Dear Dean Friedman,

Re: Lucky Stars


Are you crazy, Sir? How in the hell can you say what you just said on Radio 2?

My friend Tony Beasley, ever keen to save on the pennies and fancying himself as a bit of an authority on everything (although he ''should know better''), eagerly leapt at the opportunity to run his car on chip fat after seeing a documentary about it on some alternative science channel or other.

Sadly the whole enterprise was not ''maybe a little'', but, in fact, a catastrophic disaster, almost akin to the vehicle stumbling off a cliff.

You see, Mr Friedman, being adaptable to diesel engines only, the ''french fry'' by-product not only left his Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in complete disarray, but the inept economiser himself, after ''acting like a fool'', entirely justified in having to look so glum.

Had the ''expert in his own mind'' remained within the confines of his questionable intellect, Sir, he would not at this moment be doing most of his weekly shop on his grandson’s Raleigh Racer with Bags For Life hanging off each handle bar whilst awaiting a cripping bill from his mechanic and I hardly think this hapless and overblown self-aggrandising folly to be worthy of jammy* luminous sphere plasma gratitude.

I am therefore just being nice and so sincere in politely observing that to count one’s lucky stars that one is not as bright as one likes to think one is is, in actuality, completely misleading (not even maybe).

I know this is hard to do, and even though there’s not much to say, would you like to talk about it?

Yours

 

 

Derek (and Dave) Philpott

(* British, Informal)

 

Dear Derek (and Dave),

 

           There’s no other way to say it - you are correct!

 

I stand before you (well, sitting, actually, as I type) red-faced and mortified at having, finally, been found out. But, curiously, at the same time, I am filled with ecstatic relief and joy at having to no longer hide my terrible, soul-crushing secret.  

 

Who could have guessed, even after millions of singles sold, ubiquitous non-stop airplay and untold numbers of digital streams and downloads of that chart-topping classic, that not a single person – save your good selves – bothered to question the veracity of the lyric to ‘Lucky Stars’?

 

But you, sir, have somehow managed to see through my carefully woven web of deceit. So, I stand before you (still sitting) chastened and humbled.

 

I confess. I am guilty! And can no longer bear the weight of that gnawing guilt.

 

Putting aside for the moment the philosophical question of being self-aware and conscious of one’s own intellectual limitations, the key issue at hand, really. is this:

 

Lisa and I… did we just have lunch that afternoon?

That’s the crux of the matter.

The song claims an innocent meal with an ex-lover. A careful examination of credit card receipts tells an entirely different story.

 

I won’t indulge in self-flagellation by revealing the tawdry details of that steamy assignation, but suffice to say that the true story of what transpired that afternoon would never have survived the ‘public standards’ censors on Radio 2 or Capitol. Even the pirate ship, Radio Caroline, would have been hard-pressed to playlist that version of the song.

 

But that’s just the beginning; with that single revelation, the whole premise of the song quickly falls apart. As for the oft-quoted refrain of the song: “You can thank your lucky stars that we’re not as smart as we’d like to think we are.”?

 

What does that even mean? I have absolutely no idea, it’s nonsensical – and I wrote the song! (I have copyrights to prove it) It’s circular pseudo-psychological jargon which on closer examination reveals an unreliable narrator trying to get by with a questionable lyric that could easily have been replaced with, ‘It may seem like I know what I’m talking about but, really, I haven’t an effing clue!’.

 

But it does rhyme!

 

Thank you, sir, for forcing me to own up to my past transgressions, both lyrical and otherwise. It’s been a long time coming.

 

Yet, despite my considerable missteps, I still consider myself a lucky guy! And so, tonight, as the sun sets slowly on the western horizon and faint points of light start to flicker in the darkening sky above, I’ll be mouthing those familiar words, ‘star-light, star-bright, first star I seetonight…’ Oh, wait that’s a Madonna song.

 

Drats!

 

Sincerely,

 

Dean Friedman


 

 


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