Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Sound Of Silence

When I got to my car the other day to head home from work, I realized that my MP3 player was not attached to my bag in its usual spot. I searched around for it with no luck. Thinking that it couldn't have gotten far (being that it is an inanimate object and only takes one AA battery), I assumed that I left it at work somewhere and that I would just pick it up the following day. Little did I know that the drive home would be a journey back through time.

I pulled out onto Liberty Avenue and reached down to turn on the radio. They play music on there, too, right? Well, sometimes. I flipped through the 7 presets and found that 6 of the stations were broadcasting commercials or people talking. The other one was playing a song that I have never heard by some guys that sounded very angry about something. I wasn't angry. I was going HOME from work, remember.

I kept flipping, hoping that the commercials would cease and a song would come on. Or that some DJ would run out of breath and put on some music. You see, I like to sing along in the car. And drum on the steering wheel. And play a little air guitar when the mood hits me. But I cannot justify getting that excited about the American Equity Mortgage :30 second spot. The future may belong to me, but that is just not sing-along material.

Then it finally happened. Styx. Right there in my speakers. I heard the piano intro to "Come Sail Away" and got excited. This is a good one for the car. Nice ramp up. Guitar solo. I was ready. And then the singing started. "I'mmmm sailiiiiiiing awaaaayyyyy...."

Into the Liberty Tunnel.

You may be able to get cell phone reception in there, but no radio waves come through after about the first 50 feet. As Dennis DeYoung's voice gave way to some pretty loud static (I had turned up the volume in anticipation of the song), I decided that the radio thing wasn't meant to be.

Some quick thinking and some slow traffic gave me another idea. I had a tape in the center console from long, long ago. You know, an audio cassette tape. From the analog music era. I fished it out and popped it into the slot in the dash. It was a Smashing Pumpkins dub that my friend Jason had recorded for me during my college days. Thank goodness it was still around.

I remembered most of the lyrics, but when I wanted to get to the next song I ran into a problem. We're talking 2 technologies ago - going backwards from mp3 to CD to tape. There is no NEXT button on a tape player. Just fast forward and reverse. So I held in FF for a bit. Then I pressed PLAY. Still the same song. FF again. PLAY. Not enough. FF. PLAY. Closer. FF. PLAY. Oops. Too far. This was getting stupid.

I decided that maybe I should listen to the whole songs from now on when using this archaic technology. Which may be for awhile. When I returned to work yesterday the MP3 player was still missing. I don't know if I can handle too much more of this.

I tried listening to the sound of silence on the way home last night. Not Simon & Garfunkel. Actual silence. It didn't work, though. I think I would rather listen to that same cassette that is in my car over and over again. Which is good, because I can't find any others anywhere.

I need to get a new MP3 player. But if it takes as long for me to pick one out as it did to settle on my new TV, I may get to know those Smashing Pumpkins songs really well. How many times can you play a cassette until it wears out and breaks? I'll let you know.


Anonymous said...

Singing along and playing the drums on the steering wheel I can understand, but how do you drive and play air guitar?

Perhaps you will make up your mind sooner because it is lost. If your old TV died, I don't think you would have started listening to the radio, you would have bought a new one right away... or would you?

Maybe you should instead buy a new car with a built in CD/MP3 player that you can't lose. Will you have a new one before you come to visit? It will be a long ride without one.

Anonymous said...

Dear Uncle Brian,

We know you love music and that you sometimes take a long time to make a decision -- (we could be on the boys' version of the white team before you get a new MP3 player). Therefore, we are offering to send up our Buzz Lightyear CD player -- with a car adaptor, of course, and a bunch of our kids song CDs. We know you'll especially enjoy the songs "Boom-Boom ain't it great to be crazy," "Three men, two men, one man, and his dog went to mow a meadow," and "What kind of cat are you." What do you think?

Hmmm... maybe you'll be at Circuit City by tomorrow!

Jackson and Donovan

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