Every so often on my commute I surf the FM airwaves to hear what “the kids” are listening to. Not my kids, mind you — I brought them up right on The White Stripes and Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Cash and stuff — but their classmates and friends. I discovered two things: 1) nothing worthwhile is going on above 100 on the dial (unless you get nostalgic for high school; then there’s Jack FM*) and 2) the five most requested songs in the Twin Cities (as compiled by KDWB) are brainless, heartless, soulless, and painfully repetitive. It’s like a free day in junior-high Phys Ed class, as scored by R2D2. Beeps and bleeps. Twits and tweets. A steady bass thud and random screeching. Whining and bravado. Cat-calls and wolf-whistles. Turns out I’d rather listen to death metal. Anyone can wear excess makeup and questionable clothing, jump around on stage, and not sing. But at least the metalheads play instruments and break stuff.
Ever walk down the street and spot someone coming toward you whom you can’t quite place…and as she gets closer, her face breaks into the sweetest smile, and her eyes gleam, and you’re a bit embarrassed because you must have met her, but you just can’t remember…so you smile a little, sheepishly, and now she’s grinning, and gives a little wave, and you start to raise your hand in greeting, almost close enough to speak…and then you realize there’s someone walking about 15 feet directly behind you, and you don’t know this girl at all?
No? Okay, yeah, me neither…
I did a little Easter shopping this evening at St. George Catholic Books and Gifts in Blaine. Wonderful selection of all things Catholic — like many such stores, it used to be in a tiny little space, but it has since expanded significantly. Nevertheless, every time I go in there, they have boxes of new stock on the floor and seem to be reorganizing; every shelf is chock-a-block with books, icons, statues, and keepsakes; the walls are lined with paintings and crucifixes…clearly they have everything, if they could just remember where they put it! I love the store, and always spend more than I intend. It occurred to me today that St. George’s is very like the local hardware: everything is organized just well enough that I feel comfortable browsing myself, and everything is in just enough disarray that by the time I find what I’m looking for, I’ve picked up at least two other items, as well. Savvy storekeepers?
* Ever re-listen to the songs we were singing along to back then? Eesh. I had no idea.