Brunch in Boston

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Brunch in Boston – or anywhere really – is a time to get caught up and let the conversation meander. No policy or politics this morning. Just some thoughts on kids, grey hair and Engelbert Humperdink.


My brunch partner has an issue with America and its cultural decline. I know this is a broad and ugly topic, and it has gotten to the point where some blame our cultural loss for the Islamic Fundamentalist movement’s fire.

Guys, I don’t get it. I mean, my sausage, yogurt and fruit (not a traditional mix, I know) was accompanied by Tom Jones over the wire. First we got the oldies-but-goodies like “What’s new pussycat?” with its deep refrain of

Pussycat, pussycat, I love you.

Yes, I do, you and your pussycat eyes.

What’s new pussycat, whoa-whoa-whoa.

Then came “my, my, my, Delilah” blaring its faux Mariachi horns. Then Tom’s, uh, delightful cover of a Talking Heads song. Now, Tom was my mother’s favorite, or maybe second favorite right after Engelbert Humperdink. As a first-generation Syrian, she was a lousy speller but could spell EH’s name — and that was a mouthful. (Perhaps a good MCAS question?) And the Talking Heads were a favorite of mine. (I like big suits and can’t sing.)

For the first time I was jealous of my daughters’ generation — and hopeful for the future. They’ve got to be able to come up with something better than Tom Jones, EH, and the Talking Heads. How can we talk about a decline? I have great confidence in my kiddos to do better.

If you are hungering for Humperdink, please do not hold yourself back. Click here where you can “Link to Humperdink,” as his official site proudly urges. Oh, yeah, why doesn’t he have grey hair?