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The Best Of 2008

How Guns n Roses Ruined My Questionable Reputation
By Diane Steinbach -- Staff Writer [Email This Story]

We all sing in our cars don't we? Somehow just because we are enclosed in metal, or bondo in some cases, we think we are have some form of privacy on the road in which to pick our noses or sing our favorite Eagles song. Sure, eventually we have to stop at a corner, where we usually turn the volume of our own voices or the voracity of our nose picking --down. However sometimes we are so engrossed we forget there is anyone else in the world but ourselves and our stereos . . . or noses.

Okay, so I don't pick my nose (often) but am guilty of highly inspired vocals while in my car. Usually I harmonize while singing "Desperado" or add my talents to the chorus of a Maroon-Five tune and have no problems. Guns n Roses though always gets me in trouble.

The first time I feel victim to my G&R addiction was about 20 years ago on a freeway in Milwaukee. I was working as an art therapist at a large health care facility and was responsible for a professional appearance and demeanor, as well as 68 patients and some volunteers.

I had just begun work with an adult volunteer named Joanie. She was a great gal who loved art and was willing to handle some of the more monotonous prep work I required. Great. She and I got along well and I am sure she viewed me as educated, professional and competent. Until her husband saw me on the expressway.

Apparently Joanie and her husband were buzzing along I-95 when they approached my red Eagle Summit. I was unawares as I was deep into "Sweet Child of Mine."

Now, if you haven't heard this G&R song before go quickly online and find a copy of it. It's got to be the greatest rock song of all time. I can still see Axel Rose doing the slide while rocking out to its sweet lyrics. Rock on!

Admittedly there is something addictive about this song that always sends me into a high volume, steering-wheel thumping, head- bobbing frenzy. Whenever it comes on the radio I freak out and become a 16 year old in a concert arena.

So, there I was, totally rockin'out when Joanie's husband catches me on the freeway. He turns to Joanie and says, "Boy, that lady really enjoys her music."

Joanie looks and it's me!

"I know that girl!" she says, "I work with her!"

She gleefully tells me of this unknown encounter the next day. Ugh. My reputation, such as it was, was ruined. Now I was the Axel Rose chick.

So, twenty years later I now have the Guns n Roses Greatest Hits CD in my convertible and pop it in for every ride to and from Wal-Mart. Now that the weather has warmed up here in Minnesota I sometimes find myself in head banging mode in full visibility of the fine people of Stillwater. Less acceptable at age 44 than it was at age 24, I try to reel myself in as I drive 30 miles an hour through town, but sometimes I just can't help myself.

Have I ruined my rep. in two states now? I suppose so, but no one has witnessed my rendition of Buckcherry's "Crazy Bitch" yet, so I may still be okay. In most cases, it's still better than picking my nose. I would rather be the Axel Rose chick than the Nosepicker.

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