Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Sweet Song of Chaos

For the last few months, I've been listening to just one playlist as I bustle about in our car, shuttling kids from one place to another.   Just one.

It's on an old iPhone, one that's had the sim card removed and every app and image deleted.  In their place, just audio files, thousands and thousands of songs.  I renamed it "Daddy's Tunebrick," turning it a single function device that only exists to store and listen to music without the bother of having calls or texts interrupt my listening pleasure.  

Hey...that sounds like a great idea for a product!  I wonder if anyone at Apple is thinking about such a thing.  Hmmm.

Anyhoo, my Tunebrick has one playlist at the moment.  That playlist is the whole of my music collection.  All of it, every single sound file I possess, set to random play.

Which means, as I drive along, I never know exactly what is coming up next.  If I'm not in the mood for what entropy serves up, I just punch the steering wheel control with my thumb, and we're on to the next thing.  It's not always music.  

Sometimes it's sound effect MP3s, gunshots and explosions that my son downloaded for use in videos.  Sometimes it's the Hebrew teacher who prepared my boys for their bar mitzvahs, teaching and singing her way through a piece of a torah-reading.  It's random. Really and truly random.

Like last night, as I drove my younger son back from his drum lesson.

We clicked through a couple of things, and then listened to a random mp3 from a sound-pack of faux movie trailer voiceovers.  "THERE WAS JUST ONE MAN," intoned the announcer in a rumbling basso, at which we laughed.  We then segued into Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb.  We sang along to that, he and I, as Floyd is his favorite band in the entire universe.  After we'd finished with that, entropy served up the theme song to The Love Boat.

We sang along to that, too, because it's just a bucket of delicious seventies cheese, and when that was done, the universe decided to pitch us Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C Sharp Minor.

"I love this way of listening to things," my son said.  "It's like it's a game whenever we're in the car.  You never know what's coming next."

Just like life, I thought, in a Forrest-Gumpy sort of way.  Just like life.