August 06, 2010

Paint and radio

Our house is being painted. There’s a lovely man on a ladder outside my office window and he has a radio playing.

I seldom listen to commercial radio, but now I can’t avoid it. There’s something outside the window that sounds like Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s In The Cradle”, but it’s a techno-pop arrangement. The singer sounds like he has an electric razor tucked in his cheek. I feel my blood pressure rise with the relentless bass line. I never liked that song, but now I hate it. If, in fact, it is that song. It just may be a techno-pop side write.

Then comes the sparkly-spark-spark, perky-perk-perk announcer –  the “on air personality”. It sounds like she’s just caught the bouquet at a wedding. She takes calls from people who call in to win contests. They sound like they’ve won the 16 million dollar lottery jackpot, when actually they’ve just won tickets to a chicken wing eating contest where they will get a free T-shirt. It sounds very exciting on the radio, though.

But, at one point I heard a jingle. An actual jingle, like the one’s we used to hear on the radio years ago. You know – “it’s so easy when you use Lestoil!” or “Cameo….refreshingly different!” I was hit with a wave of nostalgia. Images of teenage girls in mini-skirts walking in pairs, each with a small transistor radio – in a leather case – pressed to their respective ears. This was 1965, I’m guessing. Almost every young teenage girl had one.

I had one, but did not walk around with it pressed to my ear. I don’t think my mother allowed it. Instead, I took it to bed and plugged in the flimsy wire earphone. There was only one – a single “ear bud”. It’s looked like a tiny ivory coloured cross between an acorn and a pear. It had a small hole at the end from which the hit parade…well…paraded.

As did the jingles. Car dealerships, restaurants, furniture. Heating and plumbing companies, electricians, barber shops. Drive-ins (both food places and movies). Seems like any local merchant with the cash could go into a radio station and order up a jingle. Local musicians came in to write, to play and to sing.

Now, that ‘s my idea of an ideal gig. Y0u get to write, play and sing, but it’s not necessary to wear make-up and  dress clothes.

Enough of that. The painter departed with his paint and his radio, and I am left with “Cameo….refreshingly different” looping in my head.  If you are old enough to remember this jingle , I apologize for putting it in yours.

House looks great, by the way.

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