Fear of a Black Superstore, II

To continue where we left off: our hero was at the precipice of great changiness and preparing for a small but significant new experience in leaf-turning, and had decided to set foot in a Wal-Mart for the first time in……..a long time (perhaps two years?).

I had some things to do anyway on a random Wednesday, and not much work to speak of, so I headed out to Portman’s Music to try that place out, as I’d heard they have a great selection of musical equipment.  This is certainly true: they had everything from Martin Backpackers, to banjos and pedal steel guitars, to slide trombones and Suzuki-method violin training materials.  Pretty great, really, for a backwater burgh like Augusta.  What they apparently didn’t have there was anyone at all willing to help me or even to grant the bare acknowledgment of my shared existence in their Billy Badass universe.  I thus really hated it, uselessly gave all of them a look of withering contempt which left me feeling basically like a noseless leper, and left after about ten minutes.  I’m not much for musical snobbery these days, and it’s never really been a game I’ve played to win. So I left and then traversed all of two miles to get to the next shop on my list, Center Stage Music.  It was a smaller place by about a factor of two, but still more than large enough.  Upon my arrival I was greeted by two very disarming guys, one of whom had a gray ponytail: he immediately set me at ease, and we talked at length about different guitars he had in stock, and I got to play a couple of 3500-dollar Taylors.  While fun, I really didn’t get why they were so expensive.  My little Martin D-15 has got a great sound and cost a quarter of the price.  (That was a really great purchase, I doubt I’ll do better anytime soon.)  The takeaway from this man-on-the-street test is simple: a bad music store can be the equivalent of the old-school record store (may they rest in peace): everybody there knows more than you, and even if they don’t, they certainly claim to.   So it’s a very great thing to finally find one and feel comfortable.  Anyhow, after we talked some more about things I really have no technical knowledge of (at some point he said the word “rectifier” in relation to an amplifier I was fondling, and I just had to leave it there), I picked up some strings for my new classical Yamaha CG201S, thanked him for his help, and moved on to my Primary Target.   Operation Piss In Boots was in effect, and soon enough Wal-Mart was looming large in my windshield.

I got as far as Customer Service, which is all I really expected anyway.

It’s hard to complain: I did what I set out to do, didn’t I?  But I left feeling slightly tail-tucked all the same.  I’m determined to make this a weekly adventure, though the exact store I visit probably should change: getting comfortable at one store really doesn’t really grease the wheel of my hangups, though at this point anything I can call progress will be something on which to hang my hat.  Mixed metaphors aside, I am trying to sincerely adapt to a rather unfortunately and unnecessary issue that has seemingly randomly presented itself.

Part of me still believes the old school wisdom of behavioral psychology, which would probably suggest that there must be some underlying reason for this dilemma, the rooting out of which would presumably lead me to a neat and tidy resolution, the denoument probably consisting of a jolly exclamation (So, it was really the Vietcong that did this to me? Ha!) followed by a hearty belly laugh and the subsequent purchase of a Magnavox VCR for absolutely no reason.  But after years of trying to mentally formulate a logical source of the problem, I’ve finally had to just throw up my hands and call it fate, or a random accident springing from a set of complex experiences that even I cannot piece together.  So now my quest, insofar as I can call it that, is to somehow build a new set of experiences which will lead me to the emotional response I seek, which will bring me mentally from this place:

WALMART = SOMEONE SET UP US THE BOMB!

to this place:

WALMART = meh, let’s go somewhere else already.

More later on this, I am sure.

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Currently Reading:

Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame - Charles Bukowski

Currently Listening:

Mr. Bungle - California

Why, yes, I am cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce.

You lika de juice????

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