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Born in the U. S. A.
Bruce Springsteen
June 4, 1984
Columbia Records


Driving in to Darlington County, me and Wayne on the Fourth of July. We share a few preoccupations, me and Wayne, like racing cars and chasing girls. Me and Wayne both like circus peanuts and Diet Sprite. Me and Wayne, we keep a mental scrapbook of every place we’ve ever been, every pretty girl we ever charmed, and every dragon we ever slayed. We like to think that the world don't know what me and Wayne might do.

If you're asking me and Wayne if we obey all posted speed limits, we would reply in the affirmative. Still, me and Wayne slowed down just a little to interpret the uniform scowl of a state trooper aiming his speed gun straight at us.   

Patience is one virtue that me and Wayne both got in spades. Me and Wayne can wait all night for a pretty girl to make up her mind. But me and Wayne, we got a philosophy—we don’t ever get hung up on any girl that ain't interested. I could name a few pretty girls who left me and Wayne similarly forlorn. More than one girl has lied to me and Wayne. But it's important, me and Wayne have learned, that you believe everything that a pretty girl tells you—even if it's only for one night.

What makes a particular girl pretty is something upon which me and Wayne can sometimes disagree. But we won't ever fight over a girl, me and Wayne. When we're out girl-watching, me and Wayne, we keep our head on a swivel. Me and Wayne never look too long one way, lest we miss something pretty coming from the other direction. You can't find a pretty girl if you ain't looking for a pretty, is something that me and Wayne like say.

When me and Wayne eat out, we always tip big. We're generous when we're flush, me and Wayne, and some might call us easy marks. So when that dark-haired girl driving her daddy's F150 parked alongside me and Wayne at the drive-in, we had our guard up. She told me and Wayne that her name was Marigold, and that we looked an awful lot alike. She asked me and Wayne if she could call us both Wayne.  

She teased me and Wayne like she had an audience paying to watch. Me and Wayne, we played along. To tell the truth, me and Wayne ain't too tough to tame.

When our conversation with Marigold lost a bit of its original juice, me and Wayne sang along to the song on the radio, Sha la la, sha la la la la. She seemed to understand that the thing about me and Wayne is this: we are a package deal. Marigold knew that she couldn’t get me and Wayne separately. It’s me and Wayne together—all day and all night—or no deal at all. 

Then, as if testing our true intelligence, she asked me and Wayne to tell her our real names. Me and Wayne, we looked at each other for a long moment that we extended to the comical, then we turned back to face Marigold. In unison, me and Wayne both said, Our name is Wayne.


Drink: Bud. Or Bud Light—if you drank Bud for at least twenty years and have now downshifted to Bud Light for all the right reasons.