05 July 2011

Scenes from a mall

Although I hate malls with an abiding passion, this year for Sarah’s birthday, I set her and two friends loose there with some spending money. While I waited for them, I sat in the bar in Ruby Tuesdays. The White Horse Tavern it was not, and I could not even finish a single beer without fear of imperiling my ability to drive home, but I brought my notebook with me anyway.

I was still getting over the effects of my horrible ear infection, so I tried, as best I could, to eavesdrop with my one good ear. I overheard this conversation between a twenty-something bartender with Luddite* leanings and a conspiracy theorist patron slightly ignorant of musical history.

Bartender: I still think the best generation’s music was 1965-72.**
Patron: I just want to be alternative from everyone else.
Bartender: I am anti-Kindle. I still prefer CDs. I sample things on-line, and then I go out and buy them.

Unintelligible mumbling

Patron: If only she had talent she might be a crazy stalker girl.
Bartender: What do you listen to?
Patron: Depeche Mode, REM, Country (sic) Roses***, the Cure.
Bartender: Is that 80s music?
Patron: Yeah. Back in the eighties they used to call it college music.
Patron: Wasn’t Michael Jackson big in the eighties?
Bartender: Yeah, but I’m not even that upset he died.
Patron: Elvis and Tupac died, but obviously there are still spottings of them.
Unintelligible mumbling
Patron: All that classical stuff, like Beethoven and all that, it’s public domain now.
Patron: Didn’t Sirius and XM merge?
Bartender: Yeah; they have a nineties station.
Patron: So there’s only one alternative.
Bartender: Have you seen the Westfield Mall app?
Patron: Give me a number 2, make it strong; pineapple, Jaeger, lager.
Bartender: With a kick?

Unintelligible mumbling

Bartender: It’s your sister, so she doesn’t have you on a leash like a girlfriend does.
Patron: Yeah, I can’t get rid of that bitch.

Bartender: I don’t like the Wii. If I play video games, I want to sit.  

Unintelligible mumbling

Bartender, to me: What are you writing about?
Me: Oh, nothing, just taking notes.
Bartender: So you’re a writer?
Me: Not really, but I like to write.
Bartender: Have I given you any inspiration?
Me: Yes, you have.
Bartender: Alright! So if you can put something in your book about a really good looking bartender named Will, that would be great.
Me: I’ll do my best.

I was flattered to be taken seriously as a writer; apparently carrying a Moleskin, while pretentious, does connote a certain authority.

So Will, for you, here are your fifteen minutes.  


*Although this is the common usage, I recently learned that the Luddites were not so much anti-technology as anti-poor quality technology, which, in modern terms, means they were PC, as opposed to  Mac users.

**Given how I feel about classic rock, this especially chaps my ass. Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but you weren’t even alive during this era; was there no music made during your youth that was worth listening to? I think not.

***Stone, not Country, Roses. Youngsters, learn your musical history!

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