An Unhinged, Rambling Account of My Fedex Errand Plus Paul Westerberg
So the other day I needed to fedex a package, and luckily my
friendly neighborhood Walgreen’s conveniently has a fedex drop-off in the store. It was a beautiful day so I walked with my package through the neighborhood and went to Walgreen’s to drop it off.
I walked in with another guy also holding a box who looked kind of like a young version of the werewolf dude from Harry Potter, but dressed up like a greaser.
^yeah, this guy, plus…
Anyway, we walk up to the fedex counter, and no one seems to be there immediately. I wait a moment or two, look around. There’s a couple employees sort of hanging out in the aisles nearby and I can tell they can see us, so I patiently wait, until one of them walks over to assist us.
No longer than a 90 second wait at maximum, and this
lady woman walks over and says, and I quote…
“for future reference there is a BUTT-ON on the counter if you need someone, so that we know”– Some Bitch
She said this with a little bit of attitude that was annoying, and it’s not like I actually care, so I was like “ok.” and left it at that.
But we should take a moment to note how ridiculously labeled this button was. It was nestled underneath one of those glass dividers they have at counters directly next to a register with the tiniest of label printer labels pasted on it that said press for help. There was no way in hell this eagle-eyed gentleman was going to miss that, of course. How foolish of me to miss such an obvious sign.
Then she sort of gave a sort of passive aggressive chuckle to herself as if she was mad at me for some reason while grabbing the package scanner off the shelf. So I simply added a “It’s very well marked, that’s all I’ll say.” By this point I felt pretty proud of myself for that comeback, so the employee took the 1 second of her time that it takes to scan a package and I went on my way.
Immediately blocking out the experience and holding no bitterness whatsoever toward Walgreen’s corporately and their shoddy HR practices, I walked next door to the local record shop to tool around and waste some time.
Like any good record store it was completely empty aside from the operator and one other customer who just had a full stack of used rock records. He was a pretty steezy looking young african-american gentleman with a cool jacket so I was like alright, nice music taste sir. Upon eavesdropping on his conversation with the operator while I was thumbing through a seemingly endless collection of Linda Ronstadt records, I heard that he buys these records to sample from for his music, but given he has no idea what any of these old records are actually like he just takes fliers on them and hopes he can get at least something from each one. And you know what, that sounds like quite a fun experiment.
But I further digress from the actual purpose of this mind-bendingly riveting anecdote, and that is what I found while bin-hunting.
Deep at the end of the alphabet I stumbled across a relatively recently manufactured vinyl re-issue of Paul Westerberg’s double solo album, Mono/Stereo in which he recorded an album coincidentally in stereo under his real name and then another album in mono under the moniker “Grandpaboy”
The Grandpaboy Mono album artwork is some of the most disturbing things you’ll see.
Like, why is that so cursed?
But the music on both albums in actually fantastic. For the most part, very stripped down, loosely if edited at all, including a couple songs that just sort of abruptly end on Stereo.
But as I was listening to the B Side of Stereo, I began to recognize through the haze of the lo-fi production a familiar riff and refrain from a song I knew I had heard before. I could see it was the last track on the album, so I initially assumed this was apart of the final track listed “Let the Bad Times Roll.” But I knew I knew that song, and this wasn’t it. That’s right folks, it was a bonus track.
And who doesn’t love a bonus track. Just a little bit extra for what you paid for. But what was this song I knew, but couldn’t exactly place. I tried at first, really illogically to google a part of the lyrics I could actually make out Paul singing, “like a car broke down in the rain, I just can’t get it started again” but unfortunately those google results only got me the following:
I mean, seriously, what the hell…?
So instead I did the sensible thing and just googled what the song is of on the bonus track for Stereo, and…drumroll…it’s everyone’s favorite sort of questionable and disturbing band name Flesh For Lulu’s 1987 classic “Postcards From Paradise”
This song goes hard, and I forgot all about it, but it was back in the recesses of my mind somewhere.
And it turns out this Westerberg cover isn’t the only cover version of this song. In the vein of basically just always ripping off Paul Westerberg and The Replacements, the Goo Goo Dolls also have a cover version they perform.
So there you go, a little serendipitous trip to the record store after being awkwardly scolded at a Walgreen’s Fedex drop-off. What’s better than rediscovering some great old music?