Away Today

Taking care of some stuff. So until I return, here, have an open thread.

A topic, to get you started: Why, precisely, was she singing “do-wah-diddy diddy dum, diddy do” as she was there, just walking down the street? And it have something to with clapping her hands and shuffling her feet, or were those completely unrelated activities?

I crave clarity on this issue.

23 Comments on “Away Today”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang O.C., the Original Changsta

    I dunno, but…

    She looked good.

    She looked fine.

    She looked good, she looked fine and I nearly lost my mind!

  2. It was all the same expression of joy because sha-na-na-na sha-na-na-na-na, bah-doo, sha-na-na-na sha-na-na-na-na, bah-doo, sha-na-na-na sha-na-na-na-na, bah-doo, sha-na-na-na sha-na-na-na-na, baaaaah dip-dip-dip-dip-dip-dip-dip-dip, moo-moo-moo-moo-moo-moo-moo-moo he finally got a job.

    (It was not, as is commonly assumed, because Quinn the Eskimo got there, revved up like a Deuce, another runner in the night.)

  3. I thought she was snapping her fingers, not clapping. And don’t YOU snap your fingers and shuffle your feet when you sing “do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do”?

  4. Simple reason: She had doo-wop in her *blood* — in her blood, I tell you!

    Once the infection takes hold, singing “Doo wah diddy” is virtually inevitable.

  5. Riight. Like Manfred Mann is a reliable source. I’ve never forgiven the guy for taking Springsteen’s strange, bluesy ‘Blinded by the Light’ and turning it into that silly over-popped mind-eating soul-stealing bit of evil. Bonus points if anyone can name a worse crime against the electric organ.

  6. If anyone needs me, I’ll be breaking my typing fingers for the over hyphenation; then copying whole chapters of Strunk & White with those same broken fingers. Thou shalt punctuate correctly.

  7. Actually, she was Manfred Mann’s girlfriend, and she was channeling Bruce Springsteen from ten years into the future singing “Blinded by the Light,” but kept getting one line wrong.

    And Manfred said to her, “Honey, why do you keep singing ‘Wrapped up like a douche; another rumor in the night’?”

    And she said, “Manny, it’s the dawn of acid rock and I’m on the most magnificent trip right now. Just go with it.”

    “Well, I want to write a song about you singing, but I can’t say that on the radio. It’s 1965. You’re not allowed to say that on the radio yet.”

    “Just tell them I sang ‘Do wah diddy diddy dum diddy do.’ They won’t notice.”

    “Can I tell them you were just a-walkin’ down the street?”

    “I am in this hallucination.”

    “Are the walls melting?”

    “Yeah. They’re made of ice cream.”

    “Pass me a purple microdot.”

    [Cue Paul Harvey…]

    And now you know the rest

    of the story.

  8. It was “snapping her fingers and shuffling her feet.”

    And I remember when I attended the wedding of a couple of friends many years ago. After the reception was over, I was standing in the parking lot with a few friends when the bride’s younger sister came out of the church, carrying some stuff to her car. For some reason, I started singing, “There she goes, just walking down the street . . . ” The rest of the group joined in, and we managed to both amuse and thoroughly embarass the young lady.

  9. I always thought those were symptoms of having the rockin’ pneumonia and the boogie-woogie blues.

    What I want to know is who, who wrote the book of love?

  10. Clearly, the truth of this problem has yet to be revealed. It’s like this. After walking past Roy Orbison, she danced the Tripe Face Boogie with Lowell George and was on the rebound after a brief relationship with Warren Beatty, after which she promptly contracted Manfred Mann (and maybe, as Mr. Buchheit so knowledgeably suggested, the rockin’ pneumonia and the boogie woogie blues).

    On a separate note, Manfred Mann was the first band to perform behind the Iron Curtain.

  11. I run off to a weekend of wild SF conning at WindyCon — and I come back to this?! Eep!

    “She blinded me… with science!”

    Dr. Phil

  12. Steve@16: Did YOU write the Book of Love? If so, could you please elucidate on the connection between having wrote the Book of Love and having faith in God above? Because I never got that.

    I’m glad we’re discussing this, because there’s something that’s been bothering me for years: what, exactly, does Paul Simon’s mother have against his Kodachrome(tm)?

  13. She had to stand in the middle of the street, babbling her nonsense. If she hadn’t, the writers of Short Circuit 2 would’ve needed a different plot point, and civilization would have collapsed.

    If you don’t remember, don’t worry about it. We’ll run away together, we’ll spend some time forever. We’ll never feel bad anymore. Whoop whoop.

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