So I like to sing in the car. I can’t exactly belt out a song like Aretha Franklin, but I can carry a tune and have been known to kill it on Play Station 3 American Idol, where even Simon gives me good reviews.
I don’t ever bring along CDs, and I can’t connect my iPod to the stereo, so I’m generally at the mercy of whatever is on the radio. I’m a chronic station flipper, never satisfied until something good is on. “Good” is pretty loosely defined. It depends on who is in the car with me. What the mood is.
Madonna or Beyoncé are always in favor. Certain Britney Spears of Christina Aguilera songs deserve a go. Janis Joplin (“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”). If Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen comes on, it’s getting turned up and I’m gonna wear it out. Believe it or not, I can never pass up the opportunity to go to town on Ramblin’ Man by the Allman Brothers. I don’t know why. “Going down to New Orleans this mornin’, leavin’ outta Nashville, Tennessee.” The Beatles, especially early Beatles, are always fun. Duran Duran and most 80’s music is perfect for a beautiful spring day like today.
Usually I don’t care if someone sees me, or even hears me at a stoplight. But I have to tell you, when you’re at a red light at the top of the exit ramp off of 212 and Prairie Center Drive with the window down, singing along to an obscure 80’s Top 40 hit called Puttin’ on the Ritz by some Euro clown called Taco, and a leather-clad, sunglass wearing, muscular dude on a Harley, with POW/MIA and American flags on the back, rolls up on your left, two feet from your window, and looks over at you during the middle of the “Dressed up like a million dollar trooper, trying hard to look like Gary Cooper” verse, it is impossible to get your radio turned down fast enough.
I don’t care if you’re Johnny Depp, there is no way to look cool in that situation. Cut your losses and hurry up and try to find some Grateful Dead or Mötley Crüe or Steppenwolf to save face.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011