When I was quite a bit younger, my Uncle gave me a copy of Bat Out of Hell II. Maybe he thought I'd like it. Anyway - one of the songs was called Objects in the Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are. As cars in the UK don't bother to remind drivers of the fact that Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, this lyric was my first introduction to the whole mirror - object - distance relationship. I didn't realise that the 'correct' way around was that objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, and so I thought he was telling the truth in his song. I guess I didn't bother working it out for myself.
Obviously, looking back on it now, the song was using a metaphor. The lyrics went something like...
And if life is a highway
Then your soul is just a car
And objects in the rear view mirror
May appear closer than they are.
These probably are not the exact lyrics (my memory is stretching back a few years here), but something fairly similar.
ANYWAY, my point is this. Meatloaf's use of this creative device was totally lost on me. For years. I could have killed myself overtaking someone - while humming the tune (for added irony) - thinking, "Oh, it looks quite close but he's further away than he looks of course". I can see the headlines.
MEATLOAF'S CAUSUAL DISREGARD FOR THE LAWS OF THE PHYSICAL UNIVERSE KILLS TEENAGE KID
Or maybe they'd have gone with something a bit snappier.
It wasn't until I saw Jurassic Park on TV 2 days ago (remember this is many many years after the release of the Meatloaf album, learning to drive, etc) that I read the truth. See Pseudo_Intellectual's writeup of Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear for a description of one of the most hilarious scenes in the film.
And the conclusion of this tale? I'll be a bit more careful when changing lanes in future.