July 19, 2011

"Toto's 'Africa'" . . . by Hemingway

My wife and I get our kicks from reciting the nonsensical lyrics to pop songs. Excellent examples include Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" and the Bee Gees' "Staying Alive." Our favorite, though, is certainly Toto's "Africa," which sounds like it should mean something, but is just ridiculous:

"It's gonna take a lot to take me away from you
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never have

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless longing for some solitary company . . ."

The video is priceless.

I was therefore delighted to discover that Anthony Sams on McSweeney's has written up "Africa" as a short story by Hemingway. Here's a sample:

"The young man looked at the wristwatch again. His head spun from whiskey and soda. She was a damned nice woman. It would take a lot to drag him away from her. It was unlikely that a hundred men or more could ever do such a thing. The air, now thick and moist, seemed to carry rain again. He blessed the rains of Africa. They were the only thing left to bless in this forsaken place, he thought—at least until she set foot on the continent. They were going to take some time to do the things they never had."

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