One weekend we were carpooling to an event in Dallas, TX. We rode with someone in his king-cab pickup truck. You know, the ones that claim they have a back seat? I don’t know how they can get away with saying this is a back seat because it’s only big enough for a small child. I was crammed in the fake back seat and not too comfortable at all. To appease me, the driver had set me up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD on his laptop with headphones.
I could still hear the music through the headphones on the radio station playing oldies but goodies as we zoomed along the highway. That being said, it didn’t take very long for the battery in the laptop to die, which became a slow death of my own, because now I was stuck listening to whatever music was played on the radio up front.
Then it happened!
“Omigod!” I exclaimed, “You have to change the radio station! It’s that guy singing about that Fitzgerald boat sinking again! I hate those kinds of songs! You know the ones where they tell some stupid story? Who’s the guy that sings a lot of those? Oh yeah, Harry-fricking-Chapin! “Aw gee, my kid grew up and now he hates me cause I was never around when he was young” type crapola! Then there’s that one about the two losers that sign up for dating ads “do you like Pina Coladas?” Puhleeze! “I decided to cheat on my wife and signed up for a personal ad and she caught me!” That’s Match.com gone horribly wrong! What’re those songs called anyways? I know they have a name and I just can’t think of it? What’re they called?”
Silence washed over everyone in the pickup truck, including me, as I waited for my brain to process the answer to my own question. What were those things called! The song still played ridiculously loud in the front seat. It was grating my last nerve into shredded cheddar.
The driver reached over and slowly lowered the volume on the radio.
No one spoke.
He cleared his throat and said very calmly “They’re called ballads. The songs are called ballads and I happen to like them. I like them a lot.”
And he turned the radio volume up real loud.
I was in king-cab pickup truck hell and there was no escape.
There’s something to be said about the power of sitting in the front seat. You can control the climate and the musical entertainment and no one in the back seat has any control at all.