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So You’re Dating Tom Jones

March 8, 2010

For whatever reason, I own a Tom Jones Super Hits CD. Equally inexplicably, at some point during the past two years, I imported most of the tracks from that CD into my iTunes list. Who can explain human beings? In the interest of full disclosure I suppose I have to take the further humiliating step of admitting that in the somewhat recent past, I actually attended a Tom Jones concert, and that I in fact own a “What’s New, Pussycat?” t-shirt purchased before the man, the myth, the legend took the stage.

Sigh.

Anyway, 95-year-old, pseudotanned Tom is apparently known as a ladies’ man. I’m no expert in these matters, but that’s certainly the impression given by the CD liner notes, and the concert reinforced it in manifold ways; e.g., the amount of unmentionables flung onto the stage during certain songs, including an 8’x4′ (I am not exaggerating) pair of skivvies launched Tomward by seven squealing middle-aged ladies during an admittedly spirited and well-danced rendition of “Sex Bomb.”

So I’ve got these g.d. Tom Jones songs on my iPod and every once in a while one of them comes on and okay, I listen to it. This happened as recently as an hour ago and inspired today’s post. Ladies, I understand that this man has the same psychological and physiological effect on you that Justin Bieber has on your 13-year-old granddaughters, but I am here to beg you to raise your standards and find someone else to fantasize about. Tom Jones has made it very clear through his lyrics that he is a jealous, sexist womanizer.

Exhibit A: “Delilah.” This whole song is fucked up. Synopsis: a certain unnamed protagonist, let’s call him “Mr. Jones,” flies into a murderous rage upon witnessing his girlfriend in flagrante delicto with another man. He sees the two lovers through the window of her house and waits in his car overnight for the usurper to leave. Then he heads to the front door with a knife in his hand. It is cold of her to stand there laughing at him, but his stabbing her to death is, in my opinion, a bit of an overreaction. He could have just broken up with her, called her a hoochie mama, and demanded his Roughriders hoodie and box of condoms back.

(Incidentally, my fellow women, I would have you consider that to love Tom Jones is to love not only a violent bastard but also, worse still, a subpar writer. Example: “I could see / that girl was no good for me / but I was lost like a slave that no man could free.” That is basically an ascending tricolon of terrible rhyme. Just last week a classmate of mine was commenting that it’s amazing how many songs “need the music”: if it weren’t for the tune and the instruments, listeners would be appalled by how banal, badly written, etc. the lyrics are.)

Exhibit B: “She’s a Lady.” This song contains some of the most absurdly sexist lyrics ever written by man. I can’t even figure out where to start. How about the beginning:

“Well she’s all you’d ever want. She’s the kind I’d like to flaunt and take to dinner.”

Gee, Tom, thanks for the steak. I’ve really enjoyed being flaunted by you tonight. It makes me feel sexually attractive, which is my #1 goal in life. What else do you like about me?

“Well she always knows her place -“

I’m going to cut you off right there, Tom. Another round of applause for your keen insight into female psychology. Don’t give a second thought to these pesky degrees – I certainly don’t! Believe you me, just because I’m educated doesn’t mean I can’t whip up a delicious meal and vacuum your house!

“Well she’s never in the way, always something nice to say – what a blessin’!”

Tom, you’re making me blush! I love the way you throw your clothes all over the place – you sure show that hamper who’s boss! Don’t worry, sweetie, I’ll clean it all up tomorrow morning. I’ll leave breakfast on the table and then just come right back upstairs so you won’t have to deal with my chitchat before you leave for work!

“I can leave her on her own knowing she’s okay alone and there’s no messin’.”

True story, my love, true story. Ever since I heard your last top-ten hit about how you deal with cheating, I don’t even like to leave the house by myself. Not that I mind this barbed wire cage, but sweetheart, between you and me, it’s completely unnecessary!

“No she never asks very much, and I don’t refuse her. Always treat her with respect, never would abuse her. What she’s got is hard to find and I don’t wanna lose her.”

I don’t like to brag, but sometimes when I’m on the phone with female friends I will admit I have a tendency to rub it in their faces a little that unlike their boyfriends, mine is far too morally upright to beat me up. I know conceit is a sin, but I’m just so proud and grateful to be your property, Tommy my love! Oh, and I do apologize for having asked for that ten dollars last week. I felt so bad for taking your hard-earned money and I really do thank you for giving it to me. It’s just that we needed a few things at the Safeway. Speaking of which, here’s your 16 cents in change and two photographs of the kitchen clock, one showing the time I left and the other showing the time I returned. I love how you’re constantly coming up with all these little ways to keep track of me! It sure does make me feel appreciated!

“Help me build a mountain from a little pile of clay!”

Before I met you I was just a nobody sack o’ nothin’ from Estevan, Sask. And now look at me! Tom Jones’ girlfriend! It’s like a fairy tale.

“She knows what I’m about. She can take what I dish out, and that’s not easy. She knows me through and through, and she knows just what to do and how to please me.”

Oh, Tommy, no need to go on and on about it – I’m just doing my job! I love all your little moods and quirks! They keep me on my toes!

“And the lady is mine.”

She sure is, Tom. She suuuuuuuuure is.

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