I was in a high-level meeting this morning discussing stuff that is super secret. Not only is it super secret, it is also super-duper important. So I got to doing some daydreaming and for one reason or another my mind wandered back (it is a mind-off-leash area at work) to the fall of 1989. I wandered back to a cold and rainy night in the fall of 1989 and thought about the musical hits of the time.
In case you are not familiar with the musical hits of 1989, think of the words, “Nothing compares to you…” Ring a bell? Let me guess, Sinead O’Connor’s voice is now stuck in your mind as well as mine. Sorry about that.
I was working a logging show outside of a very small town in the southern interior of BC and on the night in question me, Big Mike and Dangerous Dan decided to take the night off and head into town for some good times. In town we met another one of our camp compatriots, the Burnin’ Swede.
Once in town we decided to head to the community cultural centre. We dropped ourselves into seats near the pool table and surveyed the room; a couple local yokels were playing pool, someone was standing at the jukebox plugging it with quarters, the server was at the bar distractedly washing beer glasses and the rest of the room looked pretty bored. And then it began. The sweet sounds of Sinead O’Connor filled the dark and smokey bar room, “Nothing compares to you…” Such a beautiful voice. Such a beautiful sentiment.
Feeling all sentimental the Burnin’ Swede headed over to the payphone to call his wife back home. Big Mike challenged the winner at the pool table to a game and that started his run of the pool table. Dangerous Dan (a name he picked up because of his inability to accurately estimate the size of his opponent in an argument that went terribly wrong…another story for another time). Anyway, Dan sat with me at the table nursing his beer, watching Mike begin his run of the pool table. Mike’s first victim was just starting to realize that he was in way over his head when we heard it again. Sinead O’Connor singing “Nothing Compares to You.” Hmmm. Odd. We had just heard that tune but, you know, it was still on the charts and pretty popular. Nice.
The second victim quickly fell to Big Mike (he was called Big Mike, well, because he was big…like a giant kind of big. Nobody ever argued with Big Mike…that kind of big). And then we heard it again. Sinead O’Connor, “Nothing Compares to You.” Wow. Three times in pretty quick succession. Weird.
No longer weird, we heard it for a fourth time. After the fifth time Dan and I realized that we were actually on to something. We knew we had to count how many times we heard this song tonight. We took Dan’s deck of smokes and turned the inside cover into a tally sheet. Four little ticks with one across them to start the count.
Now, I am dying if I’m lying, but we heard Sinead O’Connor sing her little ditty 37 times that night. Thirty-seven times. Consider that we were in the community cultural centre for approximately five hours (during which Big Mike played, and defeated every single pool table challenger). Five hours divided by 37 means that every eight minutes or so somebody got up and stuffed their quarters into the jukebox and selected “Nothing Compares to You.” Every eight minutes.
I never really did like that song again after that night. It just wasn’t right anymore.