Ghost World by Aimee Mann, 1999

Aimee Mann is the thinking man’s bombshell. She writes witty, intelligent stuff and I’m not sure why she’s not more famous. She wrote this ode to Daniel Clowes’ series of comic books and the graphic novel before they made a movie out of it. (I’ve always had a thing for quirky girls, and Enid Coleslaw is right up there with Daria Morgendorffer in my pantheon of girls I wish had actually existed when I was in high school.) I love this song, if for nothing else than this line, which completely sums up my high school summers: “Everyone I know is acting weird or way too cool/They hang out by the pool/So I just read a lot and ride my bike around the school.”

Sort-of connected thought: I watched the “Ghost World” movie with a 16-year-old friend of my daughters, figuring her odd intellect would get something out of Enid’s lifeview. Her only comment on the movie? “Jeez, check out the rack on Thora Birch.”

And OK, as long as we’re talking about “Ghost World” the movie, I have to add the “Jaan Pehchan Ho” dance number from “Gumnaam,” the 1965 Indian Agatha Christie ripoff that Enid was watching at the beginning of the movie. I love this damn thing, although it raises a number of questions:

1. Where did the chick in the gold dress learn to dance? An epileptic ward? (Just kidding.  Her name was Laxmi Chhaya, she was 17 when she did this scene, and she died of cancer in 2004.  The adorable die young.)
2. Who are all the fat-ass Western girls in the ugly pink dresses?
3. Why are they all wearing masks?
4. And who the fuck are “Ted Lyons and His Cubs?”

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