Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
TITLE: Hot Dogs and Cool Cats
By Marilyn Schnepp
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The place was buzzing! Racks and racks of albums filled every inch of floor space, while wall to wall brousers elbowed their way through the crowded aisles to locate their favorite artists. I decided to wait my turn at the counter instead of hunting and searching.
"May I help you, Maam", the young girl behind the counter asked?
"Yes", I said hesitantly, feeling very out of place and ancient among all the young people standing at the counter. "Do you have the latest album by the 'Three Dull Knives'?"
"The Who?", she asked with a quizzical expression.
"The Three Dull Knives", I repeated.
"Are you sure, Maam? I've never heard of...." and turning to a couple of guys standing next to the counter, she asked, "Hey guys, have you ever heard of 'The Three... Ah, what was that name again Maam?"
By now I was really feeling like an alien. "The Three Dull Knives, they have a #1 hit record entitled 'Joy
To The World', my daughter sings it all the time and I thought for Christmas I would...."
Laughter erupted like a gigantic volcano! Not just "tittering tee hees" but shrieks of laughter and loud boisterous guffaws! Some teens were even rolling in the aisles with side splitting laughter!
What had I done? What had I said? I was humiliated beyond belief! I was just about to walk out, when the young lady reached over and placed her hand on mine.
She was trying to get her breath, get herself together enough to speak to me. I waited, my face crimson.
"I'm sorry, Maam", she gasped. "I'm really sorry, but the name of the group is...", and she had to stop mid-sentence as laughter once again erupted from her and her cohorts.
Still holding fast to my hand, she once again tried to speak. "Please, please forgive me, Maam. I'm truly sorry, but you want the Three Dog Night's Album. I'll get it for you, just a minute."
"Okay! Okay!" I wanted to shout as the laughter began to abate. "So I don't know from nothing about this new fangle-dangled stuff you call music! All I know is my teenage daughter keeps singin' Jeremiah was a bullfrog and ...Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea' or whatever - and BEGS me to buy her the record for Christmas!
"Three Dog Nights or Three Dull Knives - What do I know? They all sound alike to me! When I was a teen, we had names like Peter, Paul and Mary, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee or Nat King Cole. Simple, straight forward, uncomplicated!"
After a few minutes, and many apologies later, I walked out of the Record Department with the last purchase of the day tucked under my arm, a rosier complexion than when I came in, and enough wisdom to last me a lifetime!
"Wisdom?" I hear you say, "You've gained wisdom? Surely you must be joking?"
No, my friend, I'm not joking. I've learned a new meaning of JOY from three Hot Dogs, a few Cool Cats and a friendly bullfrog named Jeremiah...who is now a friend of mine.
A true story that I've NEVER let my daughter forget...
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