Posted by: Mark Nielsen | November 20, 2007

Follow the Yellow Brick Birthday Road

We had a great little 40th birthday party for my sister Laura this weekend. Since she’s been a Wizard of Oz fanatic since long before Wicked, my other sister and Mom cooked up a plan for a Wizard/Wicked-themed party.

Here, in no particular order, are a few highlights:

How to make Witch Hat Cookies: 1) Get some Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies, or a comparable store-brand knockoff. But it’s gotta be round, and chocolate-coated on the bottom. 2) Get a bag of Hershey Kisses. 3) Get an aerosol can of cake frosting, preferably purple. 4) Flip the cookie over, put the pointy Kiss in the center, then use the frosting to make a ribbon and bow around the edge of the Kiss, thus attaching it to the cookie.

On the sliding pocket door to her bathroom, Karen put a sign saying “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

Above the beer cooler, this sign: “There’s no drink like beer. There’s no drink like beer. There’s no drink like beer.”

Literate geek that I am, I told Laura all about the allegorical aspects of L. Frank Baum’s original novel — for instance, how the Yellow Brick Road represented the gold standard that the author wanted us to get back to for our monetary system. She’d never heard that before. Ironically, I heard on the Stephanie Miller radio show last Friday morning that Republican/Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul wants to bring this gold standard issue back up again. After, what, 110 years? I’ve heard of reformers, but this sounds pretty extreme to me. Then again, the value of the U.S. dollar’s fallen so fast lately, maybe it actually would be better than what we’ve got now.

There was general agreement among my wife and a few others present that the Gregory Maguire novel Wicked was pretty lame.

My Aunt Roberta reported that according to some “making of” book, the 1939 movie was the largest gathering ever of little people up until that time. Furthermore, being surrounded by so many of their own kind, the small actors and actresses apparently had some major orgy action going on after work hours. (And they say size doesn’t matter… ha!)

I spent a significant amount of time building a This Is Your Life/VH1 Behind the Music compilation CD for Laura, and we used it to sort of “roast” her. In addition to some Oz music, it also had some Carpenters, Abba and Bee Gees to cover the early years, Footloose to cover the preteen “dancing at the movies” craze of 1984, a few favorite New Wave tunes, and some Dixie Chicks to acknowledge that Laura was the first one in our family cross over to the Dark Side, i.e. country music. (I’ve since crossed as well, though I’m more of a Man in Black/Lyle Lovett sort of country fan.)

Here’s the full CD compilation list:

Harry Connick Jr. – Merry Old Land Of Oz.mp3′.
 Carpenters – We’ve_Only_Just_Begun.mp3′.
 Take A Chance On Me ( ABBA ).mp3′.
 Bee Gees-Stayin Alive.mp3′.
 Get Down Tonight ( KC & The Sunshine Band ).mp3′.
 Billy Joel -honesty.mp3′.
 Elton John – Tiny Dancer.mp3′.
 Olivia Newton John – Hopelessly Devoted to You
 Kenny Loggins – Footloose.mp3′.
 We Are The Champions ( Queen ).mp3′.
 Phil Collins – In the Air Tonight.mp3′.
 Styx – Renegade.mp3′.
 Kiss On My List ( Daryl Hall & John Oates ).mp3′.
 Tears For Fears – Shout 
 Devil Went Down To Georgia ( The Charlie Daniels Band ).mp3′.
 Dixie Chicks – Not Ready to Make Nice.mp3′.

Harry Connick Jr.- Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead
Connick -Over The Rainbow


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