Monday, September 1, 2008

My Boomerang Won't Come Back


When I was a young pup my mother would bring me music. It was always out of the blue and never after a request from me. Her choices were interesting and varied. After she went to see the play, I got the soundtrack for "Fiddler on the Roof", and once for Halloween I got K-Tel's "Monster Mash". But the LP that probably got the most play in my 5-10 years was K-Tel's "Looney Tunes".

Yes, the ubiquitous "As Seen on TV" K-Tel (Wiki), the company famous for putting together LP's with the best music they could license... well, after cutting the songs down that is. Any song longer than 3 minutes suddenly fell under the "To ensure the best quality reproduction, the running times of some of the tracks, as originally released, have been changed" situation.

But that didn't matter to me! Just like every other kid who can listen to or watch some sort of media about 100 times in rapid succession without tiring of it, I had that thing on automatic replay. It had songs like "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" (Wiki / You Tube) and "They're Coming to Take Me Away" (Wiki / YouTube) which made me laugh like a crazy person. To me "The Streak" (Wiki / You Tube) was scandalous, and "Tiptoe Thu the Tulips" (Wiki / You Tube) was probably my first exposure to a man doing something inherently gay.

In many ways I'm sure these songs defined my life, "Transfusion" (You Tube) gave me life lessons about driving too fast although it hasn't stopped me, "Rubber Duckie" (Wiki / You Tube) taught me how to take a bath, and "Shaving Cream" (You Tube) taught me how to avoid saying a bad word in mixed company and come up with a new one that makes no sense.

But the one that is on an endless loop in my head is "My Boomerang Won't Come Back" (You Tube). All of this started just a few months ago when we were visiting a HUGE American-styled sports store in France named Decathlon. OMG! They had a selection of boomerangs... and I took the opportunity to buy one... AN X-Fly!

Periodically throughout our drive back home I would be reminded of the boomerang lying in wait in the back of the car and be inspired to break out in song, "My Boomerang Won't Come Back!".

After about the fifth outbreak, N. cocked her head to the side and fell right into my trap, "Your boomerang won't come back"?

In answer, I burst into song:
My boomerang won't come back,
My boomerang won't come back,
I've waved the thing all over the place,
Practiced till I was black in the face,
I'm a big disgrace to the Aborigine race,
My boomerang won't come back.

Wow... I am such a kid!
Although N. looked at me like like I was crazy I think she's become accustomed to my occasional outbursts.

This is a video made by an Aussie in honor of the song.
Lyrics below the rest of the text.


Finally this last Sunday the timing was right.
I'd done my research on the web (because that's the way I roll), it looks easy. I should be able to do this, right? um... no.

We were at the Britzer Garten, in the early morning, giving me the first of the requirements - a large outdoor location without people around - which I assume is as much for their safety as it is my ego. The second requirement in the instructions was for there to be no wind, and the last was for me to have all of these elements come together when I actually had the time to be outside!

The sun was just peeking over the trees, the dew was heavy on the grass, the air clean cool and fresh... ah, what else could one want? Hmm... maybe for the boomerang to come BACK! Yup, I threw it all over the place, I tried every possible configuration, just to watch it sail up into the air, do a flip flop and eventually land 30 yards away from me. Oh I would stand in wait for it... expectedly looking for it to sail right back into my hands like it does in the videos... but NO. Sometimes it would get a good spin on it and start back towards me, but it would lose momentum before making it the whole way back. I have decided to believe that the loss of momentum is because the thing was simply wet! Yes, the dew was having an effect on my cute little boomerang! It wasn't an execution flaw, it was a Mother Nature flaw. NO WONDER IT WOULDN'T COME BACK!

After a few attempts I pulled out the instructions to see if I was doing it right. (yup, I'm that kid... I actually read the instructions... well, at least AFTER my first attempts aren't working) After reading and working through five sentences I was supposed to be able to throw it and have it come back at me. Then I got down to the last sentence which states, "If the attempt is unsuccessful, go back and read the instructions". Lovely. Oh well. As we walked back to the car N. asked me if I was going to keep it to try it again or if I was going to throw it away completely... No hesitation here, I said that I would keep it and try again. I mean, how else can I connect with my inner kid and have a reason for endlessly singing the chorus of the silly song?

Performer: Charlie Drake - 1961
Title: My boomerang won't come back
Lyrics

(Oom-yacka-wurka, oom-yacka-wurka, oom-yacka-wurka)

In the bad backlands of Australia
Many years ago,
The aborigine tribes were meeting,
Having a big pow-wow.

(Oom-yacka-wurka, oom-yacka-wurka)

'We got a lot of trouble, Chief,
On account of your son Mack.'
'My boy Mack? Why, what's wrong with him?'
DRAKE: My boomerang won't come back.
'Your boomerang won't come back?'

DRAKE: My boomerang won't come back,
My boomerang won't come back,
I've waved the thing all over the place,
Practised till I was black in the face,
I'm a big disgrace to the Aborigine race,
My boomerang won't come back.

DRAKE: I can ride a kangaroo (yeah yeah)
Make kinkajou stew (yeah yeah)
But I'm a big disgrace to the Aborigine race,
My boomerang won't come back.

They banished him from the tribe then
And sent him on his way,
He had a backless boomerang
So here he could not stay.

(Animal noises)

DRAKE: [Spoken] This is nice, innit? Getting banished at my time of
life. What a way to spend an evening: sitting on a rock in the middle
of the desert with me boomerang in me hand. I shall very likely get
bushwhacked.

(An animal roars; Drake shrieks back.)

DRAKE: Get out of it! You nasty bushwhacking animal. Think I'll make
a nice cup of tea. (Doi-ng, doi-ng, doi-ng...) Good gracious! There goes
a kangaroo. I must have a practice with me boomerang: hit him right
behind the left earhole. Now then, slowly back.

Gruff voice: If you throw that thing at me, I'll jump right on your
head. (It chuckles like Popeye and bounces away.)

DRAKE: Innit marvellous? Got a land full of kangaroos and I had to
pick that one.

For three long months he sat there
Or maybe it was four,
Then an old old man in a kangaroo skin
Came a-knocking at his door.

'Well, I'm the local witch doctor, son,
They call me George Alfred Black.
Now tell me, what's your trouble, boy?'
DRAKE: My boomerang won't come back.
'Your boomerang won't come back?'

DRAKE: My boomerang won't come back,
My boomerang won't come back,
I've waved the thing all over the place,
Practiced till I was black in the face,
I'm a big disgrace to the Aborigine race,
My boomerang won't come back.

'Don't worry, boy, I know the trick,
And to you I'm gonna show it.
If you want your boomerang to come back,
Well first you've got to... throw it.'

DRAKE: Ooh, yes! Never thought of that. Daddy will be pleased. Must
have a go, nyuh-huh! Excuse me. Now then, slowly back... and throw.

(Boomerang whizzes away; Sounds of a plane approaching and then
falling from the sky.)

DRAKE: Ooh my God! I've hit the flying doctor. Eee-hee-hee! Can you
do first aid?
Witch Doctor: Don't talk to me about first aid, boy, you owe me
fourteen chickens, you know, when I learned you to throw the
boomerang, you know, first things first.
DRAKE: Yes, I know that, but I mean, I think on this occasion, you
know, you could be a bit more perspective...........

2 comments:

Location: Berlin, DE said...

You, Frances, and I should have a mini book club discussion about Twilight. I ordered the first and second one last week and will start it when I finish "The Secret History." She just finished it and is buying the rest of the series today. Tilman's reading her copy. :)

headbang8 said...

The Rolf Harris version is definitive, I feel.