“If You Like Terrible Morals / And Gettin’ Caught Runnin’ Game…”

Hard pressed for time, but I need to get this off my chest:

I downloaded the “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” soundtrack from Guardians of the Galaxy the other day (free on Google Play! Ketchowww!), and was listening on the way into work today.

Have you ever actually listened to the lyrics of the “Pina Colada” song???

Allow me to paint the scenario for you:

The singer (whom we’ll call “Rupert,” because Rupert Holmes wrote this opus) was “tired of his lady” because they had been together “too long.” Now, I understand that couples can sometimes get into ruts (I haven’t experienced this, but I’ve heard stories).  But the problem Rupert’s describing in verse 1 is simply that he’s bored. Bored with “his lady,” bored with their relationship. I don’t know whether they’re married or not, but I’m gonna assume not. In any case, he’s ready to trade in his “old lady” for a newer model.

So as she lay sleeping in the bed next to him, Rupert does the 1979 version of trolling Facebook or Snapchat: he reads the personals section of the newspaper. (Kids, back in the 70’s, the news was communicated in written form on this thing called a “newspaper.” It was made of actual paper, like, from trees. And in order to change the page, you wouldn’t click “Next,” you’d actually physically turn this “paper” over to see what was written on the other side.  Ask your grandparents about it.)

In the personals section, he finds the famous chorus:

If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape
Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for, write to me and escape

Let’s examine this list of desired qualities, shall we?

  • Alcohol.
  • Lack of forethought to bring an umbrella
  • Dislikes yoga (I can actually understand this)
  • Half-intelligent
  • Likes to be intimate outdoors

That’s it. That’s the standard. Common beliefs, common goals? Bah! Let’s get smashed and do stupid things because we’re in LOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!

Did that appeal to Rupert? You bet! He saw that list and thought, “Me, me, me… me also…”  And then what does Rupert–who we’ve established is in an apparently longish-term relationship–do?  HE RESPONDS WITH A PERSONAL AD OF HIS OWN.

Yes, I like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain
I’m not much into health food, I am into champagne
I’ve got to meet you by tomorrow noon and cut through all this red tape
At a bar called O’Malley’s where we’ll plan our escape

To Rupert’s credit, he recognizes that planning a premeditated rendezvous with a stranger THROUGH THE NEWSPAPER might be considered “a little mean” by the listener. Gee, Rupert, ya think?

Finally, the resolution of this sad little drama: Rupert goes to O’Malley’s to wait for his secret lover (oh, that’s what they are). And it turns out to be–HIS LADY.

So I waited with high hopes and she walked in the place
I knew her smile in an instant, I knew the curve of her face
It was my own lovely lady and she said, “Aw, it’s you.”
Then we laughed for a moment and I said, “I never knew.”

But a couple of things don’t quite add up.

  • Notice she suddenly transforms from his boring “old lady” whom he is tired of, to his “own lovely lady.” Why the change, Rupert?
  • They catch each other attempting to cheat, and then it turns into this weird Mentos-commercial moment?
  • She put out the ad looking for someone with HALF A BRAIN so that she could ESCAPE–Rupert, she thinks you’re a total idiot and is trying to escape from YOU. Why is this okay?

So what do we learn from this, gang?

We learn that Rupert and his lady are terrible people who deserve each other.

Maybe that’s a strong statement. But if you’re trying to find a new partner while still in a relationship, you’re kind of a terrible person. I really don’t care what the circumstances are.

We learn that alcohol abuse, lowered intelligence, and public nudity were attractive qualities in 1979. 

Turns out, times don’t change that much. *cough* JERSEY SHORE *cough*

We learn that music in 1979 was also kind of awful.

This was a hit? THIS? I don’t care who you are, friends, that is…

A tragedy.

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