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Monday, April 12, 2004

So, the coolest thing ever happened to me yesterday. I know you don't believe it, but trust me -- COOLEST THING EVER.

I was puttering around that morning, watching DS9 and rearranging my bedspread in a new and exciting fashion, when I realized that Amoeba Records would be on the way to this picnic I'd be going to later. I'd been craving a chance to get myself some Franz Ferdinand, and I figured that I could offset the cost a little by picking out some CDs from my collection that would be easily parted with.

See, in high school I was woefully guilty of poor taste in music. I bought some truly inspired dregs. And a lot of it. So Sunday morning, I did a pretty severe culling of the collection (including stuff purchased used from Amoeba previously), and came up with about twelve or fifteen CDs I could part with. I knew they weren't going to take everything -- in fact, some of the stuff I included was stuff they'd rejected on past trips. Trying to sell Amoeba the crap I used to buy is like throwing darts blindfolded -- I'm happy if I hit the board occasionally.

Get down to Amoeba and wait in a fairly short line for the joy of having my taste in music judged. Soon, the clerk is powering through my stack, making assorted little piles and checking quality. He finds a burned CD-R layered on top of Eric Clapton's "Pilgrim." I retrieve it, planning on stowing it inside one of the rejectee's cases. I try and guess what piles are stuff he's taking and stuff he's not. The not-taking pile looks pretty big...

"Okay. $33 cash or $40 credit."

My eyes go wide. "Seriously? That's awesome!"

"Cash or credit?"

"Uh, credit."

He moves to start filling out the paperwork. I reach for the six CDs stacked nearest me, assuming they'll be accompanying me home -

"Oh, I'm taking it all," the dude says.

I nearly hit the floor.

My friends don't believe me when I tell this story later. Amoeba NEVER takes everything. Behind the stone faces they adopt while sorting through the vestiges of your adolescence, you just know that the clerks are laughing at you. They sniff and judge and scowl, and you shrink inside with shame, knowing that it doesn't matter how old you were in the 90s, there is no excuse for Sophie B. Hawkins.

I mean, Sophie B. Hawkins! Obscure singles! Bad public domain covers of 1950s pop! Gloria Estefan's greatest hits! They. Took. It. All.

Das Roomie thinks the guy was new, and thus didn't know what he was doing.

I think God's a twenty-something black man with a 'fro, who spends Easter Sunday at the record store.

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