Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 2.55.24 PMThe Song:
“If You Leave Me Now”, 1976 hit penned by Peter Cetera and performed by him and the band Chicago, who were presumably unaware of the hideous consequences of Pete’s girlfriend leaving him.

The Culprit
If you leave me now, you’ll take away the biggest part of me.

The Biggest… Something
Pete and his girlfriend are going through a rough patch, fussin’ and a feudin’ and bound for Splitsville. Sad but not uncommon, and yet Pete’s got the Fear. Not because he’s going to be jiving tout seul, but because she’s apparently not leaving without something to remember him by…a big something…in fact, the biggest something.

Biggest is a nebulous superlative. It can mean heaviest, longest, most notorious, most expensive…but any way you cut it, Pete’s right to be concerned—however the biggest part of him is adjudged, none of the outcomes are particularly appealing for this soft rock God.

Dissecting Cetera
Contrary to what most guys—especially singers—would have us think, the largest organ isn’t the soft rock between their legs, and let’s be honest; if she’s leaving him, Peter’s peter is the last thing she’s going to want as a keepsake.

A much longer part of Peter is his small intestine—if biggest is determined by length, at 23ft it’s the runaway winner, and nothing screams romantic sacrifice more than bowel.

If she’s into girth over length, however, then she’ll be going for his liver; at a hefty three pounds, it’s his heaviest organ.

If sheer size is what matters, though, then she can’t go past his biggest organ. Laid out like a hearth rug, Pete’s skin would cover 20sq ft—and aesthetically it’s more palatable than having a liver or bowel on the living room floor.

If it’s notoriety she’s after, then Pete’s biggest attraction are his eyes. A study by Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg—Listen—found that the eyes represent at least 20% of body parts mentioned in most music genres.

Of course, they didn’t account for the heart, which Pete himself seems to think is her objective as he croons in the next line; “You’ll take away the very heart of me.”

With all this organ harvesting, one begins to wonder what kind of woman Pete has hooked up with. The answer can only be that she’s a surgeon (or serial killer…but let’s hope Pete has the wherewithal not to date a murderess). Even if she’s a good one, it’s going to be hard to abscond with vital Cetera components and leave him upright and taking nourishment. This brings us to the central issue of Pete’s preposterous prediction.

Breaking Up is Hard
Blinded, Pete can still lead a relatively normal life after the initial outlay on a braille copy of the Sun Valley street directory.

Life without a small intestine is troublesome but not impossible, thanks to an ileostomy…although sporting an ileostomy bag is going to prompt questions on the dating scene over what terrible relationship faux pas he committed to warrant his ex making off with the better part of his digestive system.

Pete’s not gonna be up for much dating after a hepatectomy, however, the liver being a fairly important factor in the pesky business of remaining alive. Since it performs over 500 functions that keep Pete cranking out the Glory of Love—which is looking decidedly less glorious to him now, one suspects—his time on the charts is drastically reduced without it.

Likewise the matter of a Cetera sans skin. Aside from it being a handy thing to have for those days when you’ve simply got nothing to wear, it’s hard to imagine a more unsettling image than Pete lurking in the park on a Saturday (I think it was the 4th of July) displaying vital organs and looking like a refugee from a George Romero film.

None of these operations are easy, cheap, or in the last two cases, legal. So why is she doing it? Her Hippocratic Oath boils down to “do no harm”, but there’s plenty of harm being done, not just to Pete, but to his career. Nobody wants to see him singing “Hold me now,” as he struggles to hold his insides…inside.

By intentionally doing harm she falls into the category of Evil Doctor, in the tradition of Harry Howard Holmes, John Bodkin Adams and assorted Bond villains, and everyone knows what evil doctors want—money.

The 62 Million Dollar Man
On the Black Market, Pete’s a walking paycheque, according to research compiled by the Finance Degree Centre and The Well. At only $8,000 for the pair, there ain’t much money in Peter’s peepers, but the Peteskin rug should fetch about $30,000, and a Cetera bowel goes for $70,000.

It’s the liver where she gets real value for Peter—at anywhere from $300K-$500K, it also goes well with fava beans and a nice Chianti, according to another evil doctor. But the heaviest part of Peter isn’t the biggest part of him, financially speaking.

At $645,000 per ounce, the Cetera cash crop is bone marrow. He’s packing about six pounds of the stuff, which equates to about 62 million dollars, making him ten times the man Lee Majors is. Sadly, bereft of his marrow, Pete can’t be rebuilt, and without the means to produce blood cells, he’s only going to get worse. Weaker. Slower. Deader.

If she takes the biggest part of Pete—Pete in his entirety—then she stands to make about 85 million dollars…and Pete will have bigger problems than being lovelorn. In the parlance of the Chicago Transit Authority, he’ll be permanently shunted into a siding.

You’re the Part of Me I Just Can’t Let Go
It’s here where this deranged version of’ ’dem bones comes undone—everything’s connected to everything, and her taking any part of Pete is unlikely to go unnoticed by the American Board of Surgery, the rest of the band, or his fans, who’ve come to love Pete for who he is, in his entirety, not looking like Prometheus tied to the (soft) rock…so we say Lyricbusted! and promise to stop looking at popstars as gyrating spare parts stores.