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Alarming! Mom and Dad Really Belt Billy Joel During Family Road Trip


Photo by justgrimes / CC BY-SA 2.0

It's summertime, and that means it's time for the family road trip. After Mom packed up the cooler and Dad loaded up the trunk, my siblings and I crammed ourselves into the back of the car. This year, since everything was so uncertain, we didn't have a set itinerary. The plan was to hit the highway and drive for a while.

After about an hour of counting billboards, Mom proposed we listen to some music. My sister suggested Cardi B, which was vetoed immediately. 

Mom pulled out old reliable: the CD case. She flipped through CDs for a while before saying, "Oh, here's a good one." My siblings and I held our breaths with trepidation. Would it be The Eagles? The Dan Brown Band? Chicago? 

The familiar opening riff of Billy Joel's Piano Man came over the speakers: Billy Joel's Greatest Hits.

A few songs in, the whole car was jamming. Then... it happened. Track 5 was Uptown Girl, Dad's favorite song on the CD. Boy, did he let it rip. For the longest 3 minutes and 18 seconds of my life, Dad let loose. "And when she KNOWS what she WANTS from her T-AE-AE-IME," he shrieked. My siblings and I exchanged glances. Has he lost it?

What started as little taps on the wheel, escalated to a full-on drum solo, and before long, Dad started to rhythmically turn the steering wheel, jolting the car left and right in time with the music. This was it. We were going to die from jamming to Billy Joel too hard. We looked to Mom for support but found she was also getting into it and, therefore, could be no help.

Finally, after a small eternity, the song ended. Relieved, we hoped we could return to an ordinary family jam session. No such luck. For each of the remaining songs on the CD, Mom and Dad, moved by the music, banged their heads and pumped their fists, using water bottles as microphones to scream along with their idol, Billy Joel. 

After a significantly longer eternity, the disc ended. Dripping with sweat and panting for breath, Mom and Dad suggested we pull into the next rest stop to get some drinks and use the bathroom. Thankful for the break, my siblings and I enthusiastically agreed. 

At the rest stop, we staggered to the bathrooms, Billy still ringing in our ears. As we got back into the car, Mom and Dad looked normal again. Ten minutes on the road, and Dad asked, "a little music, anyone?" My siblings and I looked at each other, silently begging the other to say no on behalf of the group. Unfortunately, our silence was misinterpreted as support. Mom and Dad started up again as ABBA's Super Trooper blasted over the car speakers.