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Retail Encounter, Op. 1 “Piano Concerto”

January 14th, 2008 · 4 Comments

The telephone rings. Twice.

Me:  Hello, [insert store name here].

An elderly Southern woman’s voice is on the other end of the line.  She clears her throat as an introduction.  Twice.  She then says firmly, and like Howell Heflin:  Yes.  I need Rachmaninoff’s Warsaw Concerto in Blue.  [Notice the efficiency of her delivery – no niceties, let’s just get to the fucking point.]

I take a few seconds to mentally digest her request.  Then:  Ma’am, it sounds like you’re possibly looking for three different pieces.  Are you looking for a Rachmaninoff piano concerto, Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto, or Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue?  They are all three classical piano concertos.  We should have at least one recording from that lot in stock.

Mrs. Heflin shuffles audibly, mutters something like “whahtevah,” then says – one more time for good measure:  Whahtevah.  I need it on cassette.  One of those tape things to play in mah cah.

Ma’am, we don’t carry cassette tapes.  We only sell CDs and some vinyl.

Well, no wonder y’all are going out of business.

Followed quickly by a Mrs. Heflin-instigated click.

Tags: music

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 TommyT // Jan 16, 2008 at 9:20 AM

    That is simultaneously sad/hilarious.

  • 2 ABE // Jan 18, 2008 at 5:23 PM

    I agree with TommyT, and I will add that I think you need to pat yourself on the back for handling it so well!

    By they way, do you have that CD with the song, you know, I don’t know what it’s called, but I think there’s a guitar in the background?

  • 3 spitballarmy // Jan 18, 2008 at 8:43 PM

    ABE – If I am being honest here, I must tell you that I took some “poetic license” with that encounter: instead of Mrs. Heflin hanging up the phone, what really happened was that I took the opportunity to tell her what I thought of her. I’ll let you imagine what transpired but, suffice it to say, I was civil and forthright, and did not use any four-letter words.

  • 4 ABE // Jan 18, 2008 at 9:37 PM

    Well, good for you- you still deserve a pat on the back! (And poetic licence is allowed, of course) 🙂

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