Anderson: Guess what? Someone still uses cassette tapes

I never have to hide expensive-looking items when I park my car (a 1998 Toyota – I know you were dying to know) because I don’t have anything worth stealing.

Of all my friends and family, I am the only person that is still rocking a cassette deck in my car. Oh yes, it’s the original deck with stock speakers.

One time it crossed my mind to tuck my briefcase of cassette tapes underneath the passenger seat, lest an ambitious thief spot it and mistake it for something much more valuable.

Why don’t I upgrade to an actual stereo deck? It’s a pain, an expensive pain. I’ve priced out car stereo systems in the past. I didn’t ever feel that approximately $500 was worth putting into my car. I mean, I paid less than that for my last set of tires.

Considering the age and high kilometers of my slick ride, suffice it to say that it would be unwise to put a ton of money into it.

I did, however, invest in a sweet cassette adaptor for $10 that I can connect to my iPod to play music on. But, I’ve gotten so used to my tapes, I always forget that I have it.

I love asking my friends to open up the briefcase and “pick a tape.” Partly because of blank stare they give me, followed by nervous laughter and finally a shocked comment remarking on my collection.

Sure, my Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” starts to skip and get tangled once in a while. That’s a minor inconvenience. Yes, some of my Fleetwood Mac tapes don’t have cases. But all that adds character.

I like my cassettes because they force me to listen to the whole album, in the correct order. Often the true gems on an album aren’t the hit singles, sometimes they are the songs you have to listen to several times in order to get the true meaning.

I can’t just skip around and listen to whatever I want. That is how I discovered the narratives in Pink Floyd albums.

I guess this means I will never roll up to campus blasting the latest jams, my poor little speakers would probably blow out anyhow. I’ll enjoy this minimalist setup while I can. It’s likely the last time I’ll ever use a cassette player consistently, as it’s the only one I own.

I won’t upgrade until I absolutely have to. I’ll race around in my Toyota family sedan until it dies, and I’ll listen to my cassettes until they fray, melt or explode, whichever comes first.