The B-52’s Saved My Life

If you did not know.  I am a proud Saluki.  A graduate of Southern Illinois University (class of 96).

I loved it in Carbondale, but I hated the drive.

It was an 8-hour drive, going through Kansas City and St. Louis.  I knew every stop on the way, where to get gas, where to go to the bathroom, the rest stops and the quickest drive-thru restaurants.

So, I got started late one evening.  I was driving home after dark.

I was so sleepy struggling to stay awake.  It was the dead of winter and I had the AC cranked full blast.  I had the radio up loud and I was trying to sing along to The B-52’s Comic Thing.

Interesting side story, Cosmic Thing was the very first CD I ever bought with my own money. It was 1989. I still have it, I still love it. I can honestly say it is one of those perfect CDs, not a bad song on it.

I knew I was about five minutes from a rest stop along I-70 between Columbia, Missouri and Kansas City.  I would stop, get out walk around in the cold and get back on the road.

By the way, I use to see a huge metal KU Jayhawk just to the north of I-70 in Columbia.  I always thought someone is pretty ballsy to put that up in Mizzou Country.  On my last trip home from SIU, I decided to investigate and drove out to see the Jayhawk.  Turns out it was a giant target at a golf range.

So back to the road.  I’m getting closer, like just a few minutes.  “Deadbeat Club” comes on the CD, too slow, I go back to “Love Shack.” 

I decided to roll down the window, fresh cold air, just a minute or so, I got this…

Still trying to sing along and stay awake. I’m like I can do this.  Just keep singing, just keep singing, just keee…….

“TIN ROOF….. RUSTED” I jerk awake!

What the what?  I actually fell asleep.

The CD is still playing, the B-52’s are rocking and I am WIDE awake.  Like shaking with fright mixed with adrenaline.  My first thought was I am never telling my mom this story. 

I kind of pull myself together and that’s when I realize I passed the rest stop.  I was asleep for more than 60 seconds.  Holy crap!  Someone in the big room upstairs was looking out for me.  I could have easily driven off the side of the road and down a small mountain?  Big hill?  Don’t know.

I saw the B-52’s live in Dallas one year. They are fantastic live. The Deadbeat Club is one of my top ten favorite songs of all time. They did not sing it in concert that night. I was a little disappointed, but they were still awesome.

So I want to just say, “Thank you to The B-52’s for keeping me alive and for so many great years of fantastic music and memories” Except that near fatal moment, I’d like to forget that….

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