At the very moment we turn left onto Beach Road, we plug in the AUX chord and hit play on our cued up song.
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
We all sing as whoever is driving steadies the mph to 40 for the long stretch of road that will end in the parking spot right next to the beach condo. Our dramatics intensify as the ballad swells.
Mama… Ooooooooh… I don’t want to die…
We cruise past the strawberry fields and continue towards the coastline. The beat changes. We start bouncing to the chopstick-like piano chords.
I see a little silhouetto of a man…
We try to harmonize the “Let him go’s” and “We will not let you go’s” as they blend together. Here comes the head-banging. We go all out, obviously.
Ohhhhh babyyyyy… can’t do this to me babyyyyy…
We approach the gatehouse as Beach Road curves toward the Ostrich pen. The mph slows to 20 as we drive through the gate and into the vast parking lot. We head towards condominium A. We pluck our air guitars as the solo peaks and then slows into the final verse of the 6 minute song.
Nothing really matters… Anyone can see…
We’re almost at an empty parking spot. We do not fluctuate our speed to fit the timing— that’s cheating.
Any way the wind blows…
We sing softly as we pull in and park the car. The song ends. The engine turns off. And, scene.
I can’t remember exactly when my family figured out that the runtime of Bohemian Rhapsody is also the precise amount of time it takes to drive the length of Beach Road and end perfectly in a parking space next to the condo, but I do remember that the first time it happened, we were absolutely astounded. We do it every time now. There have been friends in the car to witness this, and they need no instruction on joining in. This ritual begins each beach vacation we take, and what follows is always a fantastic time. I love that little tradition.
If you haven’t heard Bohemian Rhapsody in a while, go give it a listen. Maybe even google the lyrics if you’re in the mood for a few revelations.