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I do know "The Guitar Man." As a child of the 70's Bread was a staple. I can hook you up with a whole playlist of soft-rock gold from the 70's. Flying Burrito Brothers, Pure Prairie League, Firefall... I've never learned the song but I always sing along when it's served up.

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It's been in my head for days. That means I've already defaulted to making up silly lyrics to it, but only because it's so darn catchy. Yes, always hook me up with playlists. Like book (and substack) recommendations, it's how I choose 90% of what I consume. I like endorsements from trusted sources.🙂

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Ah yes. Guitar Man! 😌🎶

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Riiiggght?? 🫠 Melty mellow me. 🎶

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Aren’t people just gloriously weird? The song was kind of lame for my tastes, but man, they defined “soft rock” in the early 1970s, right when I was first tuning into music in a big way.

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It's so damn MELLOW, I feel like I should just spark up and call it a night. 😂

I knew you'd appreciate the glorious weirdness of cereal aisle guy. He was alright.

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It reminds me of this couple who came walking up to our stand at the Farmer's Market the other night. Hippies, both carrying parasols for fuck's sake, and she's wearing a shirt that says "Fuck the Patriarchy." So they get their pastries, which I hand to her, and he steps up and pays! I loved it. I bet they sparked up and called it a night. You just be sure to put your kids to bed first, or maybe drop them off at Mom's.

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Oh, my stars and parasols.

Pretty sure my mom has sparked up way more than me. She's around here somewhere, I'll ask.

Do you know where I can get one of those shirts, btw? Do they sell them at the Farmer's Market?

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I don’t know! It was a classic.

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I remember it from the my youth. Haven't heard it for many years. Thanks Meg.

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Happy to bring it back for you, Jim!

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Aug 22, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

Can we have a contest? For the best title of an anthology of your stock fiction to date?

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Sure thing, "stranger." Might be a while before I'm asking for title input. But an anthology will be in the works this year.

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Do you think this was the first time the guy heard the song? The first time he'd heard it in a while? A song he evangelizes for on the regular? Or something else altogether?

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Yes. 😂

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I'm still stuck on the "jamming out" business. I can jam out to most music, but this song falls into that weird category of "CAN I dance to this? and if so, HOW? do I need a partner to lean heavily on? or just a glass of alcohol to slosh back and forth?

The guy didn't seem much older than me, so it's possible he was a Guitar Man virgin, and he just really wanted everyone to know he went all the way with Bread in his car. 😂

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I was familiar with the song, and we're the same age, so I bet he knew it well. My sense is he hadn't heard it in a long time and was stoked and wanted to share.

By the way, I didn't get notified about this comment because you replied to yourself.

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I want to do that every time I hear "Now That We Found Love" by Heavy D and the Boyz.

"Move it like a mover she wanted to groove so I grooved her.

Then she wanted to learn so we played school, and I schooled her."

Top 5 desert island jams.

I don't know why I thought anything that landed under the original comment would be notifiable. Or am I just certifiable? Maybe that's only in Chat. Ahh, Substack. Forcing me to learn and unlearn how to do things each and every day. 🌞 Cheers!

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Meg, I just have to share this: go check out Guitar Man by Jerry Reed. 😊

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Now THAT'S a Guitar Man I can JAM OUT to.

NIIICCCEE!

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Yeah, much better

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Aug 23, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

👏

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I’ll have to check out this song in a bit. Thanks for sharing this!

Your run-in with this man reminds me of a random guy at the horse races the other day...my wife and I were hanging out with our kids, taking it all in - eating snacks - when this man approaches us with a bag of pretzels. Hand shoved in. “Want some pretzels?” he asks. “No thanks,” we say. “No, for the kids. You know, to snack on.” “We’re okay, thank you though,” we reply. He turns away, disgusted, and walks back to his buddies. He’s visibly upset/venting to them. One or two of them shoot us dirty looks. We kind of just forget about the whole encounter until the car ride home when I turn to my wife and say, “We need to talk about that pretzel guy.” 🤣

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Oh, man, pretzel guy. Michael Estrin wrote a funny story about a random woman very adamantly offering him a bite of her cake in a coffee shop. I'll see if I can find the link for you. The sharing food with strangers thing is particularly odd, given our germophobic times. Also, don't we teach our kids NOT to take candy/pretzels from strangers? What kind of example would you have been setting if you'd said, "Go ahead kids, dig in. Enjoy whatever that man has living under his fingernails!" Gross.

