Sep 26, 2012

Bill Crisper

by Kami Cornwall

 When I was five years old my mother sometimes checked out records from the library for us to enjoy. Robin Hood, Pinocchio, and Snow White were our favorites. I sat right up against a big, fuzzy, black speaker and sang along. After a rousing round of “Someday My Prince Will Come” I followed my mother into the kitchen and asked, “Why don't they call Prince Charming by his first name?”

“What? What do you mean, honey?” My mother was clearly trying to recall Prince Charming's first name. It seemed she couldn't remember Snow White calling him by his given name either.

“His name is Bill.” I said flatly. I stared at her in all seriousness, hoping her memory would soon return.

“Bill?” Mom held a fluttering hand over her lips and stifled a laugh.

“Yes. She sings, Bill Crisper, I love you. She calls him Bill. Why doesn't anyone else?”

Mom looked up at the ceiling and then back at me. After a deep breath she calmly said, “Oh, honey...she's singing He'll whisper, but there are a lot of scratches on that record and it's hard to understand each word. I am sure his name isn't Bill. She's saying He'll whisper I Love You. I promise.” I looked around to make sure my brother or sisters hadn't overheard this obvious misunderstanding. They would swiftly pounce on the opportunity to make fun of me. As luck would have it, they were nowhere in sight so I casually made my way to the record player, switched it off, and went out the front door to squish some ants.

This was the first of many "lyrically challenged" moments that followed. Anyone else have this problem? 


  1. Love it! Yes, I have had my share of those moments... "Before He Cheats" was a classic misunderstanding:
    "...carved my name in to his "lettuce leaves" did not make sense, and then I thought Carrie Underwood was singing "legacy" which made more sense, but not totally. It took me weeks to figure out she really saying "leather seat!


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