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Thunder Road

I’m not a great singer. I can absolutely carry a tune, but is it thoroughly pleasant listening? I think…probably not. The best I can say for it is that it’s on key…even if the key is one that may bring packs of dogs running.

But here’s where we all excel—here’s where we become the early Whitney Houstons; the Pavorottis; the singular Beatles; the musical legends in our own minds—the car. Yes, the car, those four wheeled wonders that play our iPod favorites, cds or radio-generated classics. Where else can we get perfect accompaniment and even harmonies? There is only one way to play this—loudly. Not that we can’t hear it, but let’s face it, at least in my case, I’m as much looking to drown out my song stylings as hear the notes. Yes, loud--but not eardrum shattering. So as I regaled myself with everything from Frank Sinatra to Metallica, at the top of my lungs heading down a deserted yet scenic I-79 on a recent trip, I began to think about those offenders who share their music with us all…whether we want to hear it or not.

While there is nothing I love more than a great tune, taste is subjective. So while I’m all for cranking up the volume, I don’t expect innocent passersby, every office in every office building I cruise past or all those who pull up beside me at a red light to be subjected to my choice of melody. It’s worse in the summer when car and building windows are open, but still somewhat vexing in winter. Imagine how loudly this music must be if you can hear it through a closed window—or actually two counting the digital blasting car next door to yours and your own. Goodness! Is that traffic light actually vibrating??? wait…the driver of that SUV is too..and I think the bolts in my tires are coming loose.

Of course car stereo quality differs and not everyone purchases the mode of transportation complete with Bose speakers that make it sound like the entire Boston Pops is appearing live. Let’s imagine for just a moment, how much the 18 Karat Cartier necklace of sound systems must have set the car generated arena-concert attendee back…”your Hyundai is truly lovely, but do you think that perhaps if you would have stepped it down just a notch or two on the decimal capabilities, Sir, you could have a BMW?”

Suffice it to say I like a good bass line and beat as much as the next guy, but when it actually makes my veins buzz, I assume it may be a little excessive. I’m hoping that this does some good for the environment somewhere down the line as perhaps the penguins in Antarctica that can no doubt hear this are a little happier singing along, But I’m thinking for me, and for those puppies who are called upon by my personal car-Karaoke dulcet tones, the only really, really large woofers that interest us on the streets are the ones that actually bark.