While griping about my neighbor’s insistence on playing the same songs over and over again ad nauseum, I have to confess, I have been known to do the same thing. Not quite as much these days as I did in my youth, but still, I hit replay on the stereo my fair share of the time.
I was a sophomore in high school when Jimmy Buffet’s, Come Monday, first came out. My friend and I each bought 45s. We then went to her house — where no one was home — and slapped the record on the stereo. We left the changing arm up, which was the signal to the record player to play the song repeatedly.
The two of us then went into the kitchen in search of food. There was no soda in the fridge, so my friend went out to the garage fridge to bring some in. She returned with a Pepsi for each of us, and said, “That’s weird. My mom’s car’s in the garage. I wonder how she got to work?” (Neither of us took that thought any further.)
Sandwiches made, sodas in hand, we sat down and the dining room table and proceeeded to play Yahtzee. The song on the stereo was probably on it’s third go ’round. My friend’s mother staggered into the room. She was wearing her robe, her hair was a mess and she rather looked like death walking. She had an Ibuprofen bottle clutched in one hand and was holding her head with the other.
“Turn that off,” she rasped at us.
“Turn what off?” Neither of us had a clue. Mrs. Friend shook her pill bottle at the stereo and said, “That! That racket!” She then took my friend’s unopened Pepsi and shuffled back down the hall.
My friend went to the stereo and turned it down about three decibels. I said, “Your mother said, off.”
My friend shrugged. “It’s okay, she won’t be able to hear it from her room, and that’s as good as off.” We resumed our Yahtzee game.
About fifteen minutes and five repetitions of the song later, Mrs. Friend appeared again. She never said a word. She shuffled to the stereo, took the record and went back to her room. My friend said, “Oh, I guess she could still hear it.”
We tried to play Yahtzee in silence for awhile, but that is a very difficult thing for teenagers to do. After about ten minutes, Friend got my 45, and put it on the stereo. She turned the volume down another notch. I asked if she was sure that was a good idea. She assured me that her mother wouldn’t be able to hear the music.
Not five minutes later Mrs. Friend shuffled into the room again. She bent down, unplugged the stereo, and cut the end off the cord with her scissors. She pocketed the plug and shuffled back down the hall.
Friend and I stared at each other in shock. Finally, Friend said, “Is your grandmother home?”
I shrugged. “Probably.”
“Huh. So, how’s she feel about Jimmy Buffet?”
“I don’t know.” I answered while lifting my 45 from the stereo. “Let’s go find out.”
Friend grabbed her car keys ….
* * *
Speaking of Mondays, this is one and OC is flying into town today. He will only be here for a few hours (2:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.), so don’t send out the National Guard if you don’t hear from us.