Perhaps If He Ate Some Brains, He’d Have Some Brains

, , , | Friendly | July 2, 2020

I am part of a musical group with people of all ages; we sing songs and sometimes learn instruments, in a very casual setting. We sit in a circle, folders with hundreds of songs in front of us, and everyone chooses one song to play. It is my turn.

Me: *Looking through the folder* “Ooh! Zombie by The Cranberries! I’ve always loved that one.”

Elderly Man: “Bah! I can’t stand this horror stuff! It’s such stupid hocus pocus! Kids today are messed up!”

I stare at him, mouth agape.

Me: “It’s… a twenty-year-old song about the Northern Ireland Conflict. Nothing to do with actual zombies.”

Elderly Man: “Wait, really?”

To be fair, he was German and might not have understood all the lyrics, but seriously? He was alive during the brunt of it. He also had no problem understanding a different song in English that was about the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

He just outright dismissed “Zombie” because of the title.

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Music Lovers Come In All Kinds

, , , , , | Working | June 19, 2020

I am an African Canadian working at a local full-service gas station chain. We only have a small office big enough for one employee and a couple of soft drink coolers, all located on the gas pump island. It is summer and gas prices are up so business is slow.

A couple of my friends have pulled their car up near the pumps but left room for customers and they are playing some reggae on the stereo.

While I am fueling up a customer, I see another approaching on foot: an extremely pale caucasian in his mid-twenties with a shaved head wearing torn shorts and a [Heavy Metal Band] T-Shirt. I try to get the attention of my friends to turn the music down but they don’t hear me.  

While I finish fueling the car, he gets some pop from the cooler and waits. I notice that he has started tapping his foot not impatiently but with our music.

Me: “You like this music?”

Customer: “H*** yeah, [Reggae Artist playing at the moment]! Hooah!”

He put his bag with his pop back in the cooler to keep it cold and hung around chilling with us for about ten minutes. I learned that day not to jump to conclusions about customers.

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I Hear Those Things Are Awfully Loud…

, , , , , , , | Romantic | June 6, 2020

My husband and I are visiting Seattle. We approach the Seattle Monorail and my husband, who is a massive fan of The Simpsons, gets this big goofy grin on his face.

Husband: “Mono—”

Me: “Nope!”

He mock-sulks and I can hear him humming THAT song. A few moments later, we pass another couple.

Couple Husband: *Under his breath* “Monorail, monorail!”

I look at the wife.

Me: “You, too?”

The wife laughed. I did eventually let my husband sing the song on the monorail, and he later said it was one of the highlights of his day!

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Unfiltered Story #195017

, , , , | Unfiltered | May 30, 2020

I play violin at various events, most often weddings. I get most of my clients by responding to requests posted online. This email conversation is just one of several similar responses I receive when replying to ads in the gigs section of a popular classifieds site.

Me: [Typical opening pitch].

Response: [My name], thanks so much for the response. We did get the gig filled, but I have referred your name to my daughter’s wedding planner.

Here’s what I don’t understand: why are you paying a wedding planner and also posting ads for musicians and who knows what else for a wedding that is only two weeks away? Has your wedding planner failed to find someone in the time you have been working with them and so you are now having to plan the wedding yourself? Isn’t the point of hiring a wedding planner to let them plan the wedding so you don’t have to? Either the wedding planner is scamming you, or you are not allowing them to do the job you hired them to do.

Yes. Yes, You Can.

, , , , , | Friendly | May 23, 2020

It’s the summer of 1993 and my mother and I are on a cruise on [Now-Defunct Cruise Line]. Mom is in one of the theaters enjoying one of those Vegas-type shows, and I’m wandering around the various decks, just checking things out, looking for my own entertainment.

I notice that one of the many bars has karaoke, and since I enjoy singing — and some folks tell me I’m pretty good at it — I decide, what the hey? It’s a small but nice place, with few people, so I’m not too intimidated. I usually am when performing for crowds, but I figure I don’t know any of these people, so why should I care?

I choose a song by Anne Murray, “Could I Have This Dance?” since it’s in my range and I’m comfortable with it. The bar pipes the current singer and music outside so people walking by can hear it, and the whole wall facing the deck is faintly-tinted glass.

About a minute or so into the song, I notice an elderly couple walk past, stop, listen, and begin slow-dancing together, smiling. This encourages me and warms my heart, and I focus on them for the rest of the song.

When I’m done, I leave the bar to greet them and thank them for the confidence boost. They, in turn, thank me for my performance. They are celebrating their anniversary, and that song was their first dance.

I don’t remember much else about that cruise, but that’s one memory I’ll treasure forever.


This story was included in our May 2020 Inspirational Roundup.

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