We play CD's where I work.
This breaks the ominous silence as deal junkies paw through the gently used merchandise. Although sometimes, when the CD ends, I let the silence ride awhile in the hopes that people will get uncomfortable.
Torturing the customer is my first rule of retail.
One woman pretty much runs the show in the story, reluctantly. Sometimes I feel bad for her. The manager is never there because he spends most of his time in the Manchester store and in corporate meetings. So the running of the store falls on the shoulders of this woman.
Elderly, indecisive, forced to answer too many questions and make too many decisions.
Sometimes I feel bad for her. Except for when it comes to the music. Then I want her dead.
She plays almost exclusively fifties music. I like some fifties stuff, in fact I like a lot of fifties stuff.
In small doses.
Not every single fucking day. Over and over and over again. Many times when the CD ends she just restarts it and I get to suffer through the same shit all over again. Back to back.
There is one particular song that I fucking hate. It is the one song that represents all I hate about fifties music. Every time it comes on I reach for the scissors to puncture my ear drums.
"Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows", by Leslie Gore. Jesus Christ, the name alone is enough to destroy my mental equilibrium.
And the song. The fucking song. One of those ridiculously upbeat, cluelessly positive songs they wrote in the fifties when they were trying to pretend there was no such thing as divorce and disease and alcoholism and crime and prejudice and hatred and death.
The song makes me want to puke. Go listen to it right now. Make sure you have a bucket handy.
The worst is when I walk in the door and that song is on. As I approach the entrance every day I am deathly depressed. With each footstep it becomes more inevitable that I will walk through those doors and spend the next five hours in a parallel universe where I am expected to care about the opinions and the lives of old ladies, where I am forced to have conversations with woman about how "cute" this blouse is.
If that song is playing as I walk into the store, and it happens, I immediately fall to the floor, curl up in a fetal position and begin to sob hysterically.
Typically, some old broad will lean down and ask if everything is alright, young man. Then I punch her in the face.
Had an old lady tell me the other day how much she loves the music we play because she hates all this "new" music.
New music? What, since 1950? Are you fucking kidding me? With one mindless comment she is dismissing 67 years of music evolution?
There is one song I would play, if we had it, over and over again. 100 times a day.
And the lyrics go: "We gotta get out of this place, if it's the last thing we ever do."