February 22, 2006

It's Like The DaVinci Code...But With Babies

Last night, Mia was incredibly talkative. She was also incredibly awake but that's neither here nor there. [Aside: When people say that - that's neither here nor there - I've always wondered exactly where they're talking about. So, for the purposes of this discussion, Mia being incredibly awake was neither Topeka, Kansas or Reykjavík, Iceland.] But, you see, I started listening to Mia as she was rambling on and I became convinced she was trying to tell us something.

Mia would, while banging on my guitar (she loves "playing" my guitar) precisely three times in rapid succession, utter something along the lines of the following: Dwayewaye dwayewaye huppenupp buy buy buy buy wadda bwack wadda dina gwove rorun rorunn rajjj divid.

I took careful notes, consulted my copy of the Bible, my personal translation of the Rosetta Stone, J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, the latest copy of Us magazine, Goodnight Moon and placed a collect call to Dan Brown. And I think I have the answer. Let me walk you through it.

Dwayewaye is clearly Dwayne and huppenup is, according to contemporary scholars, happening. Mia then follows this with the command to buy buy buy which is obvious enough. Strangely, it seems that song titles follow - Black Water and China Grove, both made famous by the Doobie Brothers. Then we have rorunn which is, most likely, rerun followed by raj which could be a variation on the name Roger. This is all concluded by usage of divid which is, extrapolating from what we now know, DVD. Combined with the three-beat guitar slapping, the conclusion is obvious. Mia really wants us to buy her season three of the 1970's hit television comedy What's Happening.

I fully realize that I just lost, oh, about 90% of you. The vast majority of you have never heard of this classic, one of the most popular shows of the 1970s despite its incredibly high cheese factor. You never caught the adventures of high-school buddies Raj, Dwayne and Rerun, like the time Rerun got talked into bootlegging a special Doobie Brothers concert. You never got to experience terrible acting like that of Danielle Spencer as Raj's little sister Dee. I'm not sure you shouldn't be grateful for missing all that stuff. But it's okay. You can borrow season three from us as soon as Mia's watched it.

Posted by Chris at February 22, 2006 07:14 AM

Regretfully, I fall into that 10%... Although, the only thing I could STAND on that show was Dee... This is classic! Let us know when Mia starts narrating episodes of Chico and the Man...

Posted by: JuJu's Mom Linda at February 22, 2006 07:27 AM

You are clearing missing your calling in life by going into work every day. I am sure there are mothers out there (esp in Hollywood) that would pay an absolute fortune to have you decode what their pre-toddlers are trying to communicate! It's a gift man, go with it!!

And yes, I do remember What's Happening - but it is very, very foggy in my mind. How is it that you remember it so well?

Posted by: Amber at February 22, 2006 07:37 AM

Still with ya! (Am very sympathetic to the effects of sleep deprevation.)
Plus, with me being Dutch, not so big of a surprise that I have never hear of What's Happening. Will Google it though, just so I can jump on the Cactus Mind Train! :)

Posted by: Nynke at February 22, 2006 07:40 AM

Who could forget surly Shirley, the waitress at the neighborhood restaurant where the guys hung out?

Posted by: Nicole at February 22, 2006 07:40 AM

Hey, hey, hey!

Hello, is this the Doobie Brothers? Which Doobie you be?

Posted by: Mr. Big Dubya at February 22, 2006 07:58 AM

LOL I can't believe you remember that show. Oh man that was bad.

Posted by: Pamalamadingdong at February 22, 2006 07:58 AM

Count me in the 10%.

I loved that show. I wanted to be as sassy as Dee.

Posted by: Alison at February 22, 2006 08:01 AM

Loved it !

Posted by: Jenn at February 22, 2006 08:12 AM

Ok, after reading the word "happening" I knew exactly where you were going. Either I'm in tune with Baby-Speak, or I am filled with tomes upon tomes of useless information. I like to think it's a little of both.

Yeah, I have Internet access (somewhat) again!

