by Zoltan James
1. A couple of weeks ago, I threw caution to the wind. Yesterday, I read in the newspaper that it turned up in Biloxi.
2. I have decided to join the “slow food” movement. So far, I’m not impressed. I ordered a beef on rye on Monday. It’s now Wednesday. Could it be any slower in getting here?
3. A geologist friend of mine is convinced our earth is bi-polar. Well, that’s what he said today. Yesterday, he said the earth was incontinent. So, okay. Which is it?
4. Last week I interviewed for a job with a Fortune 500 company. The human resource director asked me where I saw myself in 10 years.
I said, “Probably in front of a mirror, like this morning.”
He asked me to pick up my papers and leave.
He has not returned my calls.
5. About a month ago I came face-to-face with an online pirate. I was surfing the Internet looking for recordings to download when this pirate, of all people, appears on my screen. He’s wearing a battered tri-corner hat, a black eye patch, has a big crimson scar on his pock-marked face, and a shiny silver hook where his left hand used to be. A gruesome looking fellow, he was.
He tapped on the inside of my monitor with his hook, looked left to right and leaned in. He whispered, “Ahoy, dock boy. Wanna buy some music? Cheap?”
Well, I was taken aback, as you might imagine, but also felt intrigued. I leaned in to my screen to the point where we were almost nose-to-nose. I said, “Sure, captain. Whatcha got?”
“Hey, how in the high seas didja know I was a captain?”
“Lucky guess, I guess,” I blurted.
“Hrmpfh,” he harrumphed. He looked right and then left and then leaned in again to whisper. “I got me a stack of one-hit wonders. Originals. Can’t find these anywhere.” He winked.
“Oh, yeah,” I says, skeptical as all get out. “Like what?”
He smiled a toothy grin and said, “Me buried treasure is in me pocket.”
The old captain pulled a yellowed piece of paper from the inside of his tattered coat, and then fumbled a bit, with his hook, and all, trying to unfold it. Finally, he got it flat and started to read like he was ticking off his grocery shopping list; “I got: Montego Bay by Bobby Bloom; Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum; Key Largo by Bertie Higgins; and Sailor Your Home is the Sea by Lolita.”
“Hmm?” I said.
“Hey, did you hear a humming on your monitor?”
“Uh. No. That was me, captain. I was about to say, I sense a nautical theme here of hits.”
“One hits to be correct, you land lubber! You want ‘em or not? I got me more stops to make before the seas start to rise.”
“I dunno,” I said. “That all you got?”
He cursed something under his breath about ‘a long walk on a short plank, you wrench,’ or something to that effect. Then, he slid his hook down the list. “Aye, matey. It’s your lucky day. You buy this one-hit wonder and I let you live. Now, I’m partially to this song, cause I sorta consider it my theme, if you will.”
“What is it?”
”Hooked on a Feeling,” by Blue Swede.
“Yea, okay. I like that one,” I said.
“Good choice. Play this for all your friends. They’ll think you’re cool again. Jest touch your credit card to the PayPal icon there on your screen, matey, and you can download this hit before you can shiver your timbers.”
He tipped his hook to his tri-corner hat and said, “Keep your poop deck clean.”
My monitor frizzled and fizzed like water spritzed on hot coals, and after a second, he was gone.
# # #
Author’s Note: Written by Mark James, Hooked on a Feeling was originally performed in 1968 by pop singer B.J. Thomas and featured the sound of the electric sitar. A year later, it reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100. British singer Jonathan King produced his own version in 1971 and added the famous ogga chaka chants. His version reached number 23 on the British pop charts in 1972.
Two years later, the song made it to number one in the United States when the Swedish pop group Blue Swede, with Björn Skifs on lead vocals, recorded a cover using the ooga chaka introduction. Blue Swede’s version stayed at number one for one week, and remained on the Billboard charts for 18 weeks. The song also topped charts in Canada, Australia and the Netherlands.
In 1992, the song was revived on the movie soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s first hit film, Reservoir Dogs.
Hear the original studio version of the soundtrack here by Blue Swede:
Remember: Make Every Hour Your Happy Hour!