austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

She has a competition in a composition known

I think I want to talk a little more about the strap to my messenger bag and its continuing absence. As was wisely suggested, I thought about music stores, but the nearest music store that I knew about was in Plaza Singapura, off the Dhoby Ghaut interchange, which is a bit of a hike for repairing a used bag. So when I drove to the Freehold Raceway Mall it was with the intent of vague shopping. But I walked the upper level first instead of my usual crossways pattern starting on the lower level. At some point a music store moved in to the part of the mall that I never see anymore because the Suncoast Video closed about ten years ago in favor of Spencer's Horrible And Tacky Gifts. It's probably too much to suppose they opened the store just to answer my particular need.

I ambled around the organs and sheet music and drum sets and found a spinning rack, the kind used in other stores for ties and belts, full of straps of varying lengths and indescribably ugliness. Granted I tend to buy boring-looking things, like clothes which have at maximum one color, and leave my appreciation for (say) tie-dye to things other people buy, but wouldn't you expect some of them to be neutral or at least not blazingly ugly?

Still, I was looking over the ends to see if they had snaps compatible with my bag, when one of the music store employees came over and said, simply, ``Banjo straps.'' There was little I could say in response unless I wanted to just be contradictory.

I've always had a hyperactive sense of humor, and usually it serves me well, but it does mean sometimes an unentertaining thing becomes briefly the funniest thing in the world. As the employee went about his business the notion of someone wandering the store simply saying ``banjo straps'' to anyone who might not have been thinking of banjo straps began to amuse me, and it grew until I was barely holding in my laughter. And then I got the idea that perhaps it wasn't just something to say to everyone; perhaps in this store the generic expletive for releasing all the frustrations of a business where one works with the public have been reduced to crying out ``banjo straps''. This was ridiculous, and I quickly left, hoping that distance from the store would reduce my laughing to a general good air, and that's how I ended in the Kitchen Thingies No One Will Never Need But Which Are Shiny Or Cute store on the opposite end of the mall.

Trivia: Thomas Jefferson recorded the temperature at 6 am on 4 July 1776 as 68 Fahrenheit, and 76 degrees later in the day. Source: A History of the United States Weather Bureau, Donald R Whitnah.

Currently Reading: Vienna 1814: How the Conquerers of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna, David King.


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