Sunday, July 1, 2007

Please Help Me, North and Central America.

Dear Friends, 

The July Hard Taco song, "Stella," is the ultimate expression of loud and fun. (Wallpapering a racquetball court with bubble wrap is just the penultimate expression of loud and fun.) Now that you know what my voice sounds like, I invite you to make your own voice heard in the

Hard Taco Summer Referendum. 

I've got six Notions. I want you, North and Central America, to help pick the winner. The Notion that receives the most votes will be beaten (hard) into a hit song and I will name anyone who voted for it a legal co-author and equal owner of the copyright. 

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Notion 1: A pop rock song called "MPAA Ratings." It will focus on the specific parental warnings associated with each movie rating. Here are some examples: 
  PG  - mild thematic elements, brief language, mild rude humor, sensual content including dialogue.
  PG-13 - mild teen partying, images of wounded, some drug references, brief (but intense) non-frontal nudity, disturbing images.
  R - grisly violence including torture, pervasive language, cruelty to animals, intense sexuality and beatings. 
  NC-17 - sustained disturbing drug-addled infant pornography and cannibalism, high-pitched shrieks and live elder abuse. 

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Notion 2: A children's song called "Little Leather Dots." 

Your grandchildren are fascinated with belt holes. They keep asking you, "Grandma, where do belt holes come from?" Feed their hungry minds with this song, which describes the process of punching little leather dots out of belts, and the process of cleaning them up. 

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Notion 3:  The theme music to an 80's Soap Opera called, "Daylight Savings Time." (Instrumental) 

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Notion 4: A driving honky-tonk jangle called, "Our First Dollar." 

This song is about a mysterious, good-looking man who robs small town diners. He is a last-of-his-breed, lonesome-eyed rambler who holds up cashiers at gunpoint, but never dips into the cash register. Instead, he just tips his hat and takes the framed one-dollar bills off the diner walls that came from their first-ever customers. The good-looking man's truck is packed with hundreds of these framed dollars. Where is he going? Will he ever be caught? Is there a woman out there strong enough to hold him? 

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Notion 5: A spoken-word performance art piece called "A Muster of Peafowl." 

To help your deliberations, I will include the complete lyrics of this piece: 

"A Muster of Peafowl" by Z. London 

A coffle of donkeys 
A congress of baboons 
A culch of oysters 
A covey of partridges 
A rookery of sea lions 
CHORUS:  A muster of peafowl 

A fez of armadillos 
A chine of polecats 
A fluther of jellyfish 
A rabble of butterflies 
A clew of worms 
CHORUS: A muster of peafowl 

A business of ferrets 
Oh, a skulk of foxes 
Oh-ho, a tittering of magpies 
An army of wombats 
(Oh no you say) an army of wombats 

CHORUS:  A muster of peafowl, A muster of peafowl 

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Notion 6: A tear-jerking ballad called "Mr. Tock's House." 

This song is based on the last hurrah of my middle school shop teacher. It takes place on the day that funding cuts finally force him into retirement after 35 years. His desk has been emptied and all of the woodworking books lie in boxes in the hall. He stares out the window onto the playground, wondering if he ever really made a difference in any of the students' lives. He begins to sand the windowsill, slowly at first. A social studies class will be taking over his room next semester, and he wants to make sure they have smooth windowsills. 

Gradually, he begins to hear swelling music emanating from the school corridors. He cracks open the door to investigate, and a stream of people marches right past him into the shop. He recognizes all of them, even though he has not seen many of their faces for decades. They are his former students... only, they are not children anymore. They are judges, college professors, astronauts, and industrial leaders. 

A woman steps forward, wearing a frock labeled "Shop Class '79." She clears her throat and says, "Mr. Tock. You always believed in us, whatever it took. Now it's our turn to believe in you." She unrolls a large blueprint on his desk. He sees it and lets out a gasp. 

The alumni put their protective eyewear on and begin swarming around the jigsaws, electric sanders and lathes. For a minute, Mr. Tock watches in disbelief. Then he starts moving from machine to machine, barking orders and lecturing about safety. Slowly, piece by piece, a glorious object takes shape in the center of the room.  It's the birdhouse that he had been designing for the last 30 years; the masterpiece he had always intended to build, but never had time to because he was always helping students work on their own projects. 

They are all Mr. Tock's children, and they have come together for just one day to build Mr. Tock's gloroius birdhouse. 

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(Note: Voting Closed 8/1/07)

With warmest regards,