Cake: Stickshifts and Safetybelts
Rather than describe a mode of transportation or a destination, this 1996 song from Cake’s Fashion Nugget highlights the narrator’s frustration with the “stickshifts and safetybelts [and] bucket seats” that prevent proximity and therefore physical affection in vehicles. There’s no layered meaning to be found in these lyrics—no stacked symbolism or clever extended metaphor—as will be found in most Cake songs. Instead, this is a straightforward plea: “I need you here with me, not way over in a bucket seat.”
Seeing how this week’s theme title immediately reminded me of a conversation from the era-endearing film Dazed and Confused that ends with the snarky quip, “Son, you wouldn’t know what to do with it even if you had gotten there,” I found this song particularly fitting. “Stickshifts and Safetybelts” seems very much like it could be a song sung from the mouths of many of the characters in Dazed and Confused as they run the gamut of teenage sexual frustrations.
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