I had that moment.
You know, that moment when you realise exactly how old you are.
I’m not deluding myself and thinking that I’m still some young spring chicken who can party until 4am, sleep for three hours and still get up for work at 8am (um, not that I ever did that, any former employers who may be reading this), but I don’t think of 31 as old. Older, yes. But not old.
Then I attended an Alumni Band practice on Thursday night.
There were slim pickings in the Alto Sax section: me, Mike and a quiet girl who answered every question I threw at her but didn’t say much in general. (My apologies; out of all the questions I asked her, I forgot to ask her name.)
She had graduated just the previous June. I did a quick mental calculation in my head: grad’ed when she was 18 in 2011... she was born in 1993. I started high school that year.
This was my grade eight school bus.
We continue to make small talk as we sight-read the first Alto Sax music. Mike and I tell her our grad years (1996 and 1998 respectively) to which she just says ‘wow’. As the night wears on (and I wear her down) she opens up a bit more and comments on a few of the pieces we’re playing.
Eventually we come to a medley that most of us have been itching to play because it’s a piece of music Mr. Wilson got years ago for a fun audience interactive piece. It contains a couple of dance songs from the late 80’s and early 90’s as well as Y.M.C.A. As Mike said, it was like being at a high school dance all over again.
Yes, I'm talking about this Y.M.C.A. song.
As we wait to begin the piece, the girl leans over and points to a section of the piece that has words we’re supposed to say.
“What song is that?”
I read the words exactly as they show on the page.
“Whoomp! There it is.”
Her face is completely blank as she looks at me.
“Whoomp! There it is,” I repeat, this time saying it as it’s said in the chorus of the song.
She blinks. I feel like the Danny Butterman character in Hot Fuzz: “You’ve never seen Bad Boys II?”
“Don’t you know ‘Whoomp! There it is’?”
She shakes her head.
“You don’t know ‘Whoomp! There it is’?” I am in complete disbelief that someone younger than me doesn’t know this song and before I know what I’m doing, I’m rapping the whole first verse to this girl who was born the year the song came out.
I get to the repetitive chorus and look at her, hoping for some sign of recognition. All I get is a giggle.
“I’ve never heard it but your rapping is good...” her voice trails off and she giggles again.
And that, my friends, is what getting old feels like.
I guess I'll just have to take it back to old school cuz I'm an old fool who's so cool.
*That's a Doctor Who reference in the title. You know, just so we all know exactly how cool I am.