Friday, June 24, 2011

The Great Equalizer

Picture, if you will, a road trip. Two teenagers, a four year old, and a vaguely harried mom, on a rather muggy, overcast day, starting off down the road a good two hours later than initially planned. By the time they are two hours into the trip, the mom is exhausted, the teens grouchy, the preschooler a little whiny. The one bright spot is that they are making excellent time, certain to be at the destination before any of the people waiting for them become disappointed.

Suddenly, traffic grinds to a halt. The mom watches helplessly as the estimated arrival time winds forward at a rapid pace, and soon, they are set to arrive far later than predicted. Mutinous murmurs start up in the back seat. Demands for ice cream are put forth, and mom, needing to get off that road anyway, gives in. Because, in truth, the Small One needs a bathroom as well.

Even with ice cream, spirits do not really lift. The detour required to circumvent the traffic adds over an hour to the arrival time. People begin to be disgruntled.

Then, the miraculous happens. The mp3 player, set to shuffle, but perhaps somehow sensing the tension, finds one Weird Al song, then another, and another. By the second one, everyone in the car is singing. By the third, they're all friends again. The silliness of the songs has made them equal in their helpless amusement, and everyone, regardless of age or mood, is giggling. The Middle Child realizes that the mp3 player has not three, but FIFTY Weird Al songs! She takes it off shuffle, and immerses the car in goofy goodness for the remainder of the trip.

Has anyone considered blasting Weird Al across the Middle East?

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