Jan 15, 2013 (The Columbus Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The YouTube pregnancy announcement is so well-established that I can even identify genres.
They include the faux movie preview (coming Aug. 2 to a bassinet near you), the gift-wrapped sonogram photo opened by an unsuspecting grandparent-to-be and the fortune cookie restuffed with the big news.
So it's not easy to impress me. But Chris and Nikki Meekins of Columbus did so with a snappy rap called Birds and the Bees. It's short, joyful and funny, as a YouTube pregnancy announcement should be. (To see it, search "birds and bees cmeekins1" on YouTube.)
Mrs. Meekins, a scientist at Roxane Laboratories, and Mr. Meekins, a real-estate agent pursuing a doctorate in divinity, met at Ashland University.
"There was literally like a circle of girls chitchatting," said Mrs. Meekins, 31. "He walked into the middle of the circle and, like, stood in the middle and introduced himself. So everyone in the circle stopped talking and watched this. I was mortified. I was so embarrassed."
Embarrassment fades: They've been married for seven years. The child will be their first.
The Meekinses hatched the idea for the video on a drive to Florida at Christmas. By the time they hit Orlando, they had worked out the music and lyrics.When they returned home, they enlisted a friend -- who taped them as they performed in several locations, including two stores where workers weren't quite sure what to make of a couple dancing in the aisles.
"My thought was 'Let's just do it, and we'll apologize later,' " said Mr. Meekins, 33.No one kicked them out, even when he climbed into a shopping cart and she pushed him.
In the end, they had three hours and 22 minutes of video, which was edited to the best one minute and 46 seconds.
About 10 days ago, they gave their parents an advance screening; they posted the video on YouTube the next day.
"We posted it on a Monday afternoon, and our phones blew up," Mrs. Meekins said. "My battery drained in an hour and a half just from constant texts."
They're nearing 2,000 views, so they have a way to go to catch up with some of the most-watched pregnancy announcements."We Told Dads They're Going To Be Grandpas" has 1.4 million views, and the unbridled excitement of the one dad is infectious. But it's not a performance like Birds and the Bees, which includes these lyrics:
Everybody in the place, it's time to bounce;
It's baby-makin' time in the Meekins house.
Got a bun in the oven, got a few months to go;
June 22 is a date you should know.
Mrs. Meekins foresees uses for the video far into the future.
"We're guaranteed to be able to embarrass our child when they're, like, 10 years old."
Joe Blundo is a Dispatch columnist.
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