Setting: I'm visiting home and writing an article entitled "10 Classic 80's Rock Love Songs."
Cast of Characters:
Nicki: Our heroine. Our neurotic, overexcitable, classic rock-loving heroine.
Mike: Nicki's stepfather. Hunter. Mechanic. Tinkerer. Strong-handed, guitar-picking country man with a mighty love for Clint Eastwood, Led Zeppelin, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Mom: A woman of formidable strength and brilliance. Acclaimed engineer. Mother of two. Tough as nails, sharp-witted, paper-thin with a warm smile. Cannot sing to save her life.
Editor's note: all quotation marks indicate a character is singing. Poorly.
Mike: Sweet Child O' Mine.
Nicki: Got it. Oo, I'll do Patience too.
Mike: That ballad by Kiss.
Nicki: Beth. I think that was 70's, but I'll check.
Nicki: I Want to Know What Love Is AND Waiting for a Girl Like You. Got 'em both.
Mike: Amanda by Toto.
Nicki: Toto doesn't sing Amanda.
Mom: Yes they do. A-maaaa-anda, a-maaaa-aaaaanda.
Nicki: No. That's Rosanna. "All I wanna do when I wake up in the morning is see your eyes, Ro-saaaa-na, Rosaaaaa-na."
Mike: That's not it. It's AMANDA.
Nicki: You're thinking of Amy. "Aaaameeeee, whatchoo wanna doooooo, I think I could stay with you..."
Mom: What's that song with Phil Collins about breath?
Nicki: I'm not putting Phil Collins anywhere near my list of ROCK SONGS. What, do you want me to add "Total Eclipse of the Heart" too?
Mike: It's by Boston.
Nicki: No, that's "More Than a Feelin'." Enough about Amanda.
Mom: No, Phil Collins, maybe when he was still with Genesis, and he sang about breath.
Mike: Nicki. Google Amanda.
Nicki: I DON'T CARE IF PHIL COLLINS WENT ON TOUR WITH KISS, I AM NOT PUTTING HIM ON MY LIST.
Nicki Googles Amanda.
Nicki: OH! "I'M GONNA TAKE YOU BY SURPRIIIIISE, MAKE YOU REALIZE, AMANDA."
Mike: That's it.
Mom: Oh, there's that ballad by Kiss, what's that called?
Nicki: "I'M GONNA TELL YOU RIGHT AWAY, I CAN'T WAIT ANOTHER DAY, AMANDAAAAA."
Mom: I know Phil Collins did that song for a movie with Madonna. It was a big hit.
Mike: Led Zeppelin had a song called Hot Dog.
Nicki: "I'M GONNA SAY IT LIKE A MAN AND MAKE YOU UNDERSTAND, AMANDAAAA."
Mom: Nicki. NICKI. That song by Kiss.
Nicki: Mom. MOM. It's Beth. That wasn't the eighties. Maybe I Was Made for Loving You was in the eighties.
Mike: What's that Whitesnake song where Tawny Kitaen crawls around on a Jaguar?
Nicki: Cherry Pie. OO, MY, CHERRY PIE. Not a love song.
Mike: NO. It is not Cherry Pie. It is a Whitesnake song.
Nicki googles "whitesnake song where girl crawls around on car." She's delighted to find a Yahoo Answers question phrased in the exact same way.
Nicki: Here I Go Again. Not gonna work.
Mike: Look up "When I'm With You." Play that one. It's by Sheriff.
Mom: I don't think Cher would be a good fit for this list.
Nicki: SherIFF, Mom, SherIFF.
Mike: It starts out cheesy but it gets good at the chorus.
Mom: How about Sister Sledge?
Nicki finds "When I'm With You." She quickly decides there's no way in hell she's putting it on her list, but keeps listening and nodding appreciatively to appease Mike.
Mike: Awww, yeah. This is it. This is IT.
Mom: What about Devo?
Nicki: ON WHAT PLANET IS WHIP IT A LOVE SONG?
Mom: You know, this really doesn't sound like Cher.
Nicki and Mike: SHERIFF.
Mom: Oh. Sheriff. You don't have to yell.
Nicki: Okay. Guys, I have fourteen songs for this list of ten songs. Thanks for all your help. Really. I've gotta start writing it now.
Mom: Okay. But what's that Phil Collins song? You know, with the drum part that goes DO-do, DO-do, DO-do-da-do-dodo.
Mike and Nicki stare in amazement.
Nicki: Holy crap. She means In the Air Tonight.
Mike: That's not a love song.
Nicki: Definitely not a love song.
Nicki: Isn't that about someone drowning?
Mom: IT IS NOT. It's that movie with Madonna and it was a big hit from the movie. HUGE hit.
Nicki begins dutifully listing all Phil Collins songs.
Mom: AGAINST ALL ODDS! THAT'S IT! It's from that movie! Against All Odds!
A minute passes. Mom is smiling triumphantly.
Nicki: (softly) That wasn't Madonna.
Mom: Shut it.