in Daily Life

Dark Safeway

The muzak at the local Safeway is usually pretty innocuous: Neil Diamond, The Capenters, maybe a little Rod Stewart or Olivia Newton-John to spice things up. Tonight, though, it was like Dark Safeway.

First they played Def Leppard. Then Heart’s “Barracuda”. Then “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers. I’m no prude, but the latter song is wholly inappropriate for a family grocery store. The tune is thrashy and the vocals strident. That’s enough to set me on edge right away. But the lyrics just put it over the top:

It started out with a kiss

How did it end up like this?

It was only a kiss

It was only a kiss

Now I’m falling asleep

And she’s calling a cab

While he’s having a smoke

And she’s taking a drag

Now they’re going to bed

And my stomach is sick

And it’s all in my head

But she’s touching his chest now

He takes off her dress now

I expected the next song to be “Add It Up” by Violent Femmes!

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  1. Were you there late at night? I remember when I was a kid and I worked as a box boy at Gladstone Safeway during the night shift, we’d crank up the radio and jam out while stocking shelves. Of course, that was back in the day before stores where open 24 hours and everybody was cool with it.

  2. Any worse than the celebrity voyeuristic mags and photos of cleavage on the other mags so prominently displayed around every checkout stand?

    Remember when you could actually find a news mag in a supermarket? Sigh.

  3. Letting me go

    And I just can’t look its killing me

    And taking control

    Jealousy, turning saints into the sea

    Swimming through sick lullabies

    Choking on your alibis

    But it’s just the price I pay

    Destiny is calling me

    Open up my eager eyes

    ‘Cause I’m Mr Brightside

  4. I really like Mr Brightside, and probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought if it was playing in Tescos. I’m not actually sure that they play music in there though.

  5. I’m always a little ashamed when Alanis Morissette’s ‘You Oughta Know’ comes on in the store where I work. It blanks out all of the bad words and even the phrase ‘down on you’, but it still feels so wrong to me. I almost want to apologize to the customer if they have kids with them. Of course, our store also had candy g-strings, bras and garter belts at Valentine’s Day but had no qualms about putting the boxes with pictures right at the eye level of children.

    Actually, I used to work at Safeway in Beaverton and the music was my least favorite part of the job! It would have been awesome if they played The Killers or Violent Femmes!

  6. This reminds me of when I used to work at Toys R Us, they had a music track that was on a 45 minute loop. The same music, looped every day. After an 8 hour shift of crappy pop songs aimed at little kids, in store advertising and cheesy DJ, I was ready to find and turn off the equipment that supplied the music. It was awful.