Monday, February 10, 2020

How Not To Dad: Episode 15 - I'm Getting Old, Doo Doo Doodoo Doodoo...

   I'm Getting Old Doo Doo Doodoo Doodoo 

Did you know that cool has an expiration date?  I remember a time when I didn't know that...

When I got my first car, an '86 Honda Civic with a New Mexico tag and luxurious green carpet interior - and an alarm system for those who might want to steal that hunk of raw, four cylinder power - I thought I was the bees knees.

(Quick tangent: The "bees knees" phrase is thought to have derived from the word "business," as a slang word that meant something like the epitome of excellence.  Other adjectives that popped up in this period of the 1920's are "the cat's pajamas," the "eel's ankles," and the "elephant's instep." Around the same time, the British came up with their own animal/anatomical part combo: the "dog's bollocks."  Henceforth, since the word "bollocks" doesn't get used in the U.S. enough, I will be using that term whenever I can possibly fit it in.)

So back to what I was saying, I thought I was the dog's bollocks.  I could go where I wanted.  I had a sound system with a cassette player and a cassette-to-portable-CD-player converter that allowed you to play CD's through your car's tape deck.  It was a sweet setup as long as you didn't hit any bumps in the road.  Portable players were only meant to sit on a flat, level surface with no movement whatsoever, basically rendering them anything but portable.

I drove to school with the music screaming out of that little car.  I rocked out to Sublime, The Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, The Deftones, maybe a little 2Pac or Dr. Dre thrown in.  I drove with the windows down (I'm fairly sure the A/C was broken).  I wanted to feel the music running through me, so it needed to be played at as close to max volume as my little speakers could handle.  When they rattled, it was time to turn it down half a notch.  Best not test the factory speakers.

I don't think I was too obnoxious with my music, but then again does an obnoxious person know they're being obnoxious?  In my experience that answer is no.  No they don't.  I do remember a high school friend telling me they could hear my music from about three cars behind at a stoplight on the way to school, and that sounds pretty obnoxious to me.  But the world was big and I was young and it was a time for excess.  Strain those eardrums.  Let the music course through you.  In that day and age, your music was what made you cool!  At least that's what I thought then.

A couple of months ago my baby daughter and I were in town together and she had a little meltdown.  The drive home that day brought me to the realization that I had met the expiration date for being cool.  I drove with music blaring from my car, oh yes.  I got looks from people at stoplights and drew attention to myself like I had done twenty years ago.  This time, though, I wasn't singing along to Rage Against The Machine's "Killing in the Name" or "March of the Pigs" by Nine Inch Nails.  My phone was connected to my car, and through that phone the Youtube app played a little ditty called "Baby Shark."  For those of you that know it, I'm sorry for bringing it up.  For those that don't, I'm sorry for bringing it up.  I hate that friggin' video.

Also, I love that video.  Some angel had seen fit to post a one-hour-long version of that song on constant repeat.  Abby rode the rest of the way home in relative silence, enjoying the absolutely insane monotony of that song as it repeated over and over and over and over and over and over again.

So my level of badassery has diminished over the years.  I am no longer the dog's bollocks.  The streets of Cullman are more likely to hear "doo doo doodoo doodoo" wafting through the air around my car than any hard rock, metal, or industrial band.  Instead of feeling electrified by teenage angst I'm singing along with a family of cartoon sharks as they playfully try to eat two children.

Come to think of it that sounds pretty horrific.

Moral of the Story:  Embrace the baby shark.  By a narrow margin, it's better to hear this song on repeat than the screaming and crying of your child.

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