I was dutifully strapped into my safety-rated vehicle while transacting at the bank drive-through. It was a warm day for early spring, so I had slipped on “comfort sandals.” I didn’t want to repeat the blisters a cuter pair gave me the previous week.
I hit the “send” button to launch the bank’s pneumatic tube. It was loaded with my tidy deposit slip and a few checks. All i’s were dotted and t’s crossed. Whoosh.
And that was the moment a George Thorogood and the Destroyers’ song came on the radio. The one with the tough and bluesy guitar riff: Da-da da da dum.
“…the head nurse spoke up/she said leave this one alone/she could tell right away/that I was bad to the bone/
“Bad to the bone/Bad to the bone/B-B-B-B-Bad/B-B-B-B-Bad/B-B-B-B-Bad/Bad to the bone.”
Even before the tube reached the teller, I felt the song was mocking me. Safe car. Comfort sandals. Bank deposit. All the makings of a good citizen with an orderly to-do errand list. I wondered, “What have I become?”
Da-da da da dum.
George was still belting it out as I pulled away. Next on my itinerary was a trip to the post office. Not a tattoo shop or a biker bar. The. Post. Office.
Da-da da da dum.
And I thought, why this song, now? I’ve always liked it, but it rarely popped up on my preferred station. Ah. Then I realized. The previous day my tires were rotated. (More good citizenship.) Perhaps the mechanic inadvertently rotated the radio as well.
As I continued on my way, I made a mental note to try to be “badder.” How, not sure, but Mr. Thorogood was telling me something. Probably: “Geez. Scrap the arch support, for starters.”
I kept the station on, which was a mistake, because the next song had a specific reference to my pending birthday. Being a woman, I won’t reveal the song, but it made me glance down at my comfort sandals and sigh.
Yet at that point, I didn’t realize how eerie and accurate the day’s unsolicited soundtrack really was until I got inside the post office. This was the lunch hour, so there was one person behind the counter and at least 15 people lined up ahead of me. They all appeared to be frozen in amber. And, speaking of, that’s when I heard the piped-in ‘70s song, “Rocket Man,” by Elton John.
I took my place in line about the time Sir Elton was painfully wrapping up the tune…
“Oh, I think it’s gonna be a long, long time.”
Apparently, he didn’t know how to end Rocket Man. He croons that line eight times in a row. Eight. Annoying, really, when you’re queued up in a slo-mo situation. About the fourth time he repeats himself, I say to the people around me, “This is the most appropriate song ever for lunch hour at the post office.”
I got some chuckles out of that commentary and started fantasizing about a stand-up comedy career. The idea didn’t last long — I’d never find the right shoes for the job — but the weird, seamless trifecta of coincidental songs got me thinking: Music enhances life. It inspires. It makes the brain click in different ways.
Music is, indeed, a universal language. It sharpens everything, clarifies feelings and brings us together. Even on a long, miserable line at the post office.
I resolved that day to amp up the tunes even more in my life, to switch around radio stations, iTunes choices and Pandora offerings a bit more.
Thanks to music’s gentle — and even rough — reminders about seizing the day, the next time I pull up to the bank I might be sporting a Harley. Or at least strappy wedges.
Da-da da da dum.
Freelance writer Denise Snodell writes alternate weeks.