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  • Eddie Mahaffey

Blog Post #10 "The Simple Things" or: Why I will always love "Hey Arnold!".

There was no cartoon from the 90's that I love like "Hey Arnold!". As someone who was heavily raised by a television, this show was instrumental in crafting who I am today. In an age where everyone was asking "What would Jesus do?" I found myself more curious as to what the more approachable Arnold would do. And for someone that grew up in such a religious environment, this should put into perspective my respect for this character. An extension of this respect, as well, is my plan to watch this show with my daughter a few times over the course of her childhood. The principles are just too universal to skip.

I had no intention of writing this blog post but the song "The Simple Things" (sung by Randy Travis) from season 3, episode 2 is on reply in my head and I just looked it up. As those who've read my prior blog posts (both of you) will know, I have a tendency to listen to a song on repeat while I write these posts. That's what I'm doing now and I invite you to join me for the remainder of this post. Here's the youtube link I'm listening to. Click it and have a listen. In such a wide, disconnected world this kind of thing feels like a connection. If you listen to it, shoot me a message and let me know what you think. Whether or not you've listened to it or not, let me know. I'd still like to listen to your thoughts.

(Youtube has a tendency to take down videos, if this link expires, please let me know and I'll find a new one, just comment, message, or email me).

Also, I'll post the lyrics for those who don't want to listen. Out of respect for the song, the singer, the writer, and everyone who was a part of "Hey Arnold!" I will be typing them out instead of copying and pasting them. As so, there may be a typo or a misheard word. If so, comment below and I'll make a note of my error (but I'll keep it in):

You can offer me a diamond-plated pearl,

you can send me all the riches in the world.

You can tempt me with the palaces of kings,

I'd give 'em back in a big 'ole sack and keep the simple things.

I've got the simple things,

I've got the rain and spring.

Got spicy chicken wings,

and French-fried onion rings.

You can line me up a mile of limousines,

for me it don't add up to a hill of beans.

I got no hankerin' for grabbin' your brass ring.

It's crystal clear, I'll stay right here, and keep the simple things.

I've got the summer breeze,

got sixteen cans of beans, (or is peas?)

A two-speed window fan,

when it's ninety-three degrees.

So forgive me for not grabbin' your brass ring,

It's crystal clear, I'll stay right here, and keep the simple things.

The version I'm using then repeats. I love the long version of songs. One of my favorites is the ten-minute version of "The Pirates of the Caribbean" theme. I don't do moderation well. I remember listening to the "Kick Ass" theme called "Flying Home" for over an hour once.

Anyway, of my three favorite episodes of "Hey Arnold!" two of them are centered around Mr. Hyunh (And the third is the opera one that follows the plot of "Carmen"). I was eleven years old when the episode with this song came out and it really struck a chord with me. Coming from a small town that, in 2008, Forbes magazine called America's "Most Vulnerable Town", I grew up around a wild mix of those desperate to become rich and those who didn't seem to mind being poor (or, at least, lower than middle class). The former wildly outnumbered the latter and as an impressionable kid, I was at risk of becoming the same. But then came this episode. This episode, about a Vietnamese immigrant that the viewer learned two years prior had been separated from his daughter at the fall of Saigon, may have been the biggest push to keep me from lusting after wealth and fame. In it Mr. Hyunh goes from being a cook at a restaurant to recording an extremely successful single to then playing at The Grand Ole Opry. I will never forget his line when he walks onto the stage after having been introduced by Randy Travis: "This is my first time singing at the Opry. It can also be my last time!" Leading up to this, he is so respectful, so humble and I remember being so moved. He was offered everything that almost everyone from my hometown longed for.

And he walked away.


I'm trying to make it as a writer and to do that I have to sell enough books to support myself and my family. But I don't have a need to be known. I would love it if enough people knew my stories well enough to discuss them and argue over them and talk about what parts moved them. But I don't need to be known. And I thank "Hey Arnold!" for that.

I may come back to this blog post. I'm not sure. But we're preparing for Evelyn's 100-day celebration this Saturday and I've just gotten a bit busy. Ah shit, just remembered I still have to do laundry, too. Well, later everyone. Enjoy the song.

1 commentaire

14 juil. 2022

It is such a happy song!

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