Big Yellow Taxis (September 16th)

sinkingyellowtaxissunken yellow taxis (handiwork of Hurricane Sandy)

I’ve been humming the chorus to Joni Mitchell’s classic tune “Big Yellow Taxi” all week long now, so I guess it’s ironically fitting that I just happened to watch an episode of the early eighties sitcom Taxi containing a scene that proved to be at once both incredibly poignant and eerily timely to me:

 
When you’re a child, you tend to notice the good times over the bad in part because of your age. Your limited life experiences keep you from having enough of a framework in place to distinguish the good days from the truly bad.  When you look at a calendar as a child, it’s only the good dates you see– the birthdays and holidays and such.  But as you get older, you inevitably learn the feeling of regret, and there will eventually come a time when you realize that some dates on the calendar are harder to face than others.  Today marks one of those dates for me.

September sixteenth was once the happiest day of my life, and now it’s easily the saddest.  But as Joni Mitchell sang, “don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?”   Yep, Joni, darlin’… I paved paradise to put up a parking lot.

“Big Yellow Taxi”

They paved paradise
and put up a parking lot–
with a pink hotel, a boutique,
and a swinging hot spot.
Don’t it always seem to go
that you don’t know what you’ve got
‘til it’s gone?
They paved paradise
and put up a parking lot.

They took all the trees
and put them in a tree museum.
Then they charged the people
a dollar and a half just to see ’em.
Don’t it always seem to go,
that you don’t know what you’ve got
‘til it’s gone?
They paved paradise
and put up a parking lot.

Hey farmer, farmer,
put away that DDT now.
Give me spots on my apples,
but leave me the birds and the bees, 
please!
Don’t it always seem to go
that you don’t know what you’ve got
‘til its gone?
They paved paradise
and put up a parking lot.

Late last night
I heard the screen door slam,
and a big yellow taxi
come and took away my old man.
Don’t it always seem to go
that you don’t know what you’ve got
‘til it’s gone?
They paved paradise
and put up a parking lot.

(apologies to Joni Mitchell and to D.G.)

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