I lost half a day of my life at Verizon over multiple visits, hence my several trips to the commerce emporium I dread setting foot into. The Verizon store had piped-in music, presumably to distract the customers from their long waits. Adding to the din, a young woman serving as greeter at the front had turned on a speaker connected to a tablet pumping out different music. She had apparently set the volume on “stun”, and the combination of two alternate tracks playing, one of sufficient volume to sterilize frogs from ten paces away, must have been a secret scheme on her part to discourage shoppers from entering the premises , and hence lighten her workload. An older woman – prematurely aged, perhaps, by the interminable wait – asked the friendly young greeter to turn down the sound. “Oh, you remind me of my best friend’s mom,” she chirpily replied, as not wanting to deafen oneself was a typical buzz kill attitude which separated oldster from those secure in their hipness. “Sure, I’ll lower it,” she replied, “even though it’s more fun when it’s loud.”
I had half a mind to say, “listen, Missy, I had a set of experiences as a teenage globe-trotting, adventure seeking, nude beach frequenting, seldom bathing, backpacking adventurer that would blow your rheostats if I told you about them. Which I can’t because the music is too loud.”
Instead, I patiently waited my turn. Finally, it came, and a bored young man did nothing to hide his sense of tedium when I explained the many deficiencies of my new not-so-smartphone. And somewhere, just around the corner, almost out of earshot, you could hear the strains of some Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin. Or maybe it was coming from my imagination, like those memories of when I was young and I regarded those a generation older as decidedly unhip. Now I am they. The Bible says the sins of the fathers shall be inflicted upon their descendants, but in real life it’s the opposite: the sins of our youth are inflicted upon our older selves. Iggy Azalea, with the volume set on eleven, anyone?