Just a few minutes ago, when I happened to be sitting on the toilet, I couldn't stop staring at the folded over edge of the grocery store bag lining the garbage can. I could see this phrase printed inside out and backwards
I AM 100% DEGRADABLE!
And then I realized that "degradable" backwards is "elbadarged," which looks a lot like el debarged. As in El De Barge, 80's pop star and lead singer of De Barge?
Surely you must remember his falsetto voice singing "To the beat of the rhythm of the night!" The group De Barge consisted of El, his sister, and his four brothers, including James, who was once married to Janet Jackson. I was confused - I always thought that Janet was married to El, which made me suppose that to be "El De Barged" is to be married to a man who is actually gay. But then I did a web search and realized that it was actually James...
Anyway, you may want to call "Rhythm of the Night" a one hit wonder, but De Barge had other chart toppers like "Who's Holding Donna Now?" and "You Wear It Well", which to this day, always gets stuck in my head whenever I hear that phrase. I mean, El's high pitched girly croon is hard to forget, kinda like Frankie Valli. And after El ditched the rest of the band, he had a hit with "Who's Johnny?" from the Short Circuit soundtrack. El was big for a bit.
I remember this one episode of "The Facts of Life" in which El De Barge made a special appearance. Tootie was all acting like she was swooning over him, which is sort of like seeing teenyboppers scream over Clay Aiken in one of his old music videos. I mean, I'm sure it happened sometime, somewhere in the world, but give me a break.
A cursory web search reveals the most recent news about El De Barge - last fall, he was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, and then he went to jail. So, maybe to be "El De Barged" is to be a successful Motown artist who later descends to a sitcom appearance along the slow but steady drop to prison life.
All I can say is, I appreciate you El De Barge. Your music, your voice, and your hair set the tone of a strangely surreal era - an era for which I am oddly nostalgic.