Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Guessing Game

Yesterday I mentioned that I often feel like I was born at the wrong time. It turns out this isn’t all bad, and sometimes it has its’ benefits. For example, living out of time was how I was able to figure out where The Bride was taking me on the fifth anniversary of our life sentence. (The charge was first degree affection. I refused to plea bargain.)

I had planned the honeymoon in secret, and now it was her turn. She had arranged everything quite cleverly, even deciding to fly to Daytona to start our trip rather than meeting me in a more central airport for fear I would check in on my own and learn my destination.

I watch a lot of those PBS specials where they reunite old pop groups (at least the surviving members, which is in itself kind of sad). After the show, I go on-line and spend a foolish amount of money on CD’s to find 1) How many of the guys on the show were really in the group; 2) that the songs they did on television were not just their only hits, but that the rest of their songs really aren’t that good; and 3) that I was doing just fine when I supported my local PBS station and bought the DVD of the program. (That being said, I am grateful for knowledge of The Four Coins, whose rendition of “Shangri-La” is simply the best two-minute single of the entire decade.)

One of these programs was called “Magic Moments: The Best of 50’s Pop.” Apparently the number four was a big deal in that era…the Four Aces, The Four Lads, The Four Coins, and The Four Preps. (There were also four Ames brothers, and four Hi-Los, two His and two Los.) By the time they filmed the show, there were only two original Preps left (not to be confused with perps, although if a Prep became a perp that would easily explain their absence from the band). One replacement was the Jim Yeaster, the guy with the really high voice from The Association…you know, the one who hits the note, “…and gaze into your” – change key- “EYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYESSSS,” at the end of the bridge in “Cherish.” The other was Dave Sommerville, lead singer for the Diamonds (“Little Darlin’…bop, bop, badadadada.")

(By the way, the song “Little Darlin’” has the best spoken bass line in human history. As chanted by Bill Reed:

“My darlin', I NEED you
to call my own and NEVER do wrong.
To hold in mine
Your little hand.
I'll know too soon that ALL is so grand.
Please, hold my hand.”

Check it out on Brilliant.)

So we’re on this plane to John Wayne Orange County Airport (“Check your baggage, pilgrim”) and I still have no idea where we’re going. All I know is that it’s somewhere around LA, and that the most obnoxious callers on the Jim Rome show, to which I am sometimes forced to listen in the vapid wasteland of midday radio, seem to live there and call it “The OC.” I have no idea why we would be going to a suburb of L.A. Going to Disneyland makes no sense, as just an hour down the road we have Disney World, and Disney Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT, and Universal Studios, and Sea World.

So we’re two hours in the air with another two to go, and I’m still clueless. This makes me happy. I’ve always been comfortable in my ignorance, and this is no exception. Besides, I really like surprises.

The Bride, however, HATES surprises, and so she’s been after me for a week for me to ask her for clues so I can guess. She would want to know, so why don’t I? So she asks again, “Do you want to know where we’re going?”

I smile at her. “No, not really. This is fun.”

“Can I give you a clue?”

I can hear see the tension rising in her voice, and while there’s little to fear, I know that if I continue to frustrate her she’ll finish off the airline peanuts before I even get a chance.

“Sure, I’d love a clue.”

I think this is a good solution. She can give a clue, and while she’s thinking of it I can reach over and snatch the peanuts. Besides, her clues are usually so obscure they mean nothing. For example, her last clue was “Where we’re going, Ricardo is doing the wine pairing for our anniversary dinner.” All that means to me is that it’s probably not going to be wine, roses, candlelight, and a night with The Colonel. So it was a perfect clue. She felt like she was giving away the surprise, I stayed in total ignorance of reality, and all’s well in the world.

“Okay, here’s the clue. The Four Preps.”

The Four Preps. I know them. What did they sing? There's one song with a mystery title, but the lyrics are "I was a big man yesterday, but boy you outta see me now." That doesn't make sense. But they did two songs on the PBS special, and the other one was...oh, that's right...

“Twenty-six miles across the sea.
Santa Catalina is a-watin’ for me.
Santa Catalina,
The island of romance, romance, romance, romance.”

And that’s where we wound up, a taxi ride (with a stop at Jack-in-the-Box for tacos) and a ferry trip later….on the Island of Romance. Romance. Romance. Romance.

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