Posted by: amber at February 22, 2006 08:23 AM

I'm only 23 and I remember that show (they were most likely reruns)...If you really want to intellectually stimulate her, plop her down in front of some Welcome Back Kotter. "Hey Mr. Karr-tarreee" LOL God bless Nick At Night.

Posted by: Michelle at February 22, 2006 08:25 AM

I remember Whats Happening.. and even if I wanted to forget (Which I don't but my husband wishes I did) Nick at Night won't let me.

Caught you, you've been letting her watch Nick at Night when she wont sleep haven't you ;)

Posted by: Angelia at February 22, 2006 08:34 AM

Is it possible that the entire 10% reads your blog, Chris? I think this is an utterly strange phenomenon. I, too, was a watcher of the show. What else was on in the 70's but these bizarre (and bad) sitcoms? Too funny...

Posted by: Keri at February 22, 2006 08:36 AM

I would also be remiss if I didn't state that I have always maintained that What's Happening had the most awesome, funky theme song, complete with horns and boinging noises.

Posted by: Nicole at February 22, 2006 08:44 AM

Actually, either Nick-at-nite or TVLand were recently running "reruns" of What's Happening and What's Happening Now. So maybe some of these youngsters have acquainted themselves.

Posted by: HR mommy at February 22, 2006 08:48 AM

There are people who don't know about What's Happening? That's just sad.

Posted by: Fraulein N at February 22, 2006 09:00 AM

Remeber Rerun dropping the cassette player when he jumped up to dance at the Doobie concert? Man, high drama... (snicker).

I am such a geek.

Posted by: cristin in NJ at February 22, 2006 09:04 AM

Oooooh it seems obvious to me that Mia has a much DARKER purpose in mind...

'YOU must be a step-brother...'

I think she is questioning the veracity of the entire fabric of our universe...

Posted by: Deepblue at February 22, 2006 09:14 AM

I'm in the 10% too.

Me and my sister loved that show.

Posted by: Pinky at February 22, 2006 09:15 AM

Totally following the logic. I always thought Rerun would be a great name for a dog.

Posted by: Pammer at February 22, 2006 09:47 AM

Never heard of it (Guess I fall into the 90%) but would be thrilled to have the opportunity to take the piss out of it, so, dibs on me borrowing it first after Mia has finished with it, k?

...Um...Is that how you spell 'dibs'??

Posted by: Alice at February 22, 2006 09:50 AM

Heard of it, yes...must have been one of those shows I caught in reruns as a small child because I don't recall seeing it in the last decade or so on upn or whatever independent network I get in the sticks :)

Posted by: christina at February 22, 2006 09:51 AM

That's some pretty sweet cryptography skills you've got there. I should have you come over and interpret my daughter. I think she wants me to buy her a 72" plamsa screen television, but my wife doesn't believe me.

Posted by: CroutonBoy at February 22, 2006 10:07 AM

I loved that show.

Posted by: Allan at February 22, 2006 10:11 AM

Yes, that tv reference was totally lost on me. Oh well.
I think you should take a pic of Mia practicing to become a rock star though. :)

Posted by: Kitty at February 22, 2006 10:14 AM

Never commented here before...but, I read faithfully. This post has forced me to delurk. I just have to say that I still, unfortunately, watch the reruns (ha!) of What's Happening. I am a sucker for almost any sitcom in syndication. My sister has seasons 1, 2, and 3 on DVD. She is a sucker for almost anything that comes on DVD. The acting is horrible and the plots are all too predictable. But, what's worse is "What's Happening Now!" - remember that one from a few years later?

Posted by: Tomika at February 22, 2006 10:23 AM

Well, if you ever get sick of being an IT security Geek...you could always start a new career as being a 'baby whisperer'.

I'm sure she's got some stories to tell!

Posted by: Kellie at February 22, 2006 11:13 AM

Ha! That reminds me of Penn and Teller "interpreting" The Wheels on the Bus to apply to Rosa Parks, Lutheranism, etc.

Posted by: Melissa at February 22, 2006 11:28 AM

I think you have it wrong...to me it sounds like:

Daddy daddy when I am sixteen will you buy buy buy me my own car? I might have a boyfriend named david.

