Sunday, October 25, 2009

Close But No Cigar by Weird Al (Annotated)

I thought up this idea up when I was listening to this song today. It's made up almost entirely of references of one sort or another so I thought it'd be interesting to point them all out. Regular story type stuff will continue tomorrow.

Close But No Cigar (1)
Jillian was her name
She was sweeter than aspartame(2)
Her kisses reconfigured my DNA(3)
And after that I never was the same

And I loved her even more
Than Marlon Brando(4) loved soufflé(5)
She was gorgeous, she was charming
Yeah, she was perfect in every way

Except she was always using the word "infer"
When she obviously meant "imply"(6)
And I know some guys would put up with that kind of thing
But frankly, I can't imagine why

And I told her, I said
"Hey! Are we playing horseshoes, honey?(7)
No, I don't think we are!
You're close! (Close!)
But no cigar!"

Then I met sweet young Janet
Prettiest thing on the planet(8)
Had a body hotter than a habañero(9)
She had lips like a ripe pomegranate(10)

And I was crazy like Manson about her(11)
She got me all choked up like Mama Cass(12)
She had a smile so incredibly radiant
You had to watch it through a piece of smoked glass(13)

I thought after all these years of searching around
I'd found my soulmate(14) finally
But one day I found out she actually owned a copy
Of Joe Dirt on DVD(15)

Oh, no! I said
"Hey! Are we lobbing hand grenades, kiddo? (16)
No I don't think we are!
You're close! (Close!)
Oh, so very close! (Close!)
Yeah, baby, you're close! (Close!)
So close!
But no cigar!"

Julie played water polo(17)
She wore a ribbon on her left Manolo(18)
She had me sweating like Nixon(19) every time she was near
My heart was beating like a Buddy Rich solo(20)

And she was everything I've dreamed of
She moved right up to #1 on my list
And did I mention she's a world famous billionaire
Bikini supermodel astrophysicist(21)

Yeah, she was so pretty she made Charlize Theron(22)
Look like a big fat slobbering pig
The only caveat(23) is one of her earlobes
Was just a little tiny bit too big(24)

I said
"Hey! Are we doing government work here?(25)
No I don't think we are!
You're close! (Close!)
So very, very close! (Close!)
Aaw, baby, you're close! (Close!)
So close!
But no cigar!"

Missed it by that much! (No cigar!)
Ah, yeah! Ah, right! (No cigar!)
Really, really, really close! (No cigar!)
But no cigar!

(1) The title is a reference to a popular saying that probably came from traveling carnival con men, back when they could legally give away cigars as prizes for their rigged games. It simply means that you almost accomplished your goal but still fell short. I've also heard the more PC expression "close but no banana" when I was a kid, I think Garfield might have said it.

(2) Aspartame is an artificial sweetener marketed under the names Equal, NutraSweet, and Canderel. Controversial when it was first introduced, it has since been proven safe for consumption by The European Scientific Committee on Food and the FDA. I'm sure that bribes from the Monsanto Corporation had nothing to do with it's being approved...

(3) DNA stands for Deoxyribonucleic acid, which is often called by laymen such as you or I, the "blueprint for all life on earth." I don't know much about DNA but I can guess that if one's DNA was reconfigured one would, at best, be horribly mutated. For more information regarding DNA please consult your friendly neighborhood geneticist. He should be located in a small beaker filled building next to the local K-Mart. Don't say anything about the pigeon/rat monster he's created and he'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

(4) Marlon Brando, Jr. (April 3, 1924 – July 1, 2004) was an American actor best known for his method acting in such movies as On the Waterfront, The Godfather, and The Wild One, and for blimping up to 1000 LBS and going completely insane later in his life. For an interesting movie marathon, rent the aforementioned films along with The Missouri Breaks and The Island of Dr. Moreau. Young Brando Vs. Old fat crazy Brando should make for interesting after movies conversation.

(5) A Soufflé is a type of cake. I hear they're quite tasty but I've never had one. An old joke in sitcoms and cartoons is that if any loud noise is made while a Soufflé is in the oven, it will fall and be ruined. Of course it will inevitably fall at the end of the episode. Cue wah wah failure trombones.

(6) Infer is short for inference. To infer something means to jump to a conclusion using logic of some sort. For instance: "all clowns are creepy. All pedophiles are also creepy. Therefore all clowns must be pedophiles."
To imply something simply means to suggest or subtly hint at.
The girl in the song is using the word infer by saying "What are you inferring?" But she really meant to say "What are you implying?"
I'd be pissed if someone kept mixing the two up also. I think it's a hangable offense in some countries.

(7) Mr. Yankovic is referencing a popular saying "almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." You don't have to be right on the pole to get a point in horseshoes. You also don't have to be right on target to blow the ever loving fuck out of something with a hand grenade. What would you get if you combined horseshoes and hand grenades? The most awesome game ever invented, thats what!

