Thursday, May 16, 2013

No. 385 – Incense and Peppermints

Performer: Strawberry Alarm Clock
Songwriters: John S. Carter, Tim Gilbert, Mark Weitz, Ed King
Original Release: Incense and Peppermints
Year: 1967
Definitive Version: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Original Soundtrack, 1997. The introduction on this version adds to the awesomeness of this awesome track.

When I told Scott about me and Debbie for the first time in August 1994, Scott made it plain that he didn’t like it, as I mentioned. I was OK with that response, just as I had been when Dad said the same thing a month later.

The big difference was Scott was willing to give me a chance essentially to prove myself. Trust me, I told him. I didn’t go into this lightly. We seem to be good together, so why not give it a shot? Just wait till you see us together. Then you’ll see.

About a month or so later, I called Scott and said Debbie and I were coming to Indiana. I think it was for an Eric Clapton show, as I mentioned awhile back, but I’m not sure now. It might have been just to see Scott.

Scott graduated from Ball State the previous summer but still lived in Muncie while Shani, who was a class behind him, finished up her studies and while he waited for his next move. When Debbie and I drove over, I didn’t feel any pressure of having to prove myself. It would be fine.

And it was. We started with a run to QL’s for some ribs and hits and then back to Scott’s to eat and hang out a bit. After that, we went out for some drinks.

The usual Ball State hang was to head down to the campus and most specifically The Chug (good college-bar name, right?) for ultracheap buckets of beer. That didn’t seem to be the right call that night, so we went to another of Scott’s favorite bars—Butterfields. It wasn’t a campus bar; it was a restaurant, so it was a bit higher class.

As per usual, Scott and I went to the jukebox to load up while Debbie and Shani grabbed a table and settled in. The selection at Butterfields wasn’t nearly as good as that of, say, BW-3 at Ohio State, but I spotted this song.

Awhile before our trip, this song was playing somewhere, and Debbie made fun of it, so I thought it would be funny to play it that night. When I got back to the table, I told Debbie I played something for her. When this song came on, she gave me a playful smack.

It was a good night, and when we postgamed a week or so later, Scott admitted that I had been right about me and Debbie. He had no problems whatsoever with it any more. If Dad and Laura had given me half the benefit of the doubt, who knows how that might have affected things?

Anyway, this song took on a little different meaning the first time I saw Austin Powers, of course. In fact, I thought the funniest part of the whole movie the first time I saw it by far was the scene that featured this song, when Mike Myers did his dead-on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls tribute.

The line, which, of course, is the intro on the soundtrack version, seems like a nonsequitur unless you’ve seen the older movie. I had, thanks to late-night video-rental watching in Flint, so it was hilarious. It’s still one of my favorite parts of the movie.

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