Now, the Matronly dials --indoors and in the van --are all tuned to National Public Radio, the talk version. She listens to Nina Totenberg, Neal Conan, Carl Kasell, Michele Norris, and the like (as an undergraduate, she had a professor who always added "and the like" onto every sentence and the Matron has been waiting twenty years to employ this linguistic tic) pretty much every waking moment. Once in awhile a child wanders into the kitchen and she might switch to classic music in hope of promoting energetic brain cells.
This never lasts long.
Why? The two minutes of listening to pop music in her husband's car was emblematic of why talk radio instead of pop music. The song started out optimistically: lots of pretty waterfall sounds, happy harmonies, a pleasant female voice. The Matron was interested! Happy, even! Music! Yes, this is why people wear ear buds and iPods!
(Let's drive home the Matron's affinity for talk radio: she jogs to This American Life shows downloaded on an iPod shuffle. It is possible to run while weeping and railing).
But NINETY SECONDS into this pleasant melody came these lyrics:
"Who died and left you king of anything?"
People!? Really? Someone got a record contract and air time for 'who died and left you king?' Isn't there something smarter, more poetic, prettier, insightful to say?
How about "You're not the boss of me" or "are you the boss of me?" -- two of her current personal favorites and one a phrase she recently heard an actual adult employee of a venerable academic institution use, apparently without irony or self-awareness.
Wait! She can write lyrics too!
"Mom! Make him stop LOOKING at me!"
This is a road trip tune, of course. She smells a gold record.