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Exactly! Lesson one, kids: do NOT accept food offerings from total strangers! 😅

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By the law of averages the next one you talk to will be a serial killer for sure. JUST KIDDING!

I love hearing about these interactions, but be careful because you may just end up becoming a full-time essayist and striking it rich with your Seinfeld-esque observational humor. I could read these all day long. While I would never walk up to a complete stranger and recommend a song, I do have a tendency to strike up conversations with strangers at an above average rate. I tend to ask lots of questions and get them talking like the weirdo I am.

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I'm more of a Jim Gaffigan fan, TBH. :-)

Oh, I'll say stuff to strangers, but it's usually just a one-off quip. Like the other day I was on my favorite walking trail and there was a young kid, maybe 2 years old, who was saying hi to everyone. He said hi to the woman in front of me and then she made a comment about how the kid was wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt and SHE was wearing a Minnie Mouse shirt and how cool that was, and then I passed on the right and said, "Oh, man. I forgot to wear mine. I didn't get the Mickey memo this morning." And everyone laughed and I was amazing. The End. 🤣

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This comment is so me. We're fans of Jim Gaffigan as well. Another you might like is Nate Bargatze. He recently had a special on Prime I think and it was great.

"Everyone laughed and I was amazing." 🤣🤣🤣 I can totally relate.

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There’s an old saying that i picked up from some old Christians that ‘your joy is not complete until you share it.’ Something like that, anyhow. Thanks for sharing.

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Good saying.

It's funny that as writers we can be shy about sharing our joy, though. Lots of artists can be. We should be more like cereal aisle guy.

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I didn't think I'd heard this tune until those first lofty slides, then some memory from my childhood flooded in. Sitting in my grans house playing with toys on the floor and this was on TV. Thanks for sharing this!

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Awesome.

Songs make the best nostalgia fuel.

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“approach me, please. I am open to whatever agenda you’re concealing under your metaphorical trench coat.” AND " ...jealous...I wasn’t some elite target for his music evangelism.." Great writing, here, Meg. Thanks for the nostalgic song. When I heard it I remembered where I was, with whom and doing what.... urp.

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Thanks Sharron. Happy to conjure up that *hiccup* memory for you.

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Yeah, Bread and the jam shouldn’t be used in the same sentence unless you are making a PB&J.

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True. But it's possible this guy just jammed to the bread of his own butter.

Now I'm hungry for PB&J.

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I envy him a little for his seeming enjoyment of life and lack of caring what others think. And now I want a PB&J also.

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Aug 24, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

Music, a magic stew in which words and notes each become the other. This, I think, was the first song within which I discovered my own harmonies, becoming another someone else for a heart-stopping moment.

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This is awesome. 🤩

Thank you for sharing. 🥂🎶

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Aug 24, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

You’re welcome. And thank you for your lovely writing, and for sharing that story. Now I need to get my guitar spruced up!

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well said! Those are the encounters that linger with us for ages. I would even say that these off-hand encounters can even lead to small steps taken in entirely different direction, perhaps even leading to a whole new trajectory to our lives

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Serendipity! I rely on it heavily. 🙂

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Aug 24, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

The Universe moves in a mysterious manner.

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I know..I just read a (non technical mind you) physics book which stated the claim that the universe has appeared to "consciously" evolve in a manner which best supports the emergence of life....so it is moving in a mysterious manner, some would say suspiciously like consciousness

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Aug 25, 2023Liked by Meg Oolders

Ooh, I have heard of this. Could you tell me the name of this book, please? I have suspected this might or must be the case, and then heard that some astrophysical research supports it. Thank you!!

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I just finished On the Origin of Time by Thomas Hertog and he does a good job of describing and trying to make some sense of the various theories, especially the development of a "life-affirming" universe. Also Carlo Rovelli´s "Reality is not what it seems" which I picked up after his 7 brief lessons on Physics. I am a lay-person but both write in an engaging and clear manner. I read them both in the summer but think about them all the time....I just wished I paid more attention in math class now :)

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Thank you so much for these! And have a great day, wherever you are in the world!!

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For sure! Please let me know how you get on with them and also if you have any recommendations to pass my way...I am always looking for new ideas to consume :)

nb. I looked at your recommendation list btw - there is lots of great writing there which I am going to check out - anything special you particularly recommend?

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