By Weird Al Yankovic
You read that right. I, Weird Al, the undisputed and unopposed food rhyming champion of the world, doesn’t even like the stuff.
You wanna know what my diet is like? I grab a Cliff bar and have some tea for breakfast. For lunch, I have a salad. Just mixed greens with no dressing. Then for dinner I have three Tic Tacs and call it a night. I do this every day. I only eat to obtain the nutrients. I don’t enjoy it and if I had my way food would be injected into your arm with some sort of future syringe that doesn’t hurt at all but still makes you look like a badass while you’re tyin’ off a snack.
I got into the food biz because, back then, that’s where the money was. Personally, I wanted to write songs about making money, growing up on the streets and new ways to wear hats backwards but nobody was looking for that in the late 80′s, early 90′s. It just wasn’t heard of. Then one day Nabisco came to me and asked if I could write a song about their brand new product, Oreos. I wasn’t very good at coming up with original songs so I did some research. Eventually I discovered that something called parody was protected under something called the constitution. If I simply changed the words of songs I could just flat out steal them wholesale. That’s when I took the popular New Kids On The Block song, “The Right Stuff” and made subtle changes to the lyrics to promote Oreos, while keeping it tasteful and not too in-your-face about it. While their song was about how they would have sex with you if you were a pretty lady, mine was more about a sandwich cookie that would have sex with you if you were a pretty lady. For example; in the original, the chorus was “Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ooooh, ooooh/the right stuff” and in my version the chorus became “Oh, oh, oh, oh, ooooh, oh, oh, -reo, what’s in the middle?/the white stuff.” Can you spot the difference?
The song was a colossal failure from an artistic point of view but the cookie was a huge success and Nabisco was very happy with my work. Word spread around the food industry and before I knew it I had a year and a half of work in front of me. Pretty soon I was promoting Ding Dongs, mashed potatoes and bologna from the #1 spot in every chart the billboards had to offer. People didn’t even know what a Twinkie was before my rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” entitled “Fat,” which gets it’s name from the fact that the titular character is very fat. Before me, people thought Twinkies were just fancy wrapped up bananas. I made them a star. Yet to this day I’ve never tried one and I doubt I ever will. Just don’t have any interest. I hate the way food feels on my tongue and general mouth area.
I didn’t just write songs about food, however. There was the time lil’ Stevie Spielberg was working on a new dinosaur movie and he needed ol’ Al’s help to promote it. I owed Steve one ever since he helped me move and he called in the favor. He got a gem of a song that I cleverly called, “Jurassic Park.” It was such a huge hit that Steven changed the original title of the movie, “Captain Joe’s Dinosaur Emporium and Gift Shop” to “Jurassic Park” and soon his little indie movie was one of the highest grossing of all time. He was thrilled. He offered me 5% off the back-end but I just told him that next time I moved, I’d be borrowing his truck again. He said we had a deal but when it came time to move again SOMEONE suddenly stopped answering his phone. Not cool, Steve, not cool. I still haven’t seen the movie or it’s sequels. I haven’t had much experience with anything I’ve been shilling, actually.
I’d never dared to be stupid, never lived a life as a rapping Amish man (a concept brought to me by the Amish Tourism Board). Never watched Anakin Skywalker grow up nor had a single Bad Hair Day. Everything I’ve ever done I’ve done for one thing; money. Now that I’m looking at the back half of my life, sometimes I think about how things would have went if I’d stuck to my artistic guns, really poured my heart into my work and tried to show the world just what made this Al so, “weird.” Opened my heart and shown everyone what we all already know, that we’re vulnerable and weak and that’s nothing to be ashamed of, unless you’re some kind of creep. Then I look at my bank account, my gorgeous wife, my beautiful kids and my sexy-ass dog. I smile quietly to myself, lean back in my professional-grade rocking chair and puff slowly from my pipe, gazing off into the distance. Because while all that integrity stuff sounds great, in theory, I think life is more about the simple pleasures. Call me old fashioned, but I’ll take more money than I can handle over blowing my brains out in a greenhouse just about any day of the week.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been commissioned to write a song about graham crackers that’ll blow absolutely no one’s mind.