Whenever I go through the checkout line, I often hear a cashier saying, “Oh, I like [insert purchase here].” I generally shrug and ignore it. I’ve already made my picks. By the time I get to the checkout line, I’m good with spending my money on that particular haul.
Which is why I found Ziggins’ assessment of which High Fidelity character I was so disturbing. For years, I thought of myself as Rob, the mix-tape artist played by John Cusack. I was angsty and wondering whatever happened to the might-have-beens in my life (which should have been a red flag for the starter marriage). Ziggins informed me that, no, I was not Rob.
I was Barry, played by Jack Black. Now you might think being Jack Black is cool. But Barry? Oh, yes. I was very much that guy, the rabid music snob who judged people on which Beatle was their favorite.* I bought Keith Richards first solo album to blow away nights of really bad, screaming R&B while working a factory job in the late 1980’s. I walked out on a Graham Parker concert when he said, “It’s blues, if that means anything.” Suggest that Thomas Dolby did interesting things with synthesizers, I’d shout in your face “Who cares? He’s not Rick Wakeman, dammit!“**
Yeah. I was that guy.
So this past weekend, while driving to rural Holmes County*** to visit my youngest brother, I stopped to pick up some tunes. Journey, the Stones, Steve Winwood, and Led Zep’s Coda. Old familiar music to kill time on the highway. I picked up Winwood and Zeppelin in Delaware, soon to be a borough of Columbus. The cashier noticed Zeppelin and said, “Ooh, good choice.”
Not really, but without my iPod, I didn’t have access to Led Zeppelin I, Houses of the Holy, or Physical Graffiti. But to each their own.
Then she saw Winwood****, made a face that suggested someone had broken wind.
“The Winwood not so much.”
Excuse me? No, I wasn’t offended by her dislike of Steve Winwood. Steve was really, really poppy at that point in his career, but I liked that album anyway. No, I was mad because some truckstop cashier took it upon herself to pass judgment on my tunage, essentially telling me she didn’t like how I passed money to her employer.
Yes, kids, I was pretty pissed.
Then I realized I’d been “Barried.” She pulled a Jack Black on me and dissed my music.
Some days, I hate karma.
Good thing they don’t sell Tom Waits in much in truckstops. I would have had to kill her if she dissed him.
*If you’re answer is anything except Ringo or Pete Best, you’re a pretentious snob who loves the sound of your own voice and wants everyone else to love it, too. Just sayin’.
**I’ve since burned out on Yes. Man, have I burned out on Yes.
***So rural, on a quiet night, you can hear the cows snore.
****Yeah, I paid money for Roll With It. Sue me.