Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Rerun: She Got Me For a Song

Saturday night, we went to Cracker Barrel for dinner...and Peggy thought that the last remaining bit of cheese had finally fallen off of my cracker.

First of all, I will admit to talking to people all the time. I love people and everything about them. As Bill Murray said in "Stripes," it's the STORIES! I love to hear peoples' STORIES! And usually with a few words and a smile, you can wind up passing words and smiles back and forth, even with someone you don't even know.

And I will also admit to having a base of knowledge that is wide-spread and far-flung. Most people think I fling it, and not far enough, either. What I'm saying is not that I am so doggone smart, but I have a lot going on up here in the old melon, most of it of absolutely no value to anyone at all.

And it's a problem, because maybe the reason why I can't learn new facts is that my cranium is already full of information such as Chuck Estrada's 1960 won-loss record and ERA (18-11, 3.58) and the name of the actor who supplied the voice for Mr Ed (Alan "Rocky" Lane). Therefore I cannot figure out how to do anything new or assemble anything Swedish. 

So you understand why my jokes are all old and so are the songs I reference. Good thing, because when the waitress for Cracker Barrel drew near, I saw her name on her apron. It was Lena. You don't meet a Lena every day. I might go months and months til I meet another Lena, so I figured I should make my move.

"Did you ever hear the song called 'Bald-Headed Lena' ?" I asked.

She allowed as how she hadn't so I began telling her the opening verses of this old Lovin' Spoonful number, and the look she gave me was one of wonderment, mirth, and no small amount of confusion.

"Bald -headed Lena
Has anybody seen-uh?
Cute as she can be!
She got a cue-ball head
that's hard as lead
But she's alright with me!

Bald -headed Lena
Has anybody seen-uh?
Cute as she can be!
She can't wear no wig
Cause her head's too big
But she's alright with me!

Sloppy Gertie, she's so dirty
Skinny Minnie, she's too lean
Racy Tracy's out of place
And Joanie's downright mean..."

Our Lena, who I hasten to point out is blessed with a full head of lovely, vibrant, healthy, lustrous hair, smiled, said she never heard of the song before, and did not indicate that she desired another hearing of it. Ever. She departed for the kitchen area.

Peggy, stunned, said, "What the hell is the matter with you?"

(This is a question that has come up before over the course of our marriage and my life. The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.)

I said nothing was the matter with me and I thought that as a Lena, the waitress would like to hear the song. Peggy said, "Is her name Lena?" and I said of course. I certainly wouldn't have told her the lyrics to "Bald-Headed Lena" had her name been Louise, for the love of Pete. I would then have recited the lyrics to "Every Little Breeze Seems To Whisper Louise."

Once again we stood at the great divide, pitting my brash, flamboyant garrulousness with Peggy's classy, elegant dignity. One key difference is when we go to a restaurant for a birthday. For years, Peggy would have died rather than have the waitstaff encircle her and sing "Happy Birthday" and I would have died if they didn't!

Peggy wonders why I would say such dumb things, and wonders if I had hurt Lena's feelings. I don't think Lena was put out by the song at all. She brought me some extra butter for my grits with a big happy smile.

And that night, she went home with a bigger tip than even our usual 21%, "just because."

I just hope she told her whole family that there's a song about her. It's cool to have that sort of thing going on. If there were a song called "Bald-Headed Mark," I would sing it all day long.

And I just might anyway.

No comments: