It’s Saturday night, Michelle

Michelle... it's Saturday night, Michelle...

Ma Bell is back…

After the Reagan administration broke oup the (once government sanctioned) AT&T telephone monopoly (to “lower telephone costs”… back then my phone bill was about $7 a month) it split up into pieces and then the Texas based piece started buying up the other pieces and now the Texas based piece IS AT&T… in name if not in spirit. A lot of money changed hands, if nothing else. Must have benefitted someone. You’d think.

Anyhow, what with AT&T back in the news I’m hoping I might not have to explain the bad pun that drives this song. That said, there’s a bit of an autobiographical element to it… not that I sat home alone nights while my gay friends were out having a swell time but rather that I did work as a temp for a regional Bell, working long hours for a few intense weeks, and not only observed the peculiar dynamic of a workplace that was about 2/3 straight women and 1/3 unstraight men but heard more than a few women lamenting the unavailability of the sharp-dressing, well-turned young men. (As one of only several straight men, I thought I would clean up. But it’s harder to compete against them pretty boys than a good ol’ boy like me might imagine… )

Anyway, as I pointed out in the first posting of this song, it was written as part of my 1996 project, The Barista Cycle. That project revolved around songs written using the names of the current distaff staff of my favorite coffee shop. The songs were pointedly not intended to be about their namesakes. Still, fate provided a bit of resonance: the real Michelle eventually left the coffeeshop to become… an airline stewardess. And one of her best friends when last we talked was a handsome young male coworker…

previous AYoS version

Michelle (It’s Easy to Be Sad)

Ma Bell was such a strange career choice
I know you did it to be around all them pretty boys
but I’m afraid you will never be annoyed
by smooth operators down in the break room
they’ve all got something else to do

Ma bell was no place to meet boys
all the best they’re all just someone else’s toys
all of the strut and all of the noise
all the clothes and all the poise
they’ve all got something else to do

It’s a saturday night michelle
It’s a saturday night michelle
It’s a saturday night michelle
And when Monday morning comes around
You know you’ll hear how it all went down
and you know how it’ll make you feel
the same old loneseome way
It’s easy to be sad
when all your boyfriends are gay

(C)1996, TK Major


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