I don’t mean that in the way that most people do when they talk about artists and how their work influenced them. How they were going through a messy breakup or were about to stuff their head in an oven a la Sylvia Plath and heard a song/saw a painting/read a book/watched a film that totally changed their outlook. I mean Cher saved me from physical harm.
I live in a small town outside of a small city, which means a lot of highway travel between home and work and back again. This also applies for trips to the movie theatre, the mall, restaurants, basically anything remotely interesting. In Canada, encountering wildlife on the highway is common. Encounters with wildlife while going 110 on the highway can be deadly.
One warm summer night, I was driving home on said highway. It was a gorgeous night, so I had the windows rolled down and the music cranked up. The album was “Believe” by Cher.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement in the ditch. A deer bounded out onto the road and right in the path of oncoming traffic, which in this case was me. At that instant, Cher sang out,
“Do you beleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeve…”
Upon hearing this, the deer decided that they didn’t want to do the watusi with the front of my van and promptly bounded back into the ditch. I continued to drive, waiting for my heart to return to its normal rhythm and for my very own version of “This is Your Life” to stop playing in my mind’s eye.
In the 13 years that I have driven that highway, I have had about three such encounters. But this is the one that will always stand out as “The Night Cher Saved My Life”.