(8) This might be a reference to Interplanet Janet on the old Schoolhouse Rock cartoons of Saturday mornings past. Or it could just be an easy rhyme.

(9) A habañero is a type of chili pepper that is classified as one of the hottest most pain inducing on the planet. Eat one and it will burn the shit out of your mouth and throat and then take your sister out on a date to Burger King. It will make her pay for her own food and then grope her in the car on the way back home. The habañero is also known as the "douchebag pepper."

(10) The Pomegranate is a type of edible fruit. I have never eaten one so I have no way of knowing if having lips like a ripe one is a good or a bad thing.

(11) Charles Milles Manson (born November 12, 1934) is indeed crazy. A failed musician, he formed the Manson family of equally crazy followers who went out and murdered a pregnant Sharon Tate who was married to Roman Polanski at the time. Manson also claimed that references in Beatles songs were telling him to do things. Thats not as bad as The Son of Sam claiming to get instructions from his neighbor's dog, but it's still pretty crazy. Hey, that's a pretty morbid reference isn't it? It's not as bad as the next reference though.

(12) 'Mama' Cass Elliot (September 19, 1941 – July 29, 1974) was a singer in the popular pop group The Mamas and the Papas who's biggest hit was California Dreaming. You may remember her from the HR Puf N Stuf movie. She died of a heart attack in her sleep in 1974. Being a rather large woman, a popular rumor started spinning around the schoolyards and water coolers that she had died by choking on a ham sandwich.
One creepy little note, she died in the same flat as The Who drummer Keith Moon would die in four years later. Keith Moon did not die by choking on a ham sandwich but rather from a massive amount of pills he had consumed. Make a joke out of that ya sickos!

(13) Smoked glass simply means glass that has been darkened to allow the person viewing an extremely bright object to view it without damage to the eyes. No joke here folks. Next!

(14) Your soulmate is your perfect mate, someone who you feel should be with you for life because your souls are bound together as one. This term is only really used by creepy stalkers as they write letters to girls in their own blood.

(15) Joe Dirt is a 2001 comedy film starring David Spade. Comedic highlights of said film include: A meteor that turns out to be a lump of frozen shit, hilarious incest, and a dog that gets his testicles frozen to a porch. If I found out my girlfriend owned this movie I would probably dump her too. Unless she let me blow it up with firecrackers.

(16) See note seven.

(17) Water polo is an Olympic sport which, if I understand right, it sort of like hockey but played in a pool. And no, it isn't played with horses. Sigh. I hate that joke.

(18) A Manolo is a type of very expensive high heeled shoe. Wearing ribbons around them is optional but fabulous!

(19) Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States and to quote Johnathan Coulton: "A sweating filthy liar." Even though his foreign policies weren't that bad, his tenure is mostly known for how corrupt it was, culminating in The Watergate Scandal which lead to his impeachment which lead to his being the only president to resign before he was kicked out. In the Futurama world, his head is president again.

(20) Bernard "Buddy" Rich (September 30, 1917 – April 2, 1987) was an American Jazz drummer and bandleader. To say that he was quite good is an understatement. To say that he was also an unimaginable prick is also an understatement. Despite being a horrible person, he is still influential in percussionist circles and his name is spoken with reverence. (His ex-bandmates still think he's a prick though.)

(21) astrophysicists study the physics of the universe which is pretty hardcore since to be one, you have to know a shit ton of physics stuff and be hella smart yo, word to ya mother dawg. Supermodels are overly skinny but good looking females who pose in skimpy clothing to make guys drool and real females feel bad about their bodies. Most of them aren't known for their smarts, however.

(22) Charlize Theron (born August 7, 1975) is an actress who is very hot. Her acting skills are negligible, but dood, she's so hot yo! Her first movie was Children of the Corn III, a fine film if I have ever seen one.

(23) Caveat simply means "a warning." For example Caveat emptor simply means "let the buyer beware."

(24) I'm not sure if it's possible to have an earlobe a different size than your other one. I am sure, however, that if it is possible then there's a fetish dedicated to it somewhere on the Internet. I have no desire to look, however.

(25) This refers to a popular saying: "As close as government work." I'm guessing that this is supposed to be sarcastic since government work is supposed to be close and exact. Er, nevermind, it doesn't make much sense. Stupid chiched sayings.

2 comments:

Justin said...

I like this post.

Never had a pomegranate?? I love them but they're not for everyone. The insides of them are filled with pink, corn-nuts-shaped capsules of juice and seed. I guess Weird Al is saying that her lips are like big weird pulp. Haha.

John-Michael Morgan said...

Good work, man.

I've never tried pomegranate, either.