Monday, July 30, 2012
This week's challenge: Using between 33 and 333 words, compose something that includes the third definition of the following word:
I don’t think I completely understood the fan phenomenon until I agreed to go to Las Vegas with an old friend because she specifically wanted to spend her 50th birthday seeing Barry Manilow.
When I told them at the office I’d need Friday afternoon off, and why, my colleagues didn’t try to hide their amusement.
“Barry Manilow? Isn’t he dead?”
“Leave Manilow alone! I loved ‘The Pina Colada Song’ when I was a kid!”
My twenty- and thirty-something coworkers confused Manilow with Neil Diamond, Tony Orlando and Rupert Holmes (who wrote and recorded "The Pina Colada Song”). This reflects not only the generational divide, but the amount of mainstream attention Barry Manilow receives.
Yet Fanilows insist he remains at the epicenter of show business, and when confronted with anything Manilow, they leave normal in rearview mirror.
For example, after we checked into our room at the Las Vegas Hilton, our first stop was not the slots nor the pool. It was The M Store to check out the official Manilow merchandise. I told her to pick something and we’d call it her birthday present. She passed the Barry t-shirts, chef’s apron, and the thong referred to as “the B String,” and settled on a bottle of exclusive M Fragrance ($44.99).
We weren’t alone in the store. It was filled with Fanilows who also made the pilgrimage. When I wondered aloud why so many kitchen magnets featured beagles, my naiveté was met with exasperated sighs and a chorus of explanations about Bagel, Barry’s dog.
We sat side-by-side at the show, yet while I saw an old man in orange stage makeup that made his spiky blond highlights and caps look so bright they could be radioactive, she saw a sex symbol.
I admit that of that night’s audience, I was in the minority. Barry’s a fan favorite, no doubt about it. And while the experience left me scratching my head, it made her happy. So to each her own!