If you happened to see a laughing pedestrian walking across the bridge over I-90 on your evening commute home along Northwest Blvd ... that strange figure lost in a guffaw above the freeway traffic was me. It's not often that I audibly laugh while walking alone. And I myself wonder about the mental health of strangers when I see them chuckling and giggling to themselves while they stroll down the sidewalks.
I'm sure I looked odd. Baggy jeans, old and worn work boots, dirty ski jacket, a crooked beanie atop my head, and a week's worth of stubble (manly beard growth?) covering my face. Anyone driving by me would have every right to assume I was insane.
But I had reasons. Good ones.
As I approached the freeway, I noticed the tell-tale blue and red lights of a police officer. The closer I got, the more obvious it became that one of Coeur d'Alene's finest had pulled over a motorist. That's not what I found funny. I was laughing because the random setting on my iPod had the predictive sense to match the music to my surroundings.
The song changed as I walked past The Outback Steakhouse. Next in the playlist: Public Enemy's Fight the Power. My first glimpse of flashing lights and the unlucky driver synced up with the moment that Chuck D first chants, "Lemme hear you say 'Fight the power' We've got to fight the powers that be."
I couldn't help it. I started laughing. Out loud. My breath visible in the frosty air dancing as it left my snickering lips. Part of me wanted to raise my fist in the air as a symbol of solidarity, but I knew that that would be too much. Even for me.
The moment passed. The ticket was written and delivered. Flashing lights switched off. And I kept walking.
I traveled the rest of the way home with a big smile on my face though. The next song was Can I Kick It from A Tribe Called Quest. And Arrested Development's Fishin' 4 Religion was on as I walked through my front door.
Those three songs were enough to make my day. Today was a good day.