Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Cut-off: To Sing or Not to Sing?

As every Boomer knows, as we grow older we face an ever increasing array of Cut-offs. 

That is, we reach ages at which it no longer seems appropriate to talk, act, or dress in ways we once found natural when the world was young and we were younger. 

All sorts of Cut-offs swirl around we Boomers anymore, from the Cut-off for wearing a baseball cap backwards (22) to the Cut-off for growing hair that completely covers your ears (37) to the Cut-off for walking down the street audibly singing a song, for which as of yet there is no established Cut-off.
But there must be a Cut-off. Although singing Southern Man while walking across the quad doing your best Neil Young at age 22 may have made you seem cool, walking across the parking lot at Target doing the same at age 62 makes you a tool!
It's even worse for me. My singing voice has a vocal quality similar to that of comedian Gilbert Gottfried were Mr. Gottfried attempting to sing "Feelings" while practicing the art of hog calling. 
Carry a tune?  I’d need to call movers.
Perfect pitch? That’s something I always seemed to attract whenever I was batting at wiffleball.
And yet still I sing.  Often in public.
You’d think this singing fool were a happy-go-lucky guy, but you’d be wrong.  Actually I’m  more of a curmudgeon filled with regret over many of the actions I've taken and decisions I’ve made during my lifetime including my failure to have the guts to hit on the retrospectively obviously willing Samantha Curran, which would have no doubt secured for me nothing less than glorious golden-haired heaven on earth.
Yet still I sing.  Often in public.
And when I do, the world often does seem a little bit brighter.
Today I walked into my local Wawa Convenience Store vocalizing me some Van Morrison, perhaps a little bit too loudly. People looked at me like the sound of a nuclear weapon being dropped by Kim Jong-un on the Wawa deli counter would have been preferable to hearing me warble: 

"Ding a ling a ling
Ding a ling a ling ding
Ding a ling a ling
     Ding a ling a ling ding ..."
I was frankly embarrassed, so I toned it down to a decibel level which would more appropriately register with Max and Victor than Roger and Justin, even though I have no idea which are the dogs and which are the people in this sentence. 
But now folks in the store looked at me as though I might be singing a soft duet with my good friend, Harvey the Rabbit.
Yet still I sing.  Often in public.
As I walked out of the Wawa Convenience Store, I found myself breaking into Awaiting on You All by George.
"You don‘t need no passport, and you don’t need no visas …"
But I certainly do need a passport, a visa, a voice, a sense of pitch, and multiple decades less in age. 
As I rounded a corner I came face to face with an African American woman  a bit older than I.  She smiled.
“Just keep singin’!” she said.

So what is the Cut-off for singing in public?

I’m going with none.



Russell said...

I've been guilty of singing my Anthony Newly version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" while practicing my John Wayne swagger in Walmart. Unfortunately, much of today's younger crowd didn't recognize my impersonation and mistook it as Bob Dylan asking for directions to the nearest restroom.

Another problem is I don't know any song that's less that 30 years old. I'm very familiar with "Southern Man" and know every other word to Van Morrison songs. But the truth is, no one sings ABBA like you, Perry.

Perry Block said...

And neither do I. Fortunately ABBA "songs" are under 30 years old. And all I have to say about that is "Ding a ling a ling, Ding a ling a ling ding, Ding a ling a ling, Ding a ling a ling ding ..."

Russell said...

For years people have been thinking Chuck Berry wrote My Ding-a-Ling, when all this time it was you.

Your modesty is only surpassed by your humility, my friend.

Perry Block said...

Don't forget my ding-a-ling too.