Steve is performing with his band at jam night in a downtown Vancouver bar. After doing several of the band’s original songs, they end their set with a cover of a CCR song. Using the well-known change to the line, “There’s a bad moon on the rise,” Steve sings instead, “There’s a bathroom on the right.”
Michelle works for HMP Music in Vancouver, in their Artists and Repertoire department. Knowledgeable about all aspects of the business and performing a variety of functions, she frequents jam nights at local bars, searching out new talent for the label. Michelle is impressed with the band’s original songs. But she has found that introducing herself as working for a recording company only increases the artists’ ego, and so she always looks for another approach. Before making up her mind, she wants to get a better sense of the lead singer’s personality, and so she keeps her occupation hidden until the right time.
Steve is packing up his guitar when Michelle goes up to speak to him. “Hi, good set,” she says and he returns the greeting, adding “thanks”. “I noticed your use of a mondegreen in the last song,” she continues. “I’ve always considered a song’s original lyrics to be almost sacred.”
Steve is at a loss for a response to the unexpected criticism. There is a pause, and then he says: “A mondegreen? What is that?”
“It’s the term for a misheard or misinterpreted song lyric.”
“Well, I don’t know about a song’s lyrics being something that can’t be changed,” Steve says, recovering. “John Fogarty liked the line, ‘There’s a bathroom on the right,’ so much that he began singing it in concerts, and I think he even recorded it on an album.” Of course, Michelle already knew that the mondegreen had been recorded on the 1998 live album, ‘Premonition’.
“It’s not unusual for musicians doing covers to purposely change the lyrics to something they find humorous,” Steve continues, trying not to be obvious that he’s checking her out. “Why don’t we find a table and discuss it over a beer?”
They talk about lyrics for a while, but then Steve manages to get the conversation around to himself. Flirting with her, he begins to talk boastfully about his prowess with women. Intrigued, she doesn’t discourage him from opening up to her more, and then he tells her that he’s a “cracked actor”. Michelle asks him what that is, and he tells her that while he’d like to be committed to a woman, he finds it hard to keep to the rules of relationship.
“To me, women are like artisan truffles - there for me to savour one after another. I love the interplay of flirting with a woman,” he says, leaning in and fondling her long hair so that he’s stroking her cheek. “Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the one who can keep me satisfied,” he says with a smile.
Michelle knows he is putting this out as bait, but at the same time she is becoming very attracted to Steve. She doesn’t see the harm in seeing what might develop between them. They stay at the bar until closing, and then go their separate ways.
Over the next two days they talk on their cells, message on MSN, and send each other frequent texts. Michelle is enjoying the attention and is thrilled when Steve invites her out for dinner. Taking her to a pizza and pasta restaurant he is very attentive to her, and they find topics that they laugh about together. Michelle enjoys the pasta she ordered so much she persuades their personable waiter to ask about the ingredients so she can make it at home. The waiter comes back from the kitchen with the information that the recipe is very simple: “It’s an Alfredo sauce, to which chopped tomato, green onions, chicken and penne have been added.”
After their late dinner, Michelle invites Steve back to her apartment. Standing in each other’s arms in her bedroom, they undress each other. Lying in the dark room, Michelle luxuriates in the feeling of having a new lover naked in her bed. She runs her fingers down his body, and… lets out a scream that could wake the dead. Steve has a hairy ass! Her hands are actually tangled up in his scary hairy ass! What a nightmare! Steve is just like guy in the song she found on the “Bit of fun” website, the day before she met him. And that’s the real reason why Steve’s relationships don’t last long.
TOMATO ALFREDO CHICKEN PENNE
- 2 – 3 chicken breasts, cubed
- 3 cups penne pasta
- 1 large (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained, or fresh
- 3 or 4 green onions (green parts only)
- 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
- 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
- 1 ½ tbsp. butter
- 1 ½ tbsp. mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2/3 cup Parmesan cheese (commercially packaged, not fresh)
Sauté chicken cubes and boil pasta. Meanwhile in a small saucepan make sauce by melting the butter with the mayonnaise, stirring in the garlic, cream, milk and Parmesan. Do not let sauce boil. In pot from pasta, combine sauce with chicken, penne, tomatoes, green onions and spices, and warm through on stove. Serves 4 - 6
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