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August 2, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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The Lost Art of Making Mixtapes

Nos-tal-gee-uh

Staring at the ownership papers of my new car, I find myself briefly entertaining the sting of guilt; I don’t miss my Nissan. A trusty and reliable steed, it was the butt of most jokes among my friends:

“Bro, is that your car?”

“NO! … Actually, yeah. Sorry. But look, the dashboard’s digital! … Points for effort?”

As it turns out, a fender bender is akin to a death sentence for all vehicles born prior to 1994. But with a generous settlement from my insurance company, the search for a replacement began. It was not easy, and involved Mrs Bennet taking my money to Turners where she was drawn into a crazed bidding frenzy with the locals. After spending nine days exhausting every possible excuse to avoid public transport, I got desperate and purchased a Mazda from TradeMe. The purchase was purely methodological; it consisted of me staring at its picture for three minutes, wondering what I would look like behind the wheel. The jury is still open on whether this is the most irresponsible thing I’ve done but with four doors and a tape deck? Ladies and gentlemen, we have upgraded.

While the Mazda has a CD player, it’s living on life support. Jammed until quite recently, I went medieval and shoved bits of plastic cutlery in its stupid face. After a high-pitched screech from the electronics, and a heartfelt apology from me, the hostage CD slowly slipped out. 3 Doors Down? Oh, seriously? I replaced it with a mix CD, but being useless, the stereo only works sporadically, starting at an undetermined point anywhere on the CD. I learned this after turning up the volume during peak hour traffic only to forget and be rudely awakened six minutes later on the Terrace off-ramp… by Rammstein.

Scheiße.

It was halfway through a miniature cardiac arrest when I realised I had been blessed with a tape deck. The Nissan just had a hole, so the tape deck feels like a gift from the Almighty. That afternoon I searched my room for old tapes, only finding Rum, Sodomy, & the Lash, which I quickly determined was probably not purchased for me. But being a child of the nineties, I know this problem is easily solved; two bits of cellotape and you can record tracks direct from the radio.

I don’t know about anyone else, but from the floor of my room on a lazy afternoon, I felt like a spy on a covert operation as I pressed ‘Rec’ and ‘Play’ at the same time, dubbing most of the tracks from Channel Z. Like a player in the game of espionage, I huddled up next to the speaker and kept track of upcoming playlists for several radio stations. But I was a twitchy kid, not Rob Fleming, so naturally I got bored and went to get food… In actual fact, I missed most of the tracks I wanted to dub. My nineties tapes were largely uneventful affairs.

Kind of wish I hadn’t chucked out Hanson now….

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