Dupré: How do you keep an idiot entertained?

Published 7:53 am Tuesday, February 25, 2020

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Have you ever seen the image of Jesus on a taco shell?  How about the incredible visage of Liberace formed by the vividly colored sprinkles on a cupcake?  And who can forget the amazing 3-D likeness of horse saddles found on Pringles around the world.

What about reading something and you mentally supplied word that was left out – or that a sentence doubled the the word, and you totally didn’t notice. “A priest, a minister and a rabbit walk into a bar.” Was the rabbit orthodox, reformed, or just delicious?

People like patterns and completeness.  They like to see things they recognize; they even make connections that aren’t there to turn it into something familiar or to try make sense of disparate ideas. We see images in the clouds, like the time while driving west just past Lubbock at dusk, I saw a massive Aunt Gladys-shaped cumulo-nimbus dumping a tray of BBQ with all the fixins over Uncle Gus’ thunderhead. Oh, the humanity! Someone washes the car, it rains and POOF, an iron-clad cause and effect relationship is established in the brain for all eternity, if not longer, and passed along to everyone as fact.

Well, my friends, I have been having tremendous fun with a picture I found on the Internet recently that I myself made an unjustified connection for. I saw a picture of a precious dog that looks like Jeff Lynne from the rock group E.L.O. The dog looks like he has a ‘70s perm/afro and has large mirrored sunglasses.  In my head, I started to hear, “Don’t bring me down…WOOF!”

Why am I writing this?  Because it makes me happy, goshdarnit, and I deserve that. I’m an old man playing hide and seek with the grim reaper, and I take joy wherever available.

I was exposed to lots of music when I was a small child, mostly by my mother who loved her radio: ‘60s/’70s rock, easy listening, classic rock, country, Motown. When I got to an age that I was buying my own music, I started by getting albums by Styx and E.L.O. (What’s an album? I HEARD that!) Coincidentally both these bands had a singer with an awe-inspiring head of frizzy hair – think Foxxy Cleopatra (Beyoncé) in Austin Powers: Goldmember – leading their respective rock bands, championing totally different musical styles.

Music has brought me an abundance of joy throughout my life: through listening, as a musician playing it myself, by composing and arranging, and because of the vast network of people I have met through music over the years, including the two greatest loves of my life.

Each of the different things I have been a part of musically bring memories flooding back.  When I think of Jeff Lynne and E.L.O. and I sometimes think of the C.Y.O. trip I took to Houston when I was in middle school.  I purchased my second E.L.O. album there at the Galleria thinking I still had money for the trip home the next day. When I got back to the hotel, I realized that I, in actuality, had practically no money left for the trip home, with two restaurant stops scheduled.  So young Mr. Get Off My Lawn decides to convince one the other guys on the trip to play Blackjack for keepsies. Suffice to say, I bought my own food on the return trip – a memory happily associated with Jeff.

Jeff also reminds me of Jerome, my best friend and professional musician in his own right. Additionally, Jeff reminds me of the first boy-girl party I attended (not to be discussed in polite company). Also, one time at band camp (true story – 1981), this girl took me down below the concert hall stage to the cramped, poorly lit and isolated orchestra pit and she showed me her…version of E.L.O.’s Evil Woman on the old out of tune piano (I already knew how to play it, but I didn’t tell Michelle that).

So, anyway, I discover this doggo picture on the Internet (yeah, I already said that), and I say that it looks like Jeff Lynne, because that’s what us weak-minded humans do – make unfounded connections.  But it pulls up major happeez from the back of my stroke-addled brain, and it’s vastly entertaining. And if you don’t know who he is or what E.L.O. is, look them up online.  Watch the YouTube videos, and listen to Mr. Blue Sky, Evil Woman, Don’t Bring Me Down, Livin’ Thing, or Showdown to start with, then go on from there.

But most important of all, if any of you happen to know Jeff Lynne, please put him in touch with Doggo, his canine soulmate. It’s a moral imperative to make this connection!

Gary Wayne Dupré is enjoying his second career as the Administrative Assistant for L’OBSERVATEUR and can be reached at gary.dupre@lobservateur.com or (985) 652-9545. He’s an old man, so DON’T POOP ON HIS LAWN…WOOF!