I went to my favorite pho restaurant and all I got was Rick Astley
In the modern age of the iPod, any shoe store, cowboy bar, hair salon or (in this particular case) pho restaurant can do business to any soundtrack it chooses. When I worked at KB Toys in the 90s, we were sent a monthly cassette to play in the store -- except the tape player was inaccessible, generally buried under a pile of shitty knock-off Elmos, meaning we were stuck listening to Animal's version of "Wipe Out" for weeks on end. You would think that would be awesome, but it wasn't. It sucked.
Damn you, Astley!
Anyway, yesterday, before I went to watch white people dance at the Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings show at the Botanic Gardens, I had dinner with my gay husband at our favorite pho establishment. After our server awkwardly offered us the "domesticated beers" happy hour special, we settled into our usual dinner conversation about his day working at the mall and my day watching Lifetime original movies and Basketball Wives on VH1. Mid-sentence, he stopped and asked me what song was playing. Why, it was Pink Floyd's "Another Brick In The Wall", of course. Followed by The Village People's "Go West," Kings of Leon's "Sex On Fire," Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff" and... wait. What in the fuck was going on? Were we at a family dining establishment or a demented daddy disco bar with no regard whatsoever for atmosphere, let alone genre?
Confused, we continued talking about Golden Girls, the recent Vanity Fair profile piece on Hillary Clinton and other gay stuff, but were interrupted again by Venga Boys "Boom Boom Boom Boom (I Want You In My Room)." I looked at gay husband and then glanced at the nice Wash Park-ish family of four next to us and wondered how they felt about the insanity of (what I could only assume to be) this sexy iPod on shuffle. Then, things got really messed up -- "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley came on over the PA. We had been successfully rickrolled by a pho restaurant.
Thinking back on all of the times we had visited our favorite brothy noodle joint, I realized this type of iPod behavior wasn't out of the ordinary. Once, when my mother and I were having lunch there, after Britney's "If U Seek Amy" played, the uncensored version of Drake's "Best I Ever Had" came on. Meaning, while my mom was telling me about the paint on grandma's Buick peeling off for no reason, I was also hearing "My shirt ain't got no stripes, but I can make that pussy whistle." At 2 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon.
For the most part, I like my pho with "Pony" by Ginuwine, so it works out. I just don't appreciate getting Rick Rolled in public.