Day 110: Your favorite song with a number in the title.

“I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – The Proclaimers

I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)Hmm… Two one-hit wonders in a row. And also two parenthetical titles in a row. I’m going to be screwed if one of these topics comes up as “Your favorite one-hit wonder with parenthesis in the title.”

Anyway, I would like to start by saying I did not see Benny & Joon. Well, not all of it, anyway. And the parts that I saw, I hated. So unlike many people, it was not the movie that turned me on to this song by The Proclaimers. If credit must be given, it would likely have been WBRU, who, like many other stations started playing the song because of its popularity in the movie.

Somewhere in between the 1993 resurgence of the song and 2007, I acquired it. Probably during the Napster years. (Sounds a little like a sitcom, doesn’t it?)

cruiserIn 2007, I was driving a PT Cruiser. A very specific kind of PT Cruiser, in fact. It looked like the picture to the right. It was a “Route 66 Special Edition” and there were very few made. I, personally, have seen only one (possibly two) others besides mine.

Some might say that it’s a good thing there were so few. In fact, one day I pulled into the parking lot at work, and one of my co-workers was going in at the same time. He said “Is that yours?” and when I answered in the affirmative he said, “What a f***ing ugly car!”


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So, no, it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But I loved it. Because of the color, not in spite of it. I just thought it looked cool.

This was the car I was driving the night I first met Laura. We met through Match.com, and up until that point, we’d only talked on the phone and via email. So this was the big night. We met at a sushi restaurant for dinner. But, since it was a Match.com date, we didn’t plan anything after. (Because, y’know, you might actually hate—or worse, be totally skeeved out by—the person once you finally meet them.) Now, given that we were in Worcester, MA, there really isn’t a lot to do for a first date. So, after dinner, we went for a ride.

We listened to a lot of songs that evening. But I distinctly remember this being one of the songs that we listened to as we drove around mostly aimlessly. (I don’t remember if we sang along, though.)

Incidentally, we also heard “Find A Way To My Heart” by Phil Collins, “Goodbye To You” by Scandal (which is when I learned that Patty Smythe is married to John McEnroe of all people) and, “You Dropped A Bomb On Me” by the Gap Band. I actually turned that one up, and to this day, Laura swears there was some sort of meaning behind it. But I will declare publicly, right here right now, there was none except for me liking the song. (“Find A Way To My Heart,” maybe, but not the Gap Band.)

I love “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” for its upbeat music, its call and answer chorus, and its unabashed use of jargon. (How can you not love “And if I haver, hey, I know I’m gonna be/I’m gonna be the man who’s havering to you”?) The fact that it was part of such a good night in my life can’t hurt its standing, either.

We eventually wrapped up the date, and since we’re married now, you can probably assume we decided to see each other again.

The longevity of the PT Cruiser was not as good. Things started going wrong with it shortly after, but long before those things could force its death knell, I did something stupid and a much more solid, 90s-era Ford F150 totaled it (The F150 didn’t fare too well, either. It got a minor dent in the front bumper). All that’s left of the PT Cruiser are some pictures, a few paint chips, and memories.

But they’re some pretty good memories…