September 21, 2013

"Hail, Hail to Old Purdue!/All hail to our old gold and black!"

"Hail, Hail to Old Purdue!/Our friendship may she never lack/Ever grateful, ever true...."

On a beautiful fall Saturday morning, here in Madison, Wisconsin, the UW marching band can be heard practicing, which includes practicing the opposing team's fight song, and Meade — who grew up in West Lafayette — provides the lyrics, about gold and black and friendship and gratefulness.

I ask Meade if it's okay for me to blog that and he says, "I think you've already done it," which makes me think I'm being accused of posting first and asking permission later, but he really means I've already blogged — in some past year — about his singing along with the UW marching band playing the Purdue song. I go looking into the archives, and find, first, a post from April 2008, which can't be right, because I didn't meet Meade until January 2009, and the post in question shows New York City, where I was living at the time. The post, called "Morning fog update," shows what was my view of Manhattan. Meade arrives in the comments:
Simon said: "How much are you going to miss this view when your year's up?"

Meade said: "Yes, and how much we will miss these morning fog... updates!"

Ann Althouse said: "Great trees in NYC right now, and I'm about to get a new lens, so look out. Also remember that dead rat on the sidewalk in NY?"
There's a gap in the conversation where a commenter expunged her own comments, but apparently she said something that referred (possibly disparagingly) to things that could be photographed in Madison. And Meade says:
Yes! A marching band playing "Hail Purdue!"

And a dead rodent.

With fantasy fog...

...Where the Wabash spreads its valley,
Filled with joy our voices raise...
I find the old dead rat post — "Things that exploded in Brooklyn Heights recently" — where there's a discussion of how to buy a light bulb in NYC and a couple of commenters who never comment here anymore are advising me about shops in town, and there's Meade:
I hate to risk spoiling a New York hardware store bonding moment for you good folks but back where I come from we have universities, seats of great learning -- where women (and a few unnecessary men) go to become great thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- and with no more brains than you have.... But! They have one thing you might not have! A Google!
I resist my future husband:
Thanks, Meade, but I actually have this other really odd halogen bulb to replace. I don't want to mail order it. I want to show it to some hardware store guy who will give me the right bulb.
Meanwhile, Meade responds to a commenter who said "Yes but do you have swarthy olive skinned counterm[e]n to flirt with attractive visiting professors. Telling her how she would light up when the proper bulb is inserted in her socket. So to speak." With the metaphor in play now, Meade writes:
"Yes but do you have..."

Even better. We have links. Lots of links. Links pointing to pages and pages of swarthy olive-skinned counter[people], if that's what you're into.

Disease-free links. Unambiguously gendered links.
("Unambiguously gendered links" refere to another commenter's wisecrack that some NY hardware store employee is "AC/DC.")
Organic free-range links. Links that would never even THINK of stalking fair-haired Professoras and trying to put their bulbs into sockets in which they don't belong. And links that, frankly, just don't have the nerve to ask, "'ey, YOU! Are you clickin' on me?"

Shy unassuming links just busy doing their jobs and quiet[l]y living their linky lives.
The other commenter says: "Yeah, but [can] you get a link drunk and walk her home and talk your way into her main frame?" And Meade says:
No, but if you give a link a nice slow neck rub, draw the link a sudsy warm bath, and serve up some browned baby-back ribs with a glass of Merlot, she just might let you take a look at what's on her laptop.

So to speak.
And here's a post from August 2009, the month we got married, noticing Meade's comments in a July 2008 thread:
Gee, I'm single now, happily single, and thought I'd just remain that way.

But considering all the benefits, I guess I'd really be a fool not to take a close look if Althouse were to, just out of niceness, propose to pity-marry me.

What could I offer in return? Let's see - I could prune those redbuds, take out the garbage, trap squirrels....

I could fetch her newspaper, scrape snow and ice off her car, shovel the front walk. Draw her bath. Pick her up at the airport. Rinse and dry her wine glasses. Form a circle-of-safety to protect her from Hillary Clinton-type madwomen who randomly come up to innocent people on urban sidewalks and punch them in the back. I make excellent salads, grill superb steaks and vegetables. Play a piano sonata. Pick up dry cleaning. Wait patiently while she shops for shoes....
Fry up some bacon... provide the vocal track when the UW marching band plays the Purdue fight song....

