My Son, the Dancing Queen

I was in Vancouver for a few days earlier this week to launch the festival. When I returned home, I discovered that my lovely wife had engaged in disturbing behaviour that may have a profound and lasting impact on our two boys.

With me out of the picture, B decided she would play ABBA non-stop in the car for four straight days. On the drive to school, the drive home, driving to the grocery store, the Mamma Mia soundtrack was A & K’s only aural stimulus. This sounds suspiciously close to the interrogation techniques employed by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay.

While A doesn’t appear to be suffering any long-term effects from this overexposure, K has become totally dependent on this music. In particular, he is obsessed with Dancing Queen, which he now refers to as “his song”. As in, “Play my song again, Daddy”.

On the drive to school this morning, we listened to Dancing Queen five times. This is on top of the six times we listened to it yesterday, and the seven times we listened to it on Wednesday. After the fourth playing I tried to turn it down, but I was promptly told “Turn it up, Daddy!”.

In all honesty, I have nothing against ABBA. I’ll admit that it’s catchy dance music, and there’s a time and a place to enjoy it. However, the car is not one of those places. The car is the place for intelligent discourse on CBC Radio One, masculine banter on the all-sports talk radio show, listening to right-wing nutjobs on AM call-in shows, and the occasional lapse into top-40 pap.

In order to break this obsession, I’ve decided to go with the “shock and awe” strategy. Beginning today, the car will be an all-Zappa space. I can’t wait for K to start referring to Why Does It Hurt When I Pee and Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow as “his songs”. That’s my boy…

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