I was at my friend’s apartment last weekend when he and two other grown ass men told me to come gather around the computer with them and watch a music video they love. It was a (seemingly) homemade one for Carly Rae Jepsen’s song “Call Me Maybe,” laden with tween superstars like The Bieber and that girl from High School Musical who isn’t Vanessa Hudgens.
I fell in love immediately, like how I fell in love with “I’ll Be There For You” by the Rembrandts (the Friends theme song) when I was a little kid who made my Mom play the cassingle every morning on the way to swimming lessons for the entire summer. I don’t think I’ve loved a pop song so vehemently since LFO’s “Summer Girls” came out when I was in sixth grade. It was the pre-YouTube era, and so I would watch TRL every day to see the snippet of the video they would show.
Since then, I’ve listened to “Call Me Maybe” more than 30 times. (As I read this over, I am listening to it again. On repeat.) I ran it back no less than four consecutive plays on my drive back to Ocean City from Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon while I punched the air in my car like there was a poltergeist riding shotgun who kept trying to change the song to “Soul Sister.” Today, I went for a run after work and I listened to it a few times. During these times, my laboring and awkward gait turned into a laboring and awkward frolic.
I love “Call Me Maybe” more than I have loved a pop song in a very long time, even though it is a completely ridiculous piece of work. When I hear it, I start grinning like an idiot. I listen to it on my way to work in the morning. It improves my morale at least a little bit.
Why do I love it so much? Because it has tapped my capacity to adore a song for one specific reason that doesn’t have to do with the lyrics (“Let’s Not Shit Ourselves,” by Bright Eyes) or the aptness of the musicians playing their instruments (anything Explosions in the Sky has recorded, ever). That reason is catchiness. This song is infectious, and it makes me happy. My initial thoughts were that it was like Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” except much, much better.
I’m not the only one who feels this way. I told my friend Spencer, who has a knack for picking out catchy and ridiculous pop songs, that I loved it, and he said “The song is magical; resistance is futile.” My blogging comrade Kim said the song is like what Rebecca Black tried to do, except it was totally done right. I introduced my friend Allison to it, and she hasn’t stopped listening. She said she was jamming out to it in her car and when she looked over at a stoplight a kid was recording a video on his cell phone of her combating the same poltergeist I had encountered.
I also talked about the song with my friend Coco. I sent her the homemade video I’d seen, and she told me the video was fucking hilarious. “I know, right?” I said, and she was like “I mean the official video.”
And I was like, “Oh fuck, there’s an official video?” And she was like, “Yeah, it’s ridiculous.”
Guess I should watch this video 18 times and then write a narrative that includes every single observation I’ve made about it.
But before I get into it, a few things: 1) Carly Rae Jepsen is 26, almost exactly two years older than myself, which indicates to me she is not completely serious about the song she made (I mean, she couldn’t be, right?). This somehow makes the song more enjoyable for me. 2) I think
when if I ever get into softcore pornography script writing, I will go by the name Ray Jepsen. And 3) I can’t wait to say three words to a girl and then when I go to leave be like, “I know I just met you and this is crazy. But here’s my number. Call me maybe?” (I will ask this woman to marry me immediately if she responds, “Hi, Maybe, I’m [Sloane Crosley, etc.].”
:04—This guy is attempting the rip chord start on the mower. The video indicates he pulled this off on the first try, meaning he is much more of a man than I have ever been or probably will ever be. The only similarity I see thus far between Lawn Boy and myself is that we both have white v-neck T-shirts in our sartorial arsenal that we designate as our lawncare clothing.
:06—Carly is very good-looking. I would not throw her out of bed for eating baked goods or for producing such sophomoric lyrics.
:13—I wouldn’t throw her out of bed for reading trashy romance novels, either.
:19—I realize when lawn dude removes his shirt (which had to happen at some point) that our similarities will most likely stay with that v-neck thing, because he is a physical specimen if ever I’ve seen one. My Dad’s oft-uttered comment that I should use the push mower more often because it will help me get into the tight spaces has taken on an ENTIRELY new meaning now. (Think about it.)
