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Alice Kahn

T, It's Just a Terrific Tool for Tracking Latest Trends

August 10, 1988|Alice Kahn

Once I was queen of "A, My Name Is Alice." You know, the game where you swing your leg over the bouncing pink Spaulding ball every time you use a word that begins with the key letter.

A, my name is Alice and my husband's name is Alan

And we come from Anchorage

And on our ship we carry apples.

At no time did my leg hit the ball and never did I run out of proper proper nouns, even when I got to X my name is Xanthippe, Y my name is Yvonne de Carlo and Z my name is Zelda. But the game fell out of favor in the frivolous '60s when little kids started saying:

S, my name is Starchild and my lover's name

is Sunshine

And we came from Santa Cruz

And on our ship we carry sinsemilla.

In the '70s, things settled down a little and kids began bouncing the ball once more as they incorporated the cataclysmic cultural changes that had come to our society:

J, my name is Jennifer and my second husband's name

is Jason

And we come from the Jacuzzi

And on our ship we carry jogging shoes.

By the mid '80s the game had made a comeback as children became unabashedly ambitious and tried to get the most alliteration in each unit of the cultural catechism:

B, my name is Bree and my broker's name is Boesky

And we come from Bel - Air

And in our Beemer we carry buy-out bids.

In the late '80s, the game began to reflect a growing social conservatism, an obsession with celebrity and the failure of our schools to teach spelling:

S, my name is Cher and my significant other's name is

Sting

And we come from Spago (with Streisand and Don

Johnson)

And we're into safe sex, so on our ship we carry

condoms.

Now once again the game is changing, but nobody knows which way it will go. We seem to have a choice. On one hand, we hear:

M, my name is Michael and my wife likes to meow

And we come from Massachusetts (originally Lesbos)

And on our ship we carry meaningful social programs

meticulously administered.

Waiting in the wings, though, is another jingler, one who reminds us of which side our gun is buttered on.

G, my name is George and my wife won't use Grecian

Formula

And we come from great wealth

And on our ship we say: Beware of geeks generating

taxes.

Nobody knows which way the children want to play the game. When people walked around the Democratic Convention wearing buttons saying "Die Yuppie Scum," were they heralding a new age of social concern?

All we can do is follow the bouncing ball:

C, my name is Carly and my husband's name is Cory

And our children are Crystal, Colin and Cody and we

care about people

And on our ship we carry cash, checks and all major

credit cards.

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