So I’ve decided to take on a part-time job as a music disc jockey at a local big box store that wanted to adjust their music by the people coming into the store. Despite my legal background, my knowledge of rock’n’roll, and my long history of meaningful employment, they wanted an interview. It did not go well when I met Roger, the human resource manager.
Me: Good morning.
Roger: Mr. Burke, you are 3 minutes late. Is that typical for you?
Me: “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”
Roger: Maybe not in Chicago, but here we do. So you are a music fan, huh?
Me: Yes sir. I’m big on classic rock and can relate it to current events.
Roger: Our hope is to adjust our music, based on customers in the store, to increase customer comfort. So a knowledge of music is obviously important. For instance, what is your favorite Kinks song?
Me: “Lola.” That’s an awesome song.
Roger: We here at Big Box do not condone making fun of transgender persons. We are open to anyone with greenbacks, so forget that one. How about the Rolling Stones?
Me: “Brown Sugar” is a great song. I love New Orleans.
Roger: That song is a strong racial stereotype, and we here at Big Box do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race.
Me: Maybe “Under My Thumb” is okay? Or The Beatles “Run For Your Life?”
Roger: Those songs subjugate women to the dominance of men. How about a crooner, like Rod Stewart?
Me: “Hot Legs?” “Tonight’s The Night?” “Every Picture Tells A Story?” “Maggie Mae?” Even I know that Rod’s songs are all about sex.
Roger: Let’s try a different approach, what’s a great summertime song?
Me: Oh boy, that’d be Mungo Jerry’s “In The Summertime!”
Roger: I recall that song being about driving around drunk and taking advantage of women, especially poor ones. We are proud to sponsor MADD, so that song is not appropriate. Maybe there’s a funny song you can come up with that isn’t offensive?
Me: Ray Stevens’ “Ahab the Arab” was a great funny song!
Roger: Really? A song that pokes fun at Arabs? Can you avoid religious or ethnic songs, please?
Me: Randy Newman’s “Short People” was always a crowd pleaser.
Roger: In a crowd of tall people maybe. Do you know country music? Maybe you can come up with one there that doesn’t offend someone.
Me: Sure, Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue.”
Roger: I’m afraid the gender identity crowd will go nuts over that.
Me: Cher’s “Half Breed?”
Roger: Kelly, I’m just not sure we can use you.
Me: But you sell TVs and appliances! Surely “Money For Nothing” by the Dire Straits is okay.
Roger: That song is derogatory toward the gay community.
Me: You need a younger demographic here. Maybe some Gary Puckett?
Roger: Like “Woman, Woman” or “Young Girl?” Now you want the female liberation army on us? Why not do a fat shaming song too?
Me: Like Queen’s “Fat Bottom Girls?”
Roger: Yeah, that’d do it. Might as well take on the teachers.
Me: Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher” or The Police’s “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” come to mind.
Roger: Can you think of a pet-friendly song that won’t offend anyone?
Me: Ted Nugent’s “Cat Scratch Fever?”
Roger: Never. Kelly, thank you for coming in, but I’ll tell you now that this isn’t the fit we anticipated.
Me: Yeah, you probably should just do a loop of Celine Dion. I can’t imagine she’d offend anyone.