September 5th, 2009

Ice King, Adventure Time

A Tribute to Muzak, the Horrible Music System

There is one thing I miss at work, and that is the music playing in the background. It used to annoy me, mostly, but its kind of like that one nagging aunt you have, once she moves away, you sort of miss her in a masochistic way.

Don't get me wrong, the music annoyed me, and they played a lot of bad songs. Most of them were the top 10 billboard songs from the 80's, and I couldn't tell you how many times I heard the song "Danger Zone" in one shift. However, the system did have its benefits.

If you caught certain people on certain nights with certain songs, magic would happen. We had a manager who sang...ok, bellowed....maybe belted the tune of "Margaritaville". He especially loved the line "Some people claim that there's a woman to blame." I believe he was a newlywed. He also liked any song with a refference to alcohol. He incorrectly sang the lyrics of a certain country song "The more I drink, the (actual lyrics: less I know) more I drink, the more I drink". When the song had people getting slammed, he acted like a giddy buffalo.

Then there were days like Veteran's day, where they played the stylings of John Phillip Sousa all day. Now I LOVE John Phillip Sousa and his marches, but it felt ironic that they played military music at work. Maybe it was foreshadowing some?

Then there's Christmas. Actually, I prefer instrumental, Relient K, and Weezer as my holiday music entertainment, but they play old-fashioned country music. It got on my nerves almost as much as the customers.

Then there used to be the "Nascar Fanbase" commercials where some lady with a diaphram disorder spoke to various rednecks about their races. Ok, so maybe they were the actual Nascar racers, but their voices usually sounded like a hick from Tennesee or Alabama. I know nothing about racing, but I noticed certain people always stopped to listen to these adverts, probably more than pages that matter. We must host people who are Nascar fans. That makes me cry on the inside.

What I miss most is the ironic sense of humor and timing of the system itself. I bet somewhere out in the world there was a place that had a fire, and I bet when it was over, the first song played was "We Didn't Start the Fire". There was one time we had to duck and cover in the back because of a tornado. The electicity went out, cart corals were blown everywhere, and people texted on their cellphones like mad, and a lot of people were genuinely scared. After a few minutes of that, the power came back on, and guess what song was playing. That's right, "Texas Tornado". I had to go to the back so I could lose breath from laughing too hard.

It used to be worse. My sister told me that it used to play "Workin' My Way Back to You Babe" about once an hour (the crappy version, not the original). She tried to figure out what it had to to with our workplace. She thought it had something to do with "working our way back to low prices". She still boggles me to this day. They also used to play "Henry the VIII" religiously, but must have stopped when I started working there, thus making sure the music was much less tolerable then I preffered.

So yes, while the music was like a child poking you in the ribs every minute or so, it had its moments of pleasure. I kind of miss it, and am now relagated to humming my own mix of songs, hoping to claim the former greatness of the music system. Thankfully, the muzak has not been ressurected...


The Allengator