For the past 15 months, I have been full-time RVing with my puppy, my truck, and a 29-foot fifth wheel. It's been one of the most epic (and involved) experiences of my life.
I've learned a lot. I can back into almost any space now. I'm a YouTube electrician and mechanic (though, fortunately, I am not a YouTube plumber — yet). And... I have learned that there are certain songs I just cannot endure in or around my RV.
It's actually reasonably rare for me to jam with other musicians in campgrounds. With the rise of easy, passive entertainment, fewer people are learning to play instruments. It's easier to watch another episode on Netflix, and most humans have an instinct for idleness. This is a sad thing, and it's literally killing people.
(It's kind of funny, too, though. It's funny because lots of travelers incorrectly think that people in poor countries are "SOOOOO much happier than us." They're not. They're miserable. But the reason you think they're happy is because they are poor, so they don't stare at electronics all by themselves all day. They have to go outside and do something if they want to have fun. And they can't afford TVs, sports equipment, and other possessions the way we can, so everything, from guitars to radios to TVs, is shared and enjoyed socially. Well — that, and the obvious representation bias. You don't see the kids who are dying at home of malnutrition and diarrhea. You only see the ones who are healthy enough to go outside and kick around an empty milk carton. Similarly, you don't see the uneducated mothers with no opportunities in life other than to stay home and take care of their sick kids. You see the men who enjoy greater freedoms in society and have the health and resources to enjoy themselves.)
A Bajau Laut woman in Borneo. Image: The Happy Talent
But once in a while, I'll meet another musician and we will jam. And almost every time, they will want to play at least ONE of the songs I have learned is a terrible, boring, stupid song that I never want to play or endure again.
The name of the list is my THIS IS A WAGON WHEEL AND STAIRWAY-FRIENDLY CAMPSITE, BUT PLEASE REFRAIN FROM THE FOLLOWING FUNERAL MARCHES list.
It's not very long — but it could continue growing till the end of time. The current songs on the blacklist include:
Knocking on Heaven's Door
People tend to like this boring-ass song for some reason, so IF we are on a stage in front of an audience and IF we are struggling, on the spot, to come up with a song we both know, I will play this song with you.
But there is no reason to ever play this dirge at my campsite where people are celebrating life, not mourning death.
Life is good! What's to mourn when you're at an epic downhill park? Image: 5 Ways To Overcome Your Fear of Towing an RV
Not just because it's boring — it's also exceedingly long. Oh, and PS: it doesn't mean what you think it means.
I've spoken a lot about assertiveness and self-defense on this blog. The only good reason to ever play this song at my campsite is because you want to lull an attacker to death.
I would rather play dead than listen to this song ever again. Image: The Happy Talent
I love duets. I love them so much that I continue to write my own, even though I am a solo RVer who is seldom in the same place long enough to teach anyone the guy part.
But Picture is one duet I will not allow at my campsite.
Honetly, I was fine with it until someone asked me to sing it with him at karaoke — musically, it's kind of fun and interesting. However, the problem with karaoke is I was able to read the lyrics for the first time.
They're just so... trashy. And empty. And gross.
It is unimaginably gross to me to imagine sleeping with random strangers every night to fill some hole in my heart. It makes me think of nasty strangers' body fluids and STDs. To me, physical contact with a stranger is disgusting and repulsive.
I wouldn't even kiss someone I hadn't known for a while and developed deep feelings for. I can't imagine why anyone would want to.
Hookup culture grosses me out and porn culture grosses me out and the fact that people are sleeping with random strangers without any regard for their humanity grosses me out. It grosses me out that dudes watch so much porn that not only do they think it is okay to randomly start choking and hitting women during sex without their consent (more than a third of women under 40 have been choked, gagged, or hit during sex without their consent — how horrible and depressing is that?!)...
But for many young people, who have been psychologically damaged by porn, degrading or being degraded is literally the only to make sex even feel like anything.
Saddened by their plight, I wrote Eroticism Is Dead, a song which is welcome at my campsite.
Baby, It's Cold Outside.
You like it? Good. Go play it at your campsite. But as far as I'm concerned:
I have no interest in playing or hearing the original version of this song ever again.
That said, I could be convinced to play the "consent version" by Lydia Liza and Josiah Lemanski:
Alternatively, having tremendously enjoyed writing my first Christmas song, Make 'Em All Believe:
Perhaps I will write my own arrangement of Baby, It's Cold Outside, based on the dialogue I created for Baby, It's Cold Outside: An Instructional Guide for the Modern Woman
Want to know more? Check out Sometimes, before I hang out with a guy alone for the first time, I tell him, "If you ever touch me without my consent, I will kill you" and Last night, I screamed NO in a guy's face because he wouldn't stop trying to kiss me. Would YOU do that?
Oh Where Oh Where Can My Baby Be?
I don't know the real title of this song. I don't know who sings it. (Pearl Jam?) All I know is that it's boring, manufactured drama. It's about as creative and interesting as an author who doesn't know how to write powerfully, so they use cheap, uninspired shortcuts (rape, losing virginity, unplanned pregnancy—or a combination thereof) to pretend they've written powerfully.
It's boring. It's cheap. And it's about a girl who died in a car accident.
Play this shit on your own time, at your own campsite. Keep it far away from mine. I've got better things to sing about, like falling in love in the sand dunes.
That's... that's pretty much it. You'll notice one glaring omission: Hotel California. Why? Maybe it's a better song than the ones I mentioned. Maybe it's because I've made countless friends overseas by traveling with a guitar and playing this song no fewer than twice a day (it's one American song that everyone in the world knows and loves). I've played it with Malaysian soldiers while they were on pirate, terrorist, and kidnapper patrol. I've played it with my surf buddies after sunset and between the tides. I've played it on boats and at parties and in hotel lobbies.
Through Hotel California, I've made local friends pretty much everywhere I've gone.
So it stays off the shit list.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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