How to Roll With the Windows Down

As Shannon and I were waiting to cross a busy street following our anniversary dinner last week, a shiny Porche with its convertible top down pulled up to a red light. A cool young man with his hat on sideways slouched behind the wheel, sleek sunglasses wrapped about his eyes. His stereo was cranked to an absurd volume.

Shannon and I exchanged puzzled glances as James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" boomed from his speakers and into the warm night air. Is this guy for real? we wondered. Why on God's green earth would a self-respecting, testosterone-heavy guy aching to be cool blare "You're Beautiful" from a car stereo? You can get jumped for that where I come from, and I come from tree-lined-street suburbia.

Inspired, Shannon and I developed a list of the top three songs guys shouldn't blast in their cars with the windows rolled down if they're trying to look cool.

3. Heal the World/Michael Jackson: Your friends may applaud your humanitarian sentiments… but they may wanna be startin' something and call your girlfriend "Dirty Diana", which could put some strain on the relationship, despite the fact that you're bad, you're bad, you know it, you know it.

2. Annie's Song/John Denver: Your girlfriend may indeed "fill up [your] senses, like a night in the forest", but if any kids from school know you like this song enough to blast it, they'll make sure you spend a night in the forest, stuffed in a hollow log with your underwear pulled over your head and hooked onto the end of your bloody nose.

1. Girls Just Want To Have Fun/Cyndi Lauper: Rule number one for guys trying to be cool: never, ever blare "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" with the windows down. Just don't.

Since it's not fair to only list uncool songs, here's a gratuitous list of the top three songs all cool guys should play loudly with their windows down:

3. Get Out of My Dreams (And Into My Car)/Billy Ocean: A subtle invitation to the vixen with the loser boyfriend in the next car over. Jamming this song says "I'm cool, I'm smooth, and I'm probably wearing too much cologne."

2. Ice Ice Baby/Vanilla Ice: Everybody secretly likes this song. Be the guy secure enough to admit it to the whole neighborhood.

1. America/Neil Diamond: No one can resist this catchy ode to America's coolness. If we were smart, we'd adjust our foreign policy to contain just one initiative: drive Hummers with rolled down windows bumping this song through the streets of capitals around the world. Before long, the world would be rallied around Neil Diamond, the great unifier, shouting "Today!" with fists in the air.