I have failed miserably at keeping up with the times, apparently. (Perhaps I shall count that as a positive.)
Two days ago, as I was getting the flu-ridden BB situated for bed, hubs and daughter Sissy walked in to tell him goodnight. I say “walked” but really it seemed like they were both having some sort of spasm, accompanied by some odd chant about a fox. What on earth?
“What, you haven’t heard of ‘What does the fox say’?” my husband asked.
Sissy chimed in. “Yeah, mom. Don’t you know, ‘What does the fox say, Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!’“
“Um, no…” I muttered, still puzzled.
“Just Google it, it’s by Ylvis” said hubs. “Yeah, that’s right, I keep up with pop culture,” and the man, who is gray-haired and 40, HIGH-FIVED our NINE YEAR OLD.
“Elvis?” I ran through Elvis’s catalog of songs in my head and couldn’t come up with anything about a fox. I didn’t really want to Google it, but if I didn’t figure out what was going on with my family, someone was fixin’ to have to get them to a doctor, and Google is a lot less expensive. So I did. And I found the video that has apparently swept the nation, totally under my radar.
“You have to watch the whole thing,” Sissy told me.
How could you not? To be honest, I couldn’t have stopped it if I wanted to. It’s so terrible and wonderful all at the same time, it sucks you in. You CANNOT TURN AWAY. Seriously. This video has weird hypnotic powers. Imagine the potential.
How did I miss this?
Probably because I hardly ever get on YouTube. On the other hand, my husband, as much disdain as he portends to have for Twitter and Facebook, which are my main social media outlets of choice, is the king of YouTube and the internet news sites, neither of which I care much for. I will read stuff, but I don’t have time to wait for videos to load or to get to “the good part”. If I do go to YouTube, I’m looking for something specific. Never crossed my mind to look for a song about animal noises by a Norwegian pop duo.
So, what DOES the fox say?
After digesting this song thoroughly, I have come to the conclusion that the singer has either never heard a fox make a sound (and thus doesn’t know what the fox sounds like when it “says” something) or has heard the fox make a sound but cannot figure out how to reduce that sound to a sayable/spellable word (like “moo” or “meow” or “woof”).
Well, I can tell you what the dadgum fox says.
At our house, we know all too well.
There is a fox that lives in our neighborhood. When I say that, you are probably picturing in your mind a little country lane out in the woods. Wrong. We live smack dab in the middle of town, on a circle populated predominantly by ranch houses built in the 60s and 70s. It just happens to be a woodsy part of town.
I first encountered the fox in person about three years ago during a time in which I was actually getting up at 5:30 a.m. to run (by choice, no one was chasing me) just about every morning. One morning, as I rounded a curve in the circle, I came upon him (her?), standing under the still-lit streetlight. I slowed to a walk to see how close the fox would let me come. When I got about 20 feet away, it darted away between two houses into someone’s backyard. And about ten seconds later, I heard someone’s cat get the surprise of its life.
This was all fine and dandy and made simply for good conversation, until the fox found its way over to our house. Specifically, to the flower bed right under BB’s window, where it developed a habit of hanging out at about, oh, 11:00 p.m. most nights.
That is when I found out what a fox says.
What the fox says sounds exactly like the screams of a child who has just unexpectedly encountered, let’s say, both the actual Boogeyman and Freddy Krueger in person, at the same time.
Caterwaul is a good word for it.
Something like this:
Over. And Over. And Over.
Note: What a young child says upon being awakened by a fox “saying” this outside his window at night is remarkably similar.
At one point in the song, the singer appears to be musing that the fox might say, “Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff! Tchoff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff! Joff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!” I’m not sure that the spelling goes along with what he’s singing at the time, but that’s about as close as he got to what a fox actually says.
Given that the fox has been here for a few years, I suspect that it has surely by now reproduced and that what we are dealing with now is a family of foxes. We usually put straw in the flower beds about this time of year, but maybe that’s not such a good idea. We may have essentially unwittingly made the fox a little den.
Ylvis, the duo behind this crazy song, has hit a gold mine. The video was posted on YouTube on September 3, 2013 and had over 219 million views by this morning. In the U.S., the song debuted on on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 29 on September 12.
Last but definitely not least, it is now set to be released as a children’s book.
In my house, it might actually count as a horror story, at least to BB.