Jewish World Review Sept. 30, 2003 / 4 Tishrei, 5764

Jeff Elder

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Consumer Reports

Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp?; How do antiperspirants work? | Q: Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? - John Arant

A: Who was that man? I'd like to shake his hand. He made my baby fall in love with me.

Yes, John and I are geeks.

But we're not just blurting out these weird lines from nowhere. They're from the great 1961 hit "Who Put the Bomp" by Barry Mann. (Who co-wrote with Cynthia Weil "On Broadway," and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling.") This parody of doo-wop songs asks questions that are crucial to our intellectual purpose, such as:

Who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong?

Who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop?

And who put the dip in the dip da dip da dip?

All these queries got us thinking about the musical questions out there. (For today's column our house bands are Question Mark and the Mysterians and the Who.)

There are classic questions:

Who wrote the book of love?

  • Why do fools fall in love?

And the purely informational:

  • How much is that doggie in the window?

  • Do you know the way to San Jose?

  • Is that the Chattanooga Choo-Choo?

The philosophical:

  • Does anybody really know what time it is?

And the whimsical:

  • Jeepers, creepers, where'd ya get them peepers?

There are the pathetic:

  • Why does the sun go on shining?

  • Why don't you love me like you used to do?

And the cruel:

  • What have you done for me lately?

  • How can I miss you if you won't go away?

There's a question for nuns:

  • How do you solve a problem like Maria?

And punks:

  • Should I stay or should I go?

There are today's real-life painful musical questions:

  • How much is this CD?

  • Will I get my butt sued because my kid downloaded an entire radio station?

The elegance of jazz standards:

  • What's new?

  • How long has this been going on?

    And the suggestive sass of disco:

  • Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?

    And a question to end on:

  • Is that all there is?


    Q: How do antiperspirants work? When did women start shaving their armpits? - Kathryn Johnson

    Donate to JWR

    A: Welcome to another episode of "ARMPIT HUNTER"! I'm the Right Guard for your Secret, you can be Sure. Roll on!

    Sweat itself doesn't smell bad. In areas like underarms, where sweat can't readily evaporate, bacteria thrive and break down the sweat. That's what causes a stink.

    Solid antiperspirants are made with several ingredients, including wax, a liquid emollient and an active ingredient made from an aluminum-based compound. It's that active ingredient that gives antiperspirants their sweat-blocking power.

    As your deodorant dissolves, aluminum ions are taken into the cells that line the sweat gland ducts. When the aluminum ions are drawn into the cells, water passes in with them, causing the cells to swell and squeezing the ducts closed so that sweat can't get out.

    Repeated tests show blocking the sweat is not bad for you. In a day or so the antiperspirant wears off and the sweat gland ducts open again.

    In the spring of 1915, sleeveless dresses and modern dance were suddenly all the rage. This literally bared a new part of the body to marketers. A shocking word - "underarm" - began to appear in fashion columns and ads. Fashionistas dictated that when women raised their arms there should be no hair there. That's when the custom - on this side of the Atlantic - began.

    SOURCES:, Secret


    This time on cowgirls:

    1. Who kept her own name when she married a movie star cowboy?

    2. What native of Princeton, Mo., drank hard, wore men's clothes, cussed, chewed tobacco and rescued soldiers in Old West battles?

    3. True or false: Connie Douglas Reeves, a 101-year-old Texas cowgirl who taught more than 30,000 young girls to ride horses, died this summer of pneumonia in a nursing home.

    4. What obstacle race is a hallmark of women's rodeo?


    1. Dale Evans

    2. Calamity Jane

    3. False. She did die this summer at 101, but after a fall from a horse.

    4. Barrel racing

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    Jeff Elder is a columnist for The Charlotte Observer. Comment or try to stump him by clicking here.


    09/24/03: Why do snooze alarms go off every 9 minutes?
    09/17/03: Glad You Asked: Fun with college football
    09/09/03: What's so great about Wiffle Ball?
    09/03/03: What kinda wine goes best with heartache?; What did people do before alarm clocks were invented?; which has more caffeine: coffee or tea?
    08/26/03: These inventors were just toying with us
    08/12/03: Why do wheels appear to turn backward on film?; showdown over high noon
    08/07/03: Wood'n you know it? Money doesn't grow on trees; all we are is dust in the wind
    08/05/03: Where have you gone, Calvin, Opus and Cow?; fine feathered friend pecking on itself
    07/31/03: How a dashing hero became a notorious traitor
    07/29/03: Little red caboose rolling outta sight; From my 'I'll be a monkey's uncle' file
    07/24/03: Road scholar: A lesson on asphalt; when identical twins marry
    07/23/03: The sweet science of Life Savers' sparks; how do Pop Rocks work? ripping newspaper

    © , The Charlotte Observer Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.