Just like Seaweed Atheists are not algae-wrapped humans who chant deity existence theories from atop sea jetties.
So what’s with the odd concoction of words?
Blame the unusual word pairings on a box of lunchroom chocolates and the question: Where DO some of these bands get their names?
Hootie & the Blowfish, or, What’s in a Name?
We were at work. The announcement that a box of chocolate truffles had just arrived was made. The three of us emerged from our department like wolves on the prowl, the scent of cocoa running deep in our veins. Just moments before lunch, we lived up to our “life’s short, eat dessert first” philosophy.
It was there in the kitchen – surrounded by the official bulletin board promise that our bathroom was “satisfactorily sanitary” and a golden Godiva® box on the table – where we unleashed the silliness.
Just as random as the array of assorted chocolates that sat before us, someone suddenly broadcast:
“Some band names are really strange.”
“You know, you’re right. . .”
A slew of examples were quickly rattled off: Alice in Chains. Grand Funk Railroad. Smashing Pumpkins. Jefferson Airplane. Herman’s Hermits.
“Yeah, how do they come up with such unusual names?”
And with that, “imagine if” scenario #982 unfolded right along with the foil around my dark hazelnut truffle.
“Imagine if they sat around, each band member writing random words on pieces of paper, one word per piece of paper. Then they toss ‘em all in a hat and pick out two or three pieces at a time. They abide by the rule that they must – absolutely MUST- make the words scrawled on those chosen two or three pieces of paper their band name. Forever.”
That said, the adventure began. High on phenethylamine and raspberry sweetness, we armed ourselves with pens and scrap paper. We let the words flow.
Potato. Hamper. Flames. Jock strap. Fleas. Elixir. Moss.
Mixed them all up, chose a few at a time.
The fate of a band name was about to be determined by a plucked Post-It bearing a caramel-creamed fingerprint:
This went on. And on.
Ladies & Gentlemen, Give it up for . . .
Among those on our list that day:
Blind Johnny & the Menstrual Bag Ladies
Junkyard Erosion (heavy metal, we envisioned)
Random Cyanide (ditto)
Cyclone Blues (jazzy, with a wild, unpredictable edge, hence “cyclone”)
Nylon Sexpots (well, at least we knew how the band members would look)
Funky Dumbass & the Critical Nosebleeds (funk)
Sleepwalkers of the Earth
Boiling Ego Trip
Toothless Lamp Post
This went on for months. Co-workers began to wonder what could possibly be causing such lunchroom hilarity. Egg salad sandwiches were not THAT funny, after all. They might lead to a bit of Eternal Flatulence, yes, but what was going on that that was so darn amusing?
When mumblings of “Derailed Turtles,” “Melting Shoehorns” and “Borescope Monstrosities” leaked, a few joined in on the fun while others feigned smiles and scratched their heads (the latter, likely listeners of the aforementioned Boiling Ego Trip album).
The Sweet ‘n Sour Chicken of Word Platters
The point to all of this?
We simply found something silly about the random injection of words, the surprise fusion of pairing the nonsensical with sensical. It was the Sweet ‘n Sour Chicken of word platters.
It was a crazy little mid-day diversion from the ordinary that fueled our imagination, allowed us to escape from the routine, and always led to good laughs.
After lunch, we’d get back to work. We’d finish, turn in our work, then turn out the driveway. On the way home, our grins were as broad as the music played on the stations, but none got our attention more than the latest hit we heard that day, “Contagious Endorphins” performed by none other than the Eccentric Truffle Girls.
Jen Lilley, 35, has a taste in music that is much like the dark hazelnut truffles she so enjoys: sweet sometimes, heavy others. From Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Lorena McKennitt and Sarah McLachlan to Def Leppard, Eddie Money, Boston, Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin, it’s all meant to be enjoyed and savored.