Dear Mr. Yankovic,
Your new CD, Mandatory Fun, arrived on my doorstep this afternoon. I knew the UPS guy rang the doorbell even though we didn’t hear it because the power was out because I did like I always do and hid around the corner and watched him through the window.
After the power was back on, my spouse and I put the album on while we made dinner, and I want to commend you on another album the whole family can enjoy.
My spouse loves “Lame Claim to Fame,” and I think he should play “Sports Song” next time he gets together with his brothers for a University of Michigan football game. My nine-year-old loves Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” and I was looking forward to hearing her opinion on your “Inactive.” She liked it, but she observed that it “is kind of a sad song, when you think about it, Mom.”
My four-year-old made us put down the liner notes and all hold hands and dance around in a circle in the middle of the kitchen.
We like all of the songs on the album (except for “Jackson Park Express” because it’s just a little creepy and kind of long for our short attention spans), but I think our family favorite is “Word Crimes.” I love it because I’m a grammar pedant from way back. My daughter loves it because she loves diagramming sentences. My spouse loves it because he’s always on everyone’s case about “less” and “fewer.” And my son loves it because…well, he likes pretty much any song because he likes to show off his mad dancing skills (or is it “skillz”?), so perhaps you shouldn’t put too much stock in his adulation.
While we were all dancing around the kitchen, I thought back to the days when my mom would put Dare to Be Stupid on the tape deck in our 1983 Volvo station wagon and we (Mom, sister, brother, and I) would all sing along.
I thought back to my spouse’s and my courtship in the late 90’s when I tried to patch up a huge gap in his education by serenading him with “I Want a New Duck” and “Yoda.”
I thought of all of the times we’ve told our kids, “Look, kids! It’s Spatula City!” They’ve heard it often enough, even the four-year-old doesn’t respond anymore.
And then I thought about this past week when my kids and I were stuffed into a rush-hour green line train car on the T in Boston and I barely suppressed the urge to belt out, “Another One Rides the Bus.” (The only thing that stopped me was that there was already a guy yelling “fire,” and I thought another crazy person making noise wouldn’t have been welcome.)
“You know,” I said to my spouse, “I would so love it if Weird Al came to our house for dinner.”
I blogged about this a couple of years ago, about how my dream dinner party would be you and the Dalai Lama, and that I would have no problem finding something really yummy to make because I have lots of experience with vegetarian cooking (I’m a near-vegan myself), but neither you nor the Dalai Lama ever responded, perhaps because I never directly invited either of you.
My spouse said I should write you a letter, but I’ve not yet perfected my Palmerian handwriting and it’s just easier to invite you via blog post.
So, please consider this an invitation. I can make my awesome vegan lasagna, and we can have homemade vegan ice cream for dessert. Between courses we can play bocce in our back yard. We usually eat pretty early, so you’d have plenty of time to do something else afterward, if you wanted to. I know of at least two public places nearby where there are its/it’s errors that need correcting.
If you’d like, we have an ongoing Saturday Salon at our house at which each person shows up with a poem, song, book, or Big Idea they want to talk about. We all just chat for two hours and then go our separate ways, but you’d be welcome to stay for dinner afterwards.
So, you know, if you and your family are ever in central Massachusetts, drop me a line. We’d be glad to have you over.
In the meantime, thanks for releasing albums three generations of my family can enjoy together.