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Jewish World Review
June 4, 2010
/ 22 Sivan
The (punishing) sound of music
For the first time in my life, I fantasized about stealing a car. I didn't plan on taking it far. Hopefully the officers would note that in the comments section of the police report when they arrested me.
We were filling up at a gas station and truck stop plaza, when a fellow pulled curbside to the convenience store and swaggered inside. He left his car running and his sound system blasting.
Vibration from the bass rippled waves in the concrete. Hoses to every gas pump rocked wildly. The sign for the station that previously shot high into the night now crimped at a sharp right angle in acute pain.
The trunk of the offending car pulsated. The windows vibrated. The hood shook and the rooftop buckled and heaved like an active volcano. Dogs cried and small children began to howl.
It would have been a genuine public service for someone to slip into the driver's seat and drive the offending vehicle around to the back of the station. Where was a Boy Scout when I needed him?
And then I asked myself: Why not me? Why not here? Why not now?
The answer came quickly -- because the guy could catch me, strap me into his passenger seat and force me to continue listening until my ears bled and my eyes crossed.
Held hostage by deafening decibels, I couldn't help but think of ways to seek revenge. (I can be extremely menacing behind the protection of rolled up windows and within the safety of power lock doors.)
I thumbed through my CD album. I'd read that officials and chaperones in California have been using Bacharach and Hal David tunes to bust up inappropriate moves on the dance floors. How would you like a little "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" at 300 decibels, Mr. Music Man? That's right, just walk on by. You got it, mister, one less bell to answer. Unfortunately I didn't have any Bacharach.
Maybe I could bombard him with some AC/DC -- the government used their music to wear down detainees. Bad idea, the guy would probably love it. Besides, I was fresh out.
I had Michael Buble (never to be used in such a fashion), assorted Motown (absolutely not), and Johnny Cash. "Ring of Fire" was a possibility. No, what I really needed was Barry Manilow.
A neighborhood in Australia has been clearing their streets of loud cars and unruly teens by blasting "Mandy" and "Weekend in New England." Again, I was fresh out.
But wait, I did have some Mozart. A school in England used Mozart on badly behaving children in special detentions. The headmaster claimed it calmed students down and that the number of disruptive pupils dropped by 60 percent.
You may have zipped into the station a bad boy, Sonny, but with a little Mozart, you're gonna roll out of here like a pussy cat.
The husband finished filling the tank, jumped back in the driver's seat and yelled, "WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO WORK WITH?"
"Mozart," I said.
"I'VE GOT A BETTER IDEA. LET'S ROLL DOWN THE WINDOWS AND CRANK UP SOME TALK RADIO."
The man is a genius. Now hard of hearing, but a genius.
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