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Turn Up the Radio; Turn Out the Recycling
I never said I was the sharpest knife in the drawer or tool in the shed. I am neither rocket surgeon nor brain scientist. I know my limitations, is what I’m trying to say.
Even so, sometimes I do things so stupid they surprise even me.
For example, I have been driving around without any music in my car for about, oh, six months. Why? Because I lost the radio.
No, it wasn’t stolen. I lost it. And in the stupidest possible way, which I’ll get to in a minute.
I suppose you could blame a streak of absent-mindedness that runs through the males in my family. Dad had it something awful.
Dad was a smoker who loved convertible automobiles, and as such he was able to do something I always admired but could never duplicate: Dad could light a cigarette with a match – not a farmer match, but a regular old matchbook match – going 70 miles an hour with the top down.
It was amazing. With his left hand steering, he could pull a match out of a book, strike it, and cup his hand around it so the flame stayed alive, in wind equal to a hurricane, until he got his Newport fired up. Then he’d casually kill the match and flick it out onto the road.
(Yes, I know, every litter bit hurts and only you can prevent forest fires. You want to complain about it, talk to Dad. You’ll find him in the Brighton cemetery, not too far from Grandma and Grandpa. He’s not very talkative – never was – but he’s a very good listener.)
So flash forward to about 1968 or so. We’re riding down the road, Dad and me and my brother P.D., in our spiffy new Ford Galaxie 500 convertible. Unlike our other car, this one has a cigarette lighter that works, although it doesn’t have it for long.
As we’re cruising down the Mongo-Ontario Road, at Dad’s customary 70 MPH, Dad uses the lighter to start another Newport. Then he casually tosses it out onto the road. P.D. and I are clutching our sides and laughing so hard that we can’t t tell him what’s so funny for another three miles. Dad does not find it quite so amusing.
So you can see I come by it honestly, and frankly, I am a MILD case by Dad Standards. Even so, I have my moments, which gets me back to the radio.
It was one of those detachable face jobs, you see, which I got after the previous (non-detachable) radio was stolen. And to prevent theft I always detached the face and brought it into the house with me.
Such as when I returned from the grocery store where they double bag and put it, I believe, between the bags. I put the produce in the refrigerator and the Froot Loops in the pantry and then, shades of Dad, forgot all about the radio.
Long story short: It went off to be recycled.
As I said, it has been months, and I have yet to replace the radio. I believe such unalloyed boneheaditude deserves some penance. Besides, I kind of like the quiet. It’s a nice respite from a noisy world. Of course, it does leave a gap in the dash but that’s OK. I still have the lighter.
© 2010 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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