A matter of convenience

The phone rang a few minutes after noon.

It was my dad, calling from the convenience store, where he’d stopped after going out for lunch.

Come to find out, stopping at the convenience store was the problem.

As Dad pulled up, his foot slipped from the brake to the gas pedal.

(You know where this is going, don’t you?)

Hurtling forward at low speed, Dad took out one of the glass doors, upended a stack of windshield wiper fluid bottles and knocked a concrete trash barrel a few feet west.

Dad wasn’t hurt. Nor was anyone else, thankfully. If you’re 84, as Dad is, and you have an accident, that’s the one to have.

Dad has been driving for 70 years, but he might be done now. His car, a rusty ’92 Ford Taurus bequeathed to him when his older sister died six years ago, likely is totaled. We aren’t going to encourage him to get a different car. We’ll just make do.

Just like that, you gotta deal with …

“Them Changes,” Lionel Hampton and the Inner Circle, from “Them Changes,” 1972. It’s out of print. Our friend Larry over at Funky 16 Corners shared this in his “Vol. 7: Funky Shing-A-Ling” mix and again earlier this year in his “Vol. 79: Positive Vibrations” mix. A longer take is available digitally, but I don’t know when it was recorded.

Dad digs Hamp’s vibes. They’re heard over at Ray’s Corner, the apartment with the loud music, and the place where the martinis are made of gin with the vermouth bottle held about a foot away. The vibes in this cut might have sounded a little like that shattered glass falling to the ground at the convenience store.

Speaking of which …

Once everyone had checked on Dad, making sure he was OK, and once the deputy called for a tow truck, Dad headed into the store and bought his lottery tickets.

Wouldn’t it be a great story if today was the day he won?

Nah, that kind of thing only happens in the movies. Or in a song …

“The Lottery Song,” Harry Nilsson, from “Son of Schmilsson,” 1972. The buy link is to a remastered CD with five extra tracks.


Filed under April 2010, Sounds

5 responses to “A matter of convenience

  1. Glad to hear your Dad’s OK. My Pop is 78 and limits his excursions in the motorcar to daylight hours. Otherwise Mom’s at the wheel.

  2. I’m glad, as well, that you dad is all right. My mom – now 88 – gave up her car and license about four years ago when she moved into assisted living. It means a few more trips for me to make sure she gets her shopping done, but that’s okay. As you said, you make do.

  3. Marty

    Glad to hear that Ray is OK.

  4. Dane

    I’m glad your dad’s okay too. That had to be a scary phone call. I really wish my own dad would give up the driving.

  5. I’ve heard very little of Nilsson’s work performed by him… Although I do enjoy both BS&T (Blood Sweat & Tears) and BL&W’s (Gerry Beckley, Robert Lamm, & the late Beach Boy Carl Wilson) covers of his Without Her.

    I do thoroughly enjoy his cover of Badfinger’s Without You. It’s one of those few instances where the cover surpasses the original. I also like the European Pop Idol cover version “Ken Lee” (search YouTube for “Ken Lee”, but make sure you’re not drinking anything when you watch it or you may have to windex your monitor).

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