Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Aisling, beatboxer

We are avid watchers of American Idol and anyone else who watches this deeply intellectual and thought-provoking program will know that we were graced this season by a contestant named Blake Lewis. Blake is a twenty-something guy from Washington, and instead of absorbing the grunge culture that was evolving in the first ten years after his birth in the soft humidity of the Pacific Northwest, he figuratively went cross-country to the streets of New York and found his niche as a beatboxer, which is more of a hip-hop innovation, but whatever.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with beatboxing, I'll tell you that it consists of sounds made by the human mouth that would have been previously made by electronic instruments or by the needle being "scratched" over an old record. If you'd like to hear Blake in person, click on this link, which will take you to a YouTube video of Blake singing "This Love" by Maroon 5. He begins singing about one minute into the video and the actual beatboxing happens close to 1:40.

I'm telling you all this so that you'll know how surprised I was today when Aisling came in and proudly said, "I've been practicing my beatboxing. Would you like to hear it?"

I stifled the temptation to say, "How about you practice on that list of fifty prepositions I gave you to memorize, or maybe your Greek and Latin roots?" Part of being a good mother includes not being such a Betty Bluestocking all the time, because I'm sure Aisling has a chance to have a great career in hip-hop music, somewhere beyond my dead body.

"Sure," I said.

Aisling cupped her hands around her mouth and went: "Erka erka *scritcha* *scritcha* heeka leeka *scritch*" and looked up at me expectantly. "Well," she asked me, "how did that sound?"

"Like you were choking on cracker crumbs," I said shortly.

"Oh," she said, crestfallen, digging at the carpet with the toe of her sandal. Then she looked up and her eyes brightened again. "Ritz or saltine?"

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