Monday, August 26, 2013

White and Nerdy

John comes running to me with a complaint to file.

"They say I'm white and nerdy," he informs me, clearly put out.

Hmmm. John's brothers and their two friends have declared him white and nerdy.

They may have a case as to the nerdiness factor. John has worn glasses since he was four. There's nothing like a pair of specs to ratchet up the perceived IQ fifty points or so.

And then there's the fact that John has spent a significant chunk of his summer reading. Yeah, that's nerdy. That he's done this at my assistance does indeed deflect a few nerdy points. And John has yet to hit his stride with math, and, as everyone knows, any dyed in the wool nerd loves math. So he's got that going for him.

But on the accusation of being white? Well, John just gets browner everyday. On our recent trip to the ocean, I doused the boy with sun scream (as Ainsley calls it).

"Mama, what are you doing?" John was perplexed. "I don't get sunburn. Ever."


Conclusion: The boy's not white, but he may be nerdy.

For the uninitiated, White and Nerdy is a song by that master of parody, that icon of American pop music, Weird Al Yankovic. Weird Al first gained fame with Eat It, a take off on Michael Jackson's Beat It. My dear sister sent Kolbe Weird Al: The Complete Collection a few years ago.  We've been enjoying it ever since.

And I actually get most of it. Lasagna? It's a take off on La Bamba. Bye, Bye Mr. Anakin Guy? I recognize American Pie.  There's a song about living in an Amish paradise that gets a little too earthy for adolescent boys and a song about Santa Claus that is simply bizarre.

My really issue with calling John white and nerdy is that I am wholly unfamiliar with the song Weird Al is mocking. I'm guessing that it's White and Dirty, and I'd hate to speculate on the original lyrics any further than that.

John and Ainsley, my children blessed with older siblings, have musical tastes Tim and Kolbe could not have fathomed at ages six and four. Ainsley can sing, oh what's that performer's name, the young one, blonde, belts out "Call me maybe"? Tim and Kolbe knew all the Thomas the Tank Engine songs and had the theme to Winnie the Pooh memorized. I'm almost completely ignorant of current pop music and, contrary to cliche, ignorance is not always bliss. I overheard Ainsley singing, "I've got the moves like Jagger." Jagger? Would that be Mick? I may laugh at my four-year-old trying on platform shoes, but ain't no way my precious sunshine gonna have the moves like Jagger if I have anything to say about it. She does have the moves to Gangnam Style and this, too, gives me pause. I've seen a tiny bit of the video, like once, and walked away with the sinking suspicion that I wasn't quite getting it. Suddenly I'm feeling like the clueless Rebel Without a Cause.
father in

And all this plays on my vanity, big time. Ainsley's back in pre-school, no doubt teaching the "moves like Jagger" to her classmates, some of whom are innocent oldest children, pure as the driven snow, and completely mystified by Gangnam style.



Catherine Balducci said...

My son thought the lyrics were hilarious and all too familiar. And it amazes me when I can't seem to let go of my love for certain rap, he is always my editor for "bad words"... so hope for his future peer pressure!

Kelly Dolin said...

Yes, Catherine, I agree with your son -- Weird Al is hilarious. My kids catch my bad words (sad to say).

Kris said...

All I can do is laugh at this and nod my head. It's a little disconcerting to hear your elementary school babies singing along to Carly Rae Jepson (Call Me Maybe girl) and Lady Gaga and Queen, to name a few. But that's reality with older siblings. I was the oldest and I knew NOTHING. My younger siblings were WELL educated by the time they got to middle and high school....! :)

Kris said...

And my boys LOVE Weird Al. I don't get him.....

Kelly Dolin said...

Kris - Yep!