Saturday, August 16, 2003
KEN MIND, BEGINNER'S MIND: Kenny Rogers is not the world's most talented singer. I know that. I'm not a fan of the man. Really. But if you grew up in a certain place and time, a series of Kenny Rogers songs have imprinted themselves on your brain, and there's no drugs or therapy that will remove them. Senility will come, and you'll forget your mother's name and your brother's face and how to use the toilet, but those mediocre hits will still be with you to the end.
Now, "The Gambler" is actually a pretty good song, so I don't feel particularly embarrassed that, prompted by R. while lollygagging in bed this morning, I was able to cough up at least 90% of the lyrics. I'm not nonplussed that I was able to describe in considerable detail Rogers' performance of the song on The Muppet Show, where he was joined by a life-sized purple gambler muppet. I'm not even ashamed to have repeated the final chorus a few more times than was necessary, nor to have launched into the tale of how, after the gambler-muppet died, his ghost returned to sing along at the end of the sketch. I am the sum of my experiences, and watching this as a child obviously had a significant impact on me. Who knows what personal accomplishments would have been impossible if it hadn't been for Kenny and his purple puppet friend?
What embarrasses me is that, following further prompting, I was able to recall the entire chorus to "Islands in the Stream." What vitally important facts have I forgotten because the necessary brainspace was occupied by that?
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