MICHELE NORRIS, host:
Commentator Laura Lorson recently had an experience that convinced her it really does matter what you listen to on the radio.
LAURA LORSON: Under the best of conditions, I'm what you would call a somewhat paranoid driver. Imagine if you will be uptight television detective Adrian Monk behind the wheel of a car, then multiply by a magnitude of 10, this is me, driving. So anyway, I had to drive over to Topeka right after work a few months ago. So that meant I was going to be driving at night on a road with lots of construction going on. And there's this one particular spot, where the lanes get all wonky and shift, and they have this jersey walls up.
And basically, it's the kind of thing absolutely guaranteed to make me start hyperventilating and gripping the steering wheel, like grim death. And I was looking to an oldies station. And they had suddenly stopped playing anything I wanted to hear. But I could not will myself to let go of the steering wheel to change the station, so that was being kind of an annoyance. So there I am driving along thinking, dear God, where is my exit? And is this like the eight song in a row they have played by Three Dog Night?
When this fellow comes charging up behind me and he starts tailgating me, since I'm only exceeding the speed on it by 10 miles an hour when it is clearly my constitutional duty as an American to exceed it by 20. So he decides he's going to teach me a lesson and cut me off. Okay, I can live with that except that this is right at that place, where the lanes go crazy and the only place for you to go, if you screw up, is either into a concrete abutment or off on this scary unpaved sort of drop off shoulder.
So I have a decision to make. I can get into a catastrophic side-frontal collision or I can go hard over the edge of the road on to the not really a shoulder, and hope that they don't put the car over. I decided I'm going to go for the shoulder. And I'm not sure that I'm going to come out of this all right because I have a way too much momentum. And all I can think of in the half second that all of this is happening is I cannot believe that there are 10,000 songs in the world that I love, and none of them are on the radio right now.
The last song I ever get to hear is "Never Been To Spain" by Three Dog Night. I hate this song. And I decide right there in the flicker of a moment there is no way that I am going to die listening to this song. And I down shift and break really hard and a miracle happened. I didn't flip the car over. I didn't hit anyone. I came to a stop and was shaking and feeling kind of sick, but frankly, all I could think of there on the side of the road was, thank you, God, thank you.
Thank you - thank you for anti-lock brakes. Thank you for power steering. And please, what the last song I ever get to hear at least be by the Rolling Stones? Preferably from "Exile On Main Street," if it's not too much trouble.
NORRIS: Laura Lorson lives in Perry, Kansas. And by the way, her favorite Rolling Stones song is "Tumbling Dice."
(Soundbite of song, "Tumbling Dice")
MELISSA BLOCK, host:
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.