This is the only heavy metal song I like.

I don’t even like the song very much. It just reminds me of one night driving around with my high school best friends who were now my college-summer acquaintances. It was a bad night, all of us sniping at each other, Paul had a headache, the band we’d been to see at the Fast Lane had sucked, etc. etc. We were driving home at around 12:30 and this song came on and we thought it was the funniest thing we’d ever heard. We thought the guy was actually saying “the clap,” we didn’t realize “jack” was Australian slang for it. We began to improvise new lyrics: “Mom got the clap/Dad got the clap/Now Sis has the clap” and more along those lines, spurring each other to heights of obscenity not scaled since the time in tenth grade we’d discovered “hairy pussy” had the exact same number of syllables as “Merry Christmas,” which gave a whole new spin to the familiar carols.

I heard an interview with Nick Hornby one time, and he was talking about how after his son was born he couldn’t wait to turn on the radio, because he knew the first song he heard was forever going to remind him of the moment. I understand, although for that one I gamed the system and cue’d up Bruce Springsteen’s “My Love Will Not Let You Down” on the car’s CD player beforehand. Still: sometimes the right moment is more important than the right song. You don’t always get to choose the music you like.