Bendin’ in the Wind

· culture ·

If you don't like football (and I really don't), there's a bit of a scarcity of decent stuff on the box at the moment. I've been doing more reading, pottering around in the garden and making a first pass at trimming down the pile of junk we seem to have accumulated in two years in our current house, so that we don't export the junk to our new place. This is all good, constructive stuff, but there are times when you just want to plonk yourself down in front of the TV and watch something funny.

So I picked out one of my favourite episodes of Futurama from our DVD collection, which happens to feature Bender heavily^1^, but also one of my favourite singers, Beck: 'Bendin' in the Wind'.

The plot, to summarise briefly, involves Bender being horribly mangled in an incident with a giant magnetic can opener, so that he can't move his arms or legs. While bemoaning his lot in the hospital, he starts talking to the head of Beck in a jar (who is in the next bed, being attached to the body of a shop dummy). Beck gives Bender a tiny pair of robot arms to attach to his neck, with which he can play his ripped-up metal torso like a washboard. Beck persuades him to go on tour as part of his band, and they eventually start up a benefit concert ('Bend-Aid') in aid of mangled robots.

The whole thing is hilarious, with Beck making some very funny jokes against himself:

Beck: That song doesn't usually last three hours, but we got into a serious thing... and then I forgot how it ended.

Anyway, the point that I'm trying to get to, while waylaying myself telling you what a great episode it was, is that there was an act in the benefit concert that made me giggle uncontrollably for hours afterwards, and still makes me laugh thinking about it now: Cylon and Garfunkel. The verbal pun and visual gags were funny enough in themselves, but then Garfunkel (a descendent of Art Garfunkel, and a sound-alike) starts singing "Scarborough Fair" is his trademark, gentle, plaintive voice. When we get to the "Parsely, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" bit, and Cylon steps in to sing the line in his monotonal Cylon voice, his red eye scanners flipping back and forth in time to the music.

I'm not going to be able to hear the original without hearing the Cylon part now. Funny and geeky.

^1^ Actually most of my favourites revolve around Bender, including this one.