Little Miss Malaprop

Posted: October 9th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Friends and Strangers, Little Rhody, Miss Kate | 4 Comments »

One of Mark’s friends from his New York days wrote a great book about misheard song lyrics called ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy. Who can’t love a book like that? It should be required reading in bathrooms across America. And I truly mean that as a compliment.

One of my personal misheard song faves was from my friend Cynthia. She confessed to me in college that she’d long been singing, “I jog in the city! Running wild and looking pretty!”

You’d have to know Cynth to really appreciate how perfectly hilarious that was. Even now it’s a total side-splitter to me.

Not that I’m much better, mind you. No doubt there are myriad song lyrics I belt out daily that are utterly incorrect. One Mark caught me in the act of was from that Billy Joel song “Piano Man.” I thought the guy in the song was “making love to his tiny can gin” instead of his “tonic and gin.”

Not sure what led me to believe gin ever came in cans. Or weirder: tiny cans. It’s one of those things that as you’re singing it doesn’t seem quite right but oh well you’re not the songwriter you’re just driving in your car singing along happily and maybe even thumping the steering wheel when the spirit moves you, so who are you to question what vessel gin traditionally comes in and how big it is. Know what I mean?

Of course when Mark discovered I’d been making this mistake he pounced on it delightedly as only a loving spouse can. In a futile attempt at self defense I think I tried to cover my tracks by explaining I thought he was “making love to his tiny Can Jin.” You know, some diminutive Asian woman. (Yeah, he didn’t buy it either.)

Anyway, yesterday I asked Kate what she wanted to bring into school today since she was the Star of the Day, the school’s one-at-a-time version of Show and Tell. She took the question to heart and started surveying her toy empire intently. At one point she ran up to me with some wooden play dishes and said, “Mama, I want to take these in for Start of the Day.” To which I corrected, “It’s not start, honey, it’s star. Like you’re a shining star!”

Here I am trying to help her out, teach her something, and what I get back is an insistent, “No, Mommy“–the name she reserves for me when she’s being stern–”It’s start.”

There’s just no telling that girl she’s wrong. I wonder where she gets that from.

Turns out Kate’s gotten some other school-related things wrong too. The circle time song she insists goes, “Make a circle. Make a circle. Make it ground! Make it ground!” She sings this song nearly incessantly causing me to mutter between clenched teeth “Round, Kate. Round.”

And they say some non-denominational hippie-type grace before eating at school. I’m not sure exactly what the words to it are, but I’m pretty sure they aren’t, “Thank you, thank you, my hard things! Thank you, thank you for everything.” My guess is it’s a “heart” that “sings.” Though, knowing that school it might also be a harp.

Anyway, one song I’m certain I know the words to–since this Star of the Day thing has had it stuck in my head all day–is the theme song from this low-budg New England talent show called Community Auditions that was on TV when I was a kid. It had a small studio audience comprised of mostly pushy pageant-type
parents, and was on something equivalent to local cable access. (UHF on the dial, yo.)

I was likely one of about seven people bored enough to watch it, but TV producers must be desperate these days because a Google search led me to discover it’s actually been brought back like some bad 70s TV show zombie stalking the airwaves. My God, modern science can resuscitate anything these days, but what are the ethics behind these frightening decisions?

Anyway, back in the old school Community Auditions day their most popular act by far was young girls wearing bad red wigs and warbling out “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie. They also had a preponderance of young dance and gymnastics troupes who’d perform in bright matching costumes covered in those old big round sequins. Lots of kids “Puttin’ on the Ritz” with canes and top hats too. Oy.

I can nearly assure you that none of the acts that appeared on Community Auditions made it big.

So, the show’s theme song (in hopes that typing it will drive it out of my head) went:

Star of the day, who will it be?
Your vote could hold the key!
Is it you? Tell us who
Will be star of the day!

When I picked up Kate from school this afternoon one of her teachers came up to me to report that Kate took her Star of the Day title very seriously. At one point during her my-crap-from-home presentation some kids were talking. The teacher said Kate stopped, glared at them and said, “Please be quiet. It’s my turn to talk.”

Again, where does she get this from?

Ah, little Miss Kate. You are my start to every day and my star of every day. And your Mama loves you so very very much.


4 Comments on “Little Miss Malaprop”

  1. 1 Drea said at 6:14 am on October 11th, 2008:

    No way…someone else remembers Community Auditions!!! I actually googled the host, Dave Maynard, just this week. Dave was my Oral Presentations instructor at BU in the 80s, and I was fondly recalling how the week we each had to present a two-minute instructional demonstration, I couldn’t come up with anything brilliant, so in desperation I brought a bucket and razor and shaved my legs in front of Dave and my 30 classmates. I ended up with an A! ;-)

  2. 2 story said at 2:39 pm on October 17th, 2008:

    Do I remember Community Auditions? Damn straight I do. I stayed home “sick” all the time and they were my constant companions.
    And, forgive me if I’m wrong but, the lyric is
    it’s up to you, tell us who, will be star of the day
    cuz, did’t people call in or wha?
    Love you Kiki.

  3. 3 motherload said at 8:26 pm on October 18th, 2008:

    you are most certainly right about the lyrics. in fact, since posting this i’ve questioned whether it’s “your vote *could* hold the key” or *may* hold the key…

    see? i wasn’t lying when i said i get lyrics wrong all the time!

  4. 4 Sara said at 2:48 pm on October 25th, 2008:

    I vote for “may” — that song is one of my longest-running earworms.

    “Won’t you be my four-legged woman? Want to be your four-legged man. Legged man, legged man, leg-ged man!”

    You’re welcome.

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