Friday, April 15, 2011

"Friday Night Frolic" - You Know What I Mean?

Internet source unknown

During dinner the other night, just my daughter and me, we kicked about a sticky situation. One of those whatever-I-do-there'll-be-goo situations. I advised her to not get caught in the middle. Let her friends find another fixer and emollient.

You know what I mean? I asked.

She, with that too-serious-for-an-eleven-year-old look of hers, shook her head and said, I know what you mean.

I know you know what I mean, I replied. (I couldn't help myself.)

She straightened in her chair immediately. Little pings going off in her head. A what's-mother-trying-to-do-here kind of smirk. She bleated, I know you know that I know what you mean.

Quick I said, I know you know that I know that you know that I know that you know what I mean.

She squirmed in her chair, and tucked the lower half of both of her legs underneath the back of her thighs so that she sat higher above the table, and spouted, I know you know that I know you know you mean that you know that I know what you mean!

It went on like this, like a 1930's vaudeville act, like Abbot and Costello, like Laurel and Hardy, until we laughed so hard it ached, until we could no longer count the knows and means, and by the time the verbal volley ended she had all but forgotten the knotty position in which she was tangled.

I thought about the old slide projector, and the tripod-style white-textured screen Dad rolled up, hooked to the top of the metal rod. And the black and white movies, and all that equipment. The nights before we ever thought to say, Not the slides again! On those nights Dad pulled the projectors, slide carousels and round, brown canisters of 8mm film out from under the window seat, set it up on a TV tray, plugged in reels, and threaded film through the heavy projector, and we watched grainy slides and the brilliant banter of Abbott and Costello in Who's On First.

While I know Luluthe girl who loves word play, puns, clever linguistic twists and rhetorical excursionswould appreciate an Abbott and Costello video, I didn't mention them. I'm going to wait until I can retrieve all that heavy equipment and dazzle her with a vintage movie evening with Abbott, Costello and the like. In the meantime, I had  her listen to another form of vaudeville, a musical vaudeville nouveau that dazzled me with its honest lyrics and brilliant rhetoric.

April Smith and the Great Picture Show:

Sassy, quirky music full of swagger that takes you back to the days before CDs, vinyl, cassettes or 8-track. Way back to the early days of the juke box. Cabaret. Burlesque. Vaudeville. And then, zip, right back to today.

With stunning vocals. (By a girl who made her first album with the help of

You know what I mean?

Oh, one more...

I can't help myself.


  1. I fear that I do not know what you mean. But I guess it is questionable that anyone knows what anyone else means.

    Your daughter sounds like a plucky and smart kid.

  2. Fun, fun, fun!- the music and the conversation. I love the last clip where the drummer uses a box, it's perfect!

  3. Really enjoyed this. Your children are so lucky.

  4. I loved your brilliant conversation! How cute. :) Also liked the clips - especially the second one - she does have a lovely voice.

  5. Now, this is a treat! April is brand new to me. I love the whole idea of this analog direction in music, as far away from the over-produced, over-synthed garbage as music can get. You know what I mean?

  6. Wow...that convo really did my head in. Maybe it is because I just got out of the cot and am not coffee'd up yet.
    Oh yes, April Smith does it goooood by the way. A mate of mine turned me onto her stuff a while back.
    Nice choice of badinage and music J ;

  7. I love the kind of witty conversations you can only have with your kids! Party on.

  8. Laoch- Very plucky. Too plucky and smart for her own good. And it's all right. I'm often not sure of what I mean. ;)

    Leonora- Make sure you take a look at this, too: -- took me a long time to get that tune out of my head (actually, I haven't). :)

    Shopgirl- So glad. I think I'm the lucky one. I've nearly forgotten what it was like before them (and it's just as well). ;)

    Bth- I like that 2nd clip too. I deliberated over including it here, in place of their "tour" video (link above @ Leonora). It's so different and dark I just had to post it!

    Nance- Yes, I love this direction as well. Know exactly what you mean. Then again, I know you know that I know what you mean. ;)

    Dan- My challenge is to find a musician you've never heard of. That's right--I'm on a mission! Mission impossible. (I think.) :)

    Nessa- Yeah, with kids only, for sure! Most of the time I can't even remember what we've discussed. A complete whirlwind and then haze. As thick as what I'm seeing here in Niagra Falls right now! :)

  9. Aww, these precious shared moments are what life is meant to be all about!

    I loved Abbot and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, and the Three Stooges.. I used to sit watching them by my fathers feet, both of us equally entranced by their slap-stick antics.

  10. Lovely to have those moments with your daughter and to chat in such a playful way too. Very, very sweet indeed.

  11. Shrinky- You said it! I loved the slapstick comedy, as well. My kids to it pretty well. ;)

    SF- She's a fun one. No doubt about that! :)

  12. What a priceless conversation that was! I'm glad your recorded it for posterity. :)

  13. Lydia- Oh, so many others I'd wish I'd recorded. If only!