ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION, one of my putative readers (who would really admit to such a thing?) has said to me, and I paraphrase, "I like your column because it sounds just like you talking." Honestly, I am offended -- though I am not sure if these supposed readers are maligning my conversational style of writing or my literary mode of speaking, or both. I do not write like I speak. (And you will thank God, atheists and believers alike, that neither are anything like my way of thinking.)
For example, the other day while reading the newspaper I was thinking about waterboarding, wondering why it raises so much brouhaha when my brothers and I used to waterboard as children every summer. It was quite enjoyable way to spend a day at the lake. A great way for a kid to get started, heading into the more challenging art of water skiing.
Then, my thoughts of summers at Buggs Island Lake were interrupted with the subsequent fantasy thought in which my wife says, "It's not the same kind of waterboarding, darling." (She usually calls me darling, or sweetie, or some other term of endearment whenever I do or say something knuckleheaded. This may be the reason we are such an affectionate couple.)
My next thought following my wife's kind reprimand is that I need to apologize to my readers before I go on. Sorry, guys.
Anyway, I definitely do not write like I think. For example, my thinking rhymes more frequently. Sometimes I transcribe my thoughts and they come out as song lyrics, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.
OK, I know what you're thinking at me now (which is probably a lot like what you would write to me if you were to write to me which many of you do not -- assuming, of course, that I have more than two readers -- which is not well established at this point.)
Anyway, what you are thinking is this: "What goofy kind of song lyrics would this loon write if he did actually write song lyrics, which I doubt he actually does?"
A very good question, which asks for, if not demands, a very good answer. Sorry, don't have that but I do have some sample (rejected) song lyrics, however, which may answer the aforementioned question implicitly but not explicitly -- because I don't do rap.
Didn't Write Songs
Didn't write songs, but he did write song titles.
Didn't worship rock stars, did keep them as idols.
Didn't have a band -- but thought up band names.
Didn't play an instrument but tried to play the music industry game.
Had lotsa great ideas; very few, if any, deeds;
Could talk his way into anything that he might need.
Life for him wouldn't have been so very hard,
If it coulda been lived on four-by-six index cards.
The would-be lyricist wrote lotsa words --
Swore they were lyrics to his songs.
But that assertion had to be inferred --
Until some notes came along.
He was writing a musical, or at least that’s what he’d say.
Didn't like musicals, but wrote music-less ones anyway.
His life was very complicated -- and quite incomplete.
Spent lotsa time in bed -- but never did get much sleep.
No one understood him -- but, hey, neither did he.
This would-be lyricist, well, you guessed it, he would be me.
(Lyrical Copyright © 2009, Gary D. Gaddy All rights reserved -- for what, God only knows.)
Now, you tell me, actual readers, could Barry Manilow write anything more authentically “me” than this? I, and I wrote the song, or at least the lyrics, don’t think so.
Gary D. Gaddy really did write this "song."
A version of this column was published in the Chapel Hill Herald Thursday June 18, 2009.
Copyright 2009 Gary D. Gaddy