July 4, 2010
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Throughout my life I have been a wellspring of great ideas. Had I capitalized on them, Bill Gates would be washing my car. Take this example:
My dad, a well known masochist, loved to take the family on road trips. Somehow the idea of stuffing people who could not get along in a 12 room house into a 10 square foot box and dragging them across the country was deemed a “vacation.”
We traveled across the country with the only entertainment being AM radio. My dad was a simple man. He did not believe in things like cassette players. In fact, he did not even acknowledge the FM band. Worse, my dad loved country music. Not the new whiny rock sung by hot chicks country. He loved the down home corn pone country. The music made my dad happy (in country terms) as a pig in shit. Fortunately for him, in the midst of the fields, pastures and towns so small they have to share their one horse, that is the only kind of music you can receive.
Waylon and Loretta were bad enough, but along with the horrendous yowling, there was the livestock market report on the hour. Often some fire and brimstone preacher would pop on to scare the farmers into tithing. My father was not in the animal killing business and he figured going to Sunday School when he was a kid absolved him from further obligation to the Almighty. It might have been that there were no other stations. Maybe he felt that feedlots and faith added a cultural flavor to the entertainment. For whatever reason, the radio was not tuned out or turned off during either update on impending death.
Thus I was tortured by listening to whining tires, beer drinking truck drivers lamenting their divorce, the bacon update and how Jesus was sending me to Hell because he loves me.
Too late Jesus, I was already there.
Hoping for a fatal accident or permanent deafness seemed a little extreme. So I simply wished I could stick something in my ears so I could not hear the banshee wailing. This is where my true genius comes to light. My mobile misery was the pioneering work that eventually led to the iPod and social isolation via electronics.