"Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you..."
I found myself chanting this absently in the grocery store canned soup aisle-- like some prayer to the patron saint of shaky handheld cameras and overworked beat cops-- before I realized I was even singing....
Then I found myself looking around, expecting to see some dude in a stained wife-beater shirt and boxers sprint by, flinging displays of Campbell's Chicken 'n Stars to the heavens, and pursued by a determined team of Pittsburgh's Finest.
But, alas. It was just the tunes being pumped in through the supermarket PA system. Reality set in when the reggae tribute to law enforcement moved on to Stanza Two, a whole startling other set of lyrics I'd never actually heard before, jarring me from my reverie. It forced me into an uncomfortable, awkward silence until the familiar chorus came around once more.
"Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna wear, whatcha gonna wear when they raid your lair..."
I'd had a similar experience not long ago at the pharmacy in the very same store, when Travis Tritt's "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" wafted through the sound system.
Here, my movie-soaked mind had visions of a giant Graboid worm breaking through the tile flooring and scarfing up the old lady holding up the line with 30 prescriptions and 150 cases of impulse-buy catfood.
I mean-- seriously, "Tremors 2" is the first thing that comes to my mind? Not that I'm too high-and-mighty to appreciate a fine pre-Cambrian worm-based epic. But I like to keep my groceries and Graboids in separate mental buckets.
Which got me thinking, how cool would it be if we actually had rotating soundtracks for daily life?
Like the commute to work--
Sure, we could go with obvious choices, like "Manic Monday," "Rainy Days and Mondays" or "Take This Job and Shove It," but how about a crowded train or bus commute with "Stuck in the Middle with You"? Or maybe Cake's "Long Line of Cars"?
A pause at the erratic office complex vending machine might bring on a chorus of the Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want."
Your stubborn computer problem which monopolizes too much valuble time for your morning might trigger The Flaming Lips' "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."
Until, of course, it gets solved. And "Mr. Roboto" sings out in all its dramatic prog-rock triumph.
Lunchtime might be accompanied by Duran, Duran's "Hungry Like a Wolf," while your afternoon meeting with the boss could go from Deniece Williams' "Let's Hear It for the Boy" to Don McLean's "The Day the Music Died" in no time.
And then, as five o'clock rolls around, you might hear a bright chorus of "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place." So you get in your car to Dave Matthews' "Ants Go Marching."
Back at the grocery store, though, I have to wonder what exactly made them think the theme from "Cops" would be appropriate shopping accompaniment. Maybe it's considered a subtle crime deterrent after some adverse Muzak reactions to, say, The Smiths' "Shoplifters of the World Unite" on the in-store radio.
"Bad boys, bad boys, are ya gonna buzz, are ya gonna buzz and get chased by fuzz..."
So tell me folks: What would be included in your personal soundtrack?