Thursday, October 23, 2008

Someone to hear your prayers

Just when we thought it couldn't get any weirder, today the seminary boys (I need to think of a catchier name for them) had a "rap battle" (their highly inaccurate words) after class. Picture this (if your life doesn't sometimes seem like a Fellini film, this visualization may be difficult): one boy got to give two others a scenario and a "number of rhymes" they had to reach before passing the baton to the other, and they would battle back and forth like that until the first boy called the competition. One of the contestants provided a "beat" courtesy of his cell phone, which turned out to be so slow you could have sambaed to it.

And then they were off...sort of. It's important to note that all of the boys involved here are white. And none of them grew up on the South Side of any major metropolitan area. Just so we're clear. The first bout started with the two competitors getting in the groove, I suppose you'd call it, which resulted in both of them bobbing to the beat. They looked like the start of a choreographed dance number out of an after-school special. About as tough as you might imagine. At this point, before the real competition had begun, I was already laughing hysterically, and the husband was looking very chagrined. Did I mention that one poor boy was intensely rhythmically challenged? And his struggle to make "good rhymes" exacerbated his lack of rhythm? Yeah.

What resulted was the slowest, most surreal "battle" I've ever witnessed. Baby J just sat and stared, completely flummoxed by this turn of events, while I kept laughing as the scenarios got more random and the consequent "raps" (HUGE, flaming scare quotes) made less and less sense. Our opening bout's situation was the janitor attacking the boys. A later scenario involved trick-or-treating (a seasonal touch) and being attacked by a gang. (One competitor did ask why they were always having to be attacked, a valid question, I thought.) Touchingly, though somewhat unbelievably, neither boy involved was at all self-conscious, a real feat given their total and complete lack of extemporaneous abilities. There were three rounds, each more involved than the last (more attacking, more requisite rhymes), and then a victor was declared (our friend with rhythm issues lost, sadly, but only because he was disqualified for using one of his competitor's rhymes). Another challenger would have stepped in, but his father arrived, leaving him to yell his own carefully prepared rap as he ran out the door.

Apparently, there's a rematch planned for Tuesday. I can't wait.

Yo. I'm out.

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