I had no idea that They Might Be Giants were doing children’s albums; I get the fact that they made the transition (it’s logical, particularly when you look at them), but it points to the fact that it’s been a while since I’ve even thought about them.
It was a cassette sampler that Bar/None records put out that is responsible for my current OCD moment, for it contained the song “Snowball In Hell.” I was familiar with “Don’t Let’s Start” single and the flip side “We’re The Replacements,” but to be honest, I always put TMBG in the category of novelty act, which is a polite way of suggesting that I never really gave them a fair shot.
But “Snowball In Hell” from Lincoln seemed to speak directly to me:
“Side effect or drug trip
Don't tease me with all of your might
Side effect or drug trip
My panacea's in a xerox shop
Have a nice day
You want it when?
Have a nice day
Have a nice day”
I’ve never worked in a xerox shop, but I’ve manned a enough hours in retail to know those phoney words of goodwill. And it was reassuring that a band like They Might Be Giants, virtual stars on MTV’s 120 Minutes, were forced to work at mind-numbing day jobs after their two hours of fame on Sunday nights.
The money shot, however, was a spoken word section lifted from a tape called "How to Manage Your Time Effectively," which Bill Krauss gave to John Flansburgh for his birthday
“I didn't expect to find a salesman drinking coffee this late in the
morning...How long you been here, Joe?
Oh, I don't know, I guess thirty, forty-five minutes maybe. Why do you
You must be making a lot of sales, piling up good income.
Oh....Uh...I'm doing all right. I could do better, but...Oh, I get it Paul.
Back on that old “time is money” kick, right?
Not back on it, Joe…Still on it.”
Brilliant. I used it on more than one occasion with a few salespeople when I was a sales manager. Not to prove a point, but merely to confuse the fuck out of them. Usually, I’d just take the first line and get a response like “What are you talking about? I’m not drinking coffee.”
Fuck you: Coffee is for closers, and believe me, I’ve worked with more than enough pieces of fucking wood in my day to build a bridge. Sales shouldn’t require a babysitter, which is what I found myself doing most of the time in that position.
On the other hand, I know all about being employed and feeling apathetic about it.
Sales is not the place for that type of behavior.
I’m not in that position anymore, but I do on occasion fight the strong urge to call in sick for the day and do nothing but listen to They Might Be Giants.
Avalanche or roadblock
I was a snowball in hell.
Here's a video for it that I found on YouTube that has nothing to do with the band, but is fairly cute.