Once a song is deemed a classic it's as if it's untouchable. No one dare suggest that something could be done to improve it. But I'm sure you've sat in the car listening to said classic and thought to yourself, "I could do better than that. And if I had the money, power, talent and sheer luck to not be this middling mediocrity that I've made of my life, I would do something to change the system, to alter the world with one grand gesture, one astute line. Hey, I think I found a dime!"
We all do this. We all sit embittered waiting for the phone that does not ring, the knock of opportunity that never visits our door, the "free vacation" that doesn't involve buying land in some undesirable part of the U.S.
Self-improvement takes too much time. However, correcting the errors of others and making them better is something we should all do from time to time, if only to make ourselves feel superior.
I have taken the liberty of making the following "classic" songs better.
"My traveling companion is nine years old. He is a child of my first marriage, that would be Dolores. You might not remember her. We were young and naïve and thought we could work through a lot of issues that it turns out only grew deeper and more disturbing as the years went on. It wasn't just money and sex, though those were definitely issues. Anyhow, I'm taking the little bastard to Graceland, Memphis Tennessee, we're going to Graceland, yeah,"
"I paved paradise and put up my parking lot. It doesn't require much maintenance and it's a proven money maker, much more than any manual labor job that's for sure. I even got a sign that says I'm not responsible for any items stolen from your car or any damages you incur while innocently parked in my lot. It's like I'm all about the cash and not at all about any responsibilities whatsoever. This is the life. You gotta see my house. It's huge. The home theater system is awesome. Don't it always seem to go that the people who don't have anything do nothing but complain about the people that have stuff, when all they have to do is pave paradise and put up their own parking lot."
"I'll take sexually provocative crime fighters from the '70s for five hundred Alex. The clue: John Shaft. The answer: Who's the black private dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks? Well played, maestro, well played."
"I had a friend who was a big baseball player back in high school. He could throw that FAST ball by you and make you look like a fool, boy. But really it was his change-up that set up the fastball. It wasn't that he threw so fast, but that the differing speeds and his excellent sense of location would often confuse the hitter and throw their timing off. Anyhow, I saw him at this roadside bar and he looked like crap. Man, did I feel better about myself. I mean, I know I've let a few things go but that guy was pathetic."
"Please papa don't preach. I'm in deep trouble. I'm pregnant. The guy's a complete deadbeat. He was hot and everything but he's not the good provider type and my own reputation for being easy probably isn't going to help me around here. I should probably relocate. By the way, I'm keeping the baby and there's nothing you can say or do to change my mind because, well, no offense, but look at yourself. You're not exactly a rousing success either. So just shut up and hope your company doesn't go belly-up and screw you out of that pension you dream of. If Amy calls, tell her I'll be out back drinking behind Dairyland. Thanks."