A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster
I was singing away to myself in the shower one morning, (a sure sign of a pending mental breakdown; Mary had already called 911) when it occurred to me that the lyrics I was destroying (I’m not that good a singer) were wrong, not the words themselves, the actual words were fine, but they were at least a half-century out of date.
The song was On a Dreamer’s Holiday. (Yes, I know that particular number is not something you hear all that often in 2023, or for that matter have heard any time in this century) but it was very big way back in 1949 when Perry Como recorded it for RCA Victor. You might remember The Perry Como Show on TV, that is if you are old enough to remember bustles and buttoned shoes. I read somewhere that Perry used to be a barber before he started to sing. I bet if he had realized haircuts would be pushing 25 bucks and even more today, he would have packed in the singing business and stayed alive a few years longer.
Where was I? Oh yeah, the Dreamers song. The problem line is ‘in a land where dollar bills are fallin’ off the trees’. (My cousin, Sue Ann, will immediately email me to say it should be ‘falling from the trees’.) She’s right of course, but Perry was an immigrant and an American.
Can you see the problem here? What good would having that tree in your back yard do in 2023? A few bushels of leaves might help by covering part of your weekly grocery bill but not if you were planning on having meat with dinner. And if you were even thinking about beef forget it. Even ground round would use up all the lower branches and prime rib big enough to feed a family would require half a forest.
Let us assume you actually have such a tree behind the house. You sure don’t want it on the front lawn. It’s October; look out the window, half your nest egg is blowing out the laneway and down the street. On the bright side, as the fall colours change you might be able to pass off one of the dollar bills as a fifty if the cashier is not paying attention because she is too busy trying to sell you a reuseable bag because you forgot the reusable bag she sold you last week and left it in the car with all the others.
It wasn’t all that long ago that when you went to the bank you really didn’t want the teller to give you a fifty. They were okay when paying for a week’s groceries, but they weren’t appreciated at the local mom and pop store. Your change cleaned them out of small bills. They took them, but mom got a bit grumpy, and pop looked like he might sic the dogs on you. Now, 100s are considered small change at the Dollar Store.
We all look forward to spring every year but imagine what it would be like if your money tree has been bare since late October and you have been out of beer since mid-November. And as for single malt you haven’t had a drop since that freak snowstorm blew your Christmas booze money down the street and into Homewood Park. And as you might expect, that had to be the day the city sent their giant mobile vacuum cleaner down your street, which they never bothered to do before your tree became a money machine. One good thing about your dollar bill tree, you will never lack for kids offering to rake your leaves in the fall and they’ll give you a break and only charge you a couple of bucks a bag for doing it. They will even take away the leaf bags so you won’t have to drag them out for the leaf collectors every Tuesday.
I know it is a bit far-fetched but we all could do with being dreamers living in a land where dollar bills are fallin’ off the trees
I don’t know if you have noticed but prices have been inching up lately, probably not, but they have. I was talking to one of the armed guards working the canned goods section at Zehrs the other day while he was frisking me. I still don’t know how that can of Habitant Pea Soup got in my pocket.