Life According To Chicks And Frogs
The way I see it, on any day of romance such as Valentine’s Day, we are compelled to consider the reality that life as we know it encircles two competing forces – the world according to chicks and the world according to frogs.
Eventually we learn somewhere in the crap shoot of it all, that we’re not supposed to actually understand the people we call the opposite sex, or what to do on these holidays. Considering the hordes of Americans who accept t.v. wrestling as real, experience teaches us that as a population we’re only a few rungs above sniffing, making the complexities found in relationships often unnerving.
As if we didn’t have enough birthdays, anniversaries, and recitals to enjoy, we apparently needed a primary relationship day to make the world whole. The initial idea of calling that day Veteran’s Day was already taken, so someone made up the word ‘Valentine’ … and in spite of the cynicism that capitalism alone spawned this day of chocolates, flowers, and digital romance, relationship advocates are quick to say that days like Valentine’s Day help to reduce stress.
I don’t know, if we’re going to deal with the stress card, why not go all the way? I once made a list of who I’d eliminate first – the lady at work who eats kale with her mouth open as if she wants all of us to see what she’s eating, my daughter’s boyfriend who looks like he lives near a shower but doesn’t go in one, and my cousin Freddy who every time I see him launches a silent but deadly and then walks out of the room.
Of course there are more general categories I could do without like realtors with big teeth, politicians who think I believe them, Seventh Day Adventists who want to convert me, talk show hosts, meter maids, morticians, and basically anyone without a personality who thinks they have one.
However, if we want to approach the true motherlode of stress, we become drawn to a social construct invented by some genius who told us that males and females are opposite sexes.
My experience is that, sure, some opposites attract, especially if you’re a magnet. But as far as I can tell, when it comes down to actual relationships, most opposites divorce. Maybe that’s why so many young people want to be called ‘they’ instead of he or she. They’re tired of the inherited societal conflict, the passive-aggressive whack a mole war between men and women. At least that’s what the wife tells me.
Some people have a problem with giving males or females nicknames especially those implying animal status, like chicks and frogs … I don’t know, to begin with, I think I have to put something on the table – I’d trust a frog way before I’d trust a chick.
Frogs have this way of regurgitating exactly what they’re all about which is why the belch is considered an art form. It may seem strange, but there is a clarity to a belch that chicks will never have. Chicks who want to be frogs belch a lot.
Chicks are vicious, especially to each other. However, their real skill is leaving their bodies and walking in analytic circles around men who enjoy talking about themselves, thus utilizing their primordial feminine connection to multi-tasking. At any given moment, a woman employing this skill can come back into her body without missing a beat.
I mean, in spite of their gifts, c’mon, women take themselves pretty seriously, don’t they? This birthing thing for example … seems a little overblown on the sperm side of the equation. I mean, do chicks ever think of how many sperm it took to hit the target? Don’t get me started on all those sperm who are missing in action.
You know that old 50’s riddle, “Why does a chicken cross the street?” I’m not sure about chickens, but I do know why a chick crosses the street. Chicks cross the street to get away from frogs because frogs like to jump-a-lot. Frogs don’t know exactly why they like to jump-a-lot which seems to annoy chicks who view jumping as more of a once-a-week activity, not every ten seconds.
I’m reminded of a saying by a wise and experienced woman – “All men are born frogs and all frogs must be kissed to one day become King.”
Simone was a millionairess in her thirties and I was nineteen at the time. We met in a bar on Valentine’s Day in Puerto Rico and just looking at her brought on waves of terminal frogness, making me want to jump out of my skin.
I learned a number of defining lessons from Simone, who that night played many roles including briefly becoming my mentor … Simone possessed this way of making you feel like a big frog in a small pond which I initially confused with love until the bill came. She made me feel like I was no longer a boy but a man, which again confused me with the illusion that I was making her feel like a woman … it’s good to be the king, it’s hard to be a frog.
After the first time I ever drank two martinis in less than twenty minutes, Simone took me to a back booth in some Puerto Rican night club where the Commodores were singing, the people were dancing, and she made me King in a real frog kind of way. She told me two things I’ll never forget – first, that one day I would meet the right woman and her one kiss would last a lifetime; and second, that romance is dead only if we bury it … all of which seemed important to her.
Then in an evening I thought half-over, Simone smiled and told me she was going to the bathroom, but instead walked out the front door, crossed the street into this Bogart darkness and we never saw each other again … for the next three weeks, I went back to that bar more times than I can remember in the hope of once again being King for a day.
A number of years later, I did meet that woman, and her kiss has now become a lifetime. And for Valentine’s Day this year, I wrote a pretty good poem. In fact, this time I went the whole nine yards and with the poem I’m giving her flowers … it cost me twenty deep to buy those flowers, which I don’t know, they’re colorful I guess, but to me, flowers can be pretty depressing having to watch them die and all. There’s no way I’m spending that kind of money and not keeping them at least a month.
To be honest, what is it with chicks and flowers? I was advised by our M.I.L.D.E.W. therapist that flowers seemed to be the right call after last year’s chainsaw. My wife is an avid gardener who hacks the crap out of tree limbs all the time. And besides, what couple doesn’t need a chainsaw? I still don’t think it was the wrong message to send.
So in conclusion, on this current Valentine’s Day, let me belch this out – I know I get a lot wrong when it comes to so many things, but this I do know – Simone was right … whether you do flowers or a chainsaw, whether you kiss in a back booth or on line at the public market, romance is dead only if you bury it – kRIS
Boomer Music / Doo Wop
Picture four African-American youth on a dark summer night under a dimly lit street lamp practicing their four part harmony. Doo Wop came from rhythm and blues music that originated in the mid-1940s, mainly in large cities across the United States. It employed a carefully blended harmony, a simple beat, and more often than not, the song was about love. Gaining cashable popularity in the late 1950s, Doo Wop remained mainstream until the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and long-haired capitalism took over.
“Tonight” was a familiar theme in Doo Wop songs. Of course, the Eisenhower fifties were classically innocent, reflecting the illusion that all the big wars had been fought and won, and now it was time to live the good life, the life we’d all been promised … which included falling in love. Here is the classic hit from the Tokens, a group most famous for singing the mega hit, The Lion Sleeps Tonight.
One of the Doo Wop hits that experienced an instant and meteoric rise on the pop charts was Blue Moon by The Marcels. The group recorded the song in two takes, and in a total stroke of luck, a copy of the song found its way to the legendary New York disc jockey Murray the K. The rest is Doo Wop history.
At the height of Doo Wop reaching the mainstream, everyone got in on the act. Most all of these songs were not only about love, but about being young and optimistic, even though at the mere turn of a hormone, love could be cruel. One of the classics in that regard is by Dion and the Belmonts, Teenager In Love.
Doo Wop was an inclusive era in music history, connecting the 40’s to the 60’s, the Mills Brothers to the Beatles, influencing so many who would follow. Although Doo Wop music might seem simplistic and naive to the modern ear, its unapologetic innocence resides somewhere deep within the modern soul.
An encounter once between a Native American and a tourist yielded the following conversation about music – the tourist asked, “Why do so many Native American songs have to do with rain?” The Native American answered, “People sing about what they need, what they don’t have. That is why your culture sings so much about love.”
Tonight … could be the night.