Bulletin Board, excerpt


Excerpt from (St. Paul Pioneer Press) Bulletin Board, October 27, 2003

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Crimson and clover, crimson and clover, crimson and clover !

Poet X of PDX: "A few weeks ago I was purchasing a CD, 'Tommy James and the Shondells, All Their Greatest,' at the local multi-mart. As the cashier rang up my purchase, I noticed that the till flashed her a request to get age I.D. for the purchase.

" 'Was that what I think it was?' I asked. 'What was that for?'

" 'Some CDs require age verification,' she explained.

" 'But Tommy James?' I asked. Then, still with the question marks in my voice: ' "Crimson and Clover"?'
"She and I, in unison, the question mark in both our voices: ' "Over and over"?'

"The cashier at the next till and her customer looked over at us with a puzzled look.

" 'We're just singing an old song,' she explained to her younger co-worker. I was grinning as I walked out of the store.

"My CD player here at home is almost always on 'Random,' so I'd not heard 'Crimson and Clover' since I bought the disc. Last night, I heard the whole CD at work  and when 'Crimson and Clover' started, I got a bad case of the giggles. Alone in my cubicle with headphones on, I had to really work not to break out in Mary Tyler Moore-at-the-funeral guffaws.

"Consumer alert: If you see a similar CD at your local store, be aware that it is not the studio recordings of the songs, but recordings from a live session. It sounds like a bat mitzvah in Florida or a casino boat on the Mississippi  the kind of gigs Tommy James has been doing in the 30-plus years it's been since his songs were chart-toppers. (The bat mitzvah joke is funnier if you know that many of their songs contain implicit and explicit Christian references. That also makes the age-check a little bit stranger. Is that why all those Eminem CDs have content warnings, also?)

" 'Crimson and Clover' is likely to cause me to get the giggles for awhile. 'Over and over,' even."

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