Monday, August 13, 2012

Reader's Diary #850- Weird Al Yankovic: Trapped in the Drive-Thru



Photo by Kristine Slipson

"He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life." - Homer Simpson  

I am not tired of life. Why, just the other day I was listening to Weird Al in my Dodge Caravan. Weird Al songs that I intentionally uploaded into said mini-van, I might add. I've also managed to convert my family. Which is probably a form of abuse in the eyes of non-Weird Al fans, but nonetheless. This week's short story is also my wife's favourite Weird tune, "Trapped in the Drive-Thru."

 Wait... lyrics as a short story? Why not? I've already counted lyrics as poetry. And while "Trapped in the Drive-Thru" is written in stanzas, and even has a rhyme scheme, there's no repeating verse or chorus so the narrative goes unbroken. And what a narrative...

Unbeknownst to either my wife or me at the time we first heard it, "Trapped in the Drive-Thru" is actually a parody of R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet" which in itself is more of a book than a short story, with each song in the series being referred to as a chapter. Kelly's "Trapped" songs (which have not yet ended at 22 chapters), tell a tale of affairs, guns, homosexuality, midgets, drugs, prostitution, and more. It's creative, outlandish, offensive, and long. Weird Al's take? It's long.

But therein lies its humor and charm. It takes some righteous skill to make the mundane this humorous. It satirizes our modern speech ("I'm like, 'No...'), our routines, and our relationships. It doesn't have someone hiding in the closet with a gun, and that's the whole point. It goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and the most dramatic thing that happens is a misunderstanding involving onions. And I'm telling you, even without knowledge of the song it spoofs, it's hilarious.

You can read the lyrics as a short story by clicking on the title in the first paragraph above or you can watch the 11 minute+ video here.

(Did you write a post for Short Story Monday? If so, please leave a link in the comments below.)

3 comments:

Nan said...

Around here we think the man is brilliant! We saw him a few years ago and it was one of the best concerts we'd ever seen. The kids (in their twenties then) agreed. SO happy to see someone talking about Weird Al in the blog world!

John Mutford said...

Nan: I've really got to get tickets to one of his shows!

LianneLavoie said...

I love that song! And his concerts are always my favourites.

Best verse in this song:
I said "You always get a cheeseburger!"
She says "That's not what I'm hungry for."
I put my head in my hands and screamed,
"I don't know who you are anymore!"

~Lianne