And This Is The Moment I Go To Hell
Chris Burke “Eating Is Fun, Eating Is Serious”
by Mark Cappelletty
There was a time, not too long ago, where your humble author thought that the musical subgenre known impolitely as “’tard rock” was funny. I snickered as the Kids Of Widney High stumbled through their cover of “Respect.” I got laughs calling a clumsy friend “Corky.” I traded Chris Burke mp3s. Then I learned there was a God and that He is a Vengeful God when, after seeing a triple bill of the Kids Of Widney High, Puppets From Hell and the Ebola Music Orchestra at Hollywood’s Knitting Factory, I suddenly experienced terrible pain in my ankle. It turned out to be tendonitis, requiring an ankle brace and orthotic insoles in my shoes. All because I couldn’t turn away from looking at a retarded kid drop his pants on stage.
So it’s with a heavy heart that I bring to you this song. Chris Burke, best known as the plucky teen with Downs Syndrome from TV’s Life Goes On now devotes most of his time to his musical endeavors and you can’t help but root for the guy even if he can’t really sing. Check him out at his website at www.chrisburke.org.
But that’s no excuse for this song, in which Burke — along with musical collaborators Joe and John DeMasi — futilely tries to teach us about the benefits of solid eating habits. Over a Michael McDonald-sounding Rhodes electric piano riff, Burke and Co. croon on about why you should balance out your diet of “chewy-chewing gum” and “lick-stick-a-lickericious” (after which, as Burke says, “I have a tummy ache and have no teeth”) with “veggies and meat.” But it’s the chorus that kills you, as the DeMasi siblings inform you that “Eating is fun/Eating is serious/You eat too much/Gonna get delirious/Eat too little/You’re gonna disappeareous/Eating is so, so serious,” with Burke raspily spitting out the kicker: “Eating is so much fun!” Uh, “disappeareaous”? For no real reason, the song suddenly dovetails into a children-sung rendition of “Short’ning Bread” and an amateur-hour Chuck Mangione trumpet solo. And a chanting of different rhyming food types. If you’ve been looking for a song with the couplet “Milky Ways/Hollandaise,” this may be the ditty for you.
Burke has nothing to be ashamed of, but the DeMasi brothers get sent to the back of the Raffi bus for this. Come back, Slim Goodbody. All is forgiven.