Friday, April 27, 2007

45 Ways to Leave Your Lover


Recently, I heard a song I hadn’t heard in a long time, Paul Simon’s mid-70’s hit, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. It’s bothered me for years that, despite insisting “there must be 50 ways,” he lists only five: 1) Slip out the back, Jack; 2) Make a new plan, Stan; 3) You don’t need to be coy, Roy; 4) Hop on the bus, Gus; 5) Just drop off the key, Lee.

I don’t know if this resulted from a counting disability or lazy songwriting, but Simon shortchanged folks who don’t know how to stick a fork in a relationship when it’s done. What if there’s no back through which to slip, your “new plan” was to be coy, the bus drivers are on strike and you lost the key? Without those 45 other ways to guide them, imagine how many poor sods have lingered in loveless liaisons for the last three decades.

To pay off ol’ Paul’s debt, I’ve completed his list. Here are 45 additional ways to leave a lover, rendered Hollywood style – because if anyone needs relationship counseling, celebrities do.

1. Have a head-shaving fit, Brit
2. Find a wife with more bread, K-Fed
3. Try to lay low, J-Lo
4. Feed him to a piranha, Madonna
5. Say, “I’m done with this whole dad bit,” Brad Pitt
6. Leave him with the bambina, Angelina
7. Tell him to sit and spinneth, Gwyneth
8. Pay her one million-fiddy, P. Diddy
9. There’s no reason to dally, Halle
10. Shake her off like a leech, Cheech
11. Tell her, “So long,” Chong
12. Put him on the back burner, Tina Turner
13. Say you won’t be phonin’, Conan
14. Run ‘er up a flagpole, Haley Joel
15. Make her yesterday’s news, Cruise
16. Lose the dead weight, Kate
17. Drive him stark raving loopy, Whoopi
18. Give her that steely-eyed squint, Clint
19. Drop him off a pagoda, Dakota
20. Step on the brake, Timberlake
21. Treat him like a pariah, Mariah
22. Tell her you’re gay, Clay
23. Something’s gotta give, Liv
24. Wash him out like a stain, Twain
25. Write him off like a story, Tori
26. Let him know he ain’t yo’ man, Lohan
27. Put her in the past tense, Prince
28. Take back the ring, Sting
29. Don’t let him bore ya, Longoria
30. Call him a dud, Ashley Judd
31. Let him off the hook, Brooke
32. Slip a mickey in his drink, Pink
33. Shrug him off like a shawl, RuPaul
34. Pay someone to break up for you ‘cos you’re an heiress, Paris
35. Blow him off like a breeze, Charlize
36. Say “Sayonara,” Ciara
37. Admit you can’t handle ‘er, Sandler
38. Stop leading her on, Vince Vaughn
39. Scratch her like a bad rash, Slash
40. Get a new fiancè, Beyonce
41. Make him disappear-a, Shakira
42. Cut him out like a tumah, Uma
43. Keep on being wacko, Jacko
44. Kiss her/him goodbye-a, Sanjaya
45. Just find a spouse, Mickey Mouse.

Personally, I highly recommend #45 because there’s one surefire way to end a Hollywood relationship: Get married.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Today's lyrics are so much junk (in the trunk)


You’d think that people would have had enough of silly song lyrics. But I look around me and I see it isn’t so – oh, no. Some singers want to fill the world with silly song lyrics. And what’s wrong with that, you’d like to know?

The answer to that question is My Humps by The Black Eyed-Peas. It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it, but listening to the words will reduce your IQ by 10 points each time Fergie coos, “My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely lady lumps.”

You’re sexy and confident, Fergie – I get that. But “lady lumps” sounds like something you’ll need a two-week course of antibiotics to clear up.

Yes, I know songwriting is hard, and I’ve never written a hit, and these people are richer and more famous than I can ever hope to be. But you know the saying: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, write about those who do.” So as long as there are bad songs being written, there will be snarky columnists taking potshots at ‘em. It’s a tradition dating back to the caveman days, when the first song set to words evoked the response, “Og, you not quit day job, okay?”

Some tunes are famous for their god-awfulness, like Muskrat Love with its frolicking rodents and the pièce de résistance of lousy lyricism, Zager and Evans’ In the Year 2525, with its grim predictions for the future. Even legends like The Beatles warbled their share of nonsense – e.g., the “goo-goo-ga-joob” refrain in I Am the Walrus. But they were zonked to the gills on acid, so it probably seemed profound at the time.

Recently, offered its “20 Worst Lyrics Ever” list, featuring a couple that earned rightful membership in my personal Hall of Shame:

* Shakira, Whenever, Wherever - “Lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don’t confuse them with mountains.”

Ah, that explains why I saw Dolly Parton wearing a “No skiing allowed” sign the other day.

* Puff Daddy and Mase, Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down - “Young, black and famous/With money hangin’ out the anus.”

There’s just not enough brain bleach in the world to erase this image from my mind. Other chestnuts from my personal archives:

* Men Without Hats, Pop Goes the World – “Every time I wonder/Where the world went wrong/End up lying on my face going 'ringy-dingy-ding-dong'!”

Every time I wonder/Why these lyrics are wack/I come to the conclusion/That the writer smokes crack.

* Van Halen, Why Can't This Be Love – “Only time will tell if we stand the test of time.”

Funny thing about time: It takes time to happen. What with it being time and all.

* John Mellencamp, Small Town – “I cannot forget from where it is that I come from.”

Mr. Mellencamp, this is the Grammar Police. You’re under arrest for abusing a preposition, which is something you should never end a sentence with … sir.

Speaking of grammar – or more specifically, spelling – Fergie is proving to be a repeat offender. In another self-congratulatory anthem, Fergilicious, backup singers repeatedly proclaim the singer is “t-a-s-t-e-y.” Just seeing that in print makes my brain c-r-a-z-e-y.

Maybe I should cut Fergie some slack. After all, she launched a successful solo career practically seconds after the Peas broke into the mainstream. Even more admirably, she kicked a nasty methamphetamine habit. Now if only she’d get hooked on phonics.