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Life Off-the-Grid

Why I Cannot Listen to Puddle of Mudd

By Cam Mather

I guess I’m superstitious. I never realized this until last month. Or maybe it started 10 years ago.

Ten years ago my daughters and I were in the car, headed towards their high school in Napanee. After dropping them off, I was going to head to the city to see customers. The song “Blurry” from a band called “Puddle of Mudd” came on the radio.  I liked this song so I probably had the radio turned up fairly loud. I happened to look down at the temperature gauge on my Honda Civic and it was in the red. Ouch! I wasn’t used to seeing that. The car was probably 10 years old, but it had never run hot. So we limped our way to school and then I took the car to Canadian Tire. It turned out it was the head gasket. I spent the rest of my day finding a tow truck to get the car to the Honda dealer in Kingston, then figuring out a way to get home, which is a challenge when you live 30 minutes from the nearest city. Twelve hundred dollars and a week later the car was almost as good as new!

At that point I began to associate that song with the negative experience of the head gasket going. About a year later I was in town in my Ford Ranger, which was probably 15 years old by that point. I was listening to another a Puddle of Mudd song as I parked the truck near the bank. I don’t remember the song, but I am sure that it was that band. When I got back to the truck there was a green liquid leaking out of it. Nice. Luckily the bank is right across the street from a garage. A few days and a few hundred bucks for a new radiator later and the truck was working again.

At this point I swore off Puddle of Mudd. I still liked them, but it seemed like there was some sort of weird karmic thing happening in which bad things occurred whenever I listened to them. Normally I would provide a link to their music on You Tube here but I don’t want to risk it!

Last month I was listening to a radio station from Kingston and a song called “Paranoid Psycho” came on. I liked the song but I wasn’t sure who it was. So I looked it up and watched the video on You Tube. They had done a cute take off on Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Psycho” for their video. Then I realized that the band was “PUDDLE OF MUDD!” I had sort of vaguely clued in, but it was years ago that I’d heard one of their songs. Too late. I had listened to it all the way through. Crap!

That afternoon Michelle and I headed to town and in the mail we received an invoice for a $1,000 business expense that we hadn’t anticipated. One of those “Crap where did this come from?” sorts of expenses. So I rest my case.

I am jinxed when it comes to Puddle of Mudd and will never listen to them, ever, EVER, again. This is too bad, but I will not try and alter the force of the universe. It has spoken and it has informed me of the guidelines within which I must function.

My mother was often superstitious. When her hand was itchy she’d say, “I’m going to get some money.” On New Year’s Eve she insisted on putting her purse and Dad’s wallet outside the back door. For some reason it was bad luck to have money in the house on New Year’s Eve. Apparently there weren’t a lot of criminals out and about on New Year’s Eve in our neighborhood because the door had to be closed. If she gave you a new wallet or knife she always put a penny in with them, otherwise they were jinxed.

I like these little nuances, but never really bought into them. That was until the Puddle of Mudd curse. Now the challenge is identifying Puddle of Mudd songs as they come on the radio and changing the station immediately. Sometimes I’ll be doing stuff and have sort of tuned out the radio, and when I realize what’s happening I make one of those Olympic hurdler’s runs to the radio to turn it off. It’s like a race with the grim reaper.

This blog post had no intellectually redeeming qualities. It will do nothing to avert climate change or the coming collapse of paper currencies. The fact that my belief that I am cursed by Puddle of Mudd was cemented by a song called “Paranoid Psycho,” may seem entirely appropriate.

Update from Michelle: Cam wrote this post about a week ago. The other day he was in the car, listening to the radio, and a Puddle of Mudd song came on. He quickly switched it to another station. That night he had his first ever bloodshot eye! Coincidence?

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