But if she really is insistant on What's Happening...you should have her watch tvland at night they play it...might save you $30+ bucks ;)

Posted by: Amy at February 22, 2006 11:30 AM

you're right - I've never watched the show, but the coincidences are definitely creepy!!!! :)

Posted by: Dawn (webmiztris) at February 22, 2006 11:32 AM

I was more of a Good Times girl myself. They always had such good life lessons! And that JJ! What a crack-up!

Posted by: melati at February 22, 2006 11:56 AM

Mia is a songwriting prodigy! And a sitcom aficianado of the highest caliber!! You must be so proud.

I loved me some What's Happening! Raj was always my favorite because he had brains.

Posted by: Ms. Q at February 22, 2006 12:05 PM

i'm not sure your math is correct, i remember that show as well. that's a lot of people that fall into that 10%

Posted by: jodi at February 22, 2006 12:14 PM


Mia NEEDS to see Shirley to learn how to treat people later on, so you can count it as an educational video. Mia's a pretty smart kid. :)

Posted by: Bonanza Jellybean at February 22, 2006 12:46 PM

Damm. I was sure it sounded like a Black Eyed Peas song I heard this morning. I guess I lose.

Posted by: Melissa at February 22, 2006 12:54 PM

you'd better be getting these moments on tape/mp3/video!!

Posted by: don at February 22, 2006 12:58 PM

I followed! Thanks for starting my morning off with a Mia-induced smile :)

Posted by: kate at February 22, 2006 02:05 PM

Excellent. Next she'll be singing the theme song from the Jefferson's "Movin' on Up".

Good to know that she's already invested in quality TV at a young age. :)

Posted by: laura at February 22, 2006 02:28 PM

Good God, keep your Season 3! That was bad enough the first time!

Seriously? It's time to train that girl to have some better taste in her DVD experiences.

Posted by: Queen of Ass at February 22, 2006 02:47 PM


Posted by: Ginny at February 22, 2006 03:12 PM

Haven't thought about "What's happening" in a very long time. Fire up the "way back" machine...

Posted by: Lisa B at February 22, 2006 03:57 PM

I've JUST put down "Angels and Demons". So this is a freaky universe crosspathing...

You sure it wasn't "daddy daddy i'm up and bye bye bye buy back that da thing that groove Aurora. Aurora! Right divet!"?

Posted by: Oakley at February 22, 2006 04:10 PM

And you never got to see the scene where Raj calls the Doobie Brothers' hotel room and when they answer, he introduces himself and then asks, "Which Doobie you be?"

Which is like, the only actual scene from that show that I remember, but for some reason it's stuck with me over the years.

Posted by: kalisah at February 22, 2006 05:10 PM

Count me in the 10% that weren't lost too. Seriously, you need to find some better reruns for Mia to watch late at night.

Posted by: Kelley at February 22, 2006 06:27 PM

I, um, still watch that show. I'm not sure if that makes me lame or just able to appreciate vintage entertainment. I always wanted their Mama to be my Mama (it may have been hard for to explain why she had a skinny little freckled white girl, but that would have been her problem).

I didn't mind the baby sister too much (although I to this day don't know how Rog managed not to smack her several times a DAY) but I hated, hated, hated Shirley.

Posted by: Contary at February 22, 2006 07:47 PM

I really have no idea whether to be amused, awed, or a little bit scared. But all three sounds like a winning proposition.

Posted by: Gavin at February 22, 2006 07:56 PM

My favorite episode was the Doobie ep. Couldn't stand Dee, but loved Mama and Shirley.

Posted by: jayne d'Arcy at February 22, 2006 08:00 PM

I met Shirley Hemphill once when I was in high school. I saw her at a comedy show, and since my sisters and I were the only "kids" in the audience she picked on us. After the show we got to meet her. She promised to meet us the next day and take us shopping. But that never happened, and she called the next day to cancel. It was cool, none-the-less. I used to love watching that show! Raj was such a stringbean. Go Mia!

Posted by: Milly at February 23, 2006 08:42 PM