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Down the street from my house is a little convenience store called Grocery Boy Jr.

I have always wondered about this name.  The appellation “Jr.” implies that somewhere there is or was a Grocery Boy Sr.  I don’t know, maybe it’s a family name.  But you would think that someone who had grown up with the name Grocery Boy and lived long enough to reproduce would be loath to stick his son with that name.  That’s just cruel.  I’m hoping that it was a compromise to keep peace in the family.

Grocery Boy: My mother wants us to name our kid Caractacus, after her father.

Elizabeth Boy: No, I dated a boy named Caractacus in high school, and he ruined our prom.  My mother is on me to name him Royal Baby, because she thinks it sounds noble.

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Time passengers

Music can evoke powerful memories of the past.  (Disclaimer: Music can also evoke powerful memories of the future if you are a time traveler.)  As I was driving to work this morning, I heard the song December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  As I was driving home, the radio was playing Prince’s 1999.  Together, they got me thinking about music and time, and how some songs don’t age very well.

Oh, What a Night was released in 1975, so when it came out, it described the events of one yuletide night a dozen years earlier.  Those same events are now 50 years in the past.  If you are still reminiscing about one night half a century ago, you really have to ask what you’ve done with your life.

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Doing what comes naturally, via e-mail

At the beginning of Plan Nine From Outer Space, famed ’50s phony psychic Criswell says the only vaguely rational thing in the entire movie:

We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives.

Everyone has bad weeks at work.  I’m coming off of a couple weeks that were considerably less fun than a barrel of monkey overlords.  And when these times come up, it’s natural to re-evaluate your place in the universe. Continue reading

Paul McCartney and it

They say that one of the ways to stave off dementia is to keep the mind challenged. My mother does crossword puzzles to keep her mind active. My dad engages in mental gymnastics by watching four different programs on TV at one time and avoiding any commercials, while simultaneously complaining that there’s nothing on.

For those of you with no access to crossword puzzles or high-performance remote controls, I found an engaging thought experiment while driving home from work this evening.

Back in the early 1970s, after he stopped being The Cute One and before he became some sort of bogus knight (Seriously, how many dragons did he slay to become a “Sir”?), Paul McCartney formed the band Wings with future ex-wife Linda and fellow musician The Other Guy (who later went on to fame as The Other Guy in Wham!, I think).

In 1978 Paul McCartney and Wings hit the charts with the song “With a Little Luck”. It’s a pretty little ballad about the power of serendipity and love to achieve… um… to bring about… er… it. Yes, definitely it.

Now, Paul is an extremely talented musician and billionaire, but the man who once expressed the concept “Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da”, and was at one time confused about the proper usage of the words “hello” and “goodbye”, isn’t known to be the clearest of communicators. So I began to try to process the song in order to discover the mysterious “it” that is so influenced by luck.

So let’s apply a little Donnie Iris-style logic.  What do we know about it? Continue reading