ADDED: Meade reads this post and admires his selection — back in April 2008 — of the Purdue song lyric "Where the Wabash spreads its valley/Filled with joy our voices raise." Subtly erotic, he observes now. Less than a year later, I would meet him in that Wabash valley....

24 comments:

Helenhightops said...

Your comments about Meade have us all (at least the wimmen) half in love with him. Which is how it should be.

Malesch Morocco said...

What a great Love Story you two have!

somefeller said...

there's a discussion of how to buy a light bulb in NYC and a couple of commenters who never comment here anymore are advising me about shops in town

In one case, that's unfortunate. In another, it's not. Do you really want an ignorant bigot who spends his free time fantasizing about Joey Heatherton and making racist jokes in your blogspace?

Phaedrus said...



BOILER UP!

Old RPM Daddy said...

Nearly thirty years later, I can still remember most of the fingering for "Hail Purdue" on the euphonium. Our director at the time was a fellow named Bill Moffitt, who died about five years ago. Band tryouts were in August, a few days before classes began. Midwesterners will agree that Indiana in August is a miserable place to be! I still remember our first football game -- we were slaughtered by the Fighting Irish. It was a very humid 95 degrees outside, and even hotter at field level. Our uniforms were wool. It was a rough day.

Tank said...

Who doesn't want to think about Joey Heatherton?

Gay.

OK, I'm a bigot.

Oso Negro said...

I would say, geez you two, get a room! But you already have.

FleetUSA said...

Always a wonderful story and the details make it even more exciting.

FleetUSA said...

p.s. The Professor was very smart to think outside the box (even if she was thinking of her box).

David said...

Earth girls are easy.

Robert said...

I'll never have sex again. Ugh.

mrs. e said...

Cute story...

As for the Purdue fight song - I know the words, too. Dad went to Purdue in the 50's and never missed an opportunity to sing along...Hail, Hail to Old Purdue - especially true vs. ND! but never vs. my alma mater, Wisconsin. Sorry, Dad.

Craig said...

I've got great grandparents buried in Logansport and great great great grandparents who moved to Wabash when traffic on the canal was at its peak, but my mother and her parents lived in the shadow of the Golden Dome. My great great grandmother grew up in Wabash and married a South Bender.

My dad was born in Juda, a few miles southeast of Madison. He can't remember what he had for dinner or if he even ate dinner, but he can still sing all the verses to his college alma mater.

Titus said...

Is it the Purdue marching band that has the "golden girl" baton girl

Inga said...

Meade and Althouse now playing music together and marching to the tune of "Love and Marriage". Sweet story.

Donald Douglas said...

This is definitely the kind of post you wont' find anywhere else. Bravo!

Witness said...

Friends don't let friends go to Purdue :P

michaele said...

I always well up a little when you share special little snippets like this.
I have my Meade (for which I feel eternally blessed) but I want one for my 42 year old daughter and your story reminds me that one never know the surprises that are ahead.

Old RPM Daddy said...

@Titus: "Is it the Purdue marching band that has the "golden girl" baton girl?"

Yep, that's the place. They also had the Girl in Black, the Silver Twins, and various ordinary twirlers as well. I always thought that was kind of overdoing it.

iowan2 said...

The Golden Girl is a Hawkeye!

http://www.uiowa.edu/~bands/HMB/Golden_Girl.html

Craig said...

http://wisconsinology.blogspot.com/2013/08/why-we-say-on-wisconsin.html

Drago said...

Boiler Up!

JoyD said...

My mind kept wandering back to the line about you "asking permission" from Meade. What? I've gotten that vibe before. The hot baths must be so worth it. Must you ask permission to post this?

Uncle Pavian said...

I got my BA by going to night classes while I was in the Navy. The credits transferred to Excelsior College (www.excelsior.edu), which doesn't have an official fight song.