In which Boyz II Men impregnate my ears while I drink coffee

November 24, 2008

There are many ways to make Monday tolerable: coffee. NPR. Sportscenter. Newspaper. Bagel. Norwegian Black Metal.

But I discovered this A.M. that a little syrupy, baby-making pop makes even the most crap-tastic of mornings just a little better. And, of course, sexier.

Days here at the Portland Monthly Mothership start around 9. I turn on the computer, surf through some random blogs, and news sites while I dry out from the bike ride in. After the salt crystallizes on my skin I change and head over to my favorite coffee shop, Half and Half. There are no shortage of great caffeine shooting galleries in town, but for me Half and Half is the best. It’s tiny, there’s always a solid selection of ‘zines to flip through, the shots are strong, the pastry and sandwich selection is super, and the baristas are either cute (or super friendly) depending on your preference. And seriously, where else can a framed Dolly Parton album cover spur me to show off the Dollywood admission ticket that I keep in my wallet like it’s one of my children.

And then there’s the music. Usually it’s a buzz-inducing barrage of indie totems: Neutral Milk Hotel. Of Montreal. Nick Drake. Dinosaur Jr. Even Bollywood musicals. There’s nothing like being braced for a 10-hour day of banging out copy by the raging guitar of "Freak Scene."

But this morning was different, and that’s what made it so interesting. And, like I said, sexy.

As soon as I walked in to order the daily triple-Americano, they cued up Boyz II Men’s overwrought ode to sweaty baby-making, "I’ll Make Love To You." It was awful and awesome. I felt like I was at a couple’s skate or junior high dance, slowing working my hands down my girlfriend’s back in search of her butt. Everyone in the shop was laughing and, with no shed of embarrassment, singing along to every word ("Girl are you ready? It’s gonna be a long night."). Next up was "On Bended Knee," which come to think of it, sounds pretty much the same as "I’ll Make Love To You" except it’s about engagement instead of intercourse. But before I could start lighting candles, chilling the wine, and slipping into my silk robe my order came up and I had to head back to the office. But in my mind I hope the slow jams are still rolling: "I Wanna Sex You Up." "I Swear." Anything by Ginuwine or D’Angelo or Keith Sweat. (As for the above clip, "Bodyguard" plot rip-off plus four fat guys in pastel shirts warbling about sex equals the Best Video Ever!)

Thanks guys. When the ladyfriend inevitably tells me she’s knocked up in a few months, we’ll name our firstborn Half and Half. It’ll be awkward for him, but I reckon it’s better than being named Boyz II Men.

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