By Steve Galea
I have had the Apple Music app on my cell phone for a while, but I have never paid any attention to it. This is because I naturally assumed that it only played apple-themed songs. You know, tunes with lyrics such as “Don’t sit under the apple tree, with anyone else but me…”
I have nothing against that 81-year-old song, but it is a little dated. So, imagine my surprise when I butt-dialed the Apple Music app the other day and heard a song that is, unless I’m totally out of touch, something that is much more current and popular with the kids.
I am, of course, referring to the song, No Scrubs, by TLC.
It goes without saying that any song written and performed by The Learning Channel is going to get my attention, man. And this one was no different.
In case you haven’t heard it, No Scrubs is, as the cool kids say, “a snazzy little number with a good beat and a toe-tapping tempo!”
And I was really getting into the music, but soon became shocked and dismayed by the lyrics.
It was not at all what I expected.
I mean, I don’t think I can be faulted for assuming that No Scrubs was a playful song describing what normal teenagers feel about dishwashing in general and pot-scrubbing in particular.
But, boy, was I wrong. It’s not about that at all.
Apparently, these days (and by that, I mean since 1999) kids are using the term Scrub to describe a dog. Yes, No Scrubs is an anti-dog song.
Don’t believe me?
Listen to the following lyrics describing what a “Scrub” is.
“….Hangin’ out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride, trying to holla at me.”
If that isn’t describing a dog, I don’t know what is.
To be fair, the lyrics describe a situation that is not uncommon. Sure, my dog and I are best friends. Yes, Rosie hangs out the passenger side of my ride. And, I’ll even concede that she does “holla” at passersby every now and again. (Though around here we call it bark.)
Heck, I will even go so far as to admit a lot of dogs do this.
But, honestly, is it fair to stereotype all dogs with this tired old canine trope?
And then sing, almost teasingly, “I don’t want no scrubs…”
Please tell me members of The Learning Channel, what else is a dog supposed to do in a car? Drive? They’re already tried that on You Tube and it didn’t work out so well.
You don’t have to be a genius to conclude that this song was written by cat people – or perhaps even a cat.
Before anyone says I am over-reacting, let me just say this was not a one-off thing either. TLC has also made fun of dogs in at least two other songs, notably, “Ain’t to proud to beg” and “Waterfalls”, which speaks in a condescending manner to dogs with the line “Don’t go chasing waterfalls…”
I believe that if the talented singers of The Learning Channel would get to know dogs or, OK, “Scrubs” a little better, they would be pleasantly surprised by what they discovered.
Scrubs are loyal, loving, sweet companions. They brighten your day and are always happy to see you.
If you don’t want no scrubs, hey, it’s your loss.
Unless you are actually talking about scrubbing pots and pans. In which case, I understand completely…