Friday, August 27, 2010

Call me Fred. Or Barry.

This afternoon, I went out to tackle the green beast that is also known as our lawn in late summer.  (This would be the second time this week I've had to mow, for those of you keeping score at home.)  I geared up appropriately for the chore with my iPod and headphones and got to cutting.  I did the front and side yards to the strains of my Leonard Cohen playlist, but by the time I got around to the back, I needed something a bit more.... peppy.  Now, Kiddo has recently become enamored of a certain tune on Mommy's iPod, and it is a tune that is near and dear to Mommy's heart.  I first heard it when I was her age or a little bit younger, and I loved it from the very first bongo thump.  It's one that she has been requesting repeatedly for the past few weeks, so it instantly sprang to mind as I scrolled through my playlists.  Perfect choice!

The song of which I speak, of course, is that 70s classic Copacabana by none other than Barry Manilow.  I adored the song as a kid and still do now.  As a child, I was instantly smitten by the drama of the song (not to mention those bongos) and choreographed a dance routine to go with it.  Now, I'm teaching Kiddo the dance moves (and she is embellishing them with lots of added jazz hands.  Kiddo is a big believer in jazz hands) and she and I belt it out when we're driving around town, sitting at the breakfast table, hanging out on the lanai... it's an all-occasion bit of groovy joy.

Anyhow, there I was in the back yard.  Hubby had taken Kiddo up to the playground to burn off some energy, so I had the yard to myself (well, except for the squirrels and bunnies and jays and cardinals, oh and the bees - lots of bees).  I dialed up the Copa and pulled the starter cord on the mower.  (Incidentally, I always feel so.......... macho when I'm pulling the starter cord on the mower.  Especially when it takes a couple of tries before the engine actually catches.  Is that just me?)  I began merrily cutting my way up and down the back .40 and when the disco violins soared above the bongos, I started singing too.  Singing *and* dancing, actually.  Air bongos are pretty much mandated with the Copa, and that dance routine I've been doing for over 30 years now lives in my very marrow (plus Kiddo's jazz hands - she really is right about how jazz hands make anything better).  I think by now it is physically impossible for me to remain silent and still when the Copa is playing.  I've sung and shimmied to it in any form, including Muzak.  (I'm killer in an elevator - the acoustics are fantabulous, you know.) 

So, there I was, just like Fred and his hat rack

See the whole routine right here!

except instead of a jaunty neckerchief with matching red belt and socks, I was wearing a paint-spattered, 10 year old t-shirt over a boob-squashing sports bra and grass-stained sneakers, and instead of a hat rack, I had an old and decrepit lawn mower.  And jazz hands - Fred may've been a great dancer, but he really underutilized the jazz hands.  But other than those tiny details, I was exactly like Fred Astaire.

Naturally, it wasn't until after the last refrain "Copa.....Copacabana" had faded into silence and I was left with naught but the sound of my mower that I happened to catch sight of one of our neighbors.  Specifically, the lovely, older lady whose property backs up to ours, and who had apparently decided to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and breeze today to do a bit of gardening in her back flower beds.  The ones that are right at the property line, which means she had a front row seat for Heather-Fred-Barry and my dance partner, the lawn mower.  Totally busted.  Yeek.  I did what any self-respecting Fanilow would do in such a situation.  I waited for the next song to cue up and then treated her to a little Bandstand Boogie.  With plenty of jazz hands, of course.


Creative Junkie said...

I'm jealous, actually. I would have paid good money to see that and your neighbor got to see it for free!

brainella said...

LOL -- I love it. My son calls it the CocoBanana and requests it in the car... :)

My name is Andy. said...

I would love to hear how she describes you to her friends!!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I love you.

Jane said...

Lol! Copacobana brings back so many wonderful memories. I would have loved to see you do the boogie. lol!