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NWI Parent
NWI Parent

Life is a Highway

February 26th, 2012 - By Rick Kaempfer

It all started when the first “Cars” movie came out a few years ago. We bought the DVD because the boys loved that film, and you know what happens when you own the DVD of a kids movie. You watch it over and over and over again.

There’s a song in that movie by Rascal Flatts called “Life is a Highway”, and I’m not sure of this, but I believe it plays on a continuous loop in the background. Now, I’ve always liked the original version of the song by Tom Cochran, and I liked this version too, at least initially. But after hearing it for the one millionth time, it got stuck in my head.

I don’t mean it got stuck in my head for an afternoon. I mean it was playing in my head for a solid year. I couldn’t get it out. The chorus was constantly being repeated in my brain…Life is a highway, I’m going to ride it all night long. Life is a highway, I’m going to ride it all night long. Life is a highway, I’m going to ride it all night long.

Over and over and over again.

While I worked. While I cooked. While I slept.

I subconsciously hummed it continuously. I muttered the chorus. The words and the tune wouldn’t stop playing in my brain. But just when I thought my head would explode, I discovered a bright side…

It began to really annoy my boys. Really, really annoy them. They began to hate the song, because I referred to it all the time, and the more they were annoyed by it, the more it began to amuse me.

If we were driving in the car, and I even saw a highway, I would say to the boys…”Hey fellas, what’s that road over there called?”

They would groan before they identified it. “It’s a highway, Dad.”

“And what are we going to do on that highway?”

“Ride it all night long?”

“That’s right.”

Nearly every subject we discussed, the wisdom of Tom Cochran would flop out. Usually it began in question form. “Boys, do you know what life is?”

“Dad, stop it! Please stop it!”

Oh, I’d love to stop it, but you guys put that song into my head by watching the movie a million times, and it ain’t goin’ anywhere.

“It’s a highway,” I would answer my own question. “I want you to remember that. That will take you far in life. You want to know why?”

Their hands were now over their ears and they were saying blah, blah, blah.

“Because you’re going to ride it all night long. That’s why.”

I’m not sure how it finally got out of my head, but I’ve been living “highway free” for a couple of years now. I still get the itch, the urge, the tingling feeling–thinking I need a Tom Cochran or Rascal Flatts hit occasionally, but I’ve been able to repress it. I usually start singing a different song in my head to make it go away.

But every now and then, when someone says the words “Life is…” and then pauses, I have no choice but to complete the sentence.

All night long.

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