Posted by: Hannah | 01/23/2017

in which I feel really super-old

George has found a game in the xBox demos menu called “Rayman: Legends”. He loves it, and plays it whenever he’s given the chance. It’s fairly impressive to watch. He’s got much better hand-eye coordination than I did at five.

His favourite level, as he tells me, is a side-scroller. It’s timed. It forces you to keep moving or you die. Bad guys pop up and sing at you. There are cannons and sparkly yellow things in cages and honestly, it just gives me a headache to watch it go by.

Here’s the weird thing… the soundtrack of this level is Ram Jam’s “Black Betty” from 1977. It’s been re-recorded so there are no lyrics. The little guys just make phonetic sounds instead of words. And there’s a lot of pretty credible-sounding guitar.

It means I’ve been whisper-muttering whoa black Betty, bam-ba-LAM, whoa black Betty, bam-ba-LAM under my breath for three days now on a continuous loop because a) it’s one of the earwormiest earworms that ever earwormed and b) no one knows the actual words to that damn song, regardless of how many times we’ve all heard it in the past 40 years.

Finally today I was trying to Relate To The Young People And Also Seem Both Cool & Knowledgeable, so I said “hey buddy, did you know that music is a song that came out the year before I was born?”

He glanced at me for a second, jumped over a couple more enemies, and replied “oh, I don’t think so, mom. This is a video game. They weren’t invented yet the year before you were born. That was a very long time ago.”

If you’re looking for me, I’ll be sitting in a rocking chair at the nursing home, I guess.



  1. I often help Oldest study for his Spanish tests because I’m better with languages than his dad and it’s hard to really study vocab on one’s own in my experience. ANYWAY, his most recent test involved learning something like 50 verbs in 5 days – it was a pretty heavy crunch/cram so I was working pretty hard to help him to find hooks to remember words. Thus, I found myself in one sitting trying to explain to my son what pagers, microfilm, and card catalogues were and how they were used. I felt like a fossil by the time we were done and he let me know that I am extremely old. Thanks, kid -_-

  2. Ah, yes. Connecting with the youths.

    Since the beginning of the school year the new English teacher at the junior high has been letting the students choose some of the songs we sing as a warm-up at the beginning of class, with the results ranging from genuinely good (“We Will Rock You” by Queen, “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong) to fun to sing (“Shake It Off” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift, “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys) to downright awful ( by “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction and “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars, the latter being quite possibly one of the worst songs of this century so far).

    One of the “not my thing but fun to sing songs” was a tune called “Say You’re Just A Friend” by a kid named Austin Mahone (just Googled and he’s 20 now, though he would have been 16 or 17 when the song came out – either way, calling him a “kid” makes me sound like an old fogey). Anyway, the chorus of said song is largely based on Biz Markie’s 1991 hit “Just a Friend” and the rap in the middle by Flo Rida also namechecks “The Biz”. So naturally, I got all excited and told the kids how this song that they liked was based on a song that I liked when I was their age and played a bit of the original for them, which was met with reactions ranging from laughter to staring-at-the-wall-watching-paint-dry.

    Anyway, welcome back! And it’s been ages, we’ll have to get in touch some time.

    • Someone remixed Biz Markie?? Also, Just A Friend came out in 1991??? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK, MAN.

  3. Bahaha. That’s hilarious. It’s like the other day when Claire asked if I had an Instagram account when I was her age. Um no. I didn’t have my first cell phone until I was in university. *mind blown.

    • The only time we saw cellphones was when we were watching The X-Files. The damn things were a foot long, weighed ten pounds, and had an antenna. AN ANTENNA, CLAIRE.

  4. I told M I used to dance in the bar to Cotton Eyed Joe and he said “I didn’t think you were THAT old. I mean, that’s from OLDEN TIMES.”

    • “In” the bar or “on” the bar? #coyoteugly

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