Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Jukebox Zeros

Xmastime recently lamented the introduction of the internet jukebox (and I lamented, yet again, his fondness for Meat Loaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Light). As someone who has spent an inordinate amount of time in The Turkey's Nest, the increasingly ridiculous hipster hangout in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I can also attest to the abuses of the internet jukebox. Almost like clockwork on a Sunday afternoon, patrons of The Turkey's Nest can expect to be treated to a set of death metal music (this is a guess on my part since I hardly qualify to judge the differences between thrash metal, speed metal, and the other various metals I may be completely oblivious to--all that shit sounds the same to me) . Every time this occurs I take a quick look round the bar to see if anyone seems to be registering delight or pounding their heads violently against the wall (that's what this music makes me want do!), but I always come up empty-handed. Generally, all I will see are looks of revulsion and bewildered patrons asking each other, "Who's the fuckhead who played this?" Of course, pissing off a crowd of people with bad music may have been fuckhead's original plan to begin with. Maybe that's how he gets his jollies.

And after my experience last Friday night at my uncle's bar in Bayonne which also recently installed an internet jukebox, I can't say I'm immune to the very same private jollies. When I first arrived to catch the Celtics/Cavaliers playoff game (and get drunk), the regulars were playing music I was completely unfamiliar with. It wasn't as horrible as the death metal in Brooklyn, but it was still pretty bad. I think it was pop-metal or hair metal which I'm sure was huge in Bayonne back in the day; Poison, Warrant, Motley Crue and bands of their ilk, bands I only heard intermittently in strip clubs. After that punishing set of music was over, I played a bunch of songs that went over well with the crowd (it wasn't that hard; I stuck to the hits--Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Faces, CCR, U2, etc.). It was only after I began to play some country music as a favor to the bartender that the crowd began to turn on me. Johnny Cash went over fine, but when the harder stuff (Merle Haggard, George Jones, Gary Stewart etc.) kicked in, I went from hero to zero almost instantly (at one point a young guy across the bar who appreciated some of my earlier selections looked at me in disgust and said, "You lost me, brother"). I have to admit, I found all of the moaning and groaning very amusing. It's not the first time I've witnessed such a reaction. Country music has this effect on a lot of people. And the haters tend to be very vocal in their disapproval. But, by this time, I was so drunk I didn't give a shit. In fact, I was enjoying myself immensely.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Remedial math

I think I've discovered a new way to save money (or scam the mathematically-challenged). Wait until the cashier has rung you up, then give the cashier the change required to make the next dollar amount. Without the aid of the cash register, I've found that a lot of cashiers seem to be unable to do the most basic math to give you the correct change. Some will be entirely flummoxed and even look to you for help, but some will become so frustrated that they will just guess (incorrectly and to your advantage) what the amount is. Today while purchasing the reissue of The Replacement's "Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash," the price came to $17.11 (no wonder the music business is in the shitter!). I didn't have 11 cents, but I did have a quarter which I handed over with $20 after the cashier had rung it up. This threw the cashier off entirely. I got back $6.14 which was a more reasonable price for a cd, I thought, so I didn't say anything and walked away. Does this make me a thief or did the cashier learn a valuable lesson?

The biggest dunce in the world

Sean Hannity has got to be the biggest dunce in the world. After pitching a fit today over McCain's global warming speech, dismissing him for "buying into the phony science that doesn't exist," he then spoke with absolute authority about how "God in heaven above gave us the world as a gift." And millions of people in this country take this guy seriously? Listening to Hannity's virtual nervous breakdown, I'm almost tempted to vote for McCain for the effect his presidency would have on him and Rush Limbaugh, who similarly goes into fits whenever McCain veers from the right wing.

Free Blog Counter

Blog Counter