Thursday, October 29, 2009

Inspiration, Aisle Six

I was on Earth in the Mall of America with Marley and Suzanne the other day, and after a hour of listening to Suzanne go on about all the new clothing lines and Marley nodding her head, we wandered into the FYE store at my behest. A U2 song came on, and Marley tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to guy over by the wall. "It's weird, the song is making that guy over there get really annoyed, but not in an angry way. It's like he's sad for himself."

My angel's instinct kicked in, and I wandered over in his direction, and eventually said, "Love this song."

The guy said, "Yeah, it's a great song." She was right, he sounded defeated when he said it.

"Doesn't sound like you like it."

"Oh, I like it, but it's like, you know, I just, I know this dude at work who's a big Alarm fan."

"I didn't know there were any."

"Oh yeah, this guy is like all, 'They're so much better than U2, U2 is so commercial. Their fans are so phony, they only like them because they're popular.'"

I said, "So?"

"Nothing, it's just like, yeah, they're really popular, so, like..."

"You're pissed because the guy basically called you a phony to your face."


"And now, that's what you think of when you hear this, instead of, 'This is a great song.'"

He had a look on his face like he hadn't quite pieced that together before I said it, "Right! Yeah, right."

"Well, who the fuck is he? I guy who loves The Alarm? He knows their success is nothing compared to U2's, it's like he's so insecure about his own taste that he has to lash out for no reason. Sounds pretty pathetic. I mean, how sad is his life that he needs to feel superior by inventing a bullshit superiority over a fucking rock band?"

"I guess."

"I mean, do you like them because they're popular?" I asked.

"No, I've loved them ever since I was six." He looked about thirty, give or take, so that's about twenty-five years of devoted fandom. "I had an older bother who got me into them. We used to fight all the time, listening to U2 was the first cool thing we did together."

"So what the fuck do you care? He doesn't know you. And he only sounds more ignorant by spouting that kind of bullshit." And I started to wander off.

He nodded his head and said, "Yeah. Take it easy." I wandered back to Marley and Suzanne, and asked Marley, "So how's he feel?"

She smiled and said, "Better." Suzanne didn't say a word, she just motioned for us to leave the store. When we were out of the guy's view, her face lit up and she yelled, "HIGH FIVE!"

It's nice to have a job where you can get a high five for doing good work. God knows I didn't when I was alive in that damn office. Inspiring in music store, now that's living.

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