Holidays in the Sun

This morning I walked to work, as I will be doing all week because my damn bike got stolen. It’s hot, so I bring an umbrella to fend off the rays, and a nice big 32 oz. bottle of iced tea, brewed in our refrigerator. I load up my phone with music I haven’t heard recently and listen as I walk. I like to not scrutinize the playlist too closely, so each piece takes me by surprise.

I was just making my way up the Jeff Davis overpass when “Holidays in the Sun” came on. I was immediately transported back to a time 24 years ago or so, in Stockholm I think, when I heard the same song as I descended an escalator in a shopping mall.

I wasn’t listening to headphones then — it was playing over a sound system. Then I was in the frozen north, now I was sweating in the subtropics. Then I was going down, now I was going up. Then I was a teenager, now I’m middle aged.

And yet the reaction I felt was just the same. As those initial chords crashed down, I felt a tingling sensation run up my spine and sweep over my whole body. Waves of chills. Nothing subtle about it.

Every time I hear that song it happens. I would have thought by now it would be worn out — but it’s not.

What is it about that song that gives it such visceral power? Does everyone hear it the same way, or is that just me? I suppose other songs do it for other people. That would make a great compilation: Music to Give You the Chills.

Nobody Expects the Jehovah’s Witnesses

Xy and I were listening to iTunes over our stereo, and we had it cranked loud so we could hear it in the next room. Just as Jello Biafra’s great “Grow More Pot” rant drew to a close, there was a knock at the door. I was in bed, basking in the afterglow, ifyouknowwhatimeanandithinkyoudo, so Xy answered it as the opening chords of “Anarchy in the UK” began. Standing on our porch: a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses. They finished introducing themselves just in time to hear Johnny Rotten snarl, “I am an antichrist!”

Needless to say they didn’t stay long. But they did leave some literature for us to recycle.