Prudence and Others

by wjw on January 21, 2015

My recent highway odyssey from Long Island to New Mexico reminded me of the first few times I crossed the country, in a beat-up, mechanically dubious, bright red 1972 Chevy van with something like a hundred thousand miles on it.

Nothing on this machine worked except the drive train, and that unreliably.  The radio was defunct, there was a bracket for an eight-track but no eight-track, and the engine was practically in the passenger compartment and hence very noisy.

What was I to do for entertainment as I drove through all those boring flyover states?

I’ll tell you what I did.  I made up a little game to play.  I sang to myself the contents of the entire Beatles White Album, all four vinyl sides, in order.  If I ever made a mistake, I had to go back to the beginning and start over.

I actually managed to win this game maybe three or four times during the course of all those trips.

All of which goes to explain my unhappy reaction to “Dear Prudence,” as it was playing on Sirius Radio just a few minutes ago.  I really could go for the rest of my life without ever hearing that song again.

John Appel January 23, 2015 at 2:08 pm

I’ve made a few trips to Texas and back in my time but at least I had a functioning cassette player in my otherwise mechanically dubious vehicles.

I have artisan friends who work one of the Renn faire circuits and criss-cross the country several times over the course of the year. They got a satellite radio almost as soon as it became available and have sworn they’ll never be without it again.

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