and his post got me to thinking about songs that others did better than the one who wrote them. Of course I googled some songs, listened to some others, and learned that two of my favorite songs in the world were written by Leonard Cohen. An old fart born about the time that my father was born. And a Canuck. But, damn, he can write music. Of course he wrote Hallelujah, I knew that. But he also wrote “Bird on a wire”–which was on my very first ever album, Joe Cocker, “zee maaadddogs, ze English men and Joe Cocker”. Gawd I loved that album.
The guy who walked in just ahead of me was white, about 40, and got out of a new-fangled car with advertising on the side of it. I put it on either a Mercedes or a Nissan rag-top. I walked in and grabbed a beer, I did not see what he was purchasing. We are the only two in the joint except a white woman cashier, about 50-55.
He says to her, “So, are you having the taping of ‘Tarzan’ here tomorrow?” [I'm paraphrasing from here on out, but it is essentially accurate. He obviously was a regular and she knew him.]
The gist of the conversation was that a bunch of black people who worked at Tyson’s Chicken processing plant nearby would be stopping by and cashing their checks all day tomorrow. But they did not say explicitly whom they were referring to. Unfortunately for them, they did not know that I used to live nearby and used to stop at this place to buy a beer on my way home.
The gist of what he said was that she should get paid double for having to put up with them all stopping there to cash their paychecks, because the owner was charging exorbitant fees to cash their checks. It wasn’t hard to figure out who he was talking about, as I have been there many times when the store is filled with black people dressed up in work uniforms (mostly hair nets and rubber boots) standing in line at the check out counter. He thought the employees made a lot more than they actually make, and that the owner charged them a lot more than he actually did to cash their checks. She disabused him of those notions. Continue reading