A Man and His Dog Walk Into A Bookstore...

…and the bookstore is playing hits on their sound system. Now, we’ve been in other stores and have heard music ranging from tolerable to loathsome. But as we wander the aisles in this joint, we hear The The’s “This is the Day” followed by Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear us Apart” followed by The Smiths’ “This Charming Man” followed by New Order’s “Ceremony.”

I was enjoying the groove when one of the two people behind the counter asked if she could give my dog a treat. Like his owner, he only says no to a treat if he’s feeling extremely ill, so I gave an enthusiastic yes. Now, this particular woman was white haired and in her late 50s or early 60s. The other person behind the counter was a young woman in her 20s, so I figured the person in front of me had chosen the “alternative hits of the 80s” playlist.

So I said to her, I said, “you’re playing the soundtrack to my adolescence here! I wanna go sulk in my room, ha ha!” Not the greatest joke in the world, sure, but mildly amusing, to me anyway.

But not to the bookstore clerk who responded thusly: “Oh, I’m too old for this stuff. I feel like it just kind of meanders. And I’m like, why?”

Reader, I was outraged. First of all, this woman was certainly not too old for this stuff—she was probably just listening to different music when “Love Will Tear us Apart” came out. Second of all, this is an inappropriate response to someone’s enthusiasm for a work of art!

Full disclosure: I had to edit this piece twice to remove my own snarky dismissals of the kinds of music other people enjoy. Perhaps what I really meant was that it was an inappropriate response to my enthusiasm for a work of art.