A Screaming Across the Sky

Sadly, when he was faced with the task of introducing himself it was never a suave delivery like "Bond, James Bond," that immediately leapt to mind. More often than not, in social settings his soundtrack, as he sauntered into a handshake and casual meeting, was "Her name was Lola, da da da DA da," which is never the sort of thing you'd want running through your head as you grasp someone else's hand and say to them, "Hi, I'm Lonnie." But there it was, unbidden, every time. A Barry Manilow song, and one he couldn't reliably remember the lyrics to, either. This was why, he suspected, he couldn't seem to remember anyone's name he'd ever met. The sheer stress of that song playing through his head, or, had it not started playing yet, the anticipation of it playing through his head, was enough to throw off his concentration enough that it was a minor miracle he was able to get out his own name at all.

He'd heard of a trick for remembering people's names, he couldn't remember where, funnily enough, that if you focused on a person's eye color when they were telling you their name that it would jolt the brain into a certain receptive state that you'd miraculously remember their name over the span of two meetings. The time he'd tried this resulted in Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl playing in his head, which was such a sudden and jarring transition out of Lola, as he called the Manilow song, that he forgot entirely to introduce himself, excusing himself to use the restroom after a minute or two of awkward silence while his musical lobes attempted to sort out the wreckage of the equivalent of a high speed pileup on the highway. In the bathroom, to add to the misery in his head, he reflected on the actual name of the Barry Manilow song, which he couldn't place, and could only come up with The Kinks' Lola, which is an entirely different kettle of fish. He was found by a coworker crying at the sink, and he noticed a large no-fly zone around himself as he passed through the office for the next couple weeks.

Luckily Jim, from marketing, wet his pants during the course of a meeting. By all accounts the situation leading up to the pants-wetting was funny, but not all agreed that it was "pants-wettingly-funny."

Other than his... difficulties with meeting people, Lonnie was a regular old guy. He went down to the bar after work to ogle women less and less discreetly as the evening wore on, he laughed at jokes entirely too loudly, and his staple fashion statement was the tshirt.

Oh, and he hunted pigeons on the streets of the city after dark with a straw, needles with an end wadded with masking tape, sticky side in, and his own natural stealth. Well, not quite on the streets. More like under bridges, sleeping it off on the bridge supports.


I believe this is the second time a Barry Manilow song, possibly that very same one, has dominated the tone of an issue.

But there you have it. Twice in 501 issues. Just wait for the third and fourth references, any time over the next 501 issues.

[And here it is. And I know that it's called Copacabana. It's just that Lonnie doesn't. Nor does the guy in the earlier issue. Just fascinating parallels. Obviously hints at some deep-seated obsession I have with Barry Manilow that's aching to get out. Interesting side note: I never in a million years would have figured I would have written a story about a guy named Lonnie. Go figure.]

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21 Jan, 2008

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