Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Torture on I-95

There are lots of reasons I-95, the freeway that runs southbound out of the Washington DC area can be classified as a torture device.

It is always, as the local top 40 radio station says, 'jacked up'.

(Brief aside on that phrase)
Child 1: Isn't jacked up kind of a swear word?
Me: Not technically.
Child 1: So I can say, 'this is so jacked up'.
Me: NO! You can not!
Child 1: But why not?
Me: Let's listen to NPR

But back to I-95. We happened to be on it this weekend, coming home on a Monday after a long holiday weekend. It was excruciatingly slow (which is the family-friendly phrase I'm going to use on this blog).

My husband was driving which left me in the DJ seat and in charge of appeasing two cranky passengers whose electronic devices WERE ON RED. Quick confession; when met with that set of circumstances my musical taste can run to the, well, let's call it eclectic.

We started with a French folk music sing-a-long. My daughter joined in using her hamster voice which is high-pitched, sort of like Miss Piggy with lots of consonants pronounced like Ws. My son sang too, substituting blah-blah-bla-bla-blah for the actual words.

"Maybe something else?!?" My husband suggested, cranky from behind the steering wheel where he was muttering other words that aren't going to make an appearance on this blog.

I put on Kimya Dawson because my kids adore her wacky lyrics. "Umm, so we're just sort of listening to this woman talk to music," said my husband.

Undaunted, we turned to Christmas music....with a twist. The kids and I made up hamster-friendly lyrics to almost every popular Christmas tune. You'd be surprised how easily this can done.

"Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the shavings are so delightful."
"Hamster baby, hurry down the tube to me"
"Running on your wheel, in a one horse open sleigh"

These, of course, were sung in full falsetto hamster voice, because how else do you sing hamster-themed Christmas songs?

After that we listened to a little bit of Miss Piggy (did you know she has a whole album? I didn't either. Thank you Spotify!) and then circled back to Selena Gomez.

On an interesting side note, I don't think I've ever seen my husband quite so happy to hear the three of us belt out "Love You Like a Love Song" in the interior confines of our car.

Or maybe it was a smile of gratitude because traffic was finally moving and he knew escape was close at hand. Personally, I'm going to chalk it up to a late in life appreciation for tweenage music. Next road-trip we'll break out the Taylor Swift.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Remind me not to get in a car with you and the hamster voice twins.
I-95 runs fast everywhere except around DC. I think it's a law. Or maybe DC's drain on everything around it.

Jessica Bell said...

Ha! Sounds like a jacked up road experience I would enjoy! What a laugh.

Connie J Jasperson said...

We sang in the car as children too--because the first thing that would happen whenever dad bought a car was he would leave the A&W Drive-In with a soda or a milkshake on the dashboard and it would fall over and trickle into the speaker (which always were in the dashboards pointing up in those days of Ford Fairlanes and Chevy Impala Wagons.)

M Pax said...

I do not miss the Beltway. I don't miss it at all. Every Friday afternoon in the summer was a nightmare.

Crystal Collier said...

Whew! I do not envy you that trip. We like to tell pass on stories in our car when things get crazy, or play "I spy." I love the hamster theme-ing though. Going to have to remember that one. Or maybe we'll just use cheese. Yup. Cheese it is.

Johanna Garth said...

Come on Alex, I bet you love a good Miss Piggy song.

Jessica, yes, fun in retrospect.

Connie, see, I'm making memories!

Mary, duly noted. We shall leave on Thursdays!!

Crystal, I love that story game too.

Carol Kilgore said...

Fun story! Kids and traffic are rarely a good mix.

Unknown said...

I was sadly in a similar situation sans the husband for three days this past week. My saving grace was The Wiggles music!

~Sia McKye~ said...

I-95 was never a favorite of mine especially any long weekend. Nope. Avoided it at all costs and learned some cool alternate routes.

I can understand your husband's smile of!

Sia McKye Over Coffee

Gina Gao said...

This was a pretty interesting story!

Anne Gallagher said...

Oh yes, the 95 nightmare. Don't miss that.

Who doesn't love Miss Piggy? I have the same trouble with the Monster. I listen to rock n' roll, she loves Blake Shelton. And ONLY Blake Shelton. Road trips are so much fun.

Diana Wilder said...

You have now learned (and it certainly is a painful lesson, as I can attest) to always avoid I-95 whenever possible. 495 can also be difficult... (A relative once told of going on and on and on and on, having realized at the first 'on' that he really needed to...shall I say?...powder his nose and there were absolutely no places to pull off. He finally came to a hotel, tore out of his car (he *thought* he had put it in park...) and went pelting into the lobby. The clerk saw him and without a word pointed dramatically down a hallway...

Diana at About Myself By Myself

Gail said...

You are strong!!!

Barbara Watson said...

Hhaaa! I can barely stand the tweeny music The Voice contestants sometimes sing -- Bruno Mars is my very, very LEAST favorite...

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Been there, done that, DON'T WANNA DO IT AGAIN!!!! I gotta say, though, Miss Piggy is way better than 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.

jaybird said...

Choosing music for our car trips is one of the hardest things I do. The Husband, listens to only two kinds of music, county & western, to which I am vehemently opposed. I love all kinds of music except for country. My girls, are all so diverse. One listens to nothing but show tunes: cue the Phantom of the Opera sound track. Another is learning to play the saxophone and will listen to practically nothing but jazz, cue Louis Armstrong's greatest hits; and then, last but not least I have one that likes alternative. Needless to say it makes for an interesting debate whenever we get in the car!!!

The Bookworm said...

lol about the hamster voice Johanna! At this point, my kids bring along their I-pods and each listens to their own music with headphones. Or else there would be insanity in the car. My daughter is a teeny bopper. My son likes music that sounds like, well, I don't know what it sounds like. It sounds like a mess with no
Hubby lets me control the radio station so long as I don't blast salsa