Saturday, July 12, 2008

Customers: Part 05 - Play Berlioz For Me

   Friday evening. I worked backroom. Todd had a Dallas gig and I agreed to cover. Shipment came in large. Pat walked back and said I was needed in Classical.
   "Who's the customer? Male, female, student?"
   She lowered her head and shot me a look, "It's a movie question."
   "What's with the look? What do you mean by that?"
   "Just come see me afterward."
   I put on a better shirt and made for the floor. Film cue was likely Wagner, Orff, German noise, or maybe Russian.
   Heading out of Video, I tagged my clients right away. Couple. Probably wanted "baby music" like Mozart. No, Pat said movie. Maybe they wanted "baby making music," like Ravel. Or Delibes. I suppressed an image and approached.
   "Hey, can I help you with anything?"
   "We asked for Classical help," the woman said. "Is that you? It's just, you don't look Classical."
   "I am head of Classical," I answered, "I'm also one of the shipment guys. I don't wear my suit on truck nights."
   What did people expect? Tweed jacket, sweater, trimmed beard, spectacles, pipe. A British accent, too, I suppose. I wore jeans, red flannel shirt, long hair, Fu Manchu mustache. I had, admittedly, toked a pipe once or twice in my life.
   At least she didn't say, "Classical ... you know ... Classy."
   Early twenties couple. Preppies. Tailored clothes. The girl was attractive and packaged herself nicely. Professional. The guy's clothes were quality, but ill fitting. He stared at the floor, he seemed uncomfortable. Pretty clear who made that "tops or bottoms" decision.
   "Did you see Sleeping With The Enemy?" she asked abruptly.
   My brain emptied for a second. This was not what I expected.
   "Julia Roberts movie? Yes, I saw that."
   "He bought the soundtrack," she nodded to her companion. "It doesn't have the music."
   "Which ... number ... ?" I scrolled the film quickly in my mind.
   She leaned forward and cocked her head. "Berlioz."
   I paused momentarily, then walked towards the B's.
   The selection was the Witches Sabbath from Symphonie Fantastique. Played in the background during Sleeping With Enemy, while a very dominant husband had his way with the wife.
   The girl pondered several of them, than asked which one was the darkest.
   How the hell did I know?
   "Get the ... oh! ... the Bernstein version," I suggested. "Because Bernstein is ... you know?" I narrowed my eyes like I knew something.
   Total bull.
   "Thank you so much."
   "And turn the volume up. Loud."
   "Oh, we will. We will."
   The power couple departed. Later that night, there would be candles, and that red and black lace outfit. Berlioz would pound. The male partner would be expected to accelerate his sluggish testosterone libido. More likely, he would, once again, be bottoms.

* *

   That was several weeks ago.
   The scene repeated frequently. Either a couple or a girl alone. Buying ... "for a friend."
   These females were all trying to reenact some fantasy ... that could never happen. For whatever reason, they had opted for the milquetoast, instead of some average guy, let alone the bad boy. Men who were hard to handle or difficult. A touch of classical menace would never add nasty to Mister Mild.
   Sleeping With The Enemy was about to end its stint at first run theaters. Full ticket, date venues. Next stop for the flick, el cheapo screens. Dollar theaters, then rental market.
   Which translates into a new wave of wanna be victims. Budget victims. Trailer trash and raspberry shut-ins calling the store.
   Asking for the CD. Buying it.
   Telling someone special, later that night,
   Play Berlioz for me.

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