Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I can count backwards, what do you think of that?

"If this is a romcom, kill the director,"

We like The Wombats.

I like Kill The Director a lot. A shameful amount. On Friday night I drove from Cambridge to Borough and listened to it on repeat all the way.

Last night on my way to a gig I spent twenty minutes playing the first sixteen bars of it repeatedly screaming the following amazing rap over the top of it:

"10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2,1,
I can count backwards,
What do you think of that?
I'm very very very clever,
Yes really,
That's because I've got a really big beardy."

For the duration of this breathtaking rapping experience I genuinely convinced myself that I had invented a new rapping style with a unique flow that could take over the nation. In my imagination this new sensation could only be improved by my friend Jon playing some blues guitar over the top.
I can count backwards, what do you think of that?
After about sixteen minutes the inevitable crushing moment of realisation hit. I was not the new Mike Skinner, I was, in fact, a fuzzy headed, dirty bearded, fat, lonely old mental man shouting desperately at himself in the car.
I can count backwards, what do you think of that?
Even worse, I began to entertain the possibility that, just maybe, my rap wasn't very good.

I continued doing the rap for another four minutes after this moment of enlightenment with decreasing enthusiasm and mounting embarrassment.

Finally I stopped the stereo and drove in silence. Alone. In the dark.
I can count backwards, what do you think of that?
The main reason I love "Kill The Director" is because it reminds me of my favourite film ever in the world where Hugh Grant manages, after only two and a bit hours, to impregnate the beautiful, down to earth (although she does have a little bit of a temper but you probably would too if you were in her position) (that position being the most famous film star in the entire world) woman Julia Roberts.

This is the first song that I've really managed to infect Mick with. He's developed a Pavlovian response to it. We listen to it on the school run. Every time we get to the chorus he starts babbling in tongues.

"The director help, help, help the man in the swimming, in the man, in the swimming, the man in the water, the director help him, help him, him, him, him do swimming in the water..."

"Daddy, what is a director?" asks Elly.

Good. A chance to explain something.

"Good question Elly. This song is about a man who is in love with a woman. He loves her so much that she makes him feel seasick,"

"Sea, inna sea, the director helping the man swimming inna sea," says Mick.

"I know that, but what is a director Daddy?"

"I'm getting to that. He feels nervous and sick because he loves the woman so much, but it makes him behave in a silly way, which means he can't make the woman he loves lie on a bench with him while she is pregnant and he is reading a book so he says "If this is a romcom, kill the director,"

"Yes, but Daddy, what is a director?" Elly is getting a bit angry.

"Right, well a romcom means a romantic comedy. It's a comedy where a man and a woman fall in love but find it impossible to be in love for lots of funny reasons for about two hours and everyone laughs and then feels happy because they fall in love and she will be pregnant at the end and he will read a best selling paperback of the time,"


"Hang on. Now, to make the film, the actors don't know what they should do, so the director is the man who makes the actors what to do. So the singer is saying "If my life is a film, then can someone kill the director, then my life might stop being such a tragic joke and I can get on with being in love without all these terrible things happening. So that's what a director is,"



"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, NOT A DIRECTOR," screams Mick. hurling a cement mixer at Elly's head.

"MICK, DON'T DO THAT," I shout as the cement mixer ricochets off the rear window into the back of my chair.

"MIIIIIIICK, DAAAAAAAAAADY," cries Elly. She is hitting him over and over again with her bookbag.

"THAT'S ENOUGH, STOP IT," I bellow in my best furious bellow.

I've twisted round in my seat to make eye contact with Mick. Mick can't see me because he is holding one hand over his face and blindly hitting back at his sister's book bag with the other. They are both shouting furious abuse at each other.
I can count backwards, what do you think of that?

I can't really see an end to this one. They've forgotten their original dispute and are now just channeling pure aggression. I've tried my one and only child management strategy (fearsome bellowing) so I start weighing up the pros and cons of crashing the car. Pros: The argument will stop, we will all die, it will be quiet and peaceful. Cons: None.

"If this is a romcom, kill the director, please," repeats the song.

I consider whether or not to turn down the frenzied orgy of distortion that's roaring out of the speakers.

The guitars drop out on the song.

After only two bars of bass drum and hi-hat, the car has fallen miraculously silent with gleeful anticipation, then, in unison, we all start shouting...

"This is no Bridget Jones. This is no. Bridget. Bridget.

This is no Bridget Jones. This is no. Bridget. Bridget.

This is no Bridget Jones. This is no. Bridget. Bridget.

This is no Bridget Jones. This is no. Bridget. Bridget."

This continues for another twenty eight seconds, at which point I reach my arm behind me shout "High Five" and grin as little hands start slapping mine and then each others.

"AGAIN, AGAIN" shouts Elly.

"AGAIN, AGAIN," shouts Mick.

"No, we're there now," I say, and press mute.
I can count backwards, what do you think of that?

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