This is not going to go well, but YOU can offset the damage - No, Seriously, You Guys
Jun. 23rd, 2005
12:49 am - This is not going to go well, but YOU can offset the damage
Joshua, I sympathise deeply on the poor poetry front. Furthermore, I may be about to pay.
Last night saw the new wife and me at another celebration, this time a Sheva Brochos dinner for two friends of ours who had got married on the same day we did. Sheva brochos dinners fill the week after the wedding - each one is hosted by someone different and has (mostly) different guests. I'll be going to another dinner for this couple tomorrow.
At yesterday's repast the hosts decided it'd be a fantastic wheeze to hand out pen and paper to the assembled celebrants, between the main and dessert courses, forcing each to compose an ode to the happy couple. Not exactly an aid to digestion, especially when the blessed muse decides to nip out for a swift fag break. Ten minutes later I had mentally toured through G&S (all three songs that I know) for inspiration and come up with nary a couplet, my parchment still pure as the winter dawn and the spectre of stammered apologies looming, threatening to wreck my impeccable reputation as un homme des lettres.
Glancing up the table at the freshlies I suddenly remembered that the bride numbered amongst her relatives the songstress from a fondly-remembered pop-punk combo, and a moment later the biro was flying across the page as I hastily refitted the lyrics of Elastica's "Connection" into some relevance to the happy event - with a little assistance from the oracle.
Mere seconds after the last word had been scribbled I was called on to perform. I warned them in advance that the reference might escape some people, and it's probable that my rendition was not fidelitous to the original melody, but I was still astonished by the uniformly-blank sea of faces that gazed back at me after I'd finished. Not a single one of them had recognised the origins, let alone understood my ingeniously-layered reference! The ditty may be somewhat whiskered by now, but my knowledge of the pop sphere is hardly encyclopaedic. After patiently explaining the connection (no pun intended) the bride's face lit up with understanding and she thanked me, though the rest of the congregation remained clueless. After a smattering of hesitant applause the baton was quickly passed on down the line through various wretches who were clearly not at home to Dr Scansion.
The above, however, was a pleasant daydream compared to what followed as the assembly was being disassembled. The bride approached me, gushing her appreciation, and informed me not only that Justine would be at Thursday's dinner, but that I should repeat my performance for her benefit. No amount of shyness or modesty on my part would dissuade her. "Yoz, you must! It'll be great!"
As the poet wrote: No, no, you don't understand, it's all really bad. My panic-fuelled scrawl is not only a dreadfully shmaltzy turd draped on a modern punk classic, it's not even funny. It's just shit. This is a paralytically-embarrassing situation from which I can see no easy escape. How can I avoid showing the star of so many music magazines in my attic that I've completely cacked all over her work, without offending the newlyweds who I have a religious obligation to please?
I am panicking, people, and lots. Advice please. Buckets of it. And no, I don't think changing the subject to either Damon Albarn or "Three Girl Rhumba" will help.