Gloria Road

I get in my car, blue shirt in tow, and, just the moment my blue tooth allows, Gloria is playing through my speakers.


Rally squirrel was stupid, but I loved Rally Squirrel. I bought a freaking $40 Rally Squirrel baseball card. I love celebrating themes to seasons. Salsa was weird, but I wanted that salsa. 2010, down the stretch the St. Louis Cardinals decided to grow mustaches. Mustaches are terrible. I grew one anyway. It was awful. Some things in life seem lame, but the message behind them is more, much more. We celebrate together, we cheer together, we love together.


And so, even though I am at best a casual hockey fan, Gloria played through my speakers.


Gloria is awful. Terrible. Just a wretched song. From its pseudo 70's space swoop intro, it breaks into the two things that make so much of 80's pop so unlistenable. The most basic synth sounds played endlessly on repeat, and drums that are SUPPOSED to sound like they are played on a keyboard and come across as a pencil upon a sheet of paper. Wretched. It’s catchy. Yes, fine. So is Old McDonald. I don’t blare it out my car windows.


But as I’m listening, the true emptiness of the song starts opening up. It’s truly just a synthesizer carrying the entire thing. The guitar – the best part – couldn’t be blander. The entire song is banal beyond compare. They say if you gave unlimited monkeys unlimited time they would eventually type out every work of Shakespeare. Based on that, 4 monkeys with out of tune instruments could write Gloria in 10 minutes, provided they were all suffering from massive diarrhea.


So, as I drive I, shall I say, stop playing the song, and I let it go off into stony, peaceful, far superior silence. And I start thinking about my house guests. They are Boston fans. Their reaction the entire series is to scowl at how dirty the Blues play. Naturally every 9 seconds the Blues commit an uncalled penalty, whereas the Bruins are pure as can be angels who play hockey as it’s meant to be played, and if there is any justice would be given the Stanley Cup without a single minute being played. Typical fan stuff.


As game 7 looked more and more inevitable one of them sighed, “It looks like no parade until February.” There was then a brief conversation about how the Red Sox, who have won the World Series 35 times in the past 15 years, and are a grand total of 2 games out of the playoffs after a poor start, aren’t going to make it, and that they’d have to wait an entire 8 months until the Pats inevitably took home a Super Bowl Championship. That’s what it’s like, I suppose, living in a New York, an L.A., a Boston. You cheer on your unlimited resources, and sneer at a St. Louis (and every other city) as beneath you. St. Louis has been incredibly blessed with the Cardinals historical run of success. Other than that they had a Super Bowl winner who later split on a should-have-been national sports scandal that no one cared about, and other supported. Why? Because St. Louis. Yeah, Cardinals fans get called spoiled because their team has 3 World Series titles in 50 years. Right. No St. Louis fan has ever lamented having to wait 8 months until their next celebration.


And as I’m driving, I see it, a car with Massachusetts plates adorned by a Patriots license plate holder. I follow them. Traffic moves us farther apart. Lanes change. But I’m aware of them. No matter what else I’m paying attention to while I’m driving, I know their every movement. I’m waiting for my moment--my moment from all of us who have ever been condescended to from on high by people because of where they happen to live or who they happen to root for.


I study them. The driver’s window is half down, the passenger’s window is fully down. Perfect. I need to be in the right lane, but because they are in the left lane, I stay in the center lane. This is more important.


It happens. I watch a light in the distance turn yellow. We aren’t going to make it. We slow down. They come to a stop 3 cars back of the light. I can pull all the way up. I SHOULD pull all the way up, but I don’t. I roll down my window, and I hit play. The volume was turned to 11. My car instantly vibrated. My windows rattled with such force I couldn’t help but glance at a chip in my windshield to see if it would shatter. It was so loud you couldn’t make out the song at first. If you had to guess what was happening, you’d assume car bomb. Every car in my vicinity looked my way, including my Massachusetts friends to my left, who turned to see the commotion.


The found me, arm out the window, locking eyes with them, with the slightest hint of a smile that I could possibly muster.


And as my smile couldn’t help but grow upon the site of an outstretched arm extending a middle finger, a new thought popped into my head. “This song fucking rocks.”


-cc