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The Ambassadors of Funk

One of the more amusing albums I’ve downloaded in recent months is one called Super Mario Compact Disco. It’s pretty simple to figure out the concept of this album: various well-known Mario tunes, remixed and full of overly cheerful rap lyrics extolling the excellence of Mario and his friends. It’s arguably the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life, but much like Rhapsody, it’s grown on me like moss.

For those of you out of the loop, my longtime traveling companion died after eight loyal years of service. After burial proceedings and a subsequent memorial service, I started looking into a replacement model. I know it seems a little fast, but I feel like you have to move on quickly or you never will. Know what I mean?

So I finally decided on one of those RioVolt MP3 CD players. I’ve got a couple of CD-RWs, and I’ve just been burning rips of the albums I’ve been listening to lately so I can enjoy them on the road instead of paying attention to the driving task and the IPDE process. One of these albums, needless to say, is Super Mario Compact Disco, which I tend to blast. I find it singularly amusing (and by “singularly,” I mean I’m the only person who finds it funny) that, when I play it, I become one of those people I make fun of who has the bass turned up really loud so you can hardly hear it, but yet it’s just crappy Mario songs with hip-hop backbeats.

Which brings me (finally) to the actual story. Last night was Saint Patrick’s day, as I’m sure you all blearily recall. As such, when I was driving home from my class around 10:30, there was a not-all-that-surprising-but-still-unusual amount of traffic. Most of them were swerving to and fro, driving ten under, and braking about 500 feet too soon. I wonder what that was about.

Anyway, I got to the intersection at Higgins and Mannheim*, and I was sitting at the red light (the first car in the left lane), waiting for it to change, when a car pulls up beside me. It, too, had bass blaring at extraordinary volume. I ignored it.

Then, I heard the engine revving. I turned my head toward their car, giving the driver my best bad-ass look (it’s not very good). It was four guys—two in the front, two in the back—all looking very gang-bangery and faux-tough (seriously, their bad-ass looks were about as good as mine). They seemed pretty intent on racing me, so I knew what I had to do.

I lowered the bass slightly so the chromatic tones of the Super Mario Land theme could be distinctly heard over the bass.

I rolled down the passenger window.

I said, “What, you wanna race?” in my best deep bad-ass voice, and all the while, remember, I still have my stone face (not to be confused with my stoned face) on.

And they started laughing. Really, really hard. And then they sort of shrugged me off, like I was either not worth their time or too amusing to want to harass.

I would have been offended, except it was exactly what I had planned.

It’s nice, I think, that I’ve finally managed to thrust into the public eye the things that make me privately titter and find that they amuse others as well.

Although I’m still not sure whether they were laughing with me or just at me.

* I apologize if my sad, lifelong obsession with maps is ruining the flow of the blog. I just feel the need to supply a photographic frame of reference whenever I mention specific locations like Adult World.

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