Day 138: Top 5 Songs That Kept Me Sane In Gridlock Traffic
It happened again. I’m sure to a lot of people, it happens every day. But for me, it’s a special occaision. It was just another sexy ass Wednesday Night. I had a Slurpee dripping down my hand as I entered the car. One thing you don’t think about when you go to 7-Eleven during a pandemic is what to do when the Slurpee overfills. Typically, you’d just, err, slurp up the excess Slurpee. But I wasn’t prepared to be the asshole to take off his mask to do such a thing. Alas, I made to to the car somewhat unscathed and I was ready to tackle the open road. Or the somewhat open road. Or the closed road. Or just staring at a bumper for an hour.
As soon as I got on the BQE, an Amazon truck side swiped an Uber, because 2021. With not much else to do, I stared out at the glistening city from my highly elevated vantage point. When I got bored with that, I glanced over at the car next to me, also standing still. It was a middle-aged man, seemingly occupied. He quickly honked his horn over and over. Except there was no horn sound. Which means that he was actually, umm…hmmm….hey, so then I put on some music to distract myself from the misery. Here’s the Top 5 songs that helped me ignore the gricklock, accidents and masters of their domain:
5) Tommy James & The Shondells – “Crimson & Clover”
Nothing says, “beep beep, get the fuck out of my way” like some flowery hippie nonsense. The oeace sign is the new middle finger. Or at least that’s what I hear the kids are doing.
4) Til Tuesday – “Voices Carry”
It reminded me of a time, a couple of Marches ago. Rachel and I were driving around Connecticut. We had just decided to say fuck it and have a small wedding. This song came on and mid-way through, Rachel uttered, “I had no idea they were saying ‘voices carry'”. It made me feel such overwhelming joy. For starters, I also spent most of my life mis-hearing the lyrics. I always thought she sang either, “this is scary” or “this is Carrie”. I was glad to not be the only one. What made me even happier was that she figured that out by reading the display on the radio. That was one of the first times she successfully read something without trying overly hard, She just casually looked at the radio and read it. It might not sound like much, but it’s a memory that I hold in fond regard.
3) 10cc – “Rubber Bullets”
What can I say? There’s something about listening to a prison riot song that makes you feel better in traffic. Not only does it mentally vent you, but it also let’s you look at your current situation with a sarcastic lens. It also just slaps so fucking hard.
2) Joe Dassin – “Les Champs Elysses”
Bonus points if you can actually sing the lyrics in French. Even more bonus points if you know the English translation.
1) Van Morrison – “Cleaning Windows”
This song just plain encourages you to chill. It’s a nostalgic ditty about a time when he wasn’t in a hurry to become somebody. He was just sitting back and appreciating his normal everyman life. I think we could all take a lesson from that. And instantly, I was no longer a tired dude stuck in traffic. I was a dude sitting in his comfortable car, listening to the radio. And that felt a-okay…
Obviously, there are better songs out there to listen to in traffic. I just listed to the ones that just happened to come up on random and brighten my evening. After a while we got around the Amazon truck and it was smooth sailing all the way to Queens. No matter where you go, traffic is going to happen. Sometimes you just need some good tunes to make it not be a chore. Or you could masturbate like that dude did. I guess that’s also an option. It’s a free country, especially when you drive a Toyota.