Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Holiday

Anybody who has experienced the New York City subway system would be no stranger to the men (sorry, for some reason it is almost always a man) who talk incessantly to themselves, the content mostly incomprehensible. I would even to say that there are more people talking to themselves in the NYC subway than any other metro/ rail systems in the world. I wonder why.

This afternoon, on my L train journey to Brooklyn, I sat next to a middle-aged man who sang continuously to an empty ladies' shoe box for my entire journey between 8th and Bedford Avenues (c. 15 minutes?). He was not asking for money. He appeared to just be singing to himself.

I sometimes wonder if life would be more interesting had we lived it like it were a musical-- with people spontaneously breaking into song and dance. Well, this man on the subway has given me a glimpse of what that'd be like-- and I like it. My memorial day weekend is made rather memorable, because of him.

I'm afraid I can't recall his words verbatim, but here are most of it and hopefully you'll get the drift.
I hope he, too, has a happy memorial day.

Oh young girl,

You walked into the shoe store

where I was a salesman on the floor

You wanted white shoes, forever white shoes in a size 6

Oh young girl,

with small feet.

I found you shoes, forever white shoes, and put them on your feet.

I am a man who sell shoes.

Oh young girl,

You had fifteen dollars in your pocket book

So I sold you the shoes for fifteen bucks—

those forever white dancing shoes, ma’am

without tax. I paid your tax, even though I am just a salesman.

Oh young girl,

You gave me a kiss on my face

And your teeth were pearly white

like the dress you have on for the night.

A night of dancing

in those forever white shoes.

Oh young girl,

I hope you will stay young

Forever young and white like the dress for the night.

They call me Buddha delight

The Buddha is a fat Chinese man with a bald head

and a big belly and is always jolly.

They call me Buddha delight

but I would have to shave my head.

Happy Memorial holiday

All the single men out there

should be aware

there will be lots of single women at the bars

in the town, to play

during the Memorial holiday.

But all you single men out there

should behave

because there will be bouncers at the bar.

You don’t want to end up getting bounced around, up and down,

like a rubber ball.

And the women would want to eat vegan cookies and

drink wheat grass.

There’ll be granola cookies, and chocolate chip cookies, and gluten-free cookies

but they will be small, tiny little cookies

because the women like to watch their waists.

More so than the men.

1 comment:

Julie Katz said...

I'm amazed you remembered all of the lyrics. And now, even though I don't know the tune, I have this song stuck in my head ;-).

Hope you're well,