People – and by ‘people’, I mean me – are always saying that there just isn’t enough good news in the world. It’s all bad news. You can’t turn a page in the newspaper without reading about someone dying, or a bomb going off. And if you read specialty magazines like The Economist, all they talk about is wars, health epidemics and the Euro crisis.
“What’s going on with the Euro?” Saffy asked the other morning at breakfast. She looked up from her copy of the Financial Times and glanced around the table.
Amanda put down her copy of Vogue. “First of all, since when did you start reading the Financial Times? And secondly…and secondly…” Amanda hesitated and looked uncharacteristically confused. “Actually, I don’t have a second point.”
“Well, I was at that dinner party that Bradley, my boyfriend’s boss, threw? I love saying I have a boyfriend. It’s such a change from always talking about Sharyn! You know, I swear at one stage, people thought we were lesb…”
“Saffy, stay on point,” Amanda snapped.
“Oh yeah, so at the dinner party, this old guy kept looking at my boobs and I was getting bored so I had to distract him so I asked him what he did for a living and he said he was an economist with some think-tank what the hell is a think tank anyway and he was currently writing a research paper on the state of the Euro and at first I thought he was talking about Euro Disney because he kept babbling about volatility and I thought he said velocity so I figured he must have been talking about the rollercoaster rides…”
Amanda later said that hell must be being stuck next to Saffy at a dinner party.
“But we live with her, Amanda,” I pointed out.
“Yes, but we can just walk away, go to our rooms and shut the door!”
“The other day,” I said, gloomily, “she followed me into the bathroom while telling me about the pimple that’s currently ripening on her left butt. She even offered to show me.”
Amanda patted my hand in sympathy.
As it was, Saffy never finished the story about her dinner party because just at the point where Amanda and I were ready to shoot ourselves, a new song came on the radio and Saffy stopped mid-sentence and whooped.
“Oh my God! Carly Rae Jepsen! ‘Call Me Maybe’! I love this song!” She clapped her hands happily.
The beat was infectious, and the melodic hook was a killer even before the synthesisers boomed into the chorus.
“Hey, I just met you and this is crazy!” Saffy sang lustily. “But here’s my number, so call me maybe?”
At times, Saffy sang notes that weren’t in the song and at others, she was singing at a pitch that only dogs could hear, but by the end when the DJ with the fake American accent came back on, Amanda and I were hooked.
Saffy reached for the iPad and called up the song on YouTube.
“Oh. My. God,” Amanda whispered. “Look at the body on this guy!”
“Amanda, please. You’re drooling. He’s young enough to be your son!” Saffy said before taking a deep breath. “His name is Holden Nowell. He’s an Abercrombie + Fitch model. I love him. When I make out with Bradley, I’m imagining his head on Bradley’s body! Is that wrong? I don’t think it’s wrong. But don’t tell him, ok? Bradley, I mean. Not Holden. Oh my God, can you imagine?”
Amanda downloaded the song on iTunes and it’s been more or less playing on a re-loop for days now. By the end of the first day, we’d memorised all the lyrics. By the second, we’d break out into a spontaneous dance in the kitchen as we did the washing up, bums wiggling in sync to the catchy beat and singing at the top of our voices.
Our neighbour Lydia Kumarasamy came knocking to complain about the noise, but Saffy dragged her in and showed her the video clip. Four replays later, Lydia finally remembered she’d left her chicken masala on the stove and jiggled off, her bangles chiming as she hummed, “Hot night, vind vas blowin’, ware you tink you’re goin’?”
“Why don’t they write more songs like this?” Saffy sighed later that night. “Instead of all that angst, mid-life crisis and regret. Hello, Adele!”
“It’s why I never liked Bruce Springsteen,” I said.
“Don’t you wish you were that young again?” Amanda. “So free, so optimistic, so happy…”
“Let’s play it again,” Saffy said, reaching for the stereo remote.
Good songs do that to you.