High school is a strange period in everyone’s life, more so in modern times where our media greatly influence (and twist) our expectations of what high school is or should be. For me, high school was five years of my life, two of which included the friends I needed at that point of my life (the onzaine, more on them later).
But strange still comes in other avenues, like the monthly-or-so audio advertisments in the morning announcements that included a 30-second clip of Mah Na Mah Na from The Muppet Show, which finished with a usually blownout addition that “The Devil’s Advocate is now on sale”.
The Advocate was, of course, the school newspaper. The music was, because, it was the student newspaper, and therefore of apparently questionable value, so they went with something that nearly every student in the school knew, because we were all of the age of having watched The Muppet Show and seen the particular clip:
The funny thing is, though, ads have a way of influencing you. And little did I know, but that ad would eventually turn me into a co-editor of the Advocate, along with my classmate, Jano. And for an entire year, we did all the writing, editing, publishing, printing (and cost-recovery to pay back for the printing), and advertising. We sat at the same table so many students had sat at before, working to sell the copies of what we had created. (We even tried to convince the teacher advisor, whom I think was Mr. Skilleter, but I can’t remember for sure, to rename the newspaper to the “Raglafart” – “Trafalgar spelled backwards” – until he told us of the time that it was named that way, which was a bit of a controversy and it wouldn’t fly.)
And yes, we carried on the announcements using the ubiquitous Mah Na Mah Na.
I don’t know if the Advocate is still printed (it was as of 2019), but I hope the monthly anthem hasn’t changed. It remains a fond, albeit distant memory, and I do still periodically hum or whistle it as I roam about the world.
And every so often, I’ll hear someone whistle it back.