I've been job searching, and recently found a job. But that's not what this post will be about. This post will be about my favorite job posting, found on Craigslist.
The job listing wasn't so much for a job, as it was for a contest. A contest for the best song about the retirement community called The Seville, the writer of which would win $300. Now, I am an amateur songwriter but I enjoy the art, and my interest was piqued at this chance to earn some hard cash by stringing together the right kind of words and tune. What kind of song could they possibly be looking for? I stewed over the question for a few days and then surprised myself by taking the ad writer's suggestion--I went to the Seville, in person, to "get a feel for the place."
With a brochure in hand, a 4-minute, awkward conversation with The Seville management behind me, and a much better understanding of what kind of song I needed to write, I returned home. I was surprised to learn that the winning song would not be some sort of 30-second radio jingle, but rather, a sort of theme song designed to be sung by the residents about the place they live. I also learned that The Seville is a place where retired people can go to enjoy retirement. They eat three chef-prepared meals a day, can exercise in the exercise room, socialize with other retirees, and can even travel and stay in any of some odd 250 Sevilles around the country (all of this included in their easy, month-to-month rent payment). They can bring their pets with them. There is no medical care at the Seville. These, I concluded, were the rich, hip grandparents who don't feel like taking care of their house anymore, but not because they can't.
Anyway, I wrote a song. And because The Seville's brochure indicated that The Seville was part of a chain called "Holiday Residences" or "Holiday" something or other, I used the word "holiday" in the chorus. And the chorus, which I can't sing without imagining a chorus of elderly voices clamoring along with me, says, "Who says you need a holiday to feel this way?" I'll spare you the rest of the lyrics.
The funny part was yesterday, when I sang my newly-written song to my roommate, Megan--I always like to test new songs out on her--and I forgot to explain to her what sort of a place The Seville was. So as I was singing, she was imagining a place much like the majority of nursing homes I think we've all been to. And after I sang the line, "Who says you need a holiday to feel this way?" a few times, she finally couldn't keep it in any longer. She shook her head and asked, "Feel what way? Sick and dying?!"
It's true that people with oxygen tanks and wheel chairs don't need a holiday to feel whatever way they're feeling. But would they really sing a song about it? Probably not. At the same time, would perfectly healthy seniors actually go around singing the song written about the place they live? Would my roommates and I ever sing a song written in tribute to the ghetto apartment complex we call home?
Maybe I'll let you know how the contest turns out.