Sunday, September 24, 2006

Whom Should I Call? Dr. Harry or Dr. Freud?

You know how they say that as soon as you get a boyfriend or girlfriend, you instantly become more desirable to others? Even those who wouldn't have had a bar of you when you were available? When I was recently single, I was a veritable leper. All the bright young things preferred to keep their distance, regarding me with haughty disdain or malign indifference. But since removing myself from the market I've become keenly aware of the aforementioned phenomenon. And this unwanted attention has become more pronounced since I have been housesitting for my boss (he’s presently cavorting about with his ex-wife in Europe). Unfortunately, I haven’t been getting vibed out by the pool boy, the maid, the gardener, or indeed any other homo sapien. Instead this obsessive lust has been emanating from the household dog, Nigel*.

Before he met my boyfriend, Nigel was vaguely offhand with me; friendly without being enthusiastic and really only excited to see me if I was holding a leash (for the purposes of walking him, not the purposes of sex-play). But when he discovered that he couldn’t have me, he started behaving very strangely indeed...

For instance, he began humping my leg very passionately at every available opportunity. This behaviour got more and more intense (and more vigorous, I might add) until finally one day my boyfriend tried to give me a hug and found that a very eager Nigel was mounting him from behind. Thankfully, this attempted (and rebuffed!) threesome seemed to represent the climax (so to speak) of this behaviour and it has subsided. In fact, he's been quite discreet, waiting patiently outside my bedroom all night until the opportunity of a door left ajar allows him to leap, mouth foaming and tongue dripping, onto my bedsheets. (I now have to wear pajamas to bed as a kind of protection.)

Nigel is also a snowdropper of the worst kind. He once stole a pair of my worn underpants and turned them into a mid-afternoon snack. I actually walked in on him in the lounge room with his muzzle firmly pressed to the gusset, licking away, like it was the last supper. Needless to say, I have since made sure that the lid of the laundry hamper is firmly shut to prevent further molestation of my undergarments. This doesn't prevent him from attempting to extract my knickers from my person. He quite frequently creeps under the computer desk while I'm working and will then, in a surprise attack of the most shocking kind, try to stick his head between my legs.

He will also, creepily enough, fish a used condom out of the bin, if he gets half a chance. He will then proceed to chew on it, like a bacon flavoured Schmacko, all the while waggling his little tail. The other day I had to chase him around the garden for a good 10 minutes in an attempt to wrestle one out of his mouth. I’m not sure exactly what it is about condoms that he finds so appealing. Is it the taste? The texture? Either way, I can confirm that Nigel likes to swallow. (And he’s single, fellas!)

Too much information? Possibly. But I think you can now properly grasp the extent of the violation that has taken place. It’s strange because, apart from these perversions, Nigel is a very pleasant pooch.

* - The name of the spoodle in question has been changed to protect his privacy.

As you can see from the sleazy wink this pup is giving, dogs like to make love to the camera (and my leg) when I'm around.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Hook Is Not a Dirty Word

OK, well, it can be a dirty word if you're talking about bondage. But, then again, if you're talking about bondage, you can probably expect the conversation to get dirty at some point. (In case you were wondering, the device pictured is called the nose hook and you can pick one up at your local hardware store or Hell Fire Club gift shop.)

Angelina Jolie's typical Sunday night at home: a couple of DVDs, a bottle of red and a tail hook.

Anyway, I'm not here to talk to you about hooks from which to hang human flesh. I'm not that desperate for readers. (Yet.) Instead, I want to talk about hooks in popular music, or rather, the serious lack of them these days. The hook is the catchy part of the song, usually in the chorus, that sucks you in and gets stuck in your head, no matter how bad the tune itself is. A good hook can make a song. Some tunes are even built on them. For instance, there really isn’t much else to Crazy In Love except for the winning combination of the looped sample from the Chi-Lites' Are You My Woman and Beyoncé’s provocative vocals; the rest of the song is just filler crap. And yet who among us doesn’t want to wiggle their tush when they hear it? Such is the awesome power of the hook. However, recently it seems as though it's all too easy for songwriters to get away without even bothering to include this vital element of the pop tune. And what the fuck is up with that? Surely the hook is one of the few reasons to listen to pop music. I, for one, don't want to live in a world without it.

What the fuck are you talking about?” I hear you cry. You want specific examples, do you? Well, it pains me to be so Today Tonight about the whole enterprise, but it seems that there’s nothing for it except a good ol' fashioned NAME AND SHAME. Here are a bunch of songs I've heard recently that have driven me to despair with their lack of hook content:

Say Somethin' - Mariah Carey
Call On Me - Janet Jackson
Ain't No Other Man - Christina Aguilera
Maneater - Nelly Furtado
Hips Don't Lie - Shakira
I Want To Be A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair) - Sandi Thom
Sexyback - Justin Timberlake

As far as I’m concerned, these singers are sending a big "FUCK YOU!" to the pop music buying public, albeit in different guises. Sometimes it’s part of an oh-so contrived attempt at pop progressiveness. In this instance, the message is "I'm pushing boundaries and taking pop music to a new frontier. I don't need to make my music fun to listen to because I'm an artiste now..." Justin and Christina, I'm looking at you. (Meanwhile, who knew ex-Mouseketeers were capable of taking themselves so seriously?) Sometimes, songwriters don’t even bother to dress-up their laziness, they just lay it out there with a sheepish shrug and a wan smile. While we’re on the subject, here’s a little message to Mariah and Janet: no one expects either of you to reinvent the wheel but could you at least try to pretend that you’re not releasing simply music in order to support your drug habit? I really don’t think it’s too much to ask.

So, party people, it's time to put yo' hands in the air. Am I going crazy? Is this trend more prevalent lately than it has been in the past? Are there any songs that you want to NAME AND SHAME? So many questions, so few readers!

Bring back the hook, me hearties!