Name That Tune
The other day I had the opportunity or the need, depending on your point of view, to be a passenger in a Customer Service Van. The driver was the kind of fellow you don’t soon forget.
My guess is that he was a native son of some place in the hills south of the old Mason-Dixon Line, or as we used to call that part of the South, “Pennsyltucky.” His accent was thick enough that you would need a chainsaw to cut it through. His language was filled with the ultra colorful language of the hills. Imagine the reality of what the old TV show “Hee-Haw” tried and failed to recreate.
While he was driving his van he announced that he had held this job for only three weeks. In my mind I speculated that his previous job had been as an alligator hunter. I kept my mouth shut on that one.
He kept up a nonstop conversation all the time he was driving, just friendly and idle chat about this, that, and the other thing. I think he was a frustrated stand-up comedian.
In the moments when he wasn’t talking he was whistling – the same few bars of some song – over and over, and over again. He apologized to the van full of passengers.
“I’m sorry about the whistling. I been whistling this thing for three days now and it’s driving me crazy. I got in my head and I can’t get it out, and I don’t even know what song it is. Three days.”
The thing was – that after hearing his whistle it for 15 minutes, I was going crazy too. The song sounded familiar.
I kept my mouth shut.
I was concerned that if I told him the name of the tune he might get excited and drive us all into a telephone pole. Plus, if I was wrong, I didn’t want to start an argument among the other passengers. I was in no mood for that. I hadn’t had my coffee yet. But as he kept whistling I became more confident that I was right. I had to tell him, but when?
At long last we reached our destination and, as I got off the van I turned to our tuneful driver (I never did learn his name) and said, “I know what tune you’ve been whistling.”
“You do? Oh, Lord, please tell me what it is.”
“It’s ‘Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad’ by Meatloaf.”
“Really? Thank you, sir. Thank you. Bless you.”
“I want you. I need you, but there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love you. Now, don’t feel sad, ‘cause two out three ain’t bad.”
I sang better than he whistled.
It’s not often that my singing gets a positive reaction. Most times people get up and leave. If I had been able I would have joined them, but at least I made this van driver happy.
I’m that good.