#671: A Clockwork Orange

Expanding on Record Store Tales Part 58 – Klassic Kwotes VII

 

 

GETTING MORE TALE #671: A Clockwork Orange

“Do you like the drugs?” asked the creepy customer looking for the A Clockwork Orange soundtrack.

Let’s back up a bit.

One of our early employees, Scott, made a critical error one Sunday at the Record Store.  This is a great lesson for every retail employee, everywhere worldwide.  Never, ever, ever tell a customer that you have something if you can’t sell it to them.  Just lie.  Claim you don’t have it.  If you say, “We have it, but I can’t sell it to you,” then you are opening a potentially big can ‘o worms.

A very creepy dude came in one afternoon asking for the soundtrack to A Clockwork Orange by Wendy Carlos.  It is a potent mix of classical music and synthesizer compositions.  Beethoven was a major part of the film’s plot, and Beethoven is also a huge chunk of the soundtrack.  This customer wanted the soundtrack to psych him up for his court date.

That’s right.  For his court date.

Too much information?  Customers often shared with us the weirdest details of their lives.  We didn’t need to know he wanted A Clockwork Orange to pump himself up for court.

Thinking he was being helpful, Scott said, “Yes we have a used copy, we just bought it today.  But we have to hold it for 15 days before we can sell it.”

Scott was an honest guy.  According to the bi-laws, all used inventory had to be held for a 15 day waiting period.  In a business where buying and selling stolen goods was always a danger, this helped protect us, and any victims of theft.  15 days gave the cops time to go over our purchase reports and see if anything matched up.  If they did, then we already took the seller’s ID.  The cops can track the thieves that way.

The 15 day holding period was standard but not all stores honoured it.  We did, without fail.  There was no breaking the 15 day hold.  Not even for your court date.

The creepy guy tried to cajole Scott into selling the CD early and wouldn’t let up. He needed it before the court date, not after!  He had to get psyched up!  So much was riding on this one CD.  The soundtrack was still somewhat rare as a used CD.  The 1998 reissue was yet to come.

Eventually the creep tried to bribe Scott.  “Do you like the drugs?” he asked, implying he could get Scott anything he needed.

To his credit, Scott didn’t budge, though he certainly wished he never told the guy about A Clockwork Orange in the first place.  The customer asked to speak to the manager instead (me).  He came back then next day when I was working.

The guy walked in, wearing a green suit and carrying a briefcase.  He told me the whole story about how he “needed” that CD to get ready for court, but that nobody else in town had it.  He begged me for the CD, though with me he neglected to ask if I “like the drugs”.  He even said he’d pay over sticker price, but there was nothing I could do.

Scott was a little shaken by the creep.  It’s not every day you are solicited at your workplace by a drug dealer bound for court.  I can’t help it, but I think of him every single time I see the soundtrack for A Clockwork Orange.

Oh, and by the way:  he did buy the CD when the 15 day waiting period was up!  I didn’t ask how his court date went.  Apparently well enough.

 

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22 comments

  1. I feel like you should’ve asked how it went in court! I mean, green suit and a briefcase… Yup, you get it all in retail, that is a creepy story. I like the 15 day hold idea, I hadn’t realized you guys did that… it must require some serious storage space when you receive large collections…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah man! We used those big tupperware containers, you know the big kind? But most days, you couldn’t get the lid on, because we bought so much! 15 of those containers in a back room. Each one with the date you could put it out written on a piece of paper.

      The worse was the day after a long weekend. If you were closed Monday, then that meant you had two boxes to put out on Tuesday! Those were busy busy days.

      Like

    1. Yeah. It’s not a Kubrick I watch often. Doesn’t put me in a “chipper” mood so to speak.

      I can watch Dr. Strangelove any time, and I can jump in at any point. And I love his early films, particularly The Killing. Otherwise, not a feel good kinda filmmaker.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. OK we’re writing a script based on that story. CB nas the original record and would have traded it for his “Green Suit” straight up.
    (The Killing with one of my favorite head cases, Timothy Carey, I think he’s a “green suit” kinda guy. Plus Elisha Cook Jr. I guess I gotta watch it again. Thanks).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Carey is coming up on a take I’m doing on “Film Bad Asses’. Joe Turkel was also in both those films. He’s another Kubrick guy. Lloyd the Bartender in ‘The Shining’.
        Elisha Cook as a space lawyer. That is so cool. I’m laughing at that one.They cast all sorts of great character actors in the original Star Trek. I probably seen it. He was in everything. If he played a lawyer he would be a little off center. Good stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No kidding! Twilight Zone, I only have 2 seasons. The first was a big box set with a huuuge book detailing every episode in the series. Of Shatner himself did 2 episodes of the original Twilight Zone. A show that we were allowed to watch as kids, because it was intelligent television often with a moral or message.

          Liked by 1 person

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