The Day the Muzak Died

I don't wish anyone or anything ill, honestly I don't. Certainly not at this moment, when every bankruptcy affects not just the fat cats, but the employees and stockholders. (It's definitely affecting my family.) But . . . I have to admit: This particular bankruptcy is sweet revenge. My GOD, but I hate the stuff. Hate it. (*1)


*1: My Muzak story: 1971. I was 17 at the time, nearly 18. Working full-time at a restaurant. Working hard: this was an old-line restaurant (normal for the times) where the "waitresses," as they were called then, did everything: Took the orders, brought the food, cleared the tables, set the tables, made part of the food, stocked their own ice, milk, coffee, etc. I worked my ass off. Good way to start adult life, frankly. Everything I know about being organized, responsible, and coordinated, I learned there.

Anyway -- A friend of mine also worked there. She was a year older. She was definitely more sophisticated, hip, and mature than me (god only knows why we were friends.) She'd recently started on sex-drugs-rock-and-roll, which was still a bit unusual for then. (Yes, life has changed since the early '70s.)

There we were, running around like lunatics, waiting on eight or nine tables in a place that always had a line at the door, tired, etc. We were doing something -- making coffee? Getting milk from the small frig? Cutting pie (it was a pie shop with food)? Complete insanity that required every fiber of our being to keep track of what was what and who was where and fifteen orders at a time.

She was leaning over, into the small frig (she was grabbing some milk or cream or something) and she looked up, and then looked at the ceiling, and then looked over at me (frantically making coffee or loading a tray with eight meals or whatever) and said: "My god. Do you hear that? It's the Stones. "Satisfaction." On MUZAK! Can you believe it? God, this is horrible! The STONES? As MUZAK?"

We looked at each other (that was the moment that I realized she was high) (I had not yet wandered into sex-drugs, but I knew it when I saw it) and we listened to the Rolling Fucking Stones as Muzak and we lost it. We both almost fell on the floor, we were laughing so hard.

The Rolling Stones as MUZAK? No wonder our generation was so screwed up and cynical.