Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Show and Tell - Me
At my daughter's school, they have something called the "Treasure Key." It's a old-fashioned door key that's on a string, and whoever gets the key gets to bring in a treasure and share it with the class - basically show and tell. The students get to ask questions of the person holding the key, and this "key bearer" feels like queen/king for the day. My daughter has already had the key 3 times this year (only 20 students in the class). Last week, she came home with the key and said, "Papa, will you be my treasure?"
It seems that recently, kids have been bringing in live people as their treasure - nannies, grandparents, etc. Well, Aimée thought it would be cool to show off her dad the musician - yours truly, Funkyman.
"I want you to bring a keyboard and play for us, Papa!" I thought, Oh my goodness, this is so sweet. I mean, really. I was absolutely honored, and I was so proud that my daughter chose me. So I prepared a grand presentation for her classmates.
I mean, not tooting my own horn, but I know a lot of songs, and I can play pretty much anything if I've heard it once. And since I've spent the last five years watching television and movies with my daughter, I was quite familiar with what I thought were all of the popular shows - Dora, Diego, Blue's Clues, Dragon Tales, Caillou, Backyardigans, Bob the Builder, Curious George, Wonder Pets, etc.
I repeat, what I "thought" were the popular shows.
So I come to the school and wait in the hallway for my grand entrance. I've got a portable, battery-operated Yamaha keyboard in hand and a head full of tunes. I'm thinking, "These kids aren't going to know what hit them. I mean, I'm Funkyman. My daughter is about to be the coolest girl in school! Awesome!"
Then the door opens and my daughter comes out to escort me in. I walk into the classroom, and there they are - 20 5-year olds, sitting in a circle, with a chair at the head just for me. I said hello and explained that I was a musician, and that I could play songs they probably know. And with no hesitation, I stated, "Name a TV show or movie!"
The first girl raised her hand - "Monsters and Aliens."
"Right, that's the new Dreamworks CGI film. Didn't that just come out last week? Mr. Coleman hasn't seen that one yet. Sorry. Anyone else."
The second girl raises her hand - "Play BOLT!"
"Right, Bolt. Unfortunately, Mr. Coleman hasn't seen that one yet either."
The third girl raises her hand - "Play Drake and Josh."
"Is that a TV show? Hmmm, I haven't seen that show."
And then the question that I was dreading: "Well, what do you know?"
OUCH! OWNED BY A 5-YEAR OLD!!!!
The teachers go into panic mode, "Well Mr. Coleman, why don't you pick a song, and we try to guess what it is?"
"Yeah, that's a good idea! Here's the first one."
I play "Three Blind Mice." I don't know - it was the first thing that came to mind.
20 kids just stare at me.
OUCH! DUH, LOSER!! Obvioulsy these kids aren't sitting up at night watching Three Stooges on TVLand!
So finally, I pull out "Dora the Explorer." And you know what they said?
"Well everybody knows that."
OUCH! DISSED BY A 5-YEAR OLD!!!!
Then a boy says "Do you know Diaper Man?"
Everyone stopped and looked at him.
"Diaper Man? I don't think I've even heard of that character. Does he have a song?"
"OHHHH, KAAAYYYYY. Well tell me about Diaper Man."
He proceeds to tell me about Diaper Man and Cuckoo Man and some of their adventures. He thinks I'm really interested, but what he doesn't know is I'm preparing for my giant comeback. I'm listening for information so I can compose an original Diaper Man themesong in front of their very eyes. THEN THEY'LL KNOW THE FULL POWER OF THIS FULLY OPERATIONAL DEATHSTAR, I MEAN FUNKYMAN! When the teachers actually cut his story short (he was going on and on), I make my move.
"Well young man, how about I write a song right now about Diaper Man." And I begin playing my best superhero music. It's wonderful! After the intro, I begin singing "Diaper Man! Diaper Man! He flies through the air with a rattle in his hand. He's Diaper Man!" But before I could say the next line, the boy stood UP in the circle and screamed . . . "NOOOOOOO!!! NOOOOOOOOO!!! THAT'S NOT RIGHT!!!!! THAT'S NOT RIGHT!!!!!!"
WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE???? I CAN'T WIN! It was then I realized that kids today, especially with older siblings, are watching Cartoon Network and other channels that my daughter either isn't allowed to watch or has no interest in. They also have an appetite for new and exciting things, and could care less about the 200 or so episodes of Blue's Clues I've sat through.
I'm probably making it sound worse than it was. I did play "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," "Who Let the Dogs Out," and "High School Musical" songs off the top of my head which impressed them a little. I also sang part of a song I wrote about Aimée before she was born called "Expecting Aimée." And the "Name that Tune" game got a little better after the 3 Blind Mice debacle.
However, those kids reminded me that I'm not up on the times as much as they are. Younger people will always have the edge. It was a truly humbling experience for