Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hangin' with The 'Low

Odd Encounter of the Week: Cardboard Barry Manilow

Sophomore year of college, my roomate Nate and I went through our Barry Manilow phase. And don't act like you never did. We were watching the Simpsons one day when Krusty the Klown starting singing a song to his not-so-trusty sidekick, Sideshow Bob. The ballad was set to the tune of Manilow's "Mandy" and went something to the effect of: "Oh, Bob, you came to Apu's and you framed me, then they took you away, oh Bob." We thought the tune was catchy, so we searched out the actual song through a music download engine. Manilow and behold, "Mandy" ended up on the playlist for 214 Morrison.

As time went on, we grew tired of only one Barry Manilow song to jam out to, so we added such great hits as "Copacobana" and "Can't Smile Without You" to the list. The 'Low had become our third roomate. We would put quotes from his songs on our AOL Instant Message profiles and use them as away messages ("at the Copacobana," "I can't smile with you :) ", "listening to Barry Manilow," etc.). Many people laughed. Some condescendingly turned up their noses. A couple responded with downright anger at our disgraceful musical taste.

After two weeks, the persecution proved too much, and we ruefully evicted Barry from our copacobana. We haven't smiled without him.

Until now.

A cardboard poster of The 'Low appeared in the inventory room of Borders last week. Remembering the good ol' days, I coveted said cardboard. Being new to the store, I asked if one could get one's hands on this poster when the store had no more use for it - hypothetically speaking, of course. My co-workers ensured me that the poster would be mine, or "one's," if one would simply put his/her name and date on the back of the poster. I found a pen and immaculately scribed: "Give to Ben please!!! 10-24-06"

Yesterday, the poster finished its run at Borders, and I strolled out of the store with a large cardboard picture of the man who looks like Mike Krzyzewski with blond hair. It looks great in our living room right next to our framed college diplomas and the television. Our third roomate has returned. His smile now greets us with warmth after a long day at work, saying, "Hey roomies, welcome home. Good to see you." We anticipate soaring to new highs with the return of our old friend The 'Low.

Justin Timberlake may be bringing sexy back, yeah, but Apt. 9601L is bringing Barry back. As soon as we can get to our parents' house and retrieve the "Ultimate Manilow." With The 'Low back in our lives, we can now smile again.


oakley said...

Found a good quote that I like from Ragamuffin Gospel so lemme know what you think,
"When a man or woman is truly honest, it is virtually impossible to insult them personally" I've thought about this quote all week long in light of silly fights i've listened to people have and in light of the way i've taken some comments this week. Hope that the 'Low has many happy days there!

Anna said...

Ben! You're timing is ridiculously perfect!
(It must be one of those sibling things.)
Jesalyn and I have always wanted to do a Barry Manilow marching show and call it "Copacobana!" Discussing that show yesterday is actually what got us onto the discussion of our "life plan."
So, for your information, ten years from now, when I have a marching band of my own, my first show will be dedicated to you and Nate.
And, of course, our inspiration, the 'Low.

Nate said...

Man, I freaking love Barry Manilow.

Em the luddite said...

I would never admit to liking ol' Barry out of fear of being considered girly, but when "Ready to Take a Chance Again" came on the iPod in my car the other day, I felt a twinge of warmth as I thought "Aw, this could be my song for guy X!"... until I realized it had already been my song for guy W and for guy V. I suddenly felt very girly indeed.