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  • By Jordan W. Charness

    I guess the truest truism in life is that as you get older, things change. As far as I can tell from my inside looking out, I’m pretty much the same as I once was – but apparently from the outside looking in, I’ve matured a bit since I was a teenager. Although I firmly believe in growing older without growing up, I must admit that even I have noticed a drastic change in the area that I never thought would change.

    First it was a nagging suspicion but now I have to admit it to myself. I like country music! It started slowly when we got satellite radio for the car which included those great all-country stations. Throw in the fact that I now exercise every morning while watching the country music station on TV and I’ve noticed my seismic shift in taste. For a guy who grew up on KISS Alice Cooper and Aerosmith, believe me, this is quite the change!

    One thing I’ve noticed is that many country songs are actually good stories set to a good beat. Many of the stories revolve around trucks and cars and very few have anything to do with Cowboys. One song in particular caught my eye as a list of everything not to do to a car, and to a car.

    Carrie Underwood’s hit single, “Before He Cheats,” tells the story of a furious and jealous ex-girlfriend whose guy cheated on her: “Right now, he’s probably slow dancing with a bleached-blonde tramp…” She’s really not happy about all this but smiles to herself because:

    “And he don’t know… that I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel-drive, carved my name into his leather seat… I took a Louisville Slugger to both headlights, slashed a hole in all four tires…”

    While it makes for a great video, attacking someone else’s car is illegal, immoral, and just plain stupid. Cars can’t protect themselves and are very often someone’s pride and joy. They are often the second most expensive purchases made by people during their lifetimes.

    Beating the heck out of a car may have made Carrie in the video feel better but it is actually considered a crime called mischief (vandalism) and punishable by a criminal record as well as a jail term of up to 10 years.

    “Carved my name into his leather seats” will certainly help the police track down the perpetrator but even if you’re not that obvious it’s very likely that someone else will have seen you commit the crime and will turn you in.

    Just “keying” a car by running a key through the paint and scratching it is also considered vandalism and is as much of a crime as taking a baseball bat to the front headlights.

    Going onto someone’s private property to beat up the car will add trespassing to your list of criminal offenses and will tack on an extra fine as well as the possibility of spending another six months in jail. Getting a friend to help you out or just watch out for others will expose him or her to the exact same penalties that you face.

    While Carrie seems to feel that she’s doing the world a favour because “I might have saved a little trouble for the next girl. Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats…”, she’s wrong. Save yourself the trouble and no matter how angry you may be don’t take it out on the car because no matter how badly you were wronged you will never be found innocent in a court of law.

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