONG: Sh-boom and automobile again
RIGHT: Sh-boom and hopin' we'll meet again
"Sh-Boom," The Crew Cuts

WRONG: Doctors fill my room
RIGHT: Darkness fills my room
"Nice to Be With You," Gallery

WRONG: Nel blu, a yucky boy blue
RIGHT: Nel blu degli occhi tuoi blu
"Volare," Domenico Modugno

WRONG: I like this kind of Hawkeye music
RIGHT: I like this kind of hot kind of music
"Honey Pie," The Beatles

WRONG: I don't believe in cinnamon
RIGHT: I don't believe in Zimmerman
"God," John Lennon

WRONG: Never goose me any other way
RIGHT: Never could see any other way
The repeating loop at the end of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles