Monday, August 20, 2012

Cap'n Gown

Went to see some Yacht Rock in Atlanta this weekend. For the uninitiated, Yacht Rock is a term to describe the smooth rock hits of the '70s. If you're of a certain age, its the stuff you fell asleep to in the backseat of your parents car. You know, like this:

If you're a few years younger, it might be the music your parents played while they made you in the backseat of their car.

So this band of younger guys resurrected the songs, occasionally getting the original artists to sing or play guitar or whatever.

Sure, you could dismiss it as campy or kitschy or just another case of hipsters being ironic. Or you could just mellow out and sing along to "Brandi," like the happy people here:

Me with my hostess. Probably singing "Brandi."
It was a pretty swell night. I also saw someone suggestively lick a light saber (I don't know why there was a dude with two light sabers walking around. Maybe he was from the future.)

I sense a great disturbance in the Force. A great sexy disturbance.
So yeah, it was pretty fun. You know what's not fun? Driving the 5 1/2 hours back to Jacksonville the next day through a monsoon. I don't mind long drives too much - day to day driving can suck it, but long trips can be relaxing when I don't focus on how just a few inches of space separate two two-ton vehicles speeding along at 70 miles per hour and holy crap, isn't it amazing that I haven't died multiple times driving?

I used to make up games in the car to keep me focused and awake. One of my favorites was trying to hold my breath over every bridge I drove over. My ex-wife didn't like that game, probably because my stubbornness made me speed up to cross the bridge rather than give up and inhale, even if I was turning red and purple.

Looking back, maybe that was sort of dangerous.

I had other rituals, like how I wouldn't shower the last day of a trip, the idea being that sitting in your filth would make it that much better when you got home and could clean up. She didn't care for that game either.

As I left my host's neighborhood, I knew I needed a new challenge, something to keep me occupied on the long ride home. But what? I needed something that had just the right amount of stupidity. Glancing in my front seat, I had it - with our tickets we also received these captain's hats. You can see mine in action up there. I decided I'd wear my captain's hat the whole trip home. The only rule I had is that I couldn't take it off - not to buy gas, to eat lunch, change a tire, whatever. The captain's hat had to stay on my head the entire journey.

After the first half hour it felt kind of natural. "I should wear a hat more often," I thought. "Look at this thing - look how sophisticated and dashing I am. I look like I should be commanding a PT boat with JFK."

I pulled up next to a carload of college kids playing The Cure's "Why Can't I Be You" at my first gas stop. I gave them the cool guy head nod. They didn't really pay any attention. Probably intimidated.

In fact, it was disappointing how nobody really glanced at my hat when I'd stop. I was hoping for some sort of acknowledgement or laughter or subtle points or something. But no, nothing. Not a muffled "Gilligan" or "Aye, aye Captain" - nothing.

Things were different on the road, where I could sense fellow motorists were suitably impressed. A truckload of Victoria's Secret models frantically motioned me to pull over. A Cadillac full of old people silently saluted me for my service to the country.

But I couldn't stop for any of them, nor could I remove my hat. And I'd like to think I learned a little something on that trip.

By subjecting myself to potential ridicule all day, I gained more empathy, more understanding. Never again will I make disparaging comments on the internet about someone I don't know, but who strikes me as funny. And aren't we all wearing our own captain hats in life? Did I not learn that from my journey?

Nah, I just wanted an excuse to wear a ridiculous hat all day. Nice try, though.


The She-Creature said...

The only thing that story was missing was, oh, maybe an "I'm a John Oates fan" fan with his gaze and swarthy mustache staring down all drivers behind you from the back window of the car? Worth a thought for next time.

Also, what kind of a weirdo performs naughty acts with a stranger's lightsaber? A vodka-soaked nerd without any shame, I guess. And probably a couple dozen geek porn sites involving girls (and some dudes) dressed as slave Leia, of course ... along with countless pervy fan fic message board members doing the exact same thing in their avatar image. The addition of the captain's hat in this version should really please the STAR WARS fans who are still disappointed there was never a LOVE BOAT crossover special for us... uh, I mean, "them."

scott said...

I'm really counting on my tag "Ladies Licking Light Sabers" increasing traffic to the site, resulting in huge profits...somehow.