smells like scat

Saturday, October 6, 2007

There are two things in this world I can’t stand. One is the sound of liquid being poured into a glass full of ice. No explanation. No horrifying memories of being molested by an ice water-drinker. But yet I turn myself inside out and break into hives when I hear it. In movies, on television, in person… it’s bizarre, I know. Not long ago, I was having dinner at a friend’s house and someone offered to refill my glass. I was thirsty, so I accepted. I should have known better. I tried to act casual, but apparently my face revealed the truth. A few seconds into the pour, Mark said, “Umm, is this bothering you?” My teeth were clenched and bared. I was holding my breath. I looked as though I was watching him empty live slugs into my drinking glass. I knew I looked this way because, well… I once emptied live slugs into someone’s drinking glass and I remember their reaction.

The problem is, this sort of quirk (I’ll call it that because it sounds cute and endearing rather than alarming) is irresistible to mimicry and torment once it has been exposed. For the rest of the night, my friends filled up each other’s glasses at painfully slow rates, lifting the pitcher as high into the air as they could reach. “Is this bothering you? Would you like a little more?” Cursed face. You have betrayed me.

Thankfully, refills are usually administered behind closed doors at restaurants, so I rarely have to deal with these sort of situations. And at home, well… I ask you: Do you think it’s a coincidence I don’t keep ice cubes in my freezer?

I know it’s weird and silly. I also know that the next time we have dinner, you’re going to do the painfully-slow pour from one glass to another, looking at me expectantly. Nice. Real original.

So, that’s one thing. While I don’t expect you to understand or share in my water-pouring neurosis, I do hope to convert you to my other main annoyance. That annoyance is scat. I know what you’re thinking: That sounds familiar! Isn’t “scatology” an interest or preoccupation with excrement and excretion? Doesn’t scat have something to do with Poo?

Yes. Yes, it does. Scat IS crap.

But the scat I’m talking about has little to do with actual excrement and more to do with terrible jazzy music. The scat I refer to is a style of improvised jazz singing in which the voice is used in imitation of an instrument.

What a terrible idea… with such disastrous results. Since when is a jazz performance ever in need of more ridiculous jazzy instrument noises? And doesn’t it upset the trumpet player when the vocalist starts doing a bad impression of his instrument? Isn’t he convincingly jazzy?

If you aren’t familiar with scat, I submit to you the following:

Some jazz fans may try to convince you that there is such a thing as “good” scat. Don’t listen to them. They are wrong. That’s like saying someone is really good at air guitar. How good does one really need to be? Scat, with its “instrument imitations” is always a bad idea. No one would ever get away with doing that in another genre of music. James Hetfield would never break into a fit of air-drumming halfway through Master of Puppets. One: he is a singer, not a drummer. Two: It would be stupid, pointless and uninspiring. Three: Metallica has a drummer. His name is Lars Ulrich. At least I think it’s still Lars Ulrich. I haven’t kept up with Metallica over the years.

I’m pretty sure NOTHING is more uncomfortable for me than scat. I think I’d rather be surrounded by one million people pouring liquid into one million glasses of ice than listen to one minute of scat. Seriously, can we all agree it isn’t coincidence that poo and jazzy singing are synonymous? It really isn’t even up for debate! Check your dictionaries! Scat: either way you take it, it’s crap.


P.S. “To Catch A Predator” also makes me very uncomfortable, but I didn’t go into that because, well, unlike the other topics, I’m pretty sure uncomfort is “To Catch A Predator’s” primary objective.


punk rock girl said...

fashion makes me uncomfortable. but thats ok. its supposed to.

punk rock girl said...

also, as i already told you someone taking ice cubes out the ice cube holder thing makes me cringe. every time.

David Anderson said...

This isn't scat exactly, but I still think it belongs on your blog for some reason:

You're welcome.

becky said...

oh to catch a predator. it's so painful to watch.

i was going to do some scat while pouring water into a glass of ice next time we got together. i'm glad you warned me.

Jessica said...

people not refilling the ice tray makes me uncomfotable. And now, sadly so does scat. Those were hidious!