OFF: Riddle of the Prank-Playing Playlist
I’m a mix artist. That is, I will organize songs into well-flowing playlists. Usually, given my illegitimately huge music collection, there’s some overarching theme.
I’ve done a few that compile inside jokes. I’ve done decades of American history. My iTunes even has a playlist-in-progress that compiles good songs inspired by record producers. So far, I’m at Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar,” Cake’s “Sad Songs and Waltzes” and Weezer’s “Pork and Beans.” I haven’t gotten many more songs. I’ll appreciate any suggestions.
While that last idea stalls in mid-completion, my masterpiece is almost done. When I finally give it to a selected target, it will be a prank of proportions I find very amusing.
At first listen, this masterpiece sounds like a pretty standard, ho-hum classic rock playlist. Paint it Black. Killer Queen. Message in a Bottle. When You Were Young. Your target puts the CD on in the background while he raids around on his World of Warcraft server.
Yet as your intended target listens on, he’ll passively notice a few out-of-place additions. How did parody glam-rock band Spinal Tap make the cut, beating out The Beatles? Why “Spanish Castle Magic” when we all know Jimi Hendrix’s best chart is “Voodoo Child?” And where has he heard “The Beast and the Harlot” before? He begins listening intently, much to the detriment and frustration of his online raiding party.
Listening on, he thinks he recognizes a pattern. By the time he gets to the requisite Tenacious D selection, he’s pretty sure of himself. Before listening to the last three songs on the disc, he calls you up.
With a bemused smile on his face — you can tell when someone’s smiling while they talk on the phone — he triumphantly lets you know just as the last few notes of “My Name is Jonas” fade into the “Knights of Cydonia” preparing for a battle against a dragon-man.
Riddle to my readers: Name one other song that could have been on this playlist. There are many.
For the sake of the riddle, don’t give away the pattern.