While making the drive home from my sister’s house after watching her 5 munchkins for the weekend, I found myself getting a little sleepy. My remedy for sleepy driving is the In-Car concert, where you really get into the music and sing with lots of feeling. I know teenagers do it, but I rarely see other age groups singing passionately while driving. I think most people sing along quietly to the music while they’re driving, whether they can carry a tune or not, because really, who can hear them? I know I’m no Superstar, but I’m not all that bad either. After all, I was a member of my church choir for 10 years and they didn’t let just anybody in. You had to meet certain criteria – most specifically, you had to have finished the 2nd grade. That’s right, you had to be a 3rd grader before you earned a seat in the balcony of the church that overlooked everyone and everything. (Talk about distracting! When I started losing my 20/20 vision in the 7th grade, I spent the first half of Mass trying to identify the server boys by gait and body type alone. I got really good at it! I should have found a way to make a career out of that!) We were a tiny parish, so we made due with the talent that we had. My mother was the choir director and my older sister, the organist, so in all fairness, I could’ve had the voice of a toad and still probably made the cut. Still, I know I don’t scare away birds when singing outside and I manage to sing babies to sleep with my lullabies, so I think I can carry a tune OK. Sometimes though, I fall prey to the illusion that I’m better than I am. I have the volume up so loud that I really think I’m singing in tune with the artist. Sometimes to check myself, I take an empty CD case and hold it like an open book real close to my face. I sing into one side of the case and my voice bounces from there to the other side of the case, allowing me to hear my own voice. Reality can be harsh sometimes, but other times I find myself pleased with what I hear. Having one of these “sound checks” is no big deal during nighttime driving, because nobody can see you. But on a bright sunny day like today, holding up an empty CD case so close to your face as if it’s stuck there, can draw some attention from fellow drivers. Admittedly, sometimes I feel self-conscious, so I quickly pull it away from my face and act as if I’m reading the inside label – because that’s safe while speeding down the highway. But then I think to myself, “We’re all doing 80 on this interstate – when will I ever see these people again?” And actually, today I noticed many out-of-state license plates on the road, which means lots of boring driving time for these people. The way I see it, I may have given them a great conversation starter. Who knows?
Try the CD case trick sometime and ask yourself, “What would Simon say?”