:28—What’s this guy’s boss tattoo across his clavicle region say? I bet it’s awesome.
:30—It says “The Sky Is The Limit” and now I realize my dismissal of clichéd phrases embossed on someone’s body permanently is at least one of the reasons I don’t get laid on command. (For the longest time I thought it was a lack of superfluous finances, but this guy is mowing fucking grass and getting ogled, so.)
:34—Can we all agree on how awesome it would be if this faceless guy playing the keyboard revealed himself at some point during this video to be THE Taylor Hanson?
:36—It seems Jepsen and the random dudes who are playing music for her have decided to have an impromptu concert in a suburban garage. I wonder what Siri would have to say about this.
:50—Similarity No. 2 with Lawn Guy: I am also great at chugging water from bottles while shirtless. One time, I skulled 20 ounces of water from a beer bong, which was previously thought to be impossible, in case men doing the impossible is something you ladies are interested in.
1:10—Carly’s band mates force her outside to wash a vintage car that I assume belongs to either her Dad or Nash Bridges. If her Dad is Nash Bridges, that’d be a cool sitcom. They do this in hopes Lawn Boy, who lives a couple doors down, will notice her while he works under the hood of his car.
1:14—Lawn Boy looks very perplexed as he troubleshoots what might be wrong with his car, which is also vintage. So similarity No. 3: We don’t know shit about cars. I’m starting to think we are the same person. All I have to do is restock my dresser with wife beaters, and we’re golden.
1:25—Carly is trying desperately to capture Lawn Boy’s attention by flailing around and making a bunch of movements not at all conducive to car washing. Her attempts are to no avail, however. Lawn Boy is working diligently with his ear buds in, probably listening to this hot new single titled “Call Me Maybe” that makes you completely neglect the world around you.
1:44—Gratuitous clip of the guitarist moonwalking, apropos of absolutely nothing, which leads me to believe he directed and/or filmed this video.
1:56—Bad news, y’all. Keyboardist is not a Hanson brother.
2:11—Jepsen finally captures attentions whilst lying awkwardly on top of a lathered-up automobile hood, which she falls off of almost immediately after Lawn Boy glances her way. (We’ve all been there, amirite?! Music videos that establish empathy are my favorite.)
2:17—Carly is completely knocked out by the fall.
2:21—Whoa, what? Now Jepsen is dreaming, and she and Lawn Boy are the cover of one of those trashy romance novels she reads. I take back what I said about the guitarist directing this video, because with a twist like this it can only be the work of M. Knight Shyamalan. Swing away, Carly Rae. The novel is written by a C. R. Jepsen, which I hope is Shyamalan’s way of paying subtle homage to K. A. Applegate, notable scribe of the epic Animorphs series, the saga I blame for taking up all my elementary school time that could’ve been spent polishing my pipes so I could be a world-altering pop star.
2:32—Lawn Boy comes to make sure Carly is OK, and to help her up. Once she has regained equilibrium, she gives him the international “Hold-on-one-moment-while-I-change-into-something-sexy-and-do-something-that-will-make-you-want-to-ravage-me” sign.
2:47—Jepsen and her band begin performing, once again, “Call Me Maybe.” This is either very strange or very awesome for Lawn Boy, who in my imagination was already listening to the song on his iPod while working on his ride.
3:00—Lawn Boy seems to have liked the performance, because he is clapping emphatically as he leans all cool and stuff on the vintage automobile that Carly approaches with a scrap of paper and a red pen.
3:02—OH MY GOD! Lawn Boy swim-moves Jepsen and goes straight for the (male) guitar player. He shakes his hand and hands him a slip of paper that has his number, a message to call him, and an XOXO! Twist No. 2! (It should now be noted that I no longer feel like Lawn Boy and myself are “almost the same person.”)
3:11—An unsuspecting Jepson looks on with a perplexed facial expression, as if she has just seen the end of Sixth Sense and doesn’t comprehend that Bruce Willis’ character was, indeed, deceased.
CONCLUSION: Shyamalan has finally gone low-budget, and this song is still awesome.