Listening to music has become an activity fraught with danger in the newcomer household. The Princess enjoys singing and dancing. The Golden Boy, though as obsessive about his music as any of the newcomer family, has a peculiar and deep hatred of all forms of family-based song-and-dance.
So here is our typical afternoon scenario, driving home from work/school:
Johnny Cash: “Well ma daddy left home when Ahh was three/// he didn’ leave much for maw and me …
The Princess sings along: “Well my daddy left home when I was three / he didn’t leave …
The Golden Boy screams, “NO! NO! Start all over! Again! SHUT UP!”
While weaving through the Robie rush hour, I jab the CD player and bring it back to the start of the song. This time, the Princess manages to restrain herself during the first few lines. But when the climax of the song comes, neither of us can resist, and we both burst into loud accompaniment with Mr. Cash.
“My name is Sue! How do YOU DO! Now you’re GONNA DIE! Yeah! That’s what Ahh told him!”
At the sound of our voices blending in harmoniously with Mr. Cash, the Golden Boy launches himself from his car seat like a rocket propeller at his sister, while screaming to re-play the song. I veer through the traffic, bringing the song back to the beginning.
But now, the Princess is frustrated by the suppression of her right to freedom of (artistic) expression. She stares angrily but silently in front of her, and moves her lips to the song, swaying her shoulders in dance movements. For some reason, this angers the Golden Boy even more.
-“STOP IT! She’s SINGING! MAKE HER STOP! START THE SONG OVER!”
-I’m NOT singing! I can move my lips if I want to!
The levels of fury and passion in the back seat are unbelievable. Fortunately, the drive home is ten minutes, and we arrive home before the universe explodes in a maelstrom of music, frustration, and anger.