This piece of mine originally appeared on FreshYarn.com a few years back. In light of the re-release of “Top Gun” in 3-D this week (WTF?), I thought I’d share it again.
Kenny Loggins must die. And not a quick, painless death, either. More like one of those leisurely, torture-filled demises practiced by the CIA in the top-secret prisons everyone knows about. I want 10,000-volt nipple clamps on Kenny. I want rabid dogs on Kenny. I want Kenny wearing a urine-soaked hood forced to listen to hour after hour of Warrant’s “Cherry Pie.” I will not rest until this happens. I want the man dead.
My white hot, vitriolic hatred of Kenny isn’t on a personal level. He’s probably a very lovely man who would cry in his organic granola if he knew a mother of two in Austin, Texas harbored such ill will against him. Before you think me completely heartless, I admit that I’ve enjoyed much of Kenny’s music over the course of my lifetime. I partied to “Footloose.” I sang along to “I’m Alright.” “Your Mama Don’t Dance and Your Daddy Don’t Rock ‘n Roll?” Good stuff. Hell, I even rocked my babies to sleep listening to his beautiful lullaby “Return to Pooh’s Corner.” But those great times were instantly forgotten two years ago when my relationship with Kenny took an ugly turn. Kenny was no longer my friend. Kenny was a jackass.
In retrospect, it probably wasn’t a good idea to let a two-year-old watch Top Gun. I’ll admit to that failure as a parent. But after our son Sam became obsessed with fighter jets, we didn’t see a problem with letting him see the thrilling flying scenes. We thought the most harm that would come from this would be just some slight neurological damage due to early Val Kilmer exposure. Or that he’d make us call him “Maverick” for six months. Little did we know the real damage was that he’d become obsessed with the movie’s theme song, “Danger Zone.” Written and performed by Mr. Kenny Jackass Loggins.
Don’t get me wrong. “Danger Zone” isn’t a bad song. I liked it the same time the rest of the world did — from June of 1986 to July of 1986. But if you had told me then that I’d still be listening to it almost 20 years later, I would have doubled over laughing in my “Choose Life” t-shirt and white sunglasses and yelled “Take off, Hoser!” then finished slamming my Bartles & Jaymes. But now I’ve learned what Jim Messina was silently trying to tell the world all of those years — Kenny is the devil.
At first we thought it cute that our son, who could barely talk in sentences, would try to sing “Danger Zone”. We’d hear him in his crib belting it out in baby talk — “HIGHWAY DOO DA ANGEE OWN!” My husband helpfully downloaded the song from the Internet (where it was surprisingly free of charge) so we could play it in our car. Sam would go absolutely nuts, dancing and singing in his car seat. This was amusing for a while, but then he started to demand we play the song. Loudly. For the next two years.
We tried to distract him. We played “I Spy.” We sang the alphabet. We resorted to something we vowed we’d never do and bought a Wiggles CD. But to no avail. Our little brainwashed monkey in the backseat wanted “ANGEE OWN!!!” Now each trip in the car consisted of listening to the song at least once. Usually twice, or three times, or until mommy started jamming a juice box straw into her ear to numb the pain. It was only the fact that my car was leased that prevented me from driving it off a cliff. Well, that and I had my child with me.
Finally, after my sister had the DJ play “Danger Zone” for Sam at her damn wedding, I knew we could no longer live like this. Something had to be done. Someone had to pay. That someone was Kenny.
I combed the back pages of Soldier of Fortune magazine and chose a freelance mercenary named Gary who had a nice smile and low rates. I researched aerial photographs of the Loggins compound in Northern California. I watched America’s Most Wanted to see what islands were in vogue for those on the lam. Operation “Whenever I Call You Friend” was a go.
But then something miraculous happened. After two solid years of being obsessed with fighter jets, one day Sam up and decided that dinosaurs were his new thing and suddenly, “Danger Zone” was no longer at the top of the hit list. Days passed when I didn’t hear it once. The blood started to come back to my head. I threw away my antacids. NPR made a return to my car radio and life was once again bearable. “Danger Zone” was now a funny childhood memory we’d all laugh about in 20 years. Like my parents giggling about how I was such a loser in high school the only prom date I could get weighed 30 pounds less than me. Fun!
And, now that his auditory assault was over, I even started to think more favorably of Kenny. I saw a picture of him in a store and, rather than trying to gouge his eyes out with my car keys, I smiled and thought how cute his new hair plugs looked. Kenny and I were on the mend.
Our home was Kenny-free for a good six months, but then once again things took an ugly turn. Last week I came home to find both my sons, four-year-old Sam and two-year-old Jack, watching Top Gun with the babysitter. I furiously grabbed the remote, turned off the TV, and very firmly quizzed her about how they got it out of the double-locked cabinet marked “Do not open!” Then I took a deep breath and realized that I was probably overreacting. This is most likely nothing, I thought. Sam didn’t seem to be really watching the movie, anyway, so I’m sure he didn’t even notice the song. Maybe our family was still OK. Then Jack ran into the room and hugged my legs. “Hi, Mommy!” he chirped.
“Hi, sweetie,” I replied. “What’s going on?”
He then flashed his gorgeous smile at me, threw his arms in the air and yelled to the rafters, “HIGHWAY DO DA ANGEE OWN!!”
Watch your ass, Kenny.