It started innocently. I just had a few errands to run before I took myself to a local coffee shop for some quiet blogging time. Maybe the crisp spring air and clear blue skies should have warned me of what was about to take place. Maybe I should have paid more attention to the fact that the kids were staying home with Daddy. Despite the signs, I was oblivious. I knew not what was going to happen.
I started my car, pulled out of the driveway and headed out of the subdivision. Without a second thought, I opened the sunroof and let the fresh spring air surround me in my car. Hindsight tells me the decision to open the sunroof was where the day took a turn.
Suddenly craving music, I checked my CD player and noticed I had 5 of the 6 slots filled. Starting with CD #5, I waited to hear what musical selections were available to me. “Roooox’anne, you don’t have to turn on the red light…” Roxanne by The Police. Next, I checked CD #4 and waited, “Almost heaven, West Virgina…” Country Roads by John Denver.
Next, I selected CD #3 and waited, “Aaaaaalllll aboooard! Ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaa!…” Crazy Train, by Ozzy Osborne. Nice.
Next, I selected CD #2 and waited, “Now I will tell you what I’ve done for you, fifty thousand tears I’ve cried…” Going Under by Evanescence. Nice.
Finally, I made it to CD #1. What was behind door number 1? “Old McDonald had a farm…” Wow!
No, not “Wow! I love that song!” — “Wow! I’m impressed.” Four out of the five CDs were my CDs. Four out of the five CDs did not have songs about Hickory Dickory Dock, Old McDonald or Wheels on the Bus. First, I did a mental happy dance, celebrating the fact that our family passed the silly kid’s music phase. Then, I quickly glanced in the back seat, confirming the car seats were – in fact – empty. Finally, I selected CD #2 and jammed to Evanescence’s album Fallen, increasing the volume to 14.
As I drove and danced, headbanging and singing, I laughed to myself. (Apparently, I can multitask.) While singing, dancing, driving and laughing to myself, I began visualizing the story I was going to tell the police officer.
Certainly, the fact that my car was swerving gave the police man probable cause for pulling me over to the side of the road. Understandably, the police officer assumed I was under influence of either drugs or alcohol, as he watched my head rock back and forth. Then again, perhaps the police officer was merely concerned about my health, as he watched in horror as I did the ‘white-man’s overbite’ behind the wheel of my car. (Please. That slick dance move is not restricted to the dance floor. I’ve seen you do it, too. Well, not you. But you – the one drinking your coffee and looking nervously side to side.)
No. I was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. No. A police officer did not pull me over for dancing and driving. I was under the influence of the fresh spring air pouring in through the open sunroof. I was under the influence of loud non-kid music, a clear blue sky and memories running through my mind, released only when certain songs are played.
Other songs that could trigger dancing while driving and the dreaded white-man’s overbite may include but are not limited to: The Ramones’ Blitzkreig Bop:
And, (no, not Sha Na Na) Falling Slowly off the soundtrack for the movie Once (by the Swell Season’s Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová):
It’s Spring! Turn on your radio! Sing out loud! Do the white-man’s overbite! Oh, and please drive carefully.
August 2000, pre-engagement, kids, marriage and
30s 40s. Me and Rob driving somewhere in Maine, on our way back from Amherst Shore, Nova Scotia; heading to Boston for a flight back home to Atlanta. The sun is shining, the skies are clear, the top is down, and the radio is loud. Life is good!