Rock-it sci­ence: Win­ning par­o­dies

The Washington Post Sunday - - DIVERSIONS - BY PAT MY­ERS

Our par­ody con­test for Week 1235 asked for songs re­lated to sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy. It was a de­lib­er­ately broad cat­e­gory, em­brac­ing ev­ery­thing from gene splic­ing to tweets, and both the in­for­ma­tional and the po­lit­i­cal.

In read­ing the hun­dreds of songs sub­mit­ted, the Em­press dis­cov­ered that a bunch of profs out there en­joy writ­ing par­o­dies for other sci­en­tists or their col­lege stu­dents, since dozens of the songs had such catchy lyrics as “Com­pet­ing in­hi­bi­tion keeps the sub­strates from the ac­tive site/ They raise Km, but leave Vmax and shirk” (from a par­ody of “Close to You”). For our more nerdi­cally in­clined read­ers, the E links to some of these Chem Lab Rock par­o­dies in this week’s Style Con­ver­sa­tional at wapo.st/ conv1239. 4th place Heat It (To “Beat It”) They tell me that it’s get­ting warm around here, The po­lar ice is shrink­ing, gonna dis­ap­pear. The car­bon that we use will trap air around the sphere And heat it, yes, heat it, We bet­ter act, we bet­ter do what we can, Don’t wanna swell the seas, don’t wanna lose Ja­pan, The Earth is in a bind, and stuff’s gonna hit the fan And heat it. If you wanna sur­vive, don’t heat it (heat it), Do I have to go and re­peat it? If we don’t stop, we’ll be in a plight, It re­ally mat­ters who’s wrong and right, Don’t heat it! (Dun­can Stevens, Vi­enna, Va.) 3rd place The Cab­i­net Is Bare (to “Won­der­ful World”) Don’t be­lieve in pre­his­tory; pooh­pooh pa­le­on­tol­ogy. Don’t know what evo­lu­tion’s for; Grand­pappy rode on a di­nosaur. But I’m solidly pro-GOP; I gave ’em 2 mil­lion, maybe 3 So now I’m gonna run DOE. Don’t know much about fos­sil fuel; made me rich, so I think it’s cool. Just can’t un­der­stand cli­mate shift; my diploma was Daddy’s gift. If the Earth goes ka­put one day, I’ll be rap­tured up any­way, So now I’m gonna lead EPA. Oh, I don’t claim to be an A stu­dent; never tried to be, ’Cause all that I’ve needed for qual­i­fi­ca­tions is the Right ide­ol­ogy. Got a D in bi­ol­ogy; then flunked or­ganic chem­istry. Don’t know squat about the hu­man bod; just leave ev­ery­thing up to God. But we’ve got the best ré­sumé — greas­ing palms is our big forte — And now we’re dumb­ing down U.S.A. (Nan Reiner, Boca Ra­ton, Fla.) 2nd place and the face­cov­er­ing chicken hat: The Beauty of Drug Patents (to “Be Our Guest”) We “in­vest”! We “in­vest”! ’Cause our game plan is the best! We make plays for med­i­ca­tions Where the prices are de­pressed! We know lives are at stake, But what prof­its we can make! So who cares about the karma? Don’t be­lieve me? Ask Big Pharma! Do we gouge? Maybe so! But we’re rak­ing in the dough! If the pa­tent sys­tem’s bro­ken, who’d have guessed? So chill and don’t be jelly Of ol’ Martin Shkreli, Be im­pressed! He’s been blessed! We “in­vest”! (Mark Raffman, Re­ston, Va.) And the win­ner of the Inkin’ Me­mo­rial: Come To­gether Sper­ma­tozo-on, he come swim­ming real speedy In some gooey liq­uid, got plans, yes in­deedy. He is sure one motile guy, Got to reach that ovum with an X or a Y. Egg hated ovary, found it quite dystopian, Burst loose from her prison, to­ward the tube fal­lop­ian. She say, “Male ga­mete, I sur­mise: We’ll be­come a zy­gote if we just frat­er­nize.” Come to­gether right now, Fer­til­ize! (Hildy Zam­pella, Falls Church, Va.) If you al­ready have a porkpie hat: Im­pe­rial Scion Va­lerie Holt in this week’s sec­ond prize. Good in the­ory: Hon­or­able men­tions Galileo! (To “Ok­la­homa!”) Galileo said, “I have big news for every­one. Take a look with me and you will see That the Earth re­volves around the sun!” “Galileo!” cried a much-in­fu­ri­ated pope. “Your apos­tate views are just fake news. You can­not be­lieve your tele­scope! “The text of the Tes­ta­ment proves That the Earth that God made never moves. “Now you must say, ‘Abre­nunto!’ Re­nounce your views to­day. Get on your knees and pray to the Lord, Galileo. Galileo, obey!” (Barbara Sarshik, McLean, Va.) My Biome To “My Sharona” Ooh, my lit­tle germy one, my squirmy one, Thanks for giv­ing all of your slime, my biome. Ooh, at mak­ing me di­gest, you are the best, Got my vi­tal signs on the climb, my biome. Haute cui­sine or slop, you don’t stop; salad, soup or nuts; Casse­role or chop, sauce on top — ’cause you have real guts. Pie, rye, chai, mai-tai, go! M-m-m-mi­cro­biome. (Melissa Bal­main, Rochester, N.Y.) Fa­cial-Recog­ni­tion Pay­ments (To ’“I’ve Just Seen a Face”) I’ll pay with my face For what I buy in ev­ery place And breathe a sigh Once this tech­nol­ogy Can scan my mug and know it’s me Some­how mmm-mmm-mmmm’mmm-mmm Fa­cial recog­ni­tion would For sure pro­mote the com­mon good, And we won’t carry cash, IDs, Or credit cards on shop­ping sprees Oh wow dee-dee-dee-dee’n-dee All in, yes I am all in! Let’s start in­stallin’ These sys­tems now. (Chris Doyle, Denton, Tex.) And last: To “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” I’m a pray-ing ma-an-tis, I am Pray-ing ma-an-tis I am, I am I got mar­ried to the widow next door; She’s been mar­ried seven times be­fore And ev­ery one was a [CRUNCH!] (Marni Pen­ning Cole­man, Falls Church, Va.) There were far too many ex­cel­lent song par­o­dies this week even to get ink on­line. See about a dozen more hon­or­able men­tions — cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing from vac­cines to the physics of Max Scherzer’s arm — in the on­line In­vite at wapo.st/in­vite1239. Plus all week, the Em­press will post other ink-wor­thy par­o­dies on the Style In­vi­ta­tional Devo­tees page on Face­book at on.fb.me/in­vdev. Still run­ning — dead­line Mon­day night, Aug. 7: our con­test for D-EF phrases. See wapo.st/ in­vite1238.

BRADY HOLT

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