Saturday, July 18, 2009

Michael Finnegan

Brandon apparently did not learn many children's songs when he was young, so I have had the privilege of introducing him to some. For example, Michael Finnegan.

"There was an old man named Michael Finnegan.
He had whiskers on his chinnegan.
They fell out and then grew in again.
Poor old Michael Finnegan, begin again.

"There was an old man named Michael Finnegan.
He grew fat and then grew thin again.
Then he died and had to begin again.
Poor old Michael Finnegan, begin again."

Brandon's observation: "Michael Finnegan had a wasting disease."

He said that a long time ago, but even thinking of it now makes me laugh and laugh.

But what I wonder about the song is, what is meant by "then he died and had to begin again"? The song was written before the video game era, when dying came to mean that you start over at the beginning of the level, or the last save point. And reincarnation has never been considered a normative American belief, so far as I am aware ... It is a mystery.

I was thinking about this song because the other day Brandon had to weigh some boxes, so he got out our scale and we discovered he has dwindled to a mere 109.6 lbs. He's not even eligible to give blood (which he exclaimed happily). I've also lately found myself trying to tighten my belt to the point where there aren't holes anymore. We seem to be wasting away, probably because we haven't been eating much meat.

Like most people, we get fat over the holidays (well, fat for us--which for Brandon is not fat at all--it just means he looks a little less skeletal than usual). But then, like Michael Finnegan, we get thin again. Unlike Michael Finnegan, we then get fat again at the next holiday season! I guess this is normal. But I just felt like commenting on it anyway.

1 comment:

Brandon said...

We need some more holidays, dagnabbit!
Jul 18-21: The Feast of Quickbreads
Jul 24: Deep Friday
Aug 6: St. Gilbert's Day (or Bread and Cheese Day)
Aug 11: Make-Your-Own-Ice-Cream Day
Aug 16: "Vegetables Are Yucky" Day