Memories of … Snap! “The Power”

Few things can trigger a long-lost memory like music. It can happen anywhere. Standing in line for coffee you can hear some old song and instantly get transported back to another time and place. What is great about this experience is that there can be endless different reactions to same tune. A U2 song might remind you of a junior high school dance, but could remind your next door neighbor of the time he/she was carjacked. So, I thought that I would share a few stories and the songs that are linked to them.

First up: Snap!, “The Power”

That song reminds me of when I was a freshman in high school. I was in morning gym class turning lap after suicidal lap. My lush full head of brown hair was bouncing lazily back and forth as I ran. I caught sight of my reflection and it was as if my hair was waving to me. Calling out to me. Reassuring me. “I will always be with you, Todd”…I digress.

I looked up and saw the assistant principal enter the gym. Now at my school, the AP was “The Enforcer.” This meant that if he interrupted a class to get you, you were fucked. He briefly confers with the gym coach and then they both scan the gym until they find the poor sap in trouble. Me.

Normally, I wouldn’t freak out too bad, but the whole scenario reminded me of a scene in the C. Thomas Howell movie Tank.  Young C. Thomas’ school principal and gym coach drag him out of practice and take him to the locker room. A corrupt police officer then pulls a gigantic bag of weed out of his locker. He is immediately thrown into prison and horrible prisony things happen to him. That is until his father breaks him out with the help of a Sherman tank and a spunky prostitute with a heart of gold.

(How have I not seen this movie? —Chris)

So now you understand my distress when the gym coach motions for me to come toward them. I had no idea what I could possibly have done wrong. Thinking of nothing obvious, I ran through the top 3 transgressions that 15-year-olds get busted for.

  1. Fighting- Nope. I’m a lover, not a fighter.
  2. Unexplained Absence- Nope. My attendance record was beyond reproach.
  3. Possession of Tobacco Products- The gig is up! There was a fairly large assortment of smoking and chewing tobaccos in my locker at the start of business that morning.

I walked toward them planning what I would do during my certain 2-day suspension from school. Imagine my relief when instead of accusations of wrong doing I was greeted with a note. Apparently, I have a doctor’s appointment and my brother is in the front office waiting to take me.

This was odd considering that my older brother had recently moved out of the house. I rarely saw him, and he definitely wouldn’t be the one to pick me up for some forgotten appointment. I didn’t question it though and quickly hauled ass to the office. There he was, BS’ing with the school secretary. I don’t remember what was said between us before we left, but I do remember thinking that everyone in that office (including the AP) knew that this was no ordinary trip to the doctor. No, this was a jailbreak.

Much like Andy Dufresne escaping a lifetime of cruelty at Shawshank, I was elated to be free of a morning filled with calisthenics and calculus. We hopped into my brother’s gigantic and obnoxiously loud truck (he had recently bought some early ’70s red behemoth that was two steps down from a monster truck). As we pulled away from the school, he slipped a cassette into the tape deck. Snap!’s “The Power” blasted over the speakers. The cassette was a single with no B side so when the song was over it just flipped sides and played again and again.

With no real destination in mind, we drove around town wasting the day with Snap! as our soundtrack. He dropped me off at school just in time to hop on the bus and go home. All I heard in my head the whole way home was…

“I Got the Power!”

“It’s gettin’, it’s getting, it’s getting kinda hectic.”

“It’s gettin’, it’s getting, it’s getting kinda hectic.”

“It’s gettin’, it’s getting, it’s getting kinda hectic.”