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Laugh Lines - Men respond to “wave you hand if you have one man” - Always a humorous moment in 'One man woman 'performance

Published:Thursday | September 21, 2017 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Contributed Gem Myers
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It happens almost every time singer Gem Myers says it. And it has been happening for more than 30 years, since she recorded One Man Woman in the mid 1980s.

As she performs the upbeat affirmation of a woman's commitment ("Every day man a check me/Tell me say dem love me/Love me to dem heart and soul ... .) the momentum builds. Declining the approaches as she cannot take the "botheration", Myers sings, "that is why I am a one man girl/I am a one man woman."

So far, so good, but then she gets to the audience interaction part of the song, requesting "hol' up yu han' if a one man woman or wave yu han' if yu have one man" - and then has to stop, as at least one man who is engrossed with the song duly holds up his hand and waves. The saucy Myers, sometimes with a hand on one hip and always with a smile on her lips, asks the band to stop, says she sees men waving and there is laughter all around.

"People get carried away very easily. All they hear is 'hol' up yu han'," Myers told The Gleaner. She puts it in the context of selective hearing generally, saying that often, if someone goes to a restaurant and orders, asking the waiter to hold off on the gravy, the meal comes with a lot of gravy. "They just hear 'gravy'," she said. Similarly, if the request for a drink with "no ice", then there is a strong chance of getting a lot of ice.

"It is always funny to see it happen," Myers said, noting that it occurred as recently as last Wednesday at a corporate function where one of the company's owners enthusiastically waved to signal that he has one man. Myers keeps an eye on the audience when she is performing One Man Woman and says she can often predict which man is going to hold up a hand.

And she can also tell who is resisting the urge to, telling The Gleaner, "Some all put them hand in them pocket," making a concerted effort not to hold up their hand."

The Gleaner, asks if she ever spots a man waving away and says nothing.

"No, no, no, no, you can't let that pass," Myers said, chuckling. She adds, however, that there have been a few - very few - performances of, One Man Woman, and no man has been caught waving.