Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The power of song

Mrs. G wrote this post today and it got me thinking. No, no wacky "trip to IKEA" stories. We don't have an IKEA store in Whoville. I haven't the foggiest idea where the nearest IKEA store might be. Chicago? Does Chicago have an IKEA? Ahem, sorry, back on track now. No it was something towards the end of her post that took me back in time.

For many years my parents rented a very large house at the Jersey Shore of the Midwest Lake of the Ozarks. The Sibs, and mom and pop, would gather for a week with our spouses and children. One room per family. Yup, them were some TIGHT quarters. I don't think all five of the Sibs ever came to the lake at the same time, but most years there were four Sibs plus attendant family members. So in other words, a full house.

Anyhoodle. The general day went something like this:

6 to 8 AM: Children arise at varying intervals and get fed breakfast by Grandma and Grandpa. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES are they to wake their parents!

8-9 AM: The Troika* arises and sits at the table drinking coffee and discussing the amount and quality of sleep they had the night before.

9 - 10 AM: After convincing one of the hapless men to act as lifeguard for the children; the Troika grab grandma and go for a walk.

10 - 11 AM: Back at the kitchen table for crossword puzzles. Yes, we know, we're loads of fun.

11 AM - 4 PM: Dock/Boat time. This is the tricky part. Remember at any given time there were somewhere between six and ten children. Many years the make up of said children consisted of infants/toddlers/preschoolers. So there was a lot of running up and down from house to dock ferrying lunch/drinks/snacks and running up and down from house to dock with little people for potty breaks and naps.

Plying the Troika with alcohol was the best way to keep them from complaining too much about all the up and down from house to dock. And for the most part the men complied with all requests for additional supplies of alcohol. But SOMETIMES the men complained about retrieving cold beer for the Troika. And so the Troika would resort to low tactics to elicit the correct response.

The surest way to get the men to comply was by singing show tunes at the tops of their lungs. We'd start with friendly songs from "The Sound of Music" and "The King and I". Then fun songs from "Hello Dolly" and "South Pacific". Followed by tarty songs from "A Chorus Line" and "Chicago". Then groovy songs from "Godspell" and "Jesus Christ Superstar". But nothing, NOTHING, sent them scurrying faster to fetch cold beer for the Troika than a rousing rendition of "Surrey With the Fringe On the Top".

I'm just sayin'.

[*My brothers, Sib #4 and Sib #5, started calling me and my sisters "The Troika" some time during their college years. Funny little shits.]

Extra aside: I've been reading the comments from my post yesterday and I am formulating a response. You know, trying to find my voice with out being disloyal to my brand. More later.


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You need to let the guys that run Gitmo in on your technique.

Swirl Girl said...

I love road trips and family singing. In our family, when we were younger...we'd sing (on the 8 track btw) Elton John, then Barbra Streisand, then Led Zepplin!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Show tunes can clear a room or draw a crowd, depending.