Yesterday on my way up to Vermont, I had my little iPod plugged in, shuffling the Brazilian songs around from Caetano Veloso to Clara Nunes to Ney Matogrosso to Trio Mocoto. It was a wonderful drive and the music was great. As I entered Vermont and the geography began to get more hilly, the little Chevy Whatever was having a more difficult time. I’d be going along fine and then there’d be a hill and the Dodge would decide it didn’t have enough motivation to keep up at the same pace. I cursed the American car industry. Where had all the great cars gone? The ones that were, you know, built like real machines, not, as Dennis’ dad put it, “Like a big fat guy with a tiny little heart.”
Anyhow, amidst all the shuffling on my iPod, up came “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey. And suddenly the little Chevy came alive. It was as if Journey was the fuel it really needed to get up hills because I found myself going 85 and putting the brakes on behind foreign cars. The little redneck car couldn’t get enough of Journey.
I suppose when I had my Brazilian tunes on, it was as if I was filling up the gas tank with Diesel fuel, or else with a bold Cabernet that the Chevy couldn’t digest. But I swear to you: as soon as Journey came on, it was like feeding the Chevy with a six pack of Natty Light or a couple solid shots of Jack Daniels. It was the most American I’d felt in a long time and the Chevy and I were at once united and flying up Interstate 89 at near-lightning speed. If only I’d had an American flag to attach to the rear passenger window, on one of those plastic holder things, I would have been the Classic, All-American, Chevy-Driving broad I’ve never once dreamed of being.
So, a word to the wise: If you own an American car and it seems to be experiencing difficulties, forget the tenderness: try a little Journey.