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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)

TITLE: Hot Dogs and Cool Cats
By Marilyn Schnepp


The Department Store was jam packed with last minute Christmas shoppers - myself included! "One last present and then I'll be finished", I thought to myself as I stepped off the escalator onto the fourth floor, navigated through a maze of people and then to my destination - Recordville!

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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Member Comments
Member Date
James Clem 05/26/06
Fun Story! Looking forward to the sequel when you go to the music store to buy your grand-daughter a present.
Rita Garcia05/27/06
Delightful, absolutely delightful! Well written!
Helen Paynter05/27/06
I agree - this was a fun story, which I enjoyed reading. Many of us are used to playing catch-up with our children. One technical point - if you have a question in quotation marks, the question mark goes inside the quotation marks, not at the end of the sentence. So: 'What is the time?' she asked., not 'What is the time' she asked? Anyway, well told.
Paul Potenza06/06/06

Ha HAA! (WhoooWheee) Sniff...Snort...
You are MY kind of Woman.

First of all, "Kudos for hanging in there". Second, at least you don't have to deal with bands like "Run DMC", "Snoop Doggie Dog" or Heaven help us, "Good Charlotte" but you will if you have grandchildren like I do. And you'd better be ready.

Us boomers were on the front lines of rock and roll. We understood when John, Paul George and Ringo sang about how they were the "Egg Man and the Walrus" even if THEY didn't.

The GOOD news is that our music is making a comeback. Almost every day I hear covers of songs that I grew up with.

Examples: "Red Red Wine" by U-2, originally recorded by Neil Diamond..."I'm A Believer" by Smashmouth (for the movie "Shreck", originally recorded by the Monkees..."Drift Away" by Uncle Kracker...originally recorded by Dobie Grey...(Remember? "Gimme The Beat Boys And Free My Soul..."

So take heart. And remember what Huey Lewis sang.

"It's Hip To Be Square."


P.S. If it makes you feel any better, there was a song in the "Diso" era called "Do the Hustle". My father believed that there was only ONE kind of music. (Barbershop). Upon hearing this "latest" song, he decided that it must be a song about termites. His point of reference was the chorus which exclaims "DO THE HUSTLE". Unfortunately his hearing was going and he thought they were saying "CHEW THE HOUSE DOWN".

So we're in good company.