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He Just Smiled and Gave Me a Vegemite Sandwich

Please forgive me for this post.  It is simply not that serious. 

In 1982, Men at Work was one of my favorite bands, and I am not ashamed to admit it.  The line above came from their song "Down Under", which was likely their most popular single.  The video for this song comprised the sum total of my knowledge of Australian culture for many years, along with the "Crocodile Dundee" movies and the old "Shrimp on the Barbie" tourism commercials (both of which were Paul Hogan vehicles, incidentally).


The video is really a fine example of what is missing in today's music - goofy fun.  It reminds me a lot of this video by the Beatles for "Help".  The "acting" in each video is truly terrible, but they are having a good time.  I must also have respect for any band whose video features a barefoot man in a tree playing a flute solo.  That takes some guts.



 The only other halfway popular bands that I can think of that have successfully implemented the flute are Jethro Tull (click to experience longest flute solo ever - it actually gets good about 3 minutes in) and Polyphonic Spree, whose "Light and Day" is one of the most relentlessly optimistic songs ever produced.  It also appeared in one of my favorite shows, "Scrubs".  This band bravely utilized bubbles, matching robes, a harp, and a 70's aesthetic, though this song came out in the past decade.  They actually dress much like a cult, but I like the song.

So, back to Men at Work.  What in the heck is Vegemite anyway?  Wikipedia defines it as "a dark brown, savoury food paste made from yeast extract, used mainly as a spread on sandwiches, toast and cracker biscuits".  I am not sure how to react to this.  Yum?  It sounds like some of the food that they used to serve us in junior high at the cafeteria.


Speaking of junior high, seventh grade holds a multitude of terrible memories for me (and for many, I'm sure).  That was the year that I had my second and final fistfight with my "locker partner", Allen WIlson.  It started on the  football field and lasted about 10 seconds or so.  Actually, I guess it really started the instant that I saw his smug face for the first time, but that's not important.  What is important was how it was resolved later. 

I had two physical fights in my life, both of which basically involved me moving out of the way of someone's fist.  However, my adrenaline level was running high in both cases.  The first time there was a kid named Chad Redman who decided to pick on my 6th grade girlfriend a little too much.  We both ended up in the principal's office.  Later I became pretty good friends with both of those guys.  It's weird how the fights provided a bonding experience for us, isn't it?

I was thinking about this recently and how the childhood fights apply to my time here on Active Rain.  Yes, this post has an interesting twist.  You didn't see that coming, did you?  I have had a few disagreements with other members here, all of which were civil but they made me angry, at least for a bit.  Thankfully, in most cases, I have spoken with each of these people on the phone afterwards and I would consider them friends, too, or at least friendly acquaintances.  I have a bit of a temper sometimes (true), but it doesn't last long and I never hold a grudge.  I am quick to forgive and move on - life is simply too short to act otherwise. 

Thanks for reading this silly post.  I am just trying to keep it fun.  By the way, I didn't change the names in the above paragraph - makes life more interesting, right?  If I have calculated correctly based on a past comment of hers, this post is talking about the year that my AR friend Jessica Horton was born, so please feel free to make me feel old again, Jessica.  You have my permission.

P.S. Two guys who have probably eaten a Vegemite sandwich or two are the members of the band "Flight of the Conchords", since they are from New Zealand.  They have a hilarious show on HBO if you haven't seen it yet.  My wife and I anxiously look forward to each episode, which is a seamless blend of comedy and music.  Here's a sample of one of their tunes (probably rated PG-13).

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