#MusicMemories: Time Travel Day 21

Jokes & Roads

My son and I were furniture shopping this weekend, and this song popped on over the speakers as we perused the back aisles of a clearance center.

Side note: My dear boy pointed out that this particular warehouse environment looked a lot like the ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark — and at that moment, I couldn’t have been more proud.

Of course, this groovy kind of slow jam used to play all the time as we embarked on our long road trips as we vacationed as a family of six in the 1980s. We generally occupied this big brown Dodge van, with two large bench style seats that my three younger sisters and I would share between us. We also had space in the back to throw down some blanket and pillows.

I was never very good about sleeping in cars — or, quite frankly, in public places. And, the following tidbit might explain why:

Since I was usually the only one awake, along with dad who’d be driving, I was privy to all the little fun jokes he’d like to play on mom and my sisters once they passed out from the slow groovy tunes and the easy lumbering of the van along the highway.

If mom was just about to fall asleep, he’d jerk the wheel and make her bump her head and wake up with a start. And then act like nothing happened when she looked at him all confused. Of course, if I was to participate, I’d have to play along, and I’d do that thing where you look out the window and squint slightly like you’re thinking really hard about trees and the secrets of the universe. The key was to not laugh.

This also served a dual purpose if one of my little sisters was sleeping in the back, as you’d be rewarded with a gentle “thud” as they hit the wall and escaped their sleeping bag.

The thing I always think of when I hear this song, though, is this one time he thought it would be a good joke to wake everyone up with a well-timed fart.

It was not a good joke. For any of us.

But it was well-timed, in that we laughed for years and years at the serendipitous expulsion of this “joke” just as this song was playing. And how everyone couldn’t help commenting on the fact that we’d very much like to run… Run far… Against that wind…

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Sunshine Joe’s story.