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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Parody - The Ultimate Stress Reliever

Would you believe that we’re at the beginning of March already?  I swear, 2012 is just flashing right by my eyes.

Or, maybe I’m just getting older.

At any rate, the first of March coincidentally happens to fall on a Thursday this year, which means that it is time to make another confession. 

This one’s not overly revealing though.  It’s light-hearted and funny, or at least I would like to think so, anyway.

I’m sure that most of us in any given day will have to deal with some level of stress.  Some of us can stare stress in the eyes and make it quiver in fear with our confidence.  On the flipside, some of us get so stressed out that we explode in an emotional tirade where our words may or may not be in English.

Fortunately, most of us have ways in which we can relieve any stress that we may have to cope with in a positive manner.  Some people might have a ball or some other object that they squeeze and crush and twist whenever they might feel stressed out.  Some people play a CD filled with soft music and ocean sounds while they channel their inner selves through a 45-minute yoga session.  And some of us are running towards the nearest vending machine, desperate to get our hands on every Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that money can buy.

And, how do I relieve stress?  Well, the answer leads to this week’s Thursday Confession.

THURSDAY CONFESSION #9:  If ever I have a stressful day, I channel my inner Weird Al Yankovic and make a parody about my day.

No, seriously.  I find that if I can take out my frustrations towards a certain person or event, find a song that I really like (or unlike if the mood fits me), and change the lyrics around to put my bad day to the music of a popular song, I feel infinitely better about myself and the stress melts away like a Creamsicle on a hot August afternoon.

Although it wasn’t always the case, I can remember one of the first times that I did this.  I can even remember the exact date that it happened.

September 18, 2010 started off like any other day.  When I don’t do the blogging thing, I’m doing the “working a real job to earn a living” thing, and on that particular day, I was working a closing shift at my job during a very big sale that was going on.  One of the items on sale was Tropicana brand orange juice in the 2.63L jugs (and, yes, in Canada, we do use the metric system).  The only problem was that on that particular night, we were completely sold out of Tropicana brand orange juice.  It wasn’t a big deal, as I knew that we were getting another delivery of it that night (I was working a Saturday night shift and our deliveries usually come shortly after midnight on Sunday morning).  And, to their credit, most of the customers who were looking for Tropicana orange juice were good about it.

There was one notable exception though, and by the end of it all, the produce was flying and angry words were exchanged, and I was basically standing there in the middle of the dairy department still figuring out what the heck had happened.

Shortly after that incident, I was at home, listening to a playlist online.  It was one of those random playlists based on what your likes and tastes were in music.  Apparently, the computer must have thought that I was a Barry Manilow fan (I’m not really, though he does have some things I like), because his 1978 song ‘Copacabana’ started playing.

And ‘Copacabana’ got stuck in my head right alongside the crazy customer encounter. 

At some point, I think those two different events fused into a song parody.  And, once I started to work on it (I think it took a total of a half hour to write it), the stress that I might have felt during that night shift eased, and I began to focus my energy on creating a mighty funny parody based on that incident.

By the way, in case you’re interested to reading it, here it is in all its glory.  First, I may as well post a link to Barry Manilow’s Copacabana (the karaoke version, so you can sing along with the new lyrics).

And, now, here’s the song parody that was inspired by that day.  A little ditty I like to call No Tropicana.

