I had taken a little jaunt over to the east side of the state, a drive which by only the most fervent of imaginations can be described as “scenic.” I hope that’s not mistaken for disdain for Idaho – I dearly love this state – but I try to be honest with myself, and I see no point in pretending that 250 miles of sagebrush, interrupted only by the occasional Bovine-based Olfactory Weapon Proving Ground, is anything more than a test of strength and willpower; a natural buffer zone intended to dissuade all but the hardiest of road warriors from reaching
Among the things I use to combat the boredom on such treks is
At this point, I was going to state that “I’m not a music snob,” but it should be quite obvious that I am. The sad part is that I’m not even a good snob, since while I do enjoy listening to lesser known artists playing music that’s not generally heard on commercial radio stations,
Where was I?
Oh, right … so there I was, making the return trip back to the City Of Trees, and I realized that I’d listened to all of the CDs I had brought, and I thought “well, let’s just give a listen to what’s on the ole Frequency Modulation radio airwaves.” As it happened, I found a station playing tunes I hadn’t heard in a great while, and I was truly enjoying myself, forgetting the desolate landscape, and singing along at the top of my lungs with The Who, The Talking Heads, and even Billy Joel (thank jeebus no one reads this blog, or I’d never have admitted that).
And then the heretofore denied God decided to make Her move.
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These)” is inarguably one of the worst songs in recording history. Insipid lyrics, repeated ad nauseum, ear-assaultingly voiced via the wailings of the über-pretentious Annie Lennox – I have no doubt that, if there is indeed a Hell, that that will be the song playing on the elevator that takes you there.
So there I found myself – obviously being tested by this “God” character, in the middle of that barren wasteland, tested no less than Job himself. “But Dead Acorn!” you may be asking, “why didn’t you just change the station?” Well, dear readers, Dead Acorn don’t play that game. “You want a piece of me, Old Woman?” I thought to myself. “Bring it, BEYOTCH!” I screamed aloud, and upped the volume.
For over two minutes, I clinched the wheel, muscles tensed, my brow drenched in sweat, the engine straining as I pushed the pedal to the floor, as though I could outrun the brutal cacophony emanating from the rear speakers. I could picture the singer’s red crewcut – a red certainly no less horrific than the fires of Hell themselves.
And then ... I couldn’t go on. I had given all I had, and it wasn’t enough. I reached for the “off” button, ready to acknowledge Her infinite strength, Her undeniable perfection when I came upon … King Hill.
The King Hill section of I-84 is a steep, long decline that apparently removes a vehicle from the line-of-site access required for radio reception. As I descended, the demonic voice faded, and all I could hear was sweet, sweet static. Wonderful white noise. Broadband bliss, if you will.
I wasn’t sure what She was up to, but for a moment, I felt myself overwhelmed with thankfulness at Her generosity, and nearly wept as I prepared to beg forgiveness. At that moment, though, I regained some sense of rationality, and reminded myself that the last few minutes were simply a random occurrence of several negative events, and that the cessation of the most noxious of those needn’t be attributed to the existence of some invisible sky fairy.
But as I came out of the valley and began to climb back into radio reception, I recognized with horror the song playing … Old Time Rock And Roll. Bob Fucking Segar.
If She’s real, She sure is one mean old biddy.