Holding to the Oldies

I had to call my mother’s AARP health insurance company this morning to find out what the deductible was on her medicare supplement plan. 

Several months ago I’d tried to talk about her plan over the phone with them and was told she would have to submit a written form designating me as someone who could be trusted to act in her behalf. 

(The whole purpose behind that call was to see if they’d received the check I’d sent them after I found out my mother hadn’t paid her premiums for the last two months and was in danger of having her insurance terminated.  I don’t know what a person would do if their parent wasn’t lucid enough to fill out that form—forgery, perhaps?  Appearing in person at their corporate offices dressed up as Mrs. Doubtfire maybe?)

Anyway, I got into their system and proceeded through the automated menu with the help of the nice disembodied female voice on the other end of the line.  She had the soft, reassuring tones of Miss Nancy on the old t.v. show “Romper Room.”  All I needed was some graham crackers and milk and I was back in the 1950’s again.

After jumping through the automated hoops I was finally going to be turned over to a living breathing agent.  But first I had to be on hold for awhile.  Now, some businesses have really annoying “music to hold by.”  Often I’ve had to put the phone out at arm’s length to keep from being deafened before the end of the call.

This time it was different.  For a company primarily dedicated to older folks, their music wasn’t very loud at all.  Go figure.  And the tune I was listening to also took me back to the 1950’s. 

It was Perry Como singing “Papa Loves Mambo,” kind of the quintessential fifties song—slightly silly lyrics with a bit of sexual innuendo thrown in for good measure.  I liked it. 

Perry Como recorded it on August 31, 1954; it was released in September, and charted on October 4, eventually peaking at number four, spending eighteen weeks on the charts. It was Perry’s 98th hit.

So here it is for you to enjoy.  I’m sure when we baby boomers get a little further along in age and find ourselves put on hold when calling AARP, we’ll be listening to the music from our youth too. 

Only with our luck, it’ll be The Captain and Tennille singing “Muskrat Love.”

Papa loves mambo
Mama loves mambo
Look at ’em sway with it
Gettin’ so gay with it
Shoutin’ “olay” with it, wow (huh)

Papa loves mambo
(Papa loves mambo)
Mama loves mambo
(Mama loves mambo)
Papa does great with it
Swings like a gate with it
He loses weight with it, now

He goes to, she goes fro
He goes fast, she goes slow
He goes left ‘n’ she goes right

(Papa’s lookin’ for Mama)
(But mama is nowhere in sight) (huh)

Papa loves mambo
Mama loves mambo
Havin’ their fling again
Younger than spring again
Feelin’ that zing again, wow (huh)

Papa loves mambo
(Papa loves mambo)
Mama loves mambo
(Mama loves mambo)
Don’t let her rumba and don’t let her samba
‘Cause Papa loves Mama tonight (huh)