Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Customers: Part 22 - Canned Heat


  Mister Canned Heat showed up the other day, wearing a suit, if you can believe that. Hadn't seen this guy in two or three years. I bet that was a prison suit he was wearing. Do they still give those things? I mean, where else could he have been?
  He didn't have his free coffee, but of course Fran's went kaput a couple of years ago.
  For you non Blockbuster Music alum, this guy showed up Saturday mornings. Short sleeves, plaid, and shorts. Sandy brown hair, mustache, gold wire glasses. He was a Saturday Regular, like Ken. Except Ken always asked about new Punk recordings, wanted that bit of personalized help, then bought two or three New Releases. Mister Heat never asked for nothin'. Parked his ass at the Listening Station, plopped down an unopened copy of Canned Heat, and chilled out to 1968 for fifteen minutes.
  Then walked out the door. No, Goodbye. No, Thank You. No, I'm Done.
  Walked.
  Next week, he had another ... unopened ... Canned Heat to listen to.
  Now, we had about 7 already opened copies of this group. Opened by whom? Give yourself a gold star!
  This drove everyone crazy, especially Missy and Trina. Trina saw him once in the parking lot, raced to the stacks, removed all copies of Canned Heat, and hid them under the Listening Counter.
  "Let's see how long the bastard stays in the store," she said, confidently.
  Well ... he stayed a long time. Dug through the Various Rock section until he unearthed a Monterey Pop sampler, featuring, Canned Heat.
  Trina walked to the back, opened the lift doors, and screamed.


  So, he wandered in. Went to Rock, selected a CD, carried it to the Listening Center, plunked it down.
  "I'm sorry, sir," Molly smiled, "we can only play USED CDs."
  Mister Heat looked completely baffled. The world had changed, so had the rules.
  And ... of course ... we didn't have any already opened, USED Canned Heat.
  He trudged out the front doors, a sad, broken man.
  Never saw him again.
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