What do The Onion, They Might be Giants and Chumbawumba have in Common?

This post goes out to my dear, dear friends, June (not her real name) and also to Kate, (also not her real name), both of whom always make me laugh.

I met June while working as executive director of an ailing non-profit.  I inherited many problems when I took the position, including very low morale.  I eventually came to realize that the very low morale was due mainly to the very low salaries.  But before that realization, I tried a host of other things to build a little espirit de corps.  Like what, you ask?

One day, I walked into our weekly meeting and excitedly informed the staff that, from that time forward, we could take turns bringing in inspirational music to close our meetings.  I would start.

We had our meeting and, to close, I put on one of my favorite exercise and inspirational songs from that time:  Chumbawumba’s Tubthumbing (don’t you juuudge me.  I’m part Irish AND I have a hearing deficit that really only allowed me to hear “I get knocked down.  I get up again.  You’re never gonna keep me down.”  And “Ohh, Danny Boy”).  I turned up the volume, closed my eyes, and started doing “my moves”.

Feeling inspired, I looked around the room to a bunch of blank stares.

I know.  That song IS a lot to think about.

June, who sat on my staff, averted her eyes (I think, I don’t really remember, because I was so pumped up).  Suffice it to say, my music project didn’t really take off.  June and I still crack up at my management techniques though.

I also tried re-purposing my pet gerbil’s exercise car wheel by filling it with slips of paper with “prizes” like a free coffee or a day off. I would wheel the car across the table and whoever got it, could pick out a prize. Also not a winner.

Not long after that Kate came for a winter visit.  We lived in a very remote part of the Midwest, so of course her connecting flight was cancelled.  The airline offered her the option of busing to our town.  She accepted, and, as is her style, spent the next few hours talking endlessly to the poor gentleman next to her.  I love you, Kate!

He informed her that he was the drummer with the band coming to play at our local university that night.  She expressed sympathy that he was playing in such a remote place.

She then explained that she and her husband had seen the Black Eyed Peas a few years prior.  The show was in an unfashionable part of upstate New York, and Will.i.am and the gang were still at the point of selling CDs out of their car.  But, the good news was, they had “blown it up” (her words, not mine) and she was sure that the drummer and his band would do the same.  They should just stay with it.

I love her positivity.  Always!  But, I am pretty sure that Grammy-award-winning TMBG, the band the drummer was with, did not need it.

I cannot help but smile at the kindness and humility that drummer had as he listened to my friend’s sweet encouragement.  She and I still laugh about that story.  I had, that same year, sent Kate’s kids Here Come the ABCs, which I love to this day (along with all their other kid and adult albums, which I have loved since the early 90s),  and which I have played for my kids so many times that I have literally worn it out.  That tells you what she does with my presents!

Two weeks ago, my husband, who would never have heard of Chumbawumba without me, directed me to The A.V. Club, an entertainment newspaper and website published by The Onion.  This type of interaction is how I know he really loves me.


Click on the video and all will be revealed.

And do let me know if you think the guy in purple is the most “into” it.  We think that he is and I love his enthusiasm.

I don’t really know much about Chumbawumba or what that song is all about.  I don’t really care.  I do care about the idea that life will knock you down.  But it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you get up again.  And if you can laugh at yourself while doing it, all the better.


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