Music Man

While I was home in Oregon for Christmas I made a much dreaded trip to Michael’s Arts and Crafts store. As I was walking out with my daughter Meredith, I made the statement that if anyone ever wanted to truly torture me, they should force me to work at Michael’s for a weekend.

It’s not that I’m not crafty. I went through an arts and craft phase. I have the scars from the hot glue gun that melted my fingertips together as I secured pine cones to a wire wreath to sell at a school auction to prove it. I can do crafts – I just choose not to.

No, it would be torture because of how disorganized the place is. Nothing seems to make sense in the way the store is laid out and whoever the buyer is should be fired. The service is terrible and the entire layout of the cash registers is inefficient and just wrong.

Making me work at Michael’s might be my worst nightmare.

That’s what I thought until I arrived back in Shanghai. Meredith came back with us and as we were out exploring we happened upon The Music Man.  A title I’ve given a man who sells CDs on the street corner. The most annoying man with perhaps the worst job in all of Shanghai.

I know, seems harmless enough but what you don’t understand is he “samples” the same 2 songs over and over on a very loud sound system, attached to his motor scooter. It’s a great sound system. You can hear the music from a block away.

For the four months that we’ve lived here, I have passed The Music Man everyday on my way home from work. As I approach I hear one song. A jazzy number done in Spanish. Not sure of the title but it’s a catchy little tune. Makes you want to stop and do a dance. I’m thinking of organizing a flash mob but no need to stand out more than I already do.

I captured it on a video for you to enjoy. Listen to it over and over and you too may find it annoying. Check it out.

So there’s that song and then it seems, every time I get closer to him, he reaches down and switches over to the theme song from the 1979 movie The Rose starring, Bette Midler. Just as I’m choreographing the flash mob in my head to the spanish number, he switches over, bringing the party down with The Rose. I now know every word and often find myself signing along. Take a look and listen.

So now I’m conflicted. What’s worse? Working at Michael’s Arts and Crafts store or standing on the street corner everyday for hours on end, being forced to listen to the same two songs over and over, rarely making a sale.

15 thoughts on “Music Man

  1. Greg Dube says:

    Never take a job in retail. At least music man gets to pick the music he plays. You never get to pick who comes in the store and ask you incredibly stupid questions all day long.

  2. margojoseph says:

    The music man for sure

  3. Katy says:

    Admit it. You knew every word of the Rose before the music man….sing it for him R. 🙂

  4. Monsarrat, Nancy says:

    I so enjoy your posts.
    I read them aloud to Pat in the kitchen while he’s making dinner and I’m drinking wine. Of course he’s also drinking wine.

    Waiting patiently for the next one …

    Message sent from an iPhone. Please excuse my typos.

  5. Margie Hunt says:

    Oh my gosh…I thought I was the only person who felt as you do about Michael’s! My friends rave about that store and call me “cold and artless,” like my brain is composed of only left sides. I actually go there when necessary but always leave dizzy. Thank heavens there’s candy at the check-out stands…

    Love, love this blog – looking forward to the next installment! BTW, SOOR ends 2013 strong!

  6. Pat Hellberg says:

    Years ago, when Michael Doherty and I were searching for the perfect song for the Nike video highlight reel, we were torn. Theme from The Rose or Through the Storm? PHK wanted The Rose. He got outvoted.

  7. Max Harden says:

    I think the guy has a pretty sweet gig. He’s a self-made entrepreneur in the music/entertainment industry working one of the hottest corners in Shanghai. I’ll bet he’s picked up a Tim Ferris book in his day…

  8. Kbrock says:

    Pine cone wreaths and door mats. Big holiday hits. You should choose Michaels.

  9. Laura says:

    Omg!! This is the funniest thing ever!! Micheals is the worst!! I absolutely dread going there cuz it takes 30 min to check out when there are 2 people buying one thing each in front of you😳

  10. Amy says:

    Love your posts, they always make me laugh.

  11. Cody Brock says:

    Just in case you really wanted to know, that first song is “Sway” done by many different artists. I think Rosemary Clooney does the best rendition, and the verse that you have in the video is actually in her version of the song.

    take a listen.

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