Lou Reed set the bar rather low with his idea of the perfect day: sips of sangria in the park, a trip to the zoo, a movie. "It Was a Good Day" also kept it simple, with Ice Cube's ideal 24 hours consisting of mom's home cooking, playing craps, and a Lakers victory. Nigerian Afro-funk band BLO whittled the perfect day down to a few basic elements with "It's Gonna Be a Good Day": having a glass of wine, turning your back on worrisome things.
With Father's Day a little more than a week away, I'm aiming a bit higher. I'd be fibbing if I said I wasn't expecting a day of perfection that's prodigious in scope and breadth. For those conducting the necessary preparations, I've been kind enough to provide details ...
I want to wake to discover an e-mail from English filmmaker Michael Winterbottom, which opens with him writing, "Paul McCartney and Dan Treacy are England's two greatest living songwriters and you can cover the gap between them with an ant's umbrella." Then I want Winterbottom to inform me that he's directing a Treacy biopic and that he stumbled across some barely coherent detritus of mine on the Internet in which I essentially canonized the troubled English singer-songwriter and how it's with utmost pleasure that he's offering me a part in his film: the role of Prison Inmate No. 3.
• Over breakfast, I want to watch a crisply edited montage set to Tina Turner's "Simply the Best" of the most stupefying moments of unintentional absurdity from KISS's collection of '80s music videos: Paul executing his trademark Stanley Shuffle (that bouncing side-step dance where he swings his right arm wildly while cradling an always unused guitar with his left); Gene Simmons trying his hardest to look surly, swiping at microphones like a senile elderly man swatting at a nurse offering him his pills; the replacement longhairs (Vinnie Vincent, Mark St. John, and Bruce Kulick) awkwardly crotch-thrusting and guitar neck-stroking, looking over their shoulder at Stanley and/or Simmons with glances that say, "Am I doing this correctly?"; the chest hair dye jobs; the cartoonish sets; the O-faces; the wardrobe malfunctions (Stanley looks ready to scrub toilets with these yellow-green gloves); and the shirtless, nipple-to-nipple harmonizing on one mic.
• I want Gregory Abbott to call me and sing an a cappella version of his 1986 No. 1 hit "Shake You Down." Afterward, I want Abbott to explain in vivid detail the inspiration for what's arguably the greatest pop music couplet of my generation: "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe/Come on girl, let's shock the show."
• According to legend, as a child, My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields and his sister, Ann Marie, would hum the same note for hours at a time. Inspired by this anecdote, I want my five children to sit at our kitchen table and hum Spiritualized's "200 Bars." Each child will take up a different component of the song. One will mimic Kate Radley's counting in the background, one will tackle the droning organ, another can do the bass melody, another can handle the strummed guitar parts, and so forth.