Monday, December 12, 2005


Being a kid in the 1950’s wasn’t all that different than being a kid in any other decade. Sure, we may not have had computer games, color TV’s, Nintendo, Playstation, cell phones, beepers, buzzers, and Downloadable Poon-Tang, but we had something that all kids possess, no matter what generation they are a part of.

I’m referring, of course, to Dopey Kiddie Songs.

Every kid has, in his or her head, a library of Stupid and/or Obscene Ditties that can be trotted out at Suitable Occasions. Overnight camping trips, pajama parties, long bus trips, you name it – out of the earshot of adults, out come the Silly Songs:

I’m Popeye the Sailor Man;
I live in a frying pan.
When they turn on the gas,
It burns up my ass.
I’m Popeye the Sailor Man.

There’s another version of this one in which Popeye inhabits a Garbage Can instead of a Frying Pan. Hilarity ensues.

World War II was history when I was a kid, but not ancient history. A perennial favorite:

Whistle while you work
Hitler is a jerk
Mussolini pulled his peenie
Now it doesn’t work

Of course, not everyone knew exactly who the hell Hitler and Mussolini were...but clearly, they were Objects of Derision.

How ’bout:

Around the corner,
Fudge is made!

This would be accompanied by appropriate gestures indicating certain Body Parts.

There’s the Insulting Song, used to deliver a hearty bitch-slap to someone who was acting juvenile (well, more juvenile than the rest of us, anyway):

Baby, baby
Stick your head in gravy
Wash it out with bubble gum
And then you’re in the Navy.

That one is still popular with Leathernecks everywhere, I’m given to understand.

Do your balls hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie ’em in a knot?
Can you tie ’em in a bow?
Can you throw ’em over your shoulder
Like a Continental soldier?
Do your balls hang low?
[You betcha!]

So deeply are these stupid little tunes graven on my Reptilian Hindbrain that they pop into consciousness at the slightest provocation, almost always at the most inappropriate moments. But that’s so Me: Mr. Inappropriate. Why should the crap that rattles around in my head be any less so?

Here’s an example. There’s a certain Flavored Malt Beverage that She Who Must Be Obeyed I will enjoy from time to time...but it creates within me an Irresistible Compulsion to revisit – in strangely altered form – the Days of my Early Youth. As much as SWMBO loathes it, I cannot speak the name of the beverage without tacking on that fatal six-word addendum, my eternal Hat Tip to Juvenilia:

Mike’s Hard Lemonade!
Around the corner, fudge is made!

What Stupid Kid Shit do you remember?

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