She knows that if I operated the radio, I would put it on the same station and leave it there, like all guys do. It would be the same radio station I have listened to since the '80's. It plays a blend of modern rock, old reggae and classic punk.
I hope I just made up the term "classic punk."
She's got a country station she likes, and a couple of pop stations, but my least favorite is The Radio Station That Exclusively Plays Songs You Have Been Sick of Hearing for Thirty Years. I don't know where it lies on the San Diego radio dial, but believe me, she does. She punched it in yesterday and it was playing that song about being in the desert on a horse with no name. I started arguing with the lyrics.
"This guy has been riding that horse since the seventies," I said. "Time to name it and bury it, in my opinion."
"Shut up, I'm listening to the radio," she replied.
"And he ought to have gotten out of the desert by now. If he just rode during the time I've spent hearing that song he ought to be in New Jersey at least."
"IN THE DESERT, YOU CAN'T REMEMBER YOUR NAME 'CAUSE THERE AIN'T NO ONE FOR TO GIVE YOU NO PAIN! she bellowed.
I took this treasury of double negatives personally. "Shut up," I said.
"LA, LA, LA LA LA LA!" she replied.
All songs end, and when that one did, the station switched to another number that's been getting on my auditory nerves for decades, "Lady in Red." This mawkish salute to love that lasts the entire length of one slow song has been burrowing into the brains of helpless Americans only since 1986. It just seems longer. By now the song's couple has surely been married, had a kid who joined the Coast Guard just to get out of the house, lost everything in the subsequent bitter divorce and now live on opposite sides of the country, but we still have to listen to this molasses-dripping number about them dancing cheek to cheek.
By the time that song ended, we were circling the hobo end of town, where there are always places to park because people with nicer cars are afraid to leave them there and we are too cheap to pay twenty bucks to park at the stadium, but the radio had saved its best punch for last, Mister Mister's "Broken Wings."
Take these broken wings and learn to fly again, learn to live so free...
"TAKE THIS TOTALED CAR AND LEARN TO DRIVE AGAIN, LEARN TO DRIVE SO FAR," I sang along.
My girl looked at me as though I was mentally deficient. I'm used to it. "What are you doing?' she asked.
"Pointing out that the lyrics of this song make no sense whatsoever. Take these broken wings and learn to fly? Sounds like an invitation to fall to your death to me."
When you hear the voices sing...
"When you hear voices you need to get yourself checked for schizophrenia," I observed.
The book of love will open up and let us in....
"This book of love must be a pretty substantial tome. I'm thinking at least a bath and a half, with a detached dining room, if we're going to be living there for a while."
"It's just a song. If you don't like it, go ahead and change the station," she said, just as I put the car in park and switched off the engine, so I had no chance to do that.
Our team won, but it took them thirteen innings. That was far too long for us to sit through. We listened to the game on that radio station on the way home, precluding further argument, so now we're having a nice holiday weekend.
Hope you are too. Happy Labor Day. And don't go chasing waterfalls.