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Pina Coladas and Technology: The Perfect Mix

It happens to all of us when we get to a certain age. Maybe you make a movie reference to something you saw when you were younger – and your audience wasn’t even born when the movie came out. Or you realize that your iTunes collection contains nothing except the CDs you got in the 90s when you were trying to join Columbia House as many times as you could (to get the 12 free CDs, of course) without getting caught. And it happens at wedü, too. The other day, a couple of us were having a conversation on instant messenger which turned into a dissection of Rupert Holmes’ “Escape”, known to many of the younger set as “The Pina Colada Song”. But when we started thinking about the song, we realized it was about as outdated as sitting down and watching “You’ve Got Mail”. Pina Colada So, old Rupert starts by describing his relationship with his lady: “I was tired of my lady, we’d been together too long/Like a worn-out recording of a favorite song.” For kids who don’t know what a tape or an LP are, and just know digital files which really don’t wear out, this description isn’t going to make sense. (In fact, it makes no sense to my kids when I say “You’re spinning like a record!” or “Eat your corn like a typewriter!” but I digress. The generation gap happened quickly.) The next stanza of the song is Rupert lamenting the slowdown in his love life. “So while she lay there sleeping, I read the paper in bed. / And in the personal column, there was this letter I read.” For the purposes of this post, I took a look at the personal column. I was just curious to see who might actually use such a thing these days. Turns out, the demographic of the personal column is now much older than it used to be. In a lot of ways, it’s the print equivalent of heading to the Backroom for dinner at about 4pm. People don’t really use the paper for that kind of stuff anymore, but more on that later. Our hero reads his lady’s personal ad, which, to her credit, is written in verse. You have to think, now, she’d have her interests on her Facebook page: Pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, NOT yoga, people who have half a brain, and conducting relations in the dunes of the Cape. In the song, he reads the ad and is taken by it and writes one back (in verse, of course). In 2011, he’d look at her interests and maybe think “Wow, she and I really do have a lot in common.” Of course, he wouldn’t be looking at a paper in bed to find that – maybe an iPad, a Chromebook, or the always-uncomfortable-in-bed laptop. The song would be over, and it would be kind of boring. “I checked out her Facebook interests, and what do you know, I don’t even have to compose a cute little rhyme in response.” We’re going to assume that they have their exchange of rhymes in the paper. Why not? In his rhyme back, he talks about not being into health food, but being into champagne. If our happy couple was using a social tool like GetGlue at this point, they would have both already identified themselves with “not health food” and “champagne”. They would have determined their compatibility, and again, the story ends here. But no. He sets up a stealth meeting at a bar called O’Malley’s, where they’re going to plan their escape. Not the nicest thing to do to someone, but, after all, it was the 70s. Over thirty years later, you have to imagine he would have checked in on Foursquare before he walked into the place. She’d already be sitting there, messing around on her smartphone; she probably wouldn’t have even looked up with a smile like in the song. His presence would have been announced to her via a check-in on Foursquare. And then the fireworks would have begun.  
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