I’d say by now, everybody knows what it means to get Rickrolled.
In case you don’t, Wikipedia sums it up with more information than you’d ever need.
This morning, I sort of rickrolled myself. It wasn’t bad enough that I sort of rickrolled myself, but I actually took the extra effort to play the song again on my iPod.
I’m not sure when I put that on the iPod, but I remember exactly when I downloaded that song — it was at my old job and I did it in one of my “this would make a great theme song for” moments. I also will sheepishly admit that I didn’t mind having the song on my iPod. There’s something just whimsical and fun and a special feeling you get when you hear Rick Astley’s soulful voice tell you he’s never going to let you down. It’s like you can almost believe it. So far, it’s true. I can’t think of a single time Rick Astley’s ever let me down.
I have a friend who observed that everybody on public transportation looks defeated. I wanted to believe this wasn’t true, but after nearly eight months of daily exposure to public transportation, I can’t dispute his observation. At 8:30 in the morning, every single one of us getting on the train at Greenbelt have that same “back to the grind, please shoot me” kind of face. If you see someone without that face, they’re a tourist who came to Greenbelt for the ample parking. Or they’re new at their job downtown. I was that face of shining optimism once.
I didn’t use my iPod for a while after I moved to DC because I didn’t have a charger and I lacked the drive to ask my co-workers if they had one. Finally, when I could stand no more conversations about anybody owing any other aggrieved party child support for any number of children, I dusted it off. I brought in my external hard drive, loaded it into my work computer and found an iPod charger from a co-worker. I have about 1,000 songs on the iPod and I just hit random when I get on the train and let it go.
It started out normally enough with some Collective Soul, followed by Rolling Stones, some Pearl Jam, a song by a band I love from Arizona called Radiofix. I figured pound for pound, it was a better music day than I’d had in a while. I had a seat to myself until Georgia Avenue-Petworth when an ill-tempered looking girl who glared at me with that “I hate you for being alive” face sat beside me with a heavy sigh. When she sat down, I was deep in a Dave Matthews Band zone thinking about the lyrics of “The Best of What’s Around.” But that’s neither here nor there.
Less than 10 minutes later, I heard the sweet beginnings of “Never Gonna Give You Up” and laughed. I didn’t intend to actually laugh out loud, but it happened, and “I hate you for being alive” girl looked at me with such harsh judgment I was tempted to turn it down. I’m sure that on a quiet, inbound train, she could hear that it was Rick Astley. It was written all over her “I hate you for being alive” face.
But I didn’t let her shame me into turning it down. And when the song ended 3:36 seconds later, I proudly hit the back arrow to play it AGAIN. No, “I hate you for being alive” face girl. You’re not going to get inbetween me and my unintentional quasi rickroll. I was going to enjoy every sweet Astley moment whether you judged me or not.
But then the train ride’s over. And you come out of McPherson Square to see traffic backed up on both I Street and K Street and realize what’s coming. And you need some Rick Astley to make it better again.