Snappy tune, unique drum beat, catchy refrain. But somehow the song just doesn’t live up to it’s lofty promise. Rather than 50 ways to leave our lover, it provides just five ways, repeated over and over. And those five ways? Not especially instructive. Really, when you look at them altogether, they seem more like 5 steps that make up just a single way to leave your lover:
Step 1: Slip out the back.
Step 2: Make a plan. Note that this plan should be new, i.e., unlike any previous plans that included your lover. Note also that this whole scheme would probably have gone more smoothly if making a plan had been your first step. But that’s just not how you roll, is it?
Step 3: Don’t be coy. In other words, when your lover calls out from the back door to ask where you’re going, DO NOT say you’re just slipping out for a pack of cigs! Be honest and face the music. Tell your lover you are leaving, per the agreement made with your new lover the night before.
Step 4: Hop on the bus. Or get in the car. Point is, a gas-powered vehicle is key to putting some serious distance between you and that back door where your lover is standing, puzzling over the fact that you’ve slipped out to buy cigarettes when you don’t smoke (because you flaked on Step 3, didn’t you?).
Step 5: Drop off the key. Once you’re safely ensconced in your new love nest with your new lover, don’t be a douche! Send back your key as a demonstration of the finality of your decision. Better yet, deliver it in person, so you can look your former lover in the eye. Those bottomless brown eyes. And open your mouth to say, “I love someone else,” but find that you can only get out the words “I love,” before your former lover, assuming that you’ve recovered your senses and have come home again, wraps you in a loving embrace.
At which point, you find yourself back where you started, getting advice from someone with shady motives and a penchant for cheesy rhyming slang because you’re a wuss who doesn’t know how to break up with someone.
Here is the Muppets’ rocking cover of “50 Ways.” Note Rowlf’s attempt to introduce a sly double entendre into the mix (“Are you sure it’s not ‛50 Ways to Love Your Lever?’”). Masturbation jokes on the Muppet Show. Wow. It certainly was a different time.