The show I'm stage-managing includes the line, "I'm happy as a clam." As we were blocking it yesterday, I realized that I have no idea what this means. It's one of those expressions that makes no sense, like "pissed as a newt" or "sick as a pig."
Are clams happy? How would we know? What are the hopes and dreams of a clam, and what might be its disappointments? Do clams have history and tradition? Is their lack of this what makes them happy?
And why, if clams are happy, should oysters not be equally so? Well, oysters get irritated; this irritation is what produces pearls (thereby providing metaphors for second-rate poets and self-help gurus through time immemorial). So oysters without pearls might be happy -- except that they don't have pearls, and certainly pearls are something that would make me happy.
Why not say, "Happy as a good dog?" or "Happy as a game-show contestant?"
Five Random Songs
"Act of the Apostle, Pt. I," Belle and Sebastian. Ooh, how appropriate -- "Oh, if I could make sense of it all..."
"Chelsea Hotel," Regina Spektor. A cover of the Leonard Cohen classic; one of my favorite songs, but I'm undecided about this version. I'm undecided about Regina Spektor in general.
"Bizarre Love Triangle," New Order. A blast of hope on the grayest day, an immediate mood-booster no matter what -- the greatest pop portrait of infatuation I've ever heard. Words can't express how much I love this song.
"Welcome to My Party," Lea Delaria. Lea Delaria is a vocalist who should get more attention; I saw her live once in Hollywood, courtesy of my cousin Deidre.
"Go West (Farley & Heller Mix)," The Pet Shop Boys. Not only do I own the Pet Shop Boys, I own a collection of their disco remixes. And I am not ashamed.