Imagine this. You’ve just gone through one of the most traumatic experiences of your adult life after finding an intruder in your living room. After suffering the kind of full-tilt adrenalin surge you’d normally associate with skydiving or base-jumping; the type that leaves you numb, shaking and slightly disoriented, I managed to call the police. They arrived quickly and were professional, polite and reassuring. It was only as I sat down with the Senior Constable that I noticed the multiple paper cutouts of Donald Trump’s head spread out across my living room table.
I can explain. But before I dive headlong into the specifics, I should provide something of a contextual overview. Do you remember that your parents would insist you always wear clean underwear just in case you’re in a traffic accident? It seems highly unlikely and, yet, you can’t be too careful. The same goes for Donald Trump’s head. He should always be packed away after use in the event you have to call the police unexpectedly at two o’clock in the morning.
Having multiple portraits of the forty-sixth President littered across my dining room table like over-sized orange confetti is not my standard practice. In this instance, there was a very specific reason as to why he was there. I could beat around the George W. Bush but, instead, I’ll come right out and say it – I have a band.
It’s not just any band – it’s a musical ensemble that creates kids’ music. The lynchpin of this musical powder keg is Liam. He’s nine. It’s his band. He reminds me of this regularly whenever I start to get carried away. Our band name – “The Electric Nuggets” – sums us up perfectly. We’re the ultimate mix of high energy and fried snack foods. Just like Nickelback. Having ceded creative control to a nine-year-old boy, you can safely predict that certain themes will emerge in your songs.
We’ll unleash our debut EP on an unsuspecting public in a couple of months. So far, our tunes include ‘Spaghetti In My Hair’ and ‘Liam The Lego King’. There’s one song we haven’t quite finished entitled ‘Men At Twerk’ that may turn out to be the greatest song ever written (we’ll see – it needs a bridge). But the song that best defines us as a band and, possibly, as people is called ‘My Butt Cheeks’.
No one’s more surprised than I am. When I first met Liam, he spent a lot of time either referring to, drawing, making fun of or seeking status updates on butt cheeks – both his own and those belonging to other people. I found it confronting at first. Then I kind of got used to it. After a while, I was humming a tune to myself between meetings that gradually and inevitably evolved into a song. I then had to confess to Liam’s mother that I’d composed a tune entitled ‘My Butt Cheeks’.
Conceptually, it’s quite simple. Each verse includes a description of the aforementioned anatomical feature before the rejoinder ‘They’re my butt cheeks’ kicks in. My current favourite is ‘When I get old they’re going to be antiques – they’re my butt cheeks’. It is, of course, all done in the best possible taste.
Having written the song, we set about recording it. Put simply, it was an absolute hoot. There are slicing guitars and thundering drums, harmonies and slick bass lines, all in aid of a tune expressing a sentiment that’s all too rare since Sir Mixalot went into semi-retirement. Having faithfully recorded our musical meisterwerk, our minds turned to promotion. And, more specifically, to YouTube.
I’ve known about YouTube for some time but have only recently become aware of its near vice-like grip over anyone born in the present century. As best I can tell, a lot of ‘YouTubers’ are unpleasant people who make fun of other people who made a not-very-good video. A lot of it’s quite unpleasant. But, so I was told, that’s how people experience music these days. We’d need to make a film clip.
I had two ideas. Firstly, we’d use pictures of things that resembled the human posterior but were, in fact, something else. Fruit, a candle, trees and even and airship. We’d intersperse those images with pictures of famous people. The idea being that you’d see the face of a powerful person before a speech bubble appears with the words ‘They’re my butt cheeks’ written in capital letters. But before shooting it, I had to see if the concept would work. I needed to do a test run.
To aid my experiment, I printed off headshots of Donald Jehoshaphat Trump and Liam patiently cut them out. We would test out our idea to see whether it was as hilariously awesome in practice as it was in theory. I thought nothing of the fact that I now had multiple cutouts of a former President spread out across the table. It’s not as though anyone would see them…
Nobody expects to be robbed. And nobody expects to be caught with several cutouts of Donald Trump. The police were incredibly polite but I felt the urge to explain. ‘It’s for an art project!’ I blurted out. Then I was silent. The concept of ‘My Butt Cheeks’ is hard to explain to strangers in the best of circumstances, much less at two o’clock in the morning in the morning after a robbery. I decided to let sleeping butt cheeks lie. It’s for the best. I’m sure Donald would agree.