When the head of my department (back in my employed days), was going to retire, the guy who was putting together the little program that was always done for someone retiring, asked me if I would like to be part of the program since I had worked with “the boss” off and on for over 20 years.
The Boss and I had known each other for a long time. In fact, I was his secretary many, many years ago. I would kiddingly telling people that he only developed his eye twitch after having me as his secretary. It was especially fun to tell someone that when he was standing right there, because they would sometimes give him a little side-long glance, apparently wondering if he really DID have a twitch. Anyway, because of our history, I was delighted to be able to participate in the program, so I told them I would come up with something, and I set about thinking of something special I could do for this great guy!
I went home and thought — and thought — and then (who knows why a crazy idea will pop into your head?) I thought how funny it would be for my 50-something self to do a rap!! Of course, I really didn’t know what a rap was like, but not knowing much about something has certainly never stopped me from trying it before! I quickly wrote three stanzas of my version of a rap (i.e., words that rhymed and talked about his leadership and support for us, etc.) with a “chorus” that was pretty much, “Uhuh, Uhuh, He’s Tha Man, He’s Tha Man.” Catchy, huh. (I don’t suppose REAL rappers talk about writing stanzas and choruses, do you think?)
Next I had to make myself LOOK like a rapper. Again, with little actual knowledge to go on, I forged ahead. I put on sneakers and jeans with a long shirt of Hubby’s, and finished off my version of the rapper look with a ball cap on backwards with my hair tucked up inside, and big, very dark sunglasses!
Now I needed an accomplice to videotape my rap for me. And I found him right where I knew he’d be — sitting downstairs reading a book on Lewis and Clark. Luckily, the book, even though on a subject that really interested him, was dryyyyy as dirt, so he was willing to stop reading and help me make a fool of myself (his words, certainly not mine).
We filmed the video in our bedroom because that was the only place there was a large wall with no furniture on it that we could use as a backdrop. Our old farm house was decorated in a very Victorian way, and I felt the rap would lose something if you could see Grandma’s antique buffet in the background!
So, we began videotaping — and were still videotaping a couple hours later! Several times Hubby “gently” pointed out to me that since I WROTE the words, it only made sense that it shouldn’t be that hard for me to REMEMBER the words! Yeah, easy for him to say — but I was having to try to say them the way I thought a RAPPER would, so I was having to think of several things at once — the words AND the moves (things like finger snapping and my version of “rapper-ish” moves) — and besides, it was now past my bedtime! This wasn’t looking like the brilliant idea it did long hours before, and I think Hubby was thinking that that Lewis and Clark book was looking ALOT more interesting by this time! Finally, he had had his fill of “helping the hopeless,” and he said (in his best father-to-child voice), “Let’s try this ONE MORE TIME, and if that doesn’t work out, we will have to try it again tomorrow night because we are both too tired to do it any more times tonight!” Well, that got my juices flowing again because I certainly didn’t want another “fun” evening like THIS one, so I did it the ONE MORE TIME — and I finally got it right! (Not perfect — but “right” enough.)
This was all worth it when the day of the retirement party came. One of my most fun memories is sitting in the audience watching that video and hearing the co-workers around me laughing and speculating on who that was!
After the fact, Hubby and I agreed that the work we put into the video was worth it because the Boss really enjoyed it — and said he was genuinely touched by the sentiments expressed in the lyrics.
The Boss and I have since joked that I obviously was a “one rap wonder” and he says he is glad I used that one for his retirement!
So, sorry, but, No, I’m not available to “rap” at your child’s next birthday party. But if you’d like to borrow my ball cap and sunglasses – be my guest!