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Doin’ the Loosen Up

I got a new pair of pants (pleated khakis, like all my other pants) the other day. They were bought online so I couldn’t try them on first. I ordered my current waist size, the largest I’ve ever worn, and they were, uh, a bit of a struggle to fasten.

Anybody remember “Tighten Up” by Archie Bell and the Drells? (No, of course you don’t. Sorry.) Anyway that’s what all my pants are doing to me. (“Tighten up on that belt, drummer.”) Is there no end to this suburban sprawl? Time for some changes. Nothing drastic, just smaller portions.

While eating my smaller portion last night at dinner, Anne remarked on the oddness of the expression “cheating on your diet.” Normally, she said, when you cheat, you gain an advantage that helps you win (if you aren’t caught, that is). But if you “cheat” on your diet, you lose. Wouldn’t it be great if all cheating had such direct and visible consequences?

So, no cheating for me.

I hadn’t thought of Archie Bell in many, many years until “Tighten Up” popped into my head. When I first heard it, I thought it was the stupidest song I’d ever heard. Evidently, The Nazz (another band from Philly) thought little enough of the song to parody it with a version called “Loosen Up,” although I never actually heard it. I wonder if iTunes... Yeah! Sure enough, iTunes has both songs! The 30-second sample of “Loosen Up” is all you really need to hear to get the idea (it’s only 1:30 anyway).

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