Also, did you know that the startle reflex of an armadillo is to launch itself straight up into the air to about the height of the bottom of a car, and that’s why you so often see dead ones on the road?

I was driving home last night listening to the end of Tristan und Isolde. The Liebestod is useful if you need to have a good cry. I didn’t, but I got one anyway, and it led to one of those moments where most of my brain is listening to Wagner and coordinating the waterworks, but another part of it was pointing out to me that I was driving down an unlit country road in the dark with tears streaming down my cheeks, and this exactly how people end up hitting deer and getting in a wreck. (It was later pointed out to me that this particular combination of circumstances is actually probably not, as a rule, how people hit deer, but you know what I mean.)

I did not hit any deer, but I may stick to string quartets and Handel recitals for driving in the future.

10 thoughts on “Also, did you know that the startle reflex of an armadillo is to launch itself straight up into the air to about the height of the bottom of a car, and that’s why you so often see dead ones on the road?

    1. I didnt even think of that, but there totally is. In that case, I think I should have been listing to Wagner on the radio in a truck rather than via ipod in a little car. Possibly with dog howling along.

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  1. I don’t get the Liebestod. I was told I should listen to the whole opera in order to get the full emotional effect but that sounded too much like a chore. Semi-related, I own an armadillo + ants t-shirt where the armadillo looks like he’s wearing a yarmulke.

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    1. I didn’t get Tristan until I saw it live. I think you need to be in a slightly altered state. I watched it from standing room at thre FSC after I’d been up at 5am and worked all day before going to the show. I was semi-conscious by Act 3 but I got it. Alternatively LSD might do it.

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    2. Yeah, it wouldn’t make much real sense unless you’ve been through the previous 5 hours of continuous irresolution. If that seems like a chore, then now is not the time, but it’s worth diving into at some point. The orchestration is killer and, in terms not just of music history but of cultural history, its influence is everywhere.

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        1. Aw c’mon, let’s not overstate the case. Masochism is listening to Greatest Hits of Rod McKuen on continuous replay. Tristan has no comparable terrors.

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