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September, how I remember...

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It's September, the bittersweet month when young persons return to school and try to remember their locker combinations while their aging parents try to remember... um... OK, I do not remember what they are trying to remember.

What I DO remember about September, however, is this is the month wherein musically inclined persons traditionally sing that dreamy song about trying to remember. You remember that song, right? No? Me, neither.

But that's not a problem for highly trained professional journalists with fading memories and easy access to Google, which informs us the song we are trying to remember is, in fact, named Try to Remember and is the first song in the famed musical comedy The Fantasticks, which is apparently the world's longest-running musical.

I personally do not remember The Fantasticks due to the fact I was only four years old when it came out in 1960 and at that point I had not developed the ability to remember my own name, let alone Broadway show tunes.

But that's not important. What's important is that, according to what I was able to find on Google, The Fantasticks is a highly realistic play concerning two fathers who trick their children, Luisa and Matt, into falling in love by pretending to feud and erecting a wall between their houses, then hiring actors to stage a mock abduction, so Matt can rescue Luisa, thereby settling the phoney feud.

Oddly, from what I remember, this is exactly how I met my own wife. In contrast, I understand modern teenagers tend to rely more on Facebook and Twitter.

But getting back to what we were trying to remember, the song Try to Remember contains some really catchy September-related lyrics, such as:

"Try to remember the kind of September/When life was slow and oh, so mellow/Try to remember the kind of September/When grass was green and grain was yellow."

While undeniably powerful, these lyrics are, thankfully, interrupted occasionally by a gripping refrain wherein we, the listeners, are given the following musical advice:

"Then follow. Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow."

Q: What exactly is it we are supposed to follow?

A: No one really knows. I have scanned the lyrics of this song and other than sickeningly sweet tidbits about love being "an ember about to billow," there are no obvious directions on following anything or anyone.

Q: Who do we blame for this?

A: I personally would blame Tom Jones.

Q: Do you mean...

A: No, I don't! It turns out the guy who wrote this song is an entirely different Tom Jones than the one we all thought he was. This Tom Jones is a songwriter born in Texas in 1928, as opposed to the famous tight-pants-wearing Welsh singer of the same name.

Now THAT Tom Jones I DO remember. What I remember about him is that whenever he went on stage, women in the audience would become overwhelmed with desire and fling their underpants onstage.

Speaking of underpants, that reminds me of a news release I received last week that stated fashionable men are trading in their "tighty whities" for modern underwear that is packed with "style and personality."

This release was sent by an entrepreneur named Darnell Jones, the founder and president of TUKZ Underwear, an ultra-modern underwear that caters to a man's "lifestyle with style and functionality," which is what most guys are looking for when making their underwear-purchasing decisions.

What's so special about Darnell's underpants? Here's a direct quote: "The underwear is equipped with four elastic straps and clips to neatly secure tucked shirts for a crisp, professional appearance all day... When men let their tucked shirts flare, it makes their midsection look thicker."

But, looking back at the first paragraph, we can see we have forgotten all about our original topic. What I'm trying to say is there are a lot more fascinating facts about September that I'd like to share with you.

Unfortunately, I no longer remember any of them. On the other hand, my midsection has never looked better.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 5, 2012 A2

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