Thursday, September 30, 2004

Music That Makes Me Want to Rip Someone’s Head Off

Yesterday I had to FedEx a package to a client, so I went to the Postal Annex/UPS Store/Parcel Place-type store that I have determined is the least objectionable of is breed--mainly because the staff is friendly and competent but also because it is next to an Old World bakery staffed by ladies in starched white caps. I have been known to wander into that bakery after an exhausting afternoon of photocopying.

However, the one big negative about this Parcel Annex (or whatever it is called) is that they peddle a particularly noxious brand of “world music”* CDs and are so gung-ho about them that they play them constantly. I’m not sure what the packager of these CDs does to render the music unsuitable for human ears, but each tune ends up being the musical equivalent of a slice of processed American cheese. To further annoy me, all the music comes from parts of the world that were former French colonies, so the lyrics are in French. (My dislike of most things French [except for those that can be eaten or imbibed] will have to be the topic of another post.) It is truly awful stuff. Here’s the really sad part: the sweet, but tragically misguided, owners of this UPS Place have a special little CD easel next to the cash register on which they proudly display the CD currently playing.

So yesterday, just as I was finishing filling out my airbill to the accompaniment of one of these Francomerde CDs, an older woman came in all flushed with excitement. Apparently, she had just discovered this thing called FedEx and was itching to use it to send an urgently needed photo frame to her son in Milwaukie—a suburb probably less than five miles from where we were standing. Hmmm. Why not just drive to his house, or take the bus, or even a cab? It would be quicker and cheaper. She proceeded to share with the clerk crucial details about the size, color, and architectural style of her son’s apartment building, while I fumed and allowed increasingly unkind thoughts to surface. Normally, I wouldn’t be so intolerant. I ascribe my irritation and impatience to the revolting music. That or the very real possibility that the bakery might at that very moment have sold the last of its apricot danishes to someone other than me.

After another minute or so, I rather assertively set down my package and announced that I would be leaving it there on the counter for the clerk and turned to leave. This had the desired effect of interrupting the delicate groundwork being laid for the Milwaukie dispatch and freeing me to storm out of the Postal Parcel (or whatever) and straight into the bakery. No apricot danishes. Harumph!

* I have no objection to authentic world music. If they were playing, for example, Mahlathini & the Mahotela Queens you’d hear no complaints from me.


Blogger Sharon said...

Geez, and to miss out on the apricot danish, I do understand that also.

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11:06 AM  

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