We and Mrs. Jones

No, this is Mrs. Robin­son.

And now, chil­dren, hear and remem­ber the tale of me, Bil­ly Paul, Mrs. Jones, my friend Rob, and my dog Meat­ball:

Long, long ago, in a lit­tle state named Kansas, which no one wants to admit com­ing from except the clas­sic rock band Kansas and pos­si­bly Bob Dole, two young men and a dog were tool­ing around town in the leg­endary mus­cle car  Charles the Deep Breather, which prob­a­bly sounds sil­ly because you weren’t there, but which would make per­fect sense if you were there, because Charles breathed very, VERY deeply indeed, and com­mu­ni­cat­ed in a sub­son­ic, almost heav­en­ly, rum­ble that made fans of glass­pack muf­flers sneer, fans of tur­bo muf­flers weep tears of pure joy, and every­one else say, “That car! It—it spoke to me! It made my panties moist and/or my jeans tight “(depend­ing on their gen­der)”, and I want to run after it to hear and under­stand and remem­ber its teach­ing, but I can’t because I have noth­ing but two legs, while Charles the Deep Breather boasts 8 cylin­ders and 318 whole­some, part-of-this-nutri­tious-break­fast Detroit cubic inch­es (plus a .30 radius of bored-out glim­mery smooth cylin­der walls, rebuilt 340 heads, a 60,000-volt Mal­lo­ry rac­ing igni­tion coil, graphite igni­tion wiring, an alu­minum Edel­brock intake man­i­fold, a 600 CFM Hol­ley four-bar­rel car­bu­re­tor, a bunch of oth­er rac­ing parts no one gives a shit about, and the most impor­tant com­po­nent of all: the sto­ried under­dash Pio­neer Super­tuner pump­ing its juicy Amer­i­can-made stereo­phon­ic DNA through a 60-watt graph­ic equal­iz­er and final­ly into the Holy Grail of mobile tunes: a pair of 6x9 Jensen tri­ax­i­al speak­ers!”

And on this long ago night, my friend Rob, my dog Meat­ball, and I were engaged in the…

What? Meat­ball? You’re wor­ried about Meat­ball? Look, Meat­ball loved loud music, okay?1

Any­way, Rob and Meat­ball and I were—okay, now what? Oh, you think it was cru­el to name him Meat­ball? Look here: Peo­ple should not name ani­mals. We should instead lis­ten to our ani­mals and use the names they choose. Meat­ball was named Meat­ball because that’s the name he want­ed me to use.

So! We were observ­ing the time-hon­ored tra­di­tion of get­ting drunk via a cool­er of beer in Charles the Deep Breather’s back seat as we drove around, which also sounds sil­ly (if not down­right irre­spon­si­ble) if you weren’t there, but if you were there it made per­fect sense that two friends, a dog, one car, and some beer all had to be enjoyed simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, because that’s just the way it was and get off my lawn.

Rob, Meat­ball and I had been drink­ing, dri­ving and rock­ing out for a cou­ple hours and had just fin­ished lis­ten­ing, on cas­sette, to Queen’s 1975 album “A Night at the Opera,” with pun­ish­ing­ly high deci­bels, and for some rea­son we couldn’t agree which cassette/band/album we should lis­ten to next, so I just flipped the Supertuner’s switch from cas­sette to radio and we start­ed lis­ten­ing to KDVV, aka V‑100, to see if any­thing good popped up.

And it did. To an expo­nen­tial degree, it did.

The moment we switched over to V‑100, Bil­ly Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones” had just start­ed. And Rob and I (and, I am con­vinced, Meat­ball), we all loved “Me and Mrs. Jones.”

Meat­ball gen­er­al­ly showed his approval by wag­ging his tail, while I, care­ful­ly and wise­ly, avoid­ed try­ing to sing along with music if any­one else was present, even if it was just Meat­ball. To do oth­er­wise would prob­a­bly vio­late the Gene­va Con­ven­tion.

Rob, on the oth­er hand, was and is an excel­lent vocal­ist. Meat­ball and I were both delight­ed to del­e­gate the mouth music to him.

Bil­ly Paul had just fin­ished the first stan­za from “Me and Mrs. Jones,” and was gath­er­ing his strength to explode into his famous refrain: “Meeey­eee aaaayaaand… MISSUS! Mrs. Jones Mrs. Jones Mrs. Jones Mrs. Jones! We got a thing going on!”

And Meat­ball and I were hap­py to be The Pips to Rob’s Gladys Knight, rea­son­ing that with Rob bel­low­ing out the cho­rus along with Bil­ly Paul’s ear-shat­ter­ing voice ham­mer­ing out of the Jensen Tri­ax­i­als, we could add to the over­all vol­ume with­out drift­ing too far off-key.

And the moment arrived: Bil­ly Paul’s thun­der­ing “Mee-yeee aaayaaand MISSUS! Mrs Jones!” plus Meat­ball and I utter­ing an unrea­son­able fac­sim­i­le there­of, and the oth­er cars and traf­fic sounds and oth­er urban back­ground nois­es, all set­ting the stage for and pump­ing up Rob’s bet­ter-n-aver­age con­tri­bu­tion, and the whole world screeched to a halt and cocked its ear to see what Rob’s con­tri­bu­tion would be, and he did not dis­ap­point:

Ver­i­ly did he openeth his lips, and he sang with all his might, and he utter—uttereth, no, uttere­deth… SHIT! Okay, he pro­claimed to the heav­en­ly skies above and the rest of us mere mor­tals, and he sang:

“Weeey­eeee aaaaayand MISSUS!” and then he paused, real­iz­ing he was hav­ing a lit­tle pro­noun trou­ble exac­er­bat­ed by beer, because “Meeey­eee” and “Weeey­eee” are rad­i­cal­ly dis­sim­i­lar, even as I was won­der­ing why he paused, and then Meat­ball whis­pered to me “Who’s this ‘we’? You got a mouse in your pock­et?” and I blurt­ed out “ ‘WE?’ Ooh! Menage a trois!”

And Meat­ball start­ed laugh­ing, as did Rob, and I start­ed laugh­ing as well but then belat­ed­ly real­ized hey, maybe I shouldn’t veer left and kill us all.

In con­clu­sion, we all got home in one piece even though we all laughed so much no court in the nation would have con­vict­ed us for being unable to dri­ve, and then I ran away and got mar­ried to an unrea­son­ably beau­ti­ful and amaz­ing woman who by all rights could have land­ed Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt but instead she chose ME, and had two kids, and some­where along the way also Rob got mar­ried and had a kid, and I bet him feels the same way about his wife and son too, so I’m pret­ty sure I don’t need to threat­en him with telling his wife about our stu­pid juve­nile behav­ior and hey Rob, I love you and thanks for giv­ing me so much of your time way back then.