The Metaman Tune

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JOURNAL ENTRY 67

Thursday, 12/02/2004
Waning gibbous moon
Around 10:30 a.m.

The Metaman Tune

This One’s for You by Barry Manilow …138

While waiting in the doctor’s office for a routine procedure, I was reading a pamphlet when, out of the blue, came “The Metaman Tune!”2 Straight up I perched, wondering if Max’s little ditty had come blazing through to me from some parallel dimension. You see, I never knew how to whistle the tune he created, back when. I mean, I could hardly even remember how it went. Max was the only one who could whistle it as perfectly as I heard today.

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So, what is “Metaman” anyway?

Well, I will tell you. One day about five years ago, Max and I had been lounging on the back patio, talking about the things we’d like to do when we retire. “Hey, I’ve got an idea!” he said, brushing Tiggi’s coat while she lounged on the picnic table. “I’m gonna give the old folks in Sun City a fun time.”

“How’s that?” I asked, nose buried in a Victorian magazine.

“With popsicles – Metamucil popsicles!”

The magazine slipped through my fingers, as my brain lapsed into a stupor. “Whu?”

Having captured my undivided attention, he put down the brush. “Picture this… Me driving a white truck, playing a little ditty as I hand out Metamucil ice cream bars in a host of flavors and colors.”

“Okay, now I know you’re joking.”

“Nope, I’m serious as a post. Think of it! It’ll be great fun for them, and me too.”

I must have been boring a hole through his T-shirt, because he said, “So here’s ‘Metaman’ – dig it!” Suddenly, Max began to whistle a jingle, impromptu, as Tiggi jumped off the picnic table.

Then, as the last lilting note bounced off the table, he sat back beaming a satisfied smile. “Well, what do ya think?”

I just shook my head and cackled, “I have to admit, Metaman, regardless of what Tiggi may think, you’ve created a catchy little number there. Carefree, light… a popsicle kind of tune!”

And, “The Metaman Tune” was born that very day.

But was Metaman a melody or a man? In retrospect, I think it was a little of both. Like a kid, Max whistled that tune around the house, especially on weekends, and whenever he was able to catch up with the ice cream man to get our Saturday drumsticks. Max had such a gregarious nature, I wouldn’t have put it past him to ask the popsicle man what he thought of Metaman – the jingle, that is.

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So today, as I sit waiting for the doctor, I am preoccupied hearing Max’s little ditty for the first time since he died. Its light-hearted tone brings such happy thoughts to mind. Tapping my toes, I turn the page of my medical pamphlet, and there at the bottom, what do I see?

Canisters – brightly colored Metamucil canisters! Max? I holler silently and look up at the ceiling as if I’ll find him there at any moment.

Oh, what am I doing? I sigh, stashing the pamphlet in my purse. I certainly don’t want anyone to notice the goings-on in my little corner of the room. Besides, it’s time to take a trip down the hall before the nurse calls my name. Nevertheless, on the way back to my seat, I’m utterly taken by the voice of Karen Carpenter. Her lovely, melancholic sound resonates through the Musak system:

“Merry Christmas Darling” as sung by the Carpenters 3

Somehow, I manage to keep my sentiments to myself until I reach the car. Then, safe inside, I let go.

138 Manilow, Barry. “This One’s for You.” This One’s for You. Arista, 1976. LP.

139 Copyright ©1999 Max Blau

140 The Carpenters. “Merry Christmas Darling.” Christmas Portrait. A&M, 1978. LP.

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