For the Longest Time (Student Version)

(based on Billy Joel’s song of the same name.  Comments included after the lyrics.)

If you said good-bye to me tonight,
I would still have lab reports to write.
That’s how you found me:
With notebooks all around me.
It’s how I had been for the longest time.

Once I thought my sanity was gone.
Now I’m sure, but classes still go on.
Late nights I’m keeping;
I’m just not used to sleeping.
I haven’t done much for the longest time.

What’s that voice I’m hearing in my sleep?
It’s my teacher telling me to keep
Awake in his class
Because if I don’t pass it
I’ll be around here for the longest time.

Maybe this won’t take very long.
These readings aren’t right;
So I could be wrong.
Maybe I’ve been trying too hard:
They’re not off by far,
But it’s more than I’d hoped for.

I don’t know how much more I can take.
It is getting hard to stay awake.
I’m hooked on caffeine:
For coffee I chew whole beans.
My guts have hated me the longest time.

I’ve had second thoughts from the start.
I said to myself, why not go for art?
Wondered how much homework was involved–
That question has been solved
And there’s more than I’d hoped for.

My PC’s booting:  morning soon will break.
Wonder if a short nap I should take.
I’ll take no chances;
Under the circumstances,
I know I’d be sleeping for the longest time….

Billy Joel’s famous original, of course, was all about finding happiness in (presumably) true love.  In this version, the hero seems a little preoccupied.  It’s not clear whether he’s being dumped, about to be dumped–or asking to get dumped.

This is one of my oldest parodies, dating back in some form or fashion to my days in engineering school.  Those wondering why morning would force a reboot, let it suffice to say that the computers in the lab at school (back before everyone had a mega-PC on their cell-phone) were programmed to reboot en masse around 5am, when it was expected no students would be in the middle of anything.  Let me emphasize, “expected.”  Anyway, the process took about five or ten minutes and was served as a much-needed break for those who hadn’t dozed off already.

For those who had, there were ways of dealing with that. Since the computers were networked, we could remotely log into their machines and play a number of audio files–a gong, a cuckoo clock, maniacal laughter.  It sounds trite now, but remember that this was back in the early nineties, and networking was still a novelty

As I recall one of the audio files was a sort of song about a cat named Roy.  The song ended on a sinister note with the line “Roy was a good ‘ol boy…till the dogs got him.”  I’m sure it was pure coincidence that around this time Walmart introduced a line of dog food under the brand name “Old Roy.”

Copyright 2005, 2010.


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