The year is 1986. I’m walking through the mall with one of my favorite cousins. A Sade song pipes into the common space.
“No need to ask cause it’s cool for Loretta,” my cousin sings at the top of her lungs. “Coooool for Lorettaaaaa!”
The year is 1992. I’m sardined into a friend’s late-80s Honda Accord.
There are four of us girls in the car and at least half of my friend’s earthly belongings. Honda makes a sweet second closet.
We’re listening to a classic rock station. “Come on, baby,” my friend sings at the top of her lungs. “Don’t feel the rebirth!”
The year is 2011. A couple weeks ago to be exact. Life in the Fast Lane by the Eagles plays on the truck radio. I’ve only heard this song 6,500 times. The first time when I was maybe eight.
Some of the older kids at the pool where we hung out were obsessed with the song. They played it repeatedly over the loudspeaker, dropping quarter after quarter, alternating between the jukebox and the foosball table.
We younger ones staked out our spots at the corners of the foosball table, our chins hovering just above the surface to watch the games.
Swack! Block. Zip! Slide. Za-ping! And goal. Life in the fast lane. Surely make you lose your mind.
What a great song, I thought as I sang alone in the truck at the top of my lungs. Think I’ll post a line on Facebook.
“They had one thing in common, they were good and bad.”
Reveled in my coolness until a few hours later when a friend (or two) informed me those were not the words. I Googled it to be sure. Gasp. I’d been singing it wrong for more than 30 years.
In my mind, I’d camped on what one friend termed moral dualism, the conflict between good and evil that rages in the world and inside us. All the while the Eagles had something else in mind. Something more Hotel California.
Musicians would do well to enunciate. Or sing cleaner lyrics. Ones that make sense to people who aren’t cocaine dealers.
Cool for Loretta instead of Smooth Operator? Maybe.
Life in the Fast Lane? The Eagles’ lyrics work in the context of the song’s story. Drug addiction, outrageous parties, nasty reputations as cruel dudes.
But in the context of real life, where most of us reside, my line is miles better.
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15 NIV
Exit the fast lane for Seven Bridges Road. Watch for shots from Busch Stadium along the way in the video link.