You know what sucks? Not being able to listen to music in your car. A friend once told me that he did 75 percent of his music consumption while driving. He's since moved to L.A., so I assume that number is now closer to 110. Living in a city with no trains means sitting in your car a lot, and Nashville, if in no other way, is like L.A. in that regard.
Highway Hi-Fi, on eBay, but that hardly seems practical. And it probably wouldn't work anyway, at least not for long. As it turns out, I happen to have exceptionally bad luck with car stereos.
I've owned three vehicles in my life and in each case the stereo eventually just stopped working. My first car was a 1986 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser--the kind with fake wood paneling and a fold-up, rear-facing third row of seats. You might call it a Grocery Getter, which people I knew sometimes did. The radio (AM/FM only) was never very good, and would sometimes cut out completely. If I hit the steering wheel just right, I could get the music to come back on. I called this "Fonzie-ing" the stereo, and actually thought it was kind of cool.
Playing the Fonz worked for a while, but eventually the radio just died out completely. So, I bought a cheap cassette boom box that I kept on the seat next to me. Within a couple months, someone threw a piece of concrete through my window and stole it. (But not my tapes. What, a thief too good for Portastatic?) Cost of boom box: $20. Cost to replace car window: $75. As I was sweeping the broken glass out the car, I said, out of anger or grief or frustration, "Why didn't they just steal the fucking car?" A week later, someone did.
My question to you, Cream readers, is this: Where do I go to get my stereo fixed or buy a new one? Every time I see a place that seems to specialize in such things, I get the impression that I'm going to roll out of there with 26-inch rims, ground effects and a 600-watt subwoofer instead of a spare tire. Not that all those things aren't awesome in their own way, just overkill for a car with 193,000 miles on it.