I still remember, eighteen September
The clock was reading half past nine, I was feeling mighty fine
But then she came in, without a toothy grin
She was craving some OJ on that cool crisp Saturday
But then she saw her fate, she was a day too late
Her face grew red, and she was angry, there wasn’t any in the store
There was no Tropi-, no Tropicana
Sold the last one to a woman named Anna
There was no Tropi-, no Tropicana
Grovestand and Homestyle were gone after a while
No Tropicana, she was so mad
Her name I didn’t know, wished that she stayed home
For she was cursing up and down, her husband staring at the ground
Then shortly after, I went back to working
But then the night was filled with dread, as some gum zoomed past my head
That gum it really flew, knocked down the number two
Off the sign from the bunker I stood near, it was so surreal
There was no Tropi-, no Tropicana
So she attacked me with bananas
There was no Tropi-, no Tropicana
She threw everything out of the cart as she pouted
No Tropicana, she lost her mind!
(Instrumental bridge)
Her name I didn’t know, but she just had to go,
But that was only days ago, when she put on quite a show
But here’s the irony, as you will surely see
Because on the very next day, we had gotten more OJ
If she had waited then, she’d have some OJ then
She lost her cool and her composure, and she lost her mind
There was no Tropi-, no Tropicana
Unless she bought some in Havana
There was no Tropi-, no Tropicana
She left in a huff, and my night sure was rough
No Tropicana, please don’t come back
Please don’t come back!

You see?  When you take your frustrations and put them to the tune of a late 1970s standard by Barry Manilow, it makes everything better.  At the very least, I hope that it put a smile on your face. 

Oh, but don’t think this is the only example that I have of this.  Whenever the Christmas season rolls around, and you hear about a hundred and sixty seven renditions of ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus’, it tends to make one do some rather morbid parodies to counterattack the holiday favourites being forced down our eardrums.  One of my favourite Christmas carols has always been “What Child Is This”, but even that song can get a little annoying after hearing it played sixteen times a day on any given day during the month of December.

But, when you take that song and mix it with a standard Maury Povich paternity test extravaganza, you end up with something like this...

What child is this, they do not know
That’s why they’re on the Maury show
Our heroine’s tale is tragic and sad
Cos she can’t find her own baby’s dad
Pray, pray for our teenage mom
She got knocked up at her junior prom
Sadly the test showed he wasn’t the one
So there’s still no dad for her son.

Sigh...somehow bastardizing Christmas carols makes the holiday season seem much more fun...especially if you happen to work in retail.  But, of course, I wouldn’t sing these songs out on the sales floor.  Just inside my head where they belong...well, aside from the example that I posted in this blog.

But, I guess the point that I wanted to make with this confession is that at times, we all get stressed out.  Sometimes we get stressed out because of serious matters, and sometimes, you get stressed because you have to put your ducking skills to the test.  But, I find that if one has a healthy outlet to release some of that stress, then I say go for it.  Embrace it.  Become a better person as a result of it. 

So, to end this blog off, another song parody I wrote in response to those people who feel a need to deposit cold food in random areas of the store to rot, defrost, or melt (which may I add that each time someone does this, the prices of items continues to increase keep that in mind.)

Anyway, I put my thoughts and feelings about it to the tune of the 1994 song ‘Linger’ by The Cranberries, and here’s what resulted.

Wish that you, wish you could return it
So that ice cream wouldn’t melt, and that milk wouldn’t spoil
Instead you’ve chosen to be rude with your nonchalant attitude
That’s why the prices are so high, does it make you want to cry?
Because you left, you left a shopping cart out in the aisle to rot
While you were in the fashion changing rooms
Trying on Fruit of the Looms
Your juice was getting hotter, would it really be such a bother
To put back your cheese, you know you’re wasting food you fool
You make me go and wag my finger when you let your cold food linger
When you let your, when you let your, when you let your cold food linger
Oh it makes me want to scream when I’m forced to go retrieve
Lukewarm cream, lukewarm cream
If you, if you showed common sense, you’d probably save some cents
All you have to do is return things, if you don’t want to buy things
It’ll save me from going up to the front for cold pick-ups
So put back that cheese, or else you’re wasting food you fool
Don’t make me go and wag my finger, cos you let your cold food linger
Cos you let your, cos you let your, cos you let your cold food linger
I said put back that cheese, don’t make me catch you wasting food
Then I may have to wag my finger, cos you let your cold food linger
Cos you let your, cos you let your, cos you let your cold food linger

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