Phil Harris – The Thing

First hit #1: December 2, 1950

Ninety percent of the time I hate novelty songs. The Thing is a novelty song. Yeah you can see where this is going.

The Thing is the story about a man who finds an object in a box. The object is never named, instead using three beats of a drum over where the words are supposed to be. Because of this, I will do what children’s TV has taught me to do and use the powers of my imagination, and suggest you do the same. Apparently it’s a bad thing, because every time the singer tries to give it away nobody wants it, and then he goes to hell after he dies because apparently carrying around a collection of viking midget potato salad porn (what did you imagine?) is grounds for eternal damnation.

The song is supposed to be wacky as the singer ruins all his relationships and frightens a hobo, but it rests on the vital question: why the hell is he carrying around this extremely specific erotica? He just found it on the beach, he decided to pick it up, and then everyone’s mad at him because his thing is upsetting to them. It makes him seem like he either has a mental disability or having an unorthodox fetish that he never realized would be upsetting. Even after he was carrying it around, he did want to get rid of it, why not just toss it in the bin after the first guy threatens you for having it? It’s not like it’s attached to him, and I’m pretty sure bins existed in 1950. I know, different time, they had to buy their visual aids or find them in the forest rather than just go online, but trash cans? They did exist, I know that much. Again, this makes him seem to have a mental disability, which actually is more sad than funny.

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