Letters to Younger Me

Playing Tag Team

“Whoomp! (There It Is)” is such a great song. I love it. I play it as loud as I can sometimes. Music is better when it’s loud.”

June 24, 1993

Dearest Lil’Wonky,

Wow do I have some good news for you! Twenty-eight years after this, you will be thrust back into the magic of Tag Team through the portal of an insurance company. It won’t feel as stupid as it may sound to you now. I mean – it will when you stop and think about it. But they do a great job transferring their deep and meaningful lyrics into ice cream puns and I promise you and all of the other people born in your age range will find it really witty and funny.

Unfortunately, I remembered that you wrote about this and simply had to find the day. And on my way, I saw that you actually referenced this song on three separate occasions. One was basketball related – we’ve covered your love for that already. One was this entry – your foray into both identifying the beauty of volume and the beginning of your complete inability to pay attention to the words in a song.

One was you celebrating after kissing someone.

I’m not sure how to address this part with you yet. I feel like it’s teaching you about the birds and the bees… like it’s the most awkward possible conversation imaginable and part of the elder in the scenario just wants to say nothing because they know you’ll eventually find out. But then they worry that you would learn the hard way so they know it is their responsibility to trudge through the conversation anyway.

That’s where I’m at here, Lil’Wonky. I am genuinely concerned for the health of all of your future relationships should I not stop you from kissing a person and what? Pumping your fist and shouting, “Whoomp! (There It Is)!” as you walk away? That is the best case scenario here. Because if you are saying it to the kissee, then you are going to struggle a lot.

And by “struggle,” I mean “fail.”

Speaking of failure, this song definitely sets you on the road toward loving music that has nonsensical lyrics. I mean sure – you’re going to go through your burgeoning-lesbian-coming-of-age-during-Lilith-Fair-time adoration of singers like Sarah McLachlan, Tori Amos, and Indigo Girls.

Do you know who I would list as the absolute opposite of Tag Team, Lil’Wonky? The Indigo Girls.

Seriously, close your eyes right now and imagine the Girls doing a cover of “Whoomp! (There It Is).” Can you hear that sweet, sweet acoustic guitar and intricate harmonizing to this lyric:

Point blank – gin and juice I drink
And then invent as I puff on dank
Rock the mic, uh oh, I crave skin
Rip shit, find a honey dip to dip in in
Slam dunk it, stick it, flip it, and ride
That B-double-O-T-Y, oh my

Your father is an audiophile and you used his extremely expensive and advanced stereo equipment to pipe pop songs with great sounds and repetitive lyrical magic into your brain. You laid on the floor of the living room, listening to the radio so you could hit “Play/Record” when the songs you wanted to hear came on. You will write terrible little raps and even worse poetry, all inspired by catchy one-hit wonders.

Later, you will tell everyone you really loved grunge. “Another Night” by Real McCoy ain’t grunge, sweetie.

This is your fair warning, though, that soon after this entry you will publicly claim that Sarah’s “Elsewhere” and Indigo Girls’ “Ghost” are your most meaningful songs… and then you will close your door and listen to “Cotton Eye Joe” on repeat. It’s coming and someday, you will have to reckon with that.

You haven’t reckoned with it yet, though. Wait til you hear “Dance Monkey” for the first time. Mind-blowing.

Altogether, Lil’Wonky, you will never stop listening to music loudly and you will always maintain that louder is better. And someday you’ll discover EDM which was created almost entirely for your listening pleasure.

However, you will do all of this while single if you never stop shouting “Whoomp! (There It Is)” after kissing. Heed my warning. Please.


You with a literal degree in music, wonkypenguin

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