You may remember me mentioning having been guilted into being on the social committee at work.
My tenure has been a little uncomfortable so far, because I’m not much of a joiner. “Smugly aloof loner” is the social role I naturally aspire to; “suspiciously maladjusted loner” the one I naturally end up settling for. I’m meant to be sneering at enthusiastic emails about group gatherings, not composing them.
And it’s been a little frustrating, because while the other two committee members are emphatic and vocal in the brainstorming phase, they are suddenly quiet and withdrawn when we enter the less-fun logistics and implementation phases.
Aaaaand it’s been a little demoralizing, because my firm recruits smug and suspicious loners almost exclusively, which means more than a few events where it’s just my fellow committee members, my boss, and me. This isn’t so bad; I like these people, after all. But it’s difficult to stay…um…moralized when I’m putting hours of thought and legwork into planning something that only a handful of people (which does not include that one guy in the tax department I have a moderate crush on) are going to enjoy.
But I’ve soldiered on, because my boss loves to have social events, and I would sooner rip my own tongue out than use it to tell someone something he doesn’t want to hear.
The committee decided that the theme for our Halloween party will be The Nefarious Nineteen-Fifties (the awesome alliteration was my idea; being unimpressed by it was the other committee members’). It’s not super exciting, but everyone pretty much has all of the necessary components for a half-hearted beatnik or rockabilly costume in their closet already, so it will at least encourage participation.
I got put in charge of making the YouTube playlist for the luncheon where we’re judging people’s costumes. As far as music from the 50s goes…I know Elvis, the I Love Lucy theme song, and the Grease soundtrack. Which was written in the seventies. So it doesn’t count.
Oh! And Frankie Avalon. Frankie Avalon was definitely big in the 50s. I’d never actually heard a Frankie Avalon song until today, mind you, but I’ve always known he was big in the 50s. I know he was big in the 50s because whenever I read about the 60s’ counterculture, there is invariably a quote about the cause of it that goes something like “…and everybody just really fucking hated that bubblegum 50s shit like Frankie Goddamn Avalon. It really pissed us off, man.”
So! Hound Dog, a 30-second television jingle, and the insidious root cause of the Manson Family (the nefarious nineteen-fifties, indeed). This is shaping up to be quite a thrilling little playlist.
But so the point of all my rambling preambling is this: flower children can go fuck themselves, because it turns out that I really love Frankie Goddamn Avalon, particularly this velvety little piece of chicle:
The dreamy, as-though-echoed way he croons “Venus” and the bossa-nova-y “woooo” background vocals make me want to do the opposite of murder Sharon Tate, whatever the hell that is. Have another bourbon and snuggle with the cats some more, you s’pose? I’m gonna go with that until someone comes along with a better answer.
Attend a work-sponsored social event sometime, y’all. Sure, it’ll be lame; but it’s not like your social calendar’s brimming with hip happenings, and your presence might just make a smug would-be unabomber feel a little less superfluous for a couple of hours.