DAN MAXWELL, Bro-Boken, NJ
I worked in a record store for a long time - not unlike our fearless leader, Pops. Now, despite my inclination and desire to tell you that the "record store stereotype" is trumped up or insensitive or even inaccurate... it isn’t. And I’m no liar. So - with that in mind I give you both my admition that I am a criminally judgmental clerk and 7 of the moves I make to get to that warm happy place of impassioned loathing and (potential) ignorance.
In my humble opinion the fastest way to pick a winner from the lot is their shoes. It’s a game of trial and error (much like the perfect ratio of scoops to water in the mr. coffee machine) before you can get it right. Many ins and outs. But on the day you determine that the d-bag you’ve been arguing with wasn’t worth your time because he is a grown man in a pair of bright blue Skechers ("It’s the S!"), you'll remember this entry and think "Damn, that a**hole on 7-NOW was RIGHT!"
I don’t feel like explaining this one other than to offer THIS. also - its not the SEINFELD joke about the puffy shirt.. it’s an actual problem.
3. Colored jeans
Jeans are blue. They are also allowed to be black. I look at it this way - if I wouldn’t write a letter or sign my name in that color... I wouldn’t wear denim pants in that color either. This one really only applies to men, though. Women can get away with more.
4. The CD booklet
This one is a bit more personal AND a bit more specific to my past life as the resident Rob Gordon. I don’t have a problem with the CD book/wallet/what-have-you – what I have a problem with is the discarding of the jewel case (and in most, but not all cases the LINER NOTES) and the inherent disrepair of the ancient wallet as it gets on in years – thereby forcing the discs into disrepair as well. There are only a few ways to tell this one. Not a whole lot “got my Irish up” in the store as much as when some clown came in trying to sell me their CD collection and handed me a Case Logic full of scratched up Phish CDs. Really dude? My line was always “would you buy this?” and that sent them away. That’s a pretty specific instance though. I find it more now as the CD has begun to fade away and as friends of mine are discarding their old ones only to reveal that they “got rid of that stuff a long time ago” in regards to the companions to the actual discs. A quicker less specific way is this: if you get into someone’s car, and they have a CD wallet and its super dusty, potentially ripped up and the booklets are torn frayed and jammed in with the CDs – run. John Waters has a line that is something like “if you walk into someone place and there are no books… don’t f**k that person” – same principle. Walk away.
This one is easy AND universal! If I see you on the PATH train reading a book of a new popular movie AND your copy of the book is the movie tie in with Julia Roberts’ face plastered on the cover… I can tell you that not only do I not want to be your friend… but you most CERTAINLY don’t want to be mine.
6. Band T-Shirts
Very few band t-shirts are allowed over the age of 16. VERY few. Here are a couple of ground rules:
• No solo artists ever (even under 16). There is nothing cool about a shirt with some dudes name on it. There is no such thing as a “cool” Bob Dylan t-shirt.
• Allowed: the Clash, the Ramones, Black Flag, Motorhead, the Sex Pistols (sparingly), the Rolling Stones (from 71-78 ONLY… pushing it but OK).
• Oversized? Over done. If it doesn’t fit – donate that shit. You’ll get more pleasure seeing it worn by some homeless guy in 8 months than you will by wearing it EVER.
• It has to be a standard short sleeve tshirt – none of THIS (see: number 2 as well)
• Black is probably your best bet. Grey is OK too. Avoid any other colors.
• Serious DON'Ts: Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Hootie & the Blowfish.
7. Cigar smoking in public
This habit pervasive and sorta disgusting – it doesn’t bother me if you smoke cigars in private. In fact that can be relaxing. I take issue with the old dude walking around town puffing away in his fleece vest and NY Jets baseball hat letting his engine fuel Cuban waft into every store front he passes by. That guy is a d**k. Everyone knows it. He should be publicly punished. I recommend something like The Lottery. Anyone else?
That’s all I got. This list at times felt forced. At times felt a little weighted. And at times felt very specific to my experiences… but screw you if you don’t like it – IT'S MY LIST.
Here’s to more a confrontational internets.