An open letter to the Barenaked Ladies

In which we straighten out some bent 90s metaphors to ask: what the bejesus is this band on about?

Dear Barenaked Ladies,

My first problem is your name. Barenaked is tautological. When you are naked, you are bare. If you were going for bear naked, then you can’t spell and you’d still be wrong because bears are covered in fur. Also, ladies. If they’re naked, fellas, are they really ladies or are you kidding yourselves? What’s more, there are no women – ladies or otherwise, naked or otherwise, in your band so I reckon you might be advertising falsely there.

Which brings me to your big hit, One Week. There are several grammatical errors in your text I feel the need to point out, along with some factual inconsistencies. Your opening line “It’s been one week since you looked at me” is in past tense and inactive. The contraction “it’s” to represent “it has” is acceptable but far from standard practice.

You have also failed to identify either protagonist and set the scene. Throughout the text, you explain the happenings of the past week to the unnamed other person but it is clear from your description that the person was also present, and therefore it is unnecessary to catalogue what happened.

Despite establishing the past-tense nature of your story, you soon lost your path, launching into what can only be called a tirade of cultural references. I feel I must refute some of these claims:

  • Snickers’ parent company MARS, while using satisfaction as an advertising ploy, have never expressly guaranteed satisfaction. In fact, earlier this year the size of an average bar dropped from 2.07 ounces to 1.86 ounces, so one could argue they satisfy now less than ever.
  • Smoking Man appears in 40 of The X-Files’ 203 episodes, which is roughly one in five. He was presumed dead and did not appear for several latter seasons, however, so it would have been more scientific to watch early seasons where his appearances were more frequent.
  • In my view, Leanne Rimes does not represent good value. Her Greatest Hits collection is $16.99 on iTunes, which is at the upper end of what you would expect to pay for someone whose most recent hit was 13 years ago.
  • Vanilla is the finest of the flavors, eh? A (admittedly not particularly scientific) survey by ice cream company Baskin-Robbins earlier this year found those who liked vanilla were more likely to be idealistic, easily suggestible and impulsive. So I guess that explains a lot.

I have taken the liberty of correcting your text, and cut some lines for clarity.

“We have spent a week together. It has been confusing.”

I trust you will re-record the song forthwith now I have pointed out your error.

You’re very welcome,

Lyndal Cairns