Saturday, December 20, 2008

there's no business like snow business

Today is a snow day.

For children those words hold more joy than almost any other pronouncement.

Of course, on a Saturday, to my senior ears, they are simply a warning to stay warm indoors -- and take a nap.

As I sat at the computer, I noticed how the street sounds changed from the whir of wet pavement to the whoosh of sleet -- and, now, almost complete silence. Only the odd whisper that snow makes as it caresses branches on its way to its big sleep.

Florence King interrupts my reverie at this point with her pointed reminder: "Writers who have nothing to say always strain for metaphors to say it in." So, I will stop there.

Of course, La King has nothing to say about writers who tart up their wit as spoof lyricists. And that is what I did this week.

Give me an occasion, and I can produce a spoof song. This week may be one of the last opportunities for me to do that in a business setting.

Our state Attorney General decided not to seek reelection. During a good portion of his 12 years in office, I served with him on the Department of Justice (DOJ) Ethics Committee (even though I am not a DOJ Employee). Each December the committee sponsors an ethics training for their colleagues. This year, several of us decided to give the Attorney General a bit of a roast as our respect for him.

My role was to merely write new lyrics to two standbys: "Georgia on My Mind" and "When You're Sixty-Four." As it turned out, I ended up MCing that portion of the program.

Blogs are the very epitome of self-indulgence. So, I will share the "When You're Sixty-Four" lyrics with you. Our version: "When You're Out the Door."

Now you’re retiring,
Hung up your job:
One more month to go.

Will you still be sending us more ethics drafts?
Twelve rewrites on conflicts for staff?

If we send you a question or three --
Will you say: "What for?"
Will you still read us,
Will you still need us,
When you’re out the door?

Oh, we'll be sadder, too – Ah
And if you just say the word,
We will leave with you.

What if Obama gives you a call,
Wants you as AG?
Where will we be able to forward the call?
To your house
Or the Capitol mall?

Will you be bowling?
Or digging weeds?
Is there any more?

Will you still heed us,
Will you still lead us,
When you’re out the door?

Every summer you could rent a cottage on the central coast,
(If it fits with PERS).
You will scrimp and save.
All your troubles out the door –-
In a life sublime.

Send us a postcard.
Drop us a line.
Tell us where you’ll be.

We will be here, working harder every day --
So sincerely, at DOJ.

Give us an answer.
Fill us in now.
Ours forevermore.

We will still miss you.
Sob in our tissue.
When you’re out the door.

Singers, such as 1st Mate, will appreciate the art form -- and the travesty it implies.

Well, just one more aspect of my life to doff and get ready for new ways to tango with English (and Spanish) -- perhaps, to feel the joy of a child's snow day.


BruHof said...

A fine ditty to warm the cockles of my heart as it thumps like a snowball thrown against my left ear and caresses a path down my back and towards the underwear that I wished I had remembered to wear....

Check out my blog to see pictures of my new abode. I move to Salem about the time that you leave.

Steve Cotton said...

Bruce -- Ditties are about all I have left in me.