I was shopping at one of my favorite clothing stores today. They had music playing (what store doesn’t?) but the bizarre thing is that they had all of one tune, and it was about four minutes long. It repeated. And repeated. And repeated.

I would think the people who worked there would be going crazy by the end of a shift. I’m guessing that if I said something, though, they’d say, “What music?”

I was shopping at a store once where music was playing through their speaker system, but they also had one of those stands of CDs where the music switched on if anyone passed nearby, and it played nearly as loudly. I asked the cashier if it drove her wacky and she said, “I just don’t listen.”

It’s that easy? Who knew?

Then there was the coffee shop that had Italian opera playing yet there was some techno stuff playing as well. It was like Pavarotti with … I dunno … a disco ball or something? I guess a disco ball’s not really techno, though, is it? In any case, I asked the barrista what in the world we were listening to, and then she asked her boss. He suddenly heard what I was talking about … he hadn’t heard anything before. How ’bout that? Turned out that some guys in the cafe were sharing music, and playing it rather loudly on a computer, while the owner had opera tunes over the loudspeaker.

Ah music. It can wrap around your heart. Or it can hit you (in that good way) in the gut. I like both of those. But when it turns my stomach or interferes with thinking or is just messy and annoying I go pretty darn crazy.


  1. I’ve always wondered how store employees can stay sane when they’ve got to work around those little noise-making thingies (you know, reindeer/snowmen/penguins/Santas that play jingle bells and wobble around, or a gopher dressed in a gi singing “Kung Fu Fighting” and twirling a nun-chuk or whatever). I figure after about the 50th time some customer activated the things I’d probably go nuts and do something evil (whether to the customer or the thingies I don’t know)…

    And yet, I can’t resist activating them when I’m in the store (albeit with a small sense of guilt).

  2. Ooh … you are a very bad man, activating those things. Or maybe you are a musician.

    Same diff.

  3. We do go crazy. Also around Christmas when we hear the same Christmas songs over and over and over…

    Some of us go visibly crazy. For others of us, you would never notice the crazy because we are oboists.