Remembering an infectious laugh

Yesterday, I spent my short commute home from work listening to remembrances of Tom Magliozzi, one half of the beloved Car Talk radio show. As many children of the 90s with public radio obsessed parents, that familiar banjo theme song and cackling laugh instantly transport me back to Saturday mornings spent doing chores around the house with the radio turned on loudly in the kitchen.

Despite a complete indifference to cars, other than the ability to own one that functions, listening to Car Talk shaped me in several ways:

  1. Banter-based sibling relationships: While my brothers and I are not as hilarious as Tom and Ray, we do base much of our relationship on a similar cocktail of insulting banter, self-depreciation humor and straight up affection. Nothing says “I love you” quite as well as some well-executed repartee.
  2. ‘Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?’: Tom frequently directed this advice at husbands hoping to appease their wives, so not something I identify. However its core message of life being about so much more than “being right” rings true for me. In my first few months of a marriage I hope will be measured in decades, it is good to remember that keeping score plays no role in a healthy relationship.
  3. Hugh Louis Dewey of Dewey, Cheetham & Howe: Car Talk always had the best staff credits. In fact you can read their full list here.

I should confess that I didn’t realize until recently that Tom &  Ray were not actually named the Tappett brothers. While Click & Clack were obvious pseudonyms, Tappett brothers seemed perfectly acceptable to childhood me.That said, Tom Magliozzi, while I didn’t know your last name, your voice and laugh will always return me to the Saturdays of my childhood. For that I am grateful.

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