Tuesday, June 27, 2006

You Can’t Always Stop Getting What You Don’t Want

I grew up in a Beatles-loving household. So when I learned that there are really only two types of music-lovers—those who like the Beatles, and those who like the Stones—I just sort of accepted my place as a Beatles fan, and never really bothered with Mick and Keith and whatever the other guys are named. Slightly unfair I guess, but I never hated them; it was more of an acquired indifference.

That said, I’ve had You Can’t Always Get What You Want in my head for three weeks straight now, and I think I’m gonna freak out. Especially ‘cause it’s my own goddamn fault.

Not sure if other folks do this, but when confronted with stupid mundane information that I need to recall later on, I create little mnemonic brain nuggets to help grease the gears. For example: BMW. That’s how I first remembered the names and order of the East River bridges: Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg. Feel free to spread that one around.

Another one was about this girl whose name I could never remember. It was either Sharon or Shannon, and my first instinct was to call her Sharon. Turns out, her name was Sharon, and since that instinct was always the first thought to pop into my brain, I latched onto it: whenever I’d see her, I’d think, Are you Sharon?... R you Sharon? …which would remind me, Yes, she is Sharon, with an R. (This one got totally screwed when I shared it with the EL guys, who instantly mocked me and made me confuse it with other stupid phrases like “N you Shannon?” so I could never remember if it was Shannon or Sharon again. A-holes.)

Anyway, when I moved into my new place a few weeks back, I got two new keys—one for the front door and one for my apartment door—and they look pretty much identical. After a few days of trial-and-errorring, I examined the keys more closely. Turns out, the building key is much thicker than the room key, which in turn is a little more spiky and jagged. So instead of memorizing something like Thick key first, Spiky key second, I figured it’d be easier to remember a simple, ordered phrase like Thick Jagged. Or, even better: Mick Jagger.

Hence, the initial inadvertent humming while walking up the stairwell, and three weeks later, having that goddamn Rolling Stones song lodged into my brain every time I enter or leave my apartment. And now, whenever I see a picture of Mick Jagger, I want to stab him with my keys. But, as the song goes, you can’t always get what you shut the fuck up.


Geoffrey said...

BMW was also the nickname I gave to the '96 Yankees back of the bullpen: Boehringer, Mariano and Wetteland.

My brother claims to have invented this, but he is wrong.

Also, Brian Boehringer sucks.

Ian said...

First of all, I created BMW as the nickname for the back end of the 1996 New York Yankees bullpen. I think the biggest reason why you can tell I made it up and not stupid smelly Geoff, is I would never say Mr. Boehringer and his 2.62 ERA in 1997 suck. I loved Boehringer. SO in fact MY brother is WRONG!! not his

Allen Strickland Williams said...

I also listen to music!

mary said...

have you tried Brown Sugar? that one rules! or how about Under My Thumb? Tumbling Dice? or you like Stir of Echoes, right - then you must love Paint It Black...

Anonymous said...

Stones suck. Beatles suck. Yankees suck.

And they way i always heard it is You're either a Beatles fan or an Elvis fan.

And I'm a hounddog.

RedHairedJokester said...

Carrot Top/Having sex with anyone but Carrot Top

Why does everything have to be either-or?

Jordi said...


It's possible to love The Beatles and The Stones. You CAN love both AND get what you want! Which is a library (in your head and heart) of truly FANTASTIC earth changing music! Here's how:


The Beatles are the early movie and dinner date.
The Stones is the later 'go meet-in-the-shady-part-of-town once-the-Beatles-have-walked-you to-your-door' date.

The Beatles: Heaven
The Stones: Hell

The Beatles are Christmas.
The Stones are Halloween.

The Beatles - 'Sing Along With The Beatles'.
The Stones - 'The Groovy Ghoulies'.

The Beatles - Filet Mignon.
The Stones - New Orleans Bourbon T-Bone.

Beatles - Blues and Reds.
Stones - Blacks and Purples.

Beatles - Cheerios.
Stones - Sugar Smacks. (Now called - no joke - just 'Smacks').

Beatles - 11
Stones - 11

They both win my undying love forever and ever.