This afternoon, my lovely wife Juanita and I took our baby son Pancho out for a walk downtown. It was a nice fall day, and we eventually wandered into Old Town where a number of cool shops are. We stopped and went into a music store there that I’d been meaning to check out for a while.
I was pleased to find that they specialize in older music. Mostly rock and jazz from the 1950’s through the 80’s, with a healthy supply of vinyl. In other words, it’s a real record store.

The kid behind the counter was friendly and OK with us bringing the stroller in, so Juanita and the baby entered behind me. Walking in, I instantly noticed that the place reeked of underarm odor. The stench was emanating from the only other customer, a weirdly-dressed middle-aged guy who had been talking with the kid running the store as we came in.

We looked around a bit, and the stench became almost overpowering when we walked near the customer. Juanita winced as she went right past him, and as she did he turned around. He pointed at the baby, then in a loud voice asked her,

“IS HIS NAME LOU GRAMM JUNIOR?”

“I’m sorry…?” she responded, not knowing what he meant.

“DID YOU NAME HIM AFTER LOU GRAMM, THE LEAD SINGER OF FOREIGNER?”

“Oh, uhm… No. We didn’t.”

“HUH.”

He sounded disappointed. There was an awkward pause, then Juanita politely kept moving and came over to where I was. As we looked through some old 45’s, the guy resumed his earlier discussion with the poor kid behind the counter.

“SO WHAT ABOUT BAY CITY ROLLERS. YOU GOT THAT RECORD? I LOVE THOSE GUYS.”

“Uh huh…” The kid responded, half-listening.

“SO WHAT KINDA STUFF YOU LIKE? YOU LIKE FOREIGNER?”

“No, not really.”

“WHY NOT? THEN WHAT DO YOU LIKE? ARE YOU INTO AEROSMITH, OR ARE YOU A DEF LEPPARD GUY? YOU LIKE LEPPARD? OR DO YOU LIKE GUNS N’ ROSES?”

“No, I’m not really into that kind of stuff.”

I was almost tempted to mention that I am a Leppard fan, but my nose wouldn’t allow me to get any closer to the guy. Over the next few minutes, he proceeded to ask the kid if he liked anyone else on his long mental list of has-been rock bands, without success. I got the impression that the poor guy probably comes in every day asking the same exact questions, and that the people working there have learned to tolerate him over time.

Eventually we made our way to the door, making a mental note to return and pick up a couple of items we’d found. It’s always easier to shop somewhere when you’re not breathing someone’s pungent B.O. stench.