By popular demand (well, actually it was Sophia), I’ve moved this comment from my Jane Austen/Pussycat Dolls post over here so it can have its own home.  Why?  I’m not really sure. 

Here was Mernitman’s request –

“Risking the lit-esoterica zone, I’ll put my bid in to see the Melville/Beck mash-up, in which Bartleby the Scrivener sings, “I would prefer not to / I’M A LOSER, BABY!”…”

So, here it goes, just for you:



Imagine my surprise, nay, my consternation, when, without moving from his privacy, Bartleby, in a singularly mild, firm voice, replied, “I would prefer not to.”

In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey
Butane in my veins and I’m out to cut the junkie
With the plastic eyeballs, spray-paint the vegetables
Dog food stalls with the beefcake pantyhose

I sat awhile in perfect silence, rallying my stunned faculties. Immediately it occurred to me that my ears had deceived me, or Bartleby had entirely misunderstood my meaning. I repeated my request in the clearest tone I could assume; but in quite as clear a one came the previous reply, “I would prefer not to.”

Kill the headlights and put it in neutral
Stock car flaming with a loser in the cruise control
Baby’s in Reno with the vitamin-D
Got a couple of couches, sleep on the loveseat
Someone keeps sayin’ I’m insane to complain about

“Prefer not to,” echoed I, rising in high excitement, and crossing the room with a stride. “What do you mean? Are you moon-struck? I want you to help me compare this sheet here — take it,” and I thrust it towards him.

“I would prefer not to,” said he.

A shotgun wedding and a stain on my shirt
Don’t believe everything that you breathe
You get a parking violation and a maggot on your sleeve
So shave your face with some mace in the dark
Saving all your food stamps and burnin’ down the trailer park
Yo cut it!

I looked at him steadfastly. His face was leanly composed; his gray eyes dimly calm. Not a wrinkle of agitation rippled him. Had there been the least uneasiness, anger, impatience or impertinence in his manner; in other words, had there been anything ordinarily human about him, doubtless I should have violently dismissed him from the premises.

Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby
So why don’t you kill me?

But as it was I should have as soon thought of turning my pale plaster-of-Paris bust of Cicero out of doors. I stood gazing at him awhile, as he went on with his own writing, and then reseated myself at my desk. This is very strange, thought I. What had one best do?

(double-barrel buckshot)
Soy un perdedor
I’m a loser baby
So why don’t you kill me?

Try one yourself!