Saturday, January 29, 2011

Synapse to the Beat: Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby"

So it's a math class, I think. I'm not sure. Our teacher is a middle-aged woman (by middle-aged I probably mean 'as old as I am now'), and she's more than a little irascible. We're... er, 14ish or something like that. I could calculate the exact age rather easity but I can't really be bothered. It's high school, though, and we're being, well, more than a little boisterous.

Everyone is seated in class - it's not that people are running around or anything - but there's a dozen conversations going on: loud, laughing, not conducive at to learning about integrals or whatever it was we were meant to be doing.

The teacher's been subtly trying to get our attention  for a while, calling out 'okay, folks, come on now, let's stop talking, let's get down to work, etc. etc. etc.' It's a completel failure and her blood pressure is reaching critical mass. Suddenly the rage boils over, and she absolutely shrieks, "All right, stop!"

The dead silence of the class is immediate. Her bellow completely silences us to pin-drop levels. This all happens in the single beat necessary for me to risk my educational career and possibly my health by deadpanning, into that charged silence, with perfect timing: "...collaborate and listen".

You gotta be the right age to get it. Those are the opening lyrics to "Ice Ice Baby", the biggest hit of history's most preposterous 'rapper' Vanilla Ice. It's actually not that bad a song really. It's easy, and entirely appropriate, to diss Vanilla Ice. But this song still stands.

Anyway, that's not the point. The point is how in that split second I weighed the possible consequences of making my math teacher really pissed off at me for giving her cheek.Ultimately, of course, a good musical joke is a worthy endeavour. I'd like to imagine at the end of the day, when she was at home with a brandy in her hand, she said to herself, "you know, that was a decent joke." Probably not, because she probably didn't get the reference. Anyway, I got detentions but I also got a room full of laughter.

The thing about audacity is sometimes it has to be done. There's no shame is being a smartass, really. A smartass is someone who knows that a clever joke needs to be made, damn the consequences.

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