Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't Touch That Dial

No really, don't.

Now that the autumnal equinox has happened, it was just a matter of time before Typing Monkey publisher S.L. Kreighton made us all get into his rental car -- this year a minivan, which was actually quite comfortable -- and go for a drive.

Kreighton's goal was two-part and devious to the core. We all expected him to make us partake in his annual ritual of tooling around aimlessly while listening to the entirety of Bauhaus' "hits" disc 1979 - 1983 Vol. 1. The boss does that every year on the first dark, blustery morning after the first calendar day of fall. There's a free coffee in it for anybody who wants to tag along and at least it gets us out of the office for a good hour.

We had a fine time, and everyone agreed that Peter Murphy’s mad-monkey vocal at the end of “St. Vitus Dance” is a rock & roll freak-out par excellence.

Kreighton sprung his ulterior motive on us as soon as the last twinkles of guitar faded from the CD. After casually reminding us of a past car-radio game, he introduced a new one: Radio Endurance Test.

The objective is also the rule: Scan up and down the FM dial (or AM if your area actually has music stations on AM) and find any station you might normally listen to. Then wait until they play something that might normally make you tune in something else. It won’t take long. Now listen to the entire song, no matter what it is.

In less than 15 minutes we came across the opening verse of The Eagles’ “Witchy Woman.” Since it was decided at a staff meeting in 2009 that nobody at the TMI offices likes The Eagles, we knew the game had begun.

That was quickly followed by a fidgety tip-toe through “Behind Closed Doors” by Charlie Rich. When we all began to sing along to that, we realized that we actually kind of like that song. Spin again …

It all went sour when the new intern Eileen opened the side door of the minivan at a stop light and ran into a cornfield. What spooked her? Don McClean’s “American Pie” had begun. We were all so scared and all Kreighton did was guffaw in the driver’s seat. He nearly choked on his cigar. [It’s true. Kreighton is a horrible man. – ed.]

Strike up a game of Radio Endurance Test next time you’re out and about. Your flesh will crawl in no time.