Saturday, November 14, 2009

...but jerkitude is timeless

As I never tire of telling you, your humble deskslave is a middle-aged guy. As such, I am seen as an authority figure by the young, who calibrate their nastiness toward me accordingly. It should not come as a surprise to me that other middle aged guys might not have the same attitude towards me. I should know better--middle-aged white guys can be kind of a problem. Anyway, a guy my age walks up and asks if we have a DVD called "Musical Instincts."
I key the title in, making sure that the thing I'm typing is what he wants. If he has the title wrong, we can figure it out later. No luck, so I start asking questions about the DVD. Using my finely honed reference interview skills, I determined that he had seem something called "Musical Instincts" on PBS the night before and expected that, because it had been on TV in the distant past (14 or so hours ago), we would not only own it, but have it on the shelf. I was still trying to see if we had the name right, so I was poking around the PBS website. I suspected that if it was just on TV, it might not yet be on DVD. While I plunged through the labyrinth of the PBS site, I asked,
"Is it new?"
"Whatsa matter," he sneered, leaning in, "Dontcha have new things? Only old things?" It was an actual sneer with the full complement of contempt. I'm not sure I have been sneered at as an adult. It's something you see in movies. Perhaps even in "Musical Instinct." I was really taken aback. I had asked a legit question. I have an acronym that pops into my head at moments like this: TOFTS, which stands for Too Old For This Stuff, only I use a saltier word than stuff. So, I was getting no more mi casa es tu casa from my demographic equal than I would from a disaffected youth.
"Sorry," I smiled in a manner I was hoping was beatific or at least winning, "we have nothing by that title." I busied myself with something else. He stood there for a moment. I was done asking questions, and eventually he figured this out.

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