The Microwave Song and The Big Hill

“Daddy, can you play The Microwave Song?”

That’s Mabel. We listen to a lot of music when I drive. And no, I have no idea what The Microwave Song is.

I try “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” one of her current favorites.

Not it.

I try “We Belong,” another current Mabel fave.


I try “The Chain,” one of my favorites.

“Daddy, I said THE MICROWAVE SONG!” Like I’m an idiot. Usually, the requests are fairly easy to interpret. Like “Daddy, play the song where they don’t cut people out.” I dig up Somebody That You Used To Know and everybody is happy. Not so this time.

Honey, how does it go? She hums some nonsense. Do you know any words? NO! Or else I would have TOLD YOU! Is it happy or sad? What key is it in? Anything at all?

This is one of the most frustrating parts of being a child. Knowing exactly what you’re talking about, and being sadly unable to convey it to the idiots that drive the cars and operate the CD player. I had gotten in the habit of recording CDs of MP3s – which fit around 150 songs on them – and using them as my car music. So there are a lot of songs that could be The Microwave Song. I thought long about my collection. I have 109 Billy Joel songs. It could be any one of them. I googled “The Microwave Song.” Trust me, that’s not it. I even outsourced it to Facebook. Not even the brilliant people on the internet knew. And still, Mabel kept requesting it and I kept coming up short as a father.

Until one day, when I was listening to Weird Al on my way to pick Mabel up from school. Put your head in the microwave and get yourself a tan. Finally! Victory is mine! I FOUND THE MICROWAVE SONG! Of course it would be by Weird Al. I don’t know why I didn’t start there. So when Mabel got in the car, I was overjoyed. Guess what I found…

“That’s not The Microwave Song!”

What?! Yes it is! He says microwave! Put your head in the microwave and get yourself a tan?

“No, Daddy. UGH! That’s not The Microwave Song!”

Idiot. How could I be so dense as to put forth as The Microwave Song what was clearly NOT The Microwave song? Why do I even bother waking up in the morning?

A year passes.

I have long forgotten about The Microwave Song, or at least I stopped actively searching for it a while ago. I’m in the car with Mabel and Tall, Tall Trees by Alan Jackson comes on.


Really? Tall, Tall Trees by Alan Jackson is The Microwave Song? Well, of course it is. It all makes sense now.

Well if it’s lovin’ you want, then I’ve got it. If it’s money you want, then I’ll get it. I’ll buy you tall, tall trees and all the waters in the seas, I’m a fool, fool, fool for you.

Mystery solved. On to the next case.


Once you get to within a half mile of our house, there is a small variation in the way we can go home. There’s “the way,” and then there’s this other way that adds maybe 30-45 seconds to our drive time. It’s great for songs that I know are 30-45 seconds too long. Mabel started requesting on her own once in a while to go this way. She called it “the big hill,” and I have no idea why. I didn’t prompt her to call it this or anything. “Daddy, I want to go down the big hill.” And if I already passed the big hill and couldn’t turn around or if I just didn’t want to go down the stupid big hill – which, incidentally, isn’t a hill at all – there would be screaming and tears and screaming. (There is another way home that is less of a variation and only adds about 5-10 seconds. She named this “the little hill.” That one is actually a pretty big hill.)

Anyway, she called this way “the big hill,” and when requested, I knew what she meant. This went on for years. Her brother, who is now the age she was when she started calling it the big hill, also calls it the big hill. Recently, I asked preemptively if they wanted to go down the big hill, because I didn’t want the burden of figuring out how to stop them from screaming when I didn’t go down the stupid big f@#*ing hill when they REALLY WANTED TO. To this, Mabel asked a very interesting question, which I always figured I’d have to answer one day…


Quote of the Day 3/10/2018

“Daddy, why do we call it ‘the big hill’?”

  • Mabel


Great freakin question, honey. Great question.


Putting my head in the microwave and getting myself a tan,
Weird Dustin.


Still Standing Right Here…

Weird Al, singing what is clearly NOT The Microwave Song

Weird Al, singing what is clearly NOT The Microwave Song

4 thoughts on “The Microwave Song and The Big Hill

  1. I doesn’t have any words – not even one – about microwave in the song.

    – Mabel, replying to this as part of a class project.

    • Mabel just pointed out to me that we used to have a big radio in the kitchen, years before Morris was born. She – completely on her own – hypothesized that maybe Tall, Tall Trees was on the radio when I put something in the microwave and that stuck in her head. The girl is pretty darn smart.

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