The other night I was driving home from work, rockin’ out to The Postal Service, when I felt the urge to see what local radio stations were playing. Because sometimes I just want to take that much larger a step toward ear damage and deafness. Which runs in my family. Anyway, WTCX was playing “You Might Think” by The Cars. I thought, hey, catchy beat, groovy synthesizer action, nostalgia factor…let’s listen to this for awhile. I had the stereo cranked so loudly that my parking pass was actually vibrating on the rearview mirror. I was bopping along just fine until the music went dead and we arrived at the part in the song where Ric Ocasek intones, “But you kept it going…’til the sun fell down. You kept it … going.”
And I seriously gagged. Because Ric’s mouth is so dry as he says those words that you can actually hear his cottony mouth parts sticking together. You can hear tumbleweeds blow past his tonsils. And there is a bleached cowskull near his uvula. Don’t believe me? Try it on your home stereo (and if you’re really brave, your iPod), but kids, be sure to ask your parents’ permission first. It’s not Freedom Rock, but crank it up anyway, man. You too will hear Mr. Ocasek’s tacky, parched lips click and stick together as they gum-spit the words that will later haunt your dreams. It’s enough to make one wonder if he’d eaten nothing but whole milk curd, saw dust, and graham crackers for a week prior to that studio session.
You know exactly what I’m talking about, people. Yes, you do. Once in awhile you actually have to hold a conversation with a Mouth Sticker. Maybe, after a long, thirsty day of speaking and chasing stale Triscuits with cold medication, you too have enjoyed a brief stint as a Mouth Sticker. I know I have, on occasion. And each time a Mouth Sticker speaks with an acquaintance, or voices the bridge in a popular song from the eighties, he or she is overshadowed in the listener’s mind by a giant imaginary glass of cool, refreshing water.
Won’t someone please build a time machine so I can go back to 1984 and replace the bong in Ric Ocasek's hand with a jug of iced Gatorade right before that studio recording session started? How about a time-traveling mailbox so I can send him a throat lozenge?
(And just so I can keep this going 'til the sun falls down, what songs creep you out?)