Weird Al Yankovic is an interesting character… and he’s somebody I was obsessed with as a teen. I *ahem* shared some albums that some friends may have gotten off of Napster back in the early 2000s, and many of the songs I rocked out to weren’t actual pop songs from the day, but a parody of pop songs, recorded by none other than Weird Al. Honestly, I listened to him so much that half his songs didn’t even seem funny to me, since I didn’t even know what they were a parody of. I’ll bet my experience with Weird Al was the opposite of most people: I’d hear a song a few week later on the radio and go “Whoah, wait… that’s the song that Weird Al was parodying? I wondered!”
We didn’t have Internet radio back then, and I wasn’t really into listening to contemporary pop music, so there was no way (for example) for me to know that “Gump” was actually a spoof on a song called “Lump” by the Presidents of the United States of America. I had just assumed that it was an original tune of Yankovic’s.
Fast forward a few years (well, a decade or more) and here I am, a married man, with kids, who has long since moved past the silly music I listened to as a kid. But my wife was driving around and running errands, and heard a radio announcer say “We’re offering two free tickets for the upcoming Weird Al Yankovic show at the Pikes Peak Center. All you have to do is send us your funniest parody of a song and if yours is the best, we’ll select you!”
She came home and, after stewing on it for an hour or so, decided she had an idea for a song. So she sat down and wrote out a spoof of Bonnie Tyler’s song “I need a Hero.” Here are the lyrics she submitted:
” Where has all the lunchmeat gone?
And where are all the spreads?
Where’s the pre-sliced provolone and my double fiber bread?
Isn’t there a clean knife or something left to eat?
Late at night I search the fridge but I can’t find what I need!
I need a gyro!
I’m heading out to the Greek cafe for gyros tonight
They gotta be fresh
And they better be big
Or else I’m not sharing a bite
I need a gyro!
I’m craving only that tzatsiki magic tonight
They gotta be cheap and they better be fast
And my order had better be right ….”
She asked me to take a look, which I did, and I said: “Wow, that’s actually pretty funny. Submit it and see what happens.” Lo and behold, about an hour later, the radio station called her to announce that she had won the contest and they would mail us two tickets to see Weird Al live in concert. It was so… weird (sorry), since it was such a last minute thought, and she submitted it on a whim, and now here we were, trying to find a babysitter so I could go get to see Weird Al. Keep in mind, this is a guy whose last album I heard (Running with Scissors) had come out in 1999.