The Phil Collins Effect.

Now that I’m saying this, I realize that I’m ruining it. But I almost died in a tornado today, and I want people to know my story.

The whole thing started innocently enough. You see, I am a scanner. I drive 38 miles into work every day, and despite living in KnoCo almost five years, I still haven’t learned the radio stations. So I scan.

At some point during a particularly boring scanning period several months ago, I came across a Phil Collins song. This Phil Collins song, in fact. I decided to stop the radio because this song immediately makes me think of this commercial, which makes me giggle endlessly.

 It’s like the first time every time.

So I purposefully listened to this song once. And then I started to notice during my subsequent scans that In the Air Tonight would be on the air quite frequently. Once, twice, thrice or most bizarrely, four times per commute.

And then I started noticing the copious amounts of other Phil Collins hits regularly played on the FM radio.  Another day in paradise. Sussudio.  Can’t hurry love.  One more night. Easy lover. That one that’s all like, “so take a look at me nooooow.”

It’s strange. Over time, my curiosity turned into a compulsion. I’m not sure when things turned, but at some point I felt that if I was scanning, I HAD to stop if I heard a Phil Collins song on the radio. And now, if I’m nearing the end of a commute and haven’t heard one of his classic 80s pop tunes, I will become frantic and scan past songs I’d actually like to hear until I find one.

But here’s the strange thing: He always comes through. ALWAYS. Except for one solid week. And it was the worst week of my life.

I don’t know what the deal was, but one week ago, there were no Phil Collins songs to be heard on the planet. I became a nervous wreck. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need the songs to maintain a balanced lifestyle, and I would listen to CDs to purposefully avoid the pain of seeking and not finding. And the worst part is that for some reason, every time I’d work up the courage to take a peek, it seems that all the Phil Collins tunes were replaced with Creed songs. Which is, like, my personal version of hell. I would scan and land on a Creed song. Scan and land on a Creed song. It was inescapable. I’d even do the thing where instead of waiting 7 seconds for the Creed song to stop, I’d stop and start the scan button again to get rid of it faster. And then I’d land on another Creed song.

What IS this life for? My arms were NOT wide open.

Why was the universe trying to kill me?

Seth noticed, too, asking me one day if I’d noticed all the Creed songs on the radio lately. I broke down and divulged my Phil Collins Effect compulsion, which led to a long conversation where I tried to convince Seth that Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins actually were two different artists.

Anyway, this went on for eternity until, and this is a true story, people, I was having a particularly stressful morning as I repeatedly tried to get out of the house with all the right cell phones and Visa cards and keys and belts and baby parts, and I turn on the car and BOOM.

Phil Collins gorilla drum solo.

Prime time.

All up in my face.

The universe was restored. All was in balance.

I could not help but be in an amazing mood for the rest of the morning. And since then, it’s been like this. Like a morning coffee. Or a beer on the ride home. Me and Phil Collins. On the road together.

It’s kind of like when God put that rainbow on earth for all to be reminded that he would not mass-drown us again. And each time we see a rainbow, we’re supposed to remember that promise and be content.

That’s pretty much EXACTLY like the pact that God and I have with Phil Collins songs. Every time I hear one it’s like a promise that there will be no Creed songs in heaven. Just a constant stream of Phil Collins tunes. And if that doesn’t make you want to go to heaven, I don’t know what will.

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  • Meryl

    Ummm this is awesome. And I love it. Also, how did I miss that ad in 2007? I

    appreciate the link to the wikipedia page of that song because I remember someone telling me the urban legend about it and I’m glad to read it’s been dispelled.

  • Richard Basile

    Against All Odds