Most people relate certain songs to certain points in their lives - high school dances or college parties or holidays or their parents. Much like my uncanny ability to remember exactly what I was wearing while getting hurt, I also remember every song that was playing while I was getting pulled over for speeding.
For your consideration:
March 1984 - Chambers & Colfax - 1974 Plymouth Duster - 45 in a 30. J. Giles Band: "Freeze Frame." (Was ditching school at the time, and had somehow, magically, actually asked my mom's permission to do so. Which was awesome because she said YES, which was a damned good thing because when you're under 18 you have to take your mom to court with you when you get a ticket and it woulda been awful hard to explain why I got a ticket 35 miles from English class. I digress.)
April 1985 - State Hwy 79 - my friend Karyn's '75 Le Mans. 98 in a 55. Prince: "Delirious."
June 1986 - State Hwy 36 - Again, the Duster. 7am. Howard Jones: "Like to Get to Know you Well"
July 1987 - Canyon Blvd., Boulder, CO. 1980 Mustang. 75 in a 30. Orchestral Maneuvers in Dark: "Locomotion."
And so on. This was only a sampling of my offenses, I was quite speedy as a youngster.
I think that patrol officers should be required to ask you what you were listening to and record it on the ticket so that later on in court, you can plead, "FUNKY" or "DANCEY" or whatever. "You know how fast you were going? What were you listening to, "Hot for Teacher" or something?" Because really? It is not MY fault that Prince was getting me all worked up like that. Duh. It is Prince's fault. And there's not a judge in the world that would try a person for speeding, with the windows down, on a boring highway...once they knew said person was bopping to "girlyougottatakemeforalittlerideupanddowninandoutaroundyolegsigetdelirious."
Along the same lines, if I'm ever in a fatal accident, I'd really like someone to carefully comb through the wreckage and figure out if I was listening to a CD or the radio. If the radio, please figure out what station and contact them for that day's playlist. Carefully coordinate with investigators and program directors to determine the exact time of the crash and discover the last song I ever listened to. I will do this should anyone I care about die in a car. Because I would HAVE to know. Were you careening out of control to Celine Dion? Because that would be totally uncool. Were you lulled to sleep by Sade and flew down the embankment totally at alto-induced peace? Or were you thumping your foot on the brake, jamming to the Phil Collins' drum solo in In the Air when you were rear-ended by a semi?
It is for this reason that whenever I drive treacherous roads (which is pretty muchly every Thursday of the winter) that I only listen to totally hip CDs. If I am to be found splattered across the highway and/or embankment, I want the people scraping up my innards to be impressed. "Wow. She was a shitty driver, but for a 42-year-old she was into some sweet tunes!" If, for some reason on Thursdays I'm feeling all high schooley and take along REO Speedwagon-Hi Infidelity, the Best of Rick Springfield and Pat Benetar's Crimes of Passion...well, you won't know it unless there's a hell of an impact because I totally sneakily put the disks in different cases. Or hide them when on the slippery-cliffy parts of the road.
The other reason I keep a good selection of cool music in the car is in case I'm at a stoplight and a limousine pulls up next to me. If I am not listening to cool music when there's a limousine next to me, and say, just for example, I'm listening to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on NPR or I don't know... "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler... Well, that's when my awesome acting and lip synching skills come into play. It's important to look like I'm singing something really current and with very few words. That way, if the limo contains say, Mick Jagger looking for a new background talent, or Steven Spielberg looking for the next middle-aged hot chick to play the wise-cracking mother of Shea Lebeuf, then I'm all ready for my closeup.
Did you know Edie Brickell was totally just a normal person who sang outloud in front of someone famous accidentally in a bar one night and NOW SHE'S MARRIED TO PAUL SIMON? I know, right? That's why you must always be prepared when a limo is next to you.