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December 11, 2003

RETAIL MUSIC CONTINUED: THE CLERKS STRIKE BACK

I worked retail throughout high school and college.� If meeting the many the morons in your community while also being forced to cope with shopping mall music eight to twelve hours each day doesn't turn you into a misanthrope, nothing will.�

During busy periods such as Christmas (holiday Muzak) and the back-to-school sale season (orchestrated Beach Boys songs), one of the clerks would bring in a favorite tape on which was one song that acted as therapy for the clerks and would more than decimate the customer horde.� We'd slip in the tape when the boss left and play the Replacements' song "Customer" at top volume (luckily, we had a tape player that went to 11).� The tape would be rewound and the song replayed as often as necessary (or until the boss returned or mall security was spotted).

Simple song with lyrics that aren't sung so much as screamed:

I'm in love with the girl
Who works at the store
Where I'm nothing but a customer

I'm a customer
I'm a customer
I'm a customer

How 'bout cigarettes?
I'll take sugarless
You sell Wondermint?

I'm a customer
I'm a customer
I'm a customer

Yeah, can I get change?
Where are the Twinkies?
What's on sale?

I'm a customer
I'm a customer
I'm a customer

-- Bill Stenner

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