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The Big Hurt: Frequently asked questions

Pop's great rhetorical inquiries answered in uncomfortably erotic detail
By DAVID THORPE  |  December 17, 2008


Who wrote the book of love?
Book of Love (1990) was a low-budget teen comedy that I rented once on a whim. All I remember is that it's set in the 1950s and features Michael McKean in a minor role; it was written by William Kotzwinkle, author of a series of books called Walter the Farting Dog. As for the song "Book of Love," I believe that to answer the question posed within would be circular and redundant, for surely the songwriters didn't intend to ask who had written their own song, unless they had some sort of amnesia.

Who put the bomp in the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp?
Various acts claim to have injected the bomp, among them Jan and Dean and Frankie Lymon. But I believe that the bomp has always been in the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp, for without the bomp, the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp could not exist. A more basic question, I would suggest, is whether the bomp-a-bomp-a-bomp could exist without the ram-a-lam-a-ding-dong: yes, but it wouldn't be as good.

How soon is now?
From a scientific perspective, this question is nonsensical: "now" is the present, and a degree of soonness can't be applied to it. If we looked on the microscopic scale of the universe or something, maybe we'd find that now is actually soon, but it's just very, very soon, too soon to be detected by the naked eye. Perhaps a great physicist could answer this question, like maybe [that wheelchair guy]. Editor, please insert name of that wheelchair guy so I don't look stupid.

Why do fools fall in love?
Because they're too foolish to perceive how ugly the other fools are, and that's why there are so many ugly, foolish babies born every day. To learn more about my theories, you might like to read this informative newsletter I print in my basement. It's about a wonderful science called eugenics, and it's going to revitalize the human race — no, just kidding, you elitist asshole. Let the fools have their love. It's all they've got.

What's the frequency Kenneth?
I'm assuming you meant to ask, "What's the frequency [of] Kenneth[s]." According to the 2005 census, there are approximately 1,205,102 Kenneths in the United States, and that makes it the 17th most common male first name. Therefore, the frequency of Kenneths is about 0.826 percent.

How does it feel to be on your own?
What? Are you asking me? I suppose I'm not really on my own, but I appreciate your concern.

Who's that girl running around with you?
Why is this thing getting so personal? I'm just trying to help people out by answering the great inscrutable questions of pop music, so let's not make this into something it's not. But, since you asked, that's Amanda. We don't really do a lot of running around, however.

Is she really going out with him?
Hey, c'mon, pal, I'm right here.

Can you feel the love tonight?
You mean right now? Well, I guess we've established kind of a camaraderie during the course of this thing, so yeah, sure, I guess I can feel the love, in a sort of masculine, Viking, two-dudes-hanging-out way. High five.

Ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn't have fallen in love with?
I think we've all found ourselves attracted to the wrong person at some point, but I'd rather not get into it just now. Why do you ask? Do you have something in your eye? Why do you keep winking?

Are you lonesome tonight?
Not particularly. I'm probably going to have some dinner with my girlfriend. Remember? I mentioned her earlier. In fact, it's getting pretty late, so maybe we should wrap this thing up.

Are you gonna go my way?
Which way is that, exactly? Why are you smiling at me like that?

Do ya think I'm sexy?
I'm not sure I like where this line of enquiry is heading. Maybe we should stick to puzzles like who let the dogs out and whatnot. But to answer your question, I guess you're a decent-looking dude, but I'm not really the best person to judge that, if you catch my drift.

Why don't we do it in the road?
Well, social taboos prevent us from — wait a minute, pal, I'm starting to see what's going on here. I'm flattered, but maybe we should just call it a night.

Should I stay or should I go?
I think it would be better if you left, actually. No offense, but this whole thing is getting a little weird.

Where have all the cowboys gone?
I don't know, man. Maybe try one of the bars downtown, if that's your thing.

  Topics: Music Features , The Beatles , Bob Dylan , Rod Stewart ,  More more >
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