Amazingly, when I took our car in to be serviced this morning the dealership had a separate waiting area for grown-ups, quiet, with computer desks, and far removed from the usual place down the hall, with its bad magazines and uncomfortable chairs surrounding an enormous, blaring TV set. It’s hard to go anywhere these days in public without TVs or a radio, which nobody is paying any attention to, disturbing the peace.
Even better, the shuttle driver came by within a few minutes and took me downtown to the city library, so I could escape the place altogether. (And also, happily, came back to get me exactly when he said he would.) Bald on top, with long white hair, obviously a relic of the 60s, he’d left the radio on loud in the van when he went back inside for look for other passengers, so I turned down… whoever it was, Boston I think. It was too early in the morning for Tom Scholz and his pals.
The driver even turned the radio off altogether when he started driving, but couldn’t stand the silence, so before long it was back on — just in time for the 10-minute segment of ads that rounds out any station’s ‘50-minute-classic-rock-music-blocks.’
Right before all the commercial babbling, the DJ had mentioned something about “the new song from Queen!” coming up when he returned. “A new song from Queen?” I asked, thinking maybe the driver kept up with this stuff.
“That guy said there’s a new song from Queen. How could that be?”
“Oh,” he said. “I wasn’t listening.”