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You know when you’re in your car, and you’ve got the windows down, and you’ve got your favorite music pumping, and you get into this zone where, even though you have stresses and miseries in your life same as anyone else, in this moment all of those hardships just melt away? You know how it feels when you soak in that musically-induced reprieve from the drudgery of human existence? There’s something about that combination of music, cool air, and moving fast, that creates an almost transcendent experience. That place you go to is a sacred one. And I don’t care what sort of tunes take you there, it’s your place and it’s special. Unless it’s Nickelback or Nicki Minaj or something, in which case your special place is a shallow, dark, noisy hell and every minute that you allow that toxic plastic nonsense to emanate from your speakers, is another minute that you sin against everything right and true and beautiful in the world. How dare you. Think of the children. Anyway, with obvious exceptions, that music-car combo is quite magical.

Now, there are people on the planet who wouldn’t understand anything I just wrote. They’re not into music. Any music. They don’t listen to it, they don’t care about it. I don’t judge these folks, but I also don’t understand them. To me, being indifferent towards music is like being indifferent towards puppies or sandwiches. It seems unnatural and kind of creepy. Be that as it may, I write all of this for the benefit of these types of people. I want you to understand the significance of that relationship many men and women have with their car music. And once you understand this, you’ll understand the following two rules:

1) When you’re in someone else’s car and they’re playing music, don’t talk over it. Unless it’s an absolute emergency, don’t you dare try to interject your small talk into the melody. If the two of you are driving down a country rode, and he’s got his window down and he cues up some Old Crow Medicine Show “Wagon Wheel”, keep your yap shut. Just kick the seat back, stare out the window, and marinate in the moment.

2) This should go without saying, but don’t ever, under any circumstance, touch the volume. No further discussion is needed on this point. Don’t do it. Just don’t. A man’s car is not a democracy. It’s a ruthless dictatorship and nothing is up for a vote.

Respect the music. You should be honored that the driver has allowed you in his vehicle and brought you into this zone. Especially if the driver is me, because I’ve got an impeccable playlist and I’m trying to open your eyes and ears to some awesome songs from some great bands. Which is why I keep turning the volume up every time you try to start a conversation. Rude? Perhaps. But it’s for your own good