Tuesday, March 19, 2019

All Star

Body Once Told Me
The World Was Going Roll Me
(I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed.)

I had a reasonably good opinion of my own intelligence once. There was some outside corroboration- I did quite well in school. My academic success was very much a triumph of drudgery rather than of innate intelligence. But if one drudges long and hard enough, one can mostly outrun the fear of being outed as a secret dummy.

Maybe until you have kids. Or at least until you have my kids.

The fact that I had a 4.0 GPA in college is now at best a surprising and amusing anecdote.  The ability to perform well in school has been a pretty useless skill in my adult life.

You might think that I could at least help my kids excel at school: help them proofread their papers, share tips on how to study for tests, suggest how to budget their time, etc.?

No. No. No. 
Absolutely not. 

I might even have an inverse effect when it comes to fostering academic prowess in my own offspring. 

You no doubt are wondering what this has to do with the napkin. Maybe not much. But to continue:

Like all things meme related, I was slightly confused when I noticed a year or two ago that my that my older son was repeatedly singing the opening lines to Smash Mouth’s 1999 song “All Star.” I was perplexed at the time, as I was pretty sure the song dated from before his birth. I don’t think I even recalled its use in the opening credits of the first Shrek movie- also released before his birth. 

As usual, I though this repeated singing of the song snippet was a sort of special torture he had cooked up for the adults in the house.

...but no, I discovered later, it was everywhere online.

This “All Star” / Shrek meme is a decade long, deep dark rabbit hole...which is actually a rabbit warren of significant proportions. I can’t even begin to explain it here.
(Go to https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/all-star?full=1 if you desire an overview)

But one particular iteration is the “Somebody Once Told Me” photo meme. In the first movie, Shrek throws open the door and bursts out of his outhouse, just as this line plays. 

The related memes feature two images with the text split between “Some/body once told me”  The second image is often something  surprising, upsetting and/or funny that is suddenly revealed from behind a door. Many of them are just variations on how funny it is when things go wrong for other people: falling down, blowing up, spilling something, generally getting clobbered in a demeaning way. 

In summary, the people rolling me have definitely burst out of my own personal outhouse. But I can only say, “get your game on, go play”


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