I was standing at a bus stop many years ago, minding my own business, when this guy comes up to me and asks me to sign a petition. It was a petition demanding that music with violent or obscene lyrics be taken off the shelves of music stores. "All those vulgar rock ’n’ roll lyrics are warping kids’ minds," he tells me, "and turning them into violent animals."
I told him I’d been listening to hard-core rock music all my life, and he said that it had probably warped my mind. Well, of course I wasn’t gonna stand there and take that. So I slipped a Twisted Sister tape into my Walkman, turned the volume up to full blast, and shoved him into the path of the oncoming bus.
Later that night, in my jail cell, I got to thinking, maybe the music we listen to does affect our actions. I recalled that I had once barbecued chicken after hearing "Light My Fire. I once almost quit my job after hearing "Take This Job and Shove It." I once did it in the road after hearing "Why Don’t We Do It in the Road."
One time I was sitting in my living room, listening to a Jimmy Buffet album, when a song came on called "Why Don’t We Get Drunk and Screw?" and I became so aroused I went into the kitchen, chugged an entire bottle of wine, and went looking for my wife in the back of the house.
Unfortunately, when I found her, she had the radio on. She was listening to "Beat It!”
Penance: Four hours of non-stop listening to Peter Gabriel songs.
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