Saturday, April 09, 2005

Subversive Sounds

I was making my way through the morning with a surprisingly crisp efficiency. Surprising because I had a mild hangover. Poker night last night. Ms. Spiral Stairs had taken a pound of flesh and a spleen from me at the last poker night, a few weeks ago. Last night, I only suffered a flesh wound. Despite an audacious bluff that eventually blew up in my face. I was saved at the end of the night by several good hands of Guts. Randomness, if nothing else, was on my side.

Frankly, I don't recall drinking that much or feeling that buzzed. Maybe my brain was just mad at me for wasting it. Whatever. I got up lightly around 8:30 and went to go get the car inspected. A breeze. Book store next; they had what I was looking for. Next stop: the grocery store.

I was standing in line behind a man who had unloaded seventeen items on the checkout belt. It was a fifteen item line. My anger at this act of insolence was more intense than usual; I wanted to tie him up, cover him in the lime pepper marinade I had and leave him on a fire ant hill. But what if the ants didn't like lime. What else did I have? Fuck it, where is that plastic grocery divider thing. I'll smash him with that.

Then, it hit me before I hit him. Air Supply. Had the store been playing that and similar starchy crap the whole time I'd been there. Yes, they had. As had the inspection station; it was their fault that Bob Seger had somehow burrow his way into my grey matter. Supertramp's "The Long Way Home?" At a Borders? Isn't that a fireable offense for whoever put that tripe on?

Easy listening shit. It was being employed as a numbing agent, emploring us dullards to stay, get comfortable, consider some of the stuff we may be seeing for the first time. It had been subversively shaving bits off my soul.

"Don't push me, woman!" the guy behind me yelled at the person behind him. The music was getting to him too. I throw him a knowing smile or at least what I thought a "knowing" smile might look like. "What the fuck are you smiling at?"

The music was unbearable once I became aware that it was playing. And I had to endure fifteen more seconds of it than necessary because of the fucker-in-front-of-me's sociopathic rule-breaking ways.

"Nice day, huh?" the guy in front of me said. Is he for real? Where is that damn plastic stick they use to separate people's groceries, I'd show him.

"Yeah, should be a nice weekend." Did I just say that? What was this music doing to me?

The minute I got in my car, I popped the trunk, opened the CD changer and fished around looking for something to cleanse my head of the songs in my head. It may have been the first and last time I ever wished I owned a Pantera record. I needed something hard, uncomfortable to listen to.

What did I have? Jazz? What's with all this jazz shit? Did I fancy myself some sort of sophisticate? Funk? Too accessible. Ray Charles?!? Dammit.

I put the "hardest" CD I had in the car in the changer and turned it up. It was a collection of late 1960s French psychadelic rock. David Alexandre Winter blared through my speakers singing nonsense, "Qu'est-ce Que J'ai Danse!" It was good enough. At least I wouldn't have to hurt something.

8 Comments:

Blogger Stefanie said...

Laughing, laughing. I like the way you put it. Perfectly.

In my experience, Fleetwood Mac's 80s hit "Tell Me Lies" follows me to every drug store I visit, without fail.
I sometimes wish I carried a Tell Me Lies notepad to record my data and prove to others this phenomenon.

5:14 PM  
Blogger tequilita said...

i was thinking the other day about music i hate. i almost blogged about it. it's not easy listening, but it does make me hostile. when i'm not listening to a cd, i listen to the classic rock station at work...the stones, tom petty, dylan, etc. but the other day they played blocks of rush and styx. MAKES MY EARS BLEED. i don't know what it is. maybe i just have no frame of reference for those two bands. i hate rush and styx. hate them. HATE. sorry if anyone likes them. i don't get it.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Henry Baum said...

"Begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobtrusive, plays that song that's so elusive, and the magic music makes your morning mood."

Rush, Spirit of Radio.

How can you not like that? HOW? Sadly, I have those lyrics memorized. Talk to me when I was thirteen and I would have told you there's no better band.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

Stefanie: Now that you mention it, I recall hearing that damn Fleetwood Mac song when I have been at the drug store. Perhaps it has had an effect on me, otherwise how would one explain the 18 unopened boxes of band aids in my bathroom. Damn you Johnson & Johnson!

Also, noticed on your profile that you are also a Curtis Mayfield fan (as is Kimberly if I recall correctly). If Curtis had been playing at the grocery store, I would have bought the whole dairy section.

Kimberly: I have an embarrasing confession to make. At a confusing time while at college, I bought all of the early Rush CDs (all of them up to Permanent Waves). And, at one time, I knew the lyrics to By Tor & the Snow Dog by heart. I was a clown, away from home for the first time and confused. Apparently, Henry knows where I was coming from.

Eventually, I gave the CDs away to a friend of mine, who told me he liked Rush but then tried to sell them for cash. The guy at the used CD Store offered him a buck for like 5 CDs. My friend asked why only a buck. The guy said, "What am I supposed to do with these?" Apparently, my friend agreed with the analysis and took the buck.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Sally said...

God there just MUST be a way to rig up a Shorty the Pimp record in Borders!This reminds me of the time I had to stay the night at a truck stop/motel in the middle of Nowheresville, Pennsylvania.It was one of those motel/truck stops where all the truckers could park their rig and spend the night in their mack truck cubby space. The woman who worked as a cashier at the 7/11 portion of thsi truck stop from hell was a serious crabb apple. She needed a lesson in customer sevice taught to her. In the "store" they sold gross hot dogs, nachos, soda,batteries, chips etc. They also sold a great alrm clock called a "Screaming Meanie" My boyfriend and I purchased this alarm clock since their crappy motel didnt have alarm clocks or wake up calls. And there is no false advertising as
far as I am concerned. It did what it said ..It wakes you up with the worst noise on God's good earth. Well..to say a special thank you to Ms Cashier Bitch...we hid the Screaming Meanie in the creamer box next to the coffee pot. And set the alarm..On high.
Maybe I should purchase another one and hide it in the self help section at Borders?

3:04 PM  
Blogger Chemical Billy said...

Brrr. Air Supply. Isn't that one of the circles of hell?

You're right, jazz just can't begin to wash that shit out of your head. Just the mention has me running for the Dead Kennedys. Anything.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

Yes, Air Supply is indeed one of the circles of hell, right after the Ace of Base level.

God, Sally, if you did that, you'd probably have a bunch of people unhappy with themselves going nuts and slitting their wrists with pages of latest Dean Koontz novel.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

so...what does it mean when my SigOther and I begin coming down an aisle at the grocery store at the same time another woman and her SigOther begin coming up the aisle and both of our SigOthers are lip-syncing and dancing with the grocery cart to music of the easy listening genre?? Should I simply abandon all hope now, or can I cling to the theory that their tongues were firmly in their cheeks??

12:16 AM  

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