Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Hazards of Driving While Listening

I love listening to audio books and podcasts, but they are not without their hazards especially when driving.

I've gotten somewhat used to avoiding the Drive off the Road While Laughing hazard that Wait Wait Don't Tell Me needs to disclose. Or the OMG Can You Believe That?!! one that often accompanies This American Life (and once in a while Fresh Air).

But the one I haven't quite gotten used to is the slow building, steaming, sex scene (of whatever genders involved) that, while not the abrupt laugh out loud hazard, has that steady attention derailment effect that can make you drive into a parked car without even realizing it. It's insidious too. I'll be fine and then I realize that my imagination has completely absconded with my brain (mmmmm) and then I jolt back to the reality of moving more than 5 mph in a vehicle larger than a bicycle and then I have to pause the book a moment. I'm getting better, but these things really need to have Use Caution When Operating Heavy Machinery While Listening to This Book. I mean really. This is something you REALLY don't want to have to explain. "I drove into the back that car because well you see... Oh, never mind."

My current hazard right now are the heavy petting incidents (of various genders) in James Baldwin's Another Country (at least it's a classic that's making me a driving hazard).

Less vaulted, but just as fun distraction material can be found in
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong - seriously, steamy, werewolf sex
and The Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher has some rather distracting interludes as well.

And I just noticed that Diana Gabaldon's sexy historical fiction series/romp Outlander is available in audio. That's amazing and I'm surprised that terrible crashes haven't been blamed on it.


Elf said...

I've noticed that ANY interesting audio can be distracting. I'm going to have to go back to listening to boring things. No, wait, those put me to sleep--huh.

Jennie said...

I don't listen to anything that tends to be steamy, for whatever reason.

I have, however, laughed so hard that tears were in my eyes, usually to a read-by-the-author David Sedaris book.

Jennie said...

Oh, and there was that time my sister loaned me an audio-cassette version of "In A Sunburned Country," and warned me that the parts about the aborigenes was hard to listen to...

but never warned me that the part about his arrival was so funny that I would come close to driving right off the road.