Here Are the Songs I Played On a Long Car Trip To Get My Sons To Shut Up

Categories: Playlists

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By Shea Serrano

So, I rode in a car with a baby for about five hours today, and here's what happened.

12:50 p.m.: Today, here in about 10 minutes, Wife, Boy A, Boy B, Boy C and I will attempt to travel in a car from Houston to my parents' house in San Antonio. Boy A and Boy B have made this trip plenty of times -- they are road trip champions. For Boy C, however, this'll be his first time. He's only six weeks old and reacts to being in a car seat for longer than two minutes the way people reacted to being tied down to those torture chairs in Hostel. Boy A and Boy B, meanwhile, react to Boy C crying the way vampires react to sunlight. Hopefully, the playlist that's been assembled specifically for this trip (including Feist, Aretha, Nate Dogg) will keep everyone's mouth shutthefuckclosed for the majority of the ride though. (Note: I doubt it.)

12:56: Oh, BTW, Wife is driving this time. Generally, I'm the one that does that, but she's still in hyperprotective mode with Boy C, so in any instances when his life might maybe could possibly almost sort of kinda be at risk, she assumes control. She's good like that. Hand to God, I once saw her reach NFL Receiver Speed when she thought one of the boys was about to backed over by a car pulling out of a garage. It was amazing. I swear to all that she ran herself right out of her shoes. THOSE SHOES JUST CAME FLYING OFF. It was amazing. So anyway, that's why I'm taking notes instead of driving.

1:08: FUUUUUUUUUU. So the plan was to feed Boy C minutes before we left, to tuck him into his car seat while he was in his food-induced coma. And it seemed like it might've even worked, except I bumped against the car seat after he'd been placed inside and it jossled him awake so now he's already losing his shit. An inauspicious beginning. I'm saying, have you ever tried to coax a cranky baby back to sleep while he's in a car seat? It's like trying to start a fire with sticks, except instead of sticks you have an old Nintendo cartridge and a wet washcloth. So now we have to go back inside.

3:45: Okay, attempt number two. FTW.

3:55: ...aaaaaaand traffic. Cool, cool. There appears to be a proper car crash some 300 yards ahead. There's no easier way to tell how much of a dick you really are than your immediate response in this situation. There could very likely be someone lying dead on the concrete and I'm in the car like, "comeonComeonCOMEON. Just roll his carcass out of the way and let's get us moving. There's tamales at my mama's house, bro."

3:57: "Daddy, are we close to Grandma's house yet?" --Boy B

Think: Yeah, bitch. We're almost there, because this car goes 4,000 miles per hour.

Say: Not yet, son.

4:20: I try not to lie to my wife very often. I mean, there are instances that arise during a relationship that nearly always necessitate* it, but mostly it's just easier to be honest. I find it hard to be honest about Feist, however.

Feist used to be (but also still is) a member of a frustrating baroque rock band called Broken Social Scene, which, far as I could tell, spent (and spends) more time trying to be clever than good. But Feist alone is a goddamn hurricane of excellence. Her 2011 album, Metals, was superb. But I pretend not to like her because liking her makes me feel feminine. Currently, she is flexing all of her metallic charm on a track called "A Commotion," and I'm doing my absolute best to pretend like I'm not affected. Not easy.

*Example: If a woman asks a man, "When's the last time you masturbated," you can be reasonably certain that whatever comes out of his mouth is an untruth. Matter of fact, chances are he's right that very second planning his next sneak-masturbation session. Men are like goddamn masturbation cat burglars.

4:34: Boy A and Boy B brought two toys with them: plush Sonic dolls that they received from one set of their grandparents a few hours ago. Thus far, one of the dolls has already had its leg pulled off, the other one nearly lost entirely due to an oversight on my part (I forgot to lock the power windows, which Boy B capitalized on almost immediately). I imagine by the end of the trip they'll both just be holding a handful of stuffing.

4:47: "Daddy, can we play buttchest?" --Boy A. Yeesh.

Explanation: Buttchest is a game the boys invented. It's pretty simple. If you can manage to put your butt on your opponent's chest through any means at all (sheer force, trickery, etc), you win. There's also Buttarm, Buttknees, and of course the American classic Buttbutt.

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