divider
December 20th, 2006

When we are in the car, I fight my older son for the right to set the radio station. I am fine with a lot of his music, since small does of death metal allow me to pretend that I am not a middle-aged woman, but in some way hip, with it, or “in touch with youth”.

But generally, I have the car set for a station that is probably called, “adult contemporary”. At first listen it appears to be a rock station, but the longer you listen, the more you begin to suspect that it is rock music for people who are a little too old to rock too hard. You, know, kind of, well, middle-aged. And judging by the ads, most of those people are probably women.

I get in the car, and am staring into the face of my demographic. If you can stare with your ears.

But, since it is almost Christmas, the station has gone to a mixed format of top 40 rock and secular holiday music. And, just as it seems every year, they only own 3 or 4 Christmas records, which they play in regular rotation. There is no way I’m making it through the season without hearing Jingle Bell Rock, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree many, many times. But this year, there is one song that is guaranteed to be on, everytime I get in the car, no matter the time of day.

Feliz Navidad.

It’s not that I don’t like it. It gives me a warm, multi-cultural glow, and the illusion that I can speak Spanish, since I only have know one sentence and sing it over and over for a month. But why must they play it, all day long? Or is it that they know when I’m in the car, and do it to annoy me?

#1 son says it is because:
They want to wish me a Merry Christmas from the bottom of their ha-a-a-arts.

Ok. But it would be nice to hear something else. Just to break up the monotony.

Yesterday, I got my wish. They played a cover of “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam.

For those of you who don’t know it, this is a 50’s dead teenager song. Not “My angry boyfriend crashed his bike” or “I was dating the stupidest girl in the world, until she went back to the stalled car for my class ring and got hit by a train.”

This one is the “We swerved to avoid a stalled car, and she died in my arms.” Not before one last, possibly pretty icky kiss, hence the title. At which time the singer realizes he was in love. But it’s too late. Sucker.

The song is long, slow and monotonous. It only has about four notes. It sticks in your head, forever. What sort of sick loon plays it five days before Christmas?

The same sort that plays Feliz Navidad, right after it.