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Hey, it's Friday! As is customary for our Vowels, they are focusing their combined super abilities on avoiding all forms of useful work. It just wouldn't be Friday without the prank phone call to the mayor's hotline, the two-hour lunch and trip to Tower Records, the four-man air hockey tournament, and a little something simply called the List of the Week. So what is the list du jour for our boredom resistors? It's being decided even as we speak, at the Hall of Syllables....
Utility Infielder: No, no, no! We did one of Sir Jogs A Lot's science lists last week! This ain't even fair - we haven't done a sports-related list in a million years.
Bionic Jemimah: Alright, alright - settle down you restless souls. Now William, you spent your last turn on a movie list, now didn't you?
Hillbilly Robot: That's a big 10-4, mamacita. He had just finished watching "Bull Durham", and he thought it would be a fine idea to do a list of Top Five Movies Where Two Actors Got Married In Real Life Because Of The Movie. I think we came up with four movies amongst the lot of us.
Uber Eskimo: I had two of them, and could have had more if it weren't for the fact that I was protesting the list because Batboy Wonder could only think of one movie for his own list. That's a clear violation of Friday rules.
The Freelancer: Wow - I should show up on Friday's more often.
Sir Jogs A Lot: Indeed, Freelancer. Perhaps that would inspire you to show up the other four days of the traditional work week as well. Some days I just don't know for sure if you're a Vowel at all.
The Freelancer: It's no secret that I have other jobs, since I'm not salaried like the rest of you. I could make a list of Top Five Small and Furry Four-footed Plant-eating Animals That Would Starve If They Had To Make A Living On The Money I Make On This Contract.
Uber Eskimo: Well that sounds like more fun than I could imagine having while surrounded by people wearing tights. And please don't take this as a desperate attempt to change the mind-numbing subject, but I was just wondering whom I should utterly annihilate for borrowing my Elvis Costello CD?
Utility Infielder: Before I answer that question, may I ask whether it would make any difference if the person who borrowed the CD did it because... he was... just working on... getting ready for his... list of Top Five Elvis Costello songs?
Uber Eskimo: I should have known it was... hold the phone. Top Five Elvis Costello songs, huh?
Utility Infielder: Yes. And it was me. And please don't hit me in the face, because I was just thinking of you. And I'm sorry, times a thousand. And I swear on my guitar that I won't ever do it again.
Sir Jogs A Lot: Oh great. I wasn't even aware that this aforementioned artist was sufficiently prolific to warrant building a list of Five. Is he the individual who performed "Lovin' Every Minute Of It"?
Uber Eskimo: What?!?! No... just... no. You're thinking of Loverboy. Never do it again.
Bionic Jemimah: Good, good, good. Then it's settled. Now, has this gentlemen ever had any Country and Western songs that I might know?
Uber Eskimo: Well, actually, yeah. "Almost Blue" was an entire album of country songs. But that was just a phase....
...And thus began the Elvis Costello list. Actually, thus began Uber Eskimo's twenty minute introduction to the history of the music of Elvis Costello, which included several 90-second excerpts of key songs from his most important albums, and a scientific proof of the fact that he is the greatest rock star to ever walk the planet. Sadly, only Hillbilly Robot got more than two correct answers on the quiz that followed. Everyone quietly wondered to themselves whether they could accuse him of cheating, since he is a robot.
The Freelancer: You know, I remember a time when the only Elvis Costello song I knew was "Veronica". I have to put that at the top of my list.
Uber Eskimo: Hmmm... "Veronica" is actually my twelfth favorite. But that's good. You actually know a song. One song. Yeah.
Bionic Jemimah: "Veronica" is such a pretty name for a song. I think I'll put that one, and "Alison" on my list. Those are both such nice names.
Uber Eskimo: Yes! "Alison" is actually number three on my list, just behind "Lipstick Vogue" and "Oliver's Army". And "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea". Crap. OK, I've got to rearrange a few songs here... just give me a minute.
Sir Jogs A Lot: I suppose I'm still forbidden from participating? Will Armageddon break out if I mention that his little "Pump It Up" song makes me want to get up and do an expressive dance? Or that "Shipbuilding" reminds me of a mellow Barry Manilow tune? I will decidedly build my list upon the foundation of those two pieces.
Uber Eskimo: Shut your Tang hole, Blain. I'm having a small crisis over here and I don't need your banal rambling as a backdrop. Now, if I move "Peace, Love, and Understanding" back a few more spots, I can still manage to keep "Radio Radio" in the Top Fifteen without moving "The Other Side Of Summer". But that still leaves me with no acceptable space to squeeze in "I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down". How did I... "Less Than Zero" at number 13?!? That can't be right!
Hillbilly Robot: I still say that the whole conversation begins and ends with Trixter's version of "Pump It Up". Why do you begrudge me that song? It's the same dad-blame song, but now it has grown a mullet and started smoking Marlboros, so to speak.
And so the time passes. Heated words are exchanged. Feelings are trod upon needlessly. A lone hyena croons in the distance.
Sir Jogs A Lot: You know, I'm suddenly reminded of another young man named Elvis who would sing his songs for free. He combed his hair a little differently, and he ate peculiar and extravagant snacks. As a youth, he no doubt would marvel at the comedic stylings of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello as they dazzled audiences in several states with their mastery of a mysterious team of baseballers. And just like our dear young Eskimo companion, I can imagine that this adolescent Mississippian had no idea who was on first, or what was on second. If you were to ask him which was his third favorite Elvis Costello song, he could only reply "I don't know". Would the prepubescent prince of rock and roll not howl with delight as the hopeless conversation continued to befuddle and baffle the wacky victim of clever word play? Are we not ourselves the victims of such puzzling cleverness, endowed with superhuman abilities though we may be?
Utility Infielder: Are you saying that "Shipbuilding" isn't about building ships?
Hillbilly Robot: If fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches are "extravagant", then I'm a sight more high-falutin' than ever I did know.
The Freelancer: Would somebody please just sign my timesheet? I have to go find a place to sit and not be around people for a while.
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