Scott Graves
Curry Coastal Pilot

I was cruising down the highway and singing along to a love song on the car radio when a patrol officer flashed his lights and pulled me over. Now pay attention, because today I’m going to offer some free advice on what not to do in this type of situation.

First, when the officer knocks on the window, don’t say, “Just a sec. The song’s almost over.”

Second, when he asks to see your license, don’t point to the rear of the car and say, “Isn’t it there on the bumper?”

Third, don’t say, “Are you that guy from the Village People?”

Trust me. He’s not that guy.

When I rolled down the window, the officer asked me if I had trouble hearing because I didn’t pull over when he used his siren. I apologized profusely, explaining that I had turned up the radio and was singing along with one of my favorite love songs.

“Oh, really? Which song?” he said.

I wanted to say it was a macho song, something by like Zeppelin, Van Halen or maybe the Village People’s “YMCA.”

Instead I said, “Uh, Faithfully.”

“The Journey song?” he said, a smile creeping across his face.

Oh oh, I thought. I’m going to get a ticket for careless driving and one for being a pansy.

“I love that song!” he said. He sang a few lines of the first verse and laughed.

I laughed, too, but not too hard because I didn’t want to pee my pants again. He let me go with a warning and told me to have a nice day.

This got me thinking: What is it about singing aloud that makes one happy?

After doing some extensive online research for about two minutes, I came across a recent study that found that singing releases endorphins, those cute, little, furry creatures from the planet Endor. These endorphins tickle your brain until it releases stress-busting hormones that make you happy. One could argue that singing is better for you than doing yoga. Safer, too. Don’t do yoga in the car, you might crash.

According to music scholars, such as Mick Jagger and James Brown, singing is as old as humanity and may actually predate the development of spoken language. The first love song is believed to have been invented during caveman times, as part of man’s eternal quest to woo females. Caveman Joe came up with the idea after a group of cavewomen decided not to allow men to club them over the head and drag them by the hair into the caves.

“Now what am I going to do,” lamented Caveman Joe. “I know! A song!” And then he thought, “What’s a song?”

About this time, cavewomen discovered feminism. They cut their hair, burned their fur-lined bras and decided to club the men over the head and drag them into the caves. One of these women, Sally, hit Joe over the head and he yowled in pain, a sound straight from his heart and soul that sounded like a music note. Intrigued, Sally hit Joe over the head again and he projected the same melodic sound. She was smitten. Not only was it the first one-note love song ever recorded, it was the birth of punk rock!

I know what you’re thinking: “Scott, how do you know this stuff?”

Well, a few years ago archaeologists discovered carvings in sub-Saharan caves under New York City that read “Sally loves Joe’s singing.” It was accompanied by a faded painting of a short-haired, braless woman clubbing a man over the head.

Today, of course, the world is filled with silly love songs. And what’s wrong with that?

From caveman times to today, the love song has been the main go-to for they typical man who wants to express his love and innermost thoughts to the woman he loves. If he’s lucky, it might lead to making out.

The moral of today’s column is, the next time you get pulled over by a police officer, don’t pee your pants. Also, don’t ask him to hold your beer while you look for your drivers license. Just take my advice and tell him you were singing along to your favorite love song. Chances are, there’s still a little caveman DNA in him and he’ll let you go with a warning.


Scott Graves was editor of the Curry Coastal Pilot from September 2000 to November 2017. He can be reached by calling 541-469-3123 or .