I had to admit to my friend The Mild Mannered Lawyer the other night that I’d always thought the lyrics in [improbably named 1980s Australian band] Kids In The Kitchen’s song ‘Current Stand’ were “Caught in the crossfire/ Burn bartender!/ This is the current stand”.
In a way, I wished they were the real lyrics (a quick check of the album cover confirmed they were not) because then the song would have neatly tied in with an earlier conversation we’d had that evening in which a lovely fellow had mentioned various nightclubs to us, all of which had happened to burn down. I had understandably grown concerned there was a rampant nightclub arsonist on the loose and, based on my previous (incorrect) interpretation of ‘Current Stand’, all fingers might have pointed at Scott Carne, lead singer of Kids In The Kitchen and advocate of burning bartenders. Except, as I now know, Scott was actually singing about something “burnt by its anger” and the identity of the Disco Inferno-ist remains unknown to this day.
Of course, it’s not the first or the last time that I’ve misheard something.
Take for example the other evening at the kindergarten committee meeting. I should add here, just in case there is any speculation after what I’m about to reveal, that I was stone cold sober at the time.
The kindergarten committee president, as part of the Correspondence Received section of the meeting, read out a letter that mentioned “dead lion sensitivities”. I immediately looked around the room. Nobody else had even blinked. Perhaps I’d misheard? I didn’t want to appear inattentive so I didn’t ask the president to repeat it. But “dead lion sensitivities”?? What could that possibly mean? I mean, of course we must all be sensitive about dead lions. That is a given. But why write a letter about it?
And if I had misheard it, what should that phrase have been?
Dandelion Tension Cities (urban settlements suffering social problems because all its inhabitants had decided to give up coffee and drink dandelion root tea instead)?
Des Lynam Self-Utilities (a kind of DIY Super Hero costume where you dress up as, er, legendary British sport presenter Des Lynam)?
Debtline Zen Nativities (an Eastern philosophical appropriation of the story of the birth of Christ during a time of global economic slowdown)?
DET [Department of Employment and Training] Frankincense Activities (self-explanatory)?
All of which are precisely the kind of things that people write to the local Presbyterian kindergarten about all the time…
Of course, it’s all too late for me to ask the president to clarify the contents of that letter. I mean, if I bring it up at the next monthly meeting, she will think me deeply strange to have given the matter so much thought over such a long period of time.
But then… I guess I could always write a letter to her about it in the meantime. That way I could ensure there’d be at least one letter on file at the kindergarten which definitely mentions “dead lion sensitivities. This suddenly seems important to me. Very very important, indeed.