#837: Freestylin’ 7 – Into Best Buy

GETTING MORE TALE #837: Freestylin’ 7 – Into Best Buy

I hadn’t set foot inside a store since March 15.  Three months later on Jun 13, I broke this long streak and went into Best Buy.

We’ve been trying to stick to essential trips, and Mrs. LeBrain was doing the groceries and other essential shopping while I worked.  Ontario entered “Phase 2” of re-opening on June 12 so it felt like a good time to see how shopping had changed.

There was no lineup, but there were clear and nicely marked spaces for you to wait outside.  At the front was a gentleman in a mask.  Even with the mask I recognized him from a previous Best Buy excursion, back before the shit hit the fan.  He asked what I was looking for that day, and I said “laptop speakers”.  He instructed me to follow the arrows on the floor until I got to the computer monitors.  You can still walk around and browse, but they are trying to keep things efficient.

Most customers wore masks but they were not mandatory.  I have chosen to wear a mask in public.  To coin a phrase from our Prime Minister, I don’t want to speak “moistly” on people.  I tend to do that.  Of course as soon as I walked in, a maskless guy was meandering against the arrows talking on his cell phone.  Of course.

Best Buy have this re-opening well in hand.  They were organized, friendly and asked us to use hand sanitizer on our way in.  After a squirt and a quick walk around, I found the exact laptop speakers I was looking for.  $27.  Cheap and simple.   Looked around a bit more, and headed for the cash registers.  No line there either.  Mission accomplished with no fuss and no muss.

New speakers in action.  Uncle Meat made fun of my porch music choice.

The Covid world definitely looks different from the pre-Covid world but I think we can deal with this.  It’s going to take patience and a willingness to play ball.  There was a story on the weekend of a man entering a mall in Guelph where masks are mandatory.  When he refused to wear one, he coughed on the mall employee and fled.  This kind of behavior is disgusting.  Retail workers have it bad enough.  I’ve had people throw things at me but never had bodily fluids fired in my direction during a pandemic.  If you think wearing a mask is infringing upon your freedom, then take a stand and don’t shop at those places.  Vote with your wallet.  Don’t cough or spit, and don’t give a retail workers a hard time.  You’re the asshole if you do.  In the meantime, I will wear my mask.  I wear it to protect you from my flying spittle when I talk.  I’m not afraid.  I care.  You’re welcome.  I don’t care if you think I look stupid or not.

I look stupid on my best days anyway.

After Best Buy, we took a drive.  Streets were busy like a normal Saturday in the summer.  You couldn’t tell anything was amiss from the roads.  Restaurants, not so much.  Meals are permitted on patios.  Places with open patios looked comfortably full to the new Covid standards.  Establishments without had empty parking lots.  Elsewhere, we saw a lineup at the Nike store that went around the building.  Must have had a sale.  I don’t need shoes that badly!

I did need shoes, actually, but then I ordered some online.  It was actually better than shopping in store.  No picking through boxes looking for my size in a style I liked.  I simply clicked the shoes I wanted, clicked the colour, and picked my size.  They fit perfectly when they arrived a few days later.  Most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned, actually.  I could get used to this.  In fact, why should I buy shoes in a store again when there is a better selection online?  I hate shopping for shoes!

Yes, the world has changed.  It will continue to change, and our old world is gone.  Look at music.  Doro Pesch played a concert to a drive-in audience, and it looked cool.  Artists are constantly live streaming chats and performances now.  We adapt.  Some restaurants, businesses and rock bands will not survive.  The economy is still being ravaged.  Most bands will not return to the concert stage until 2021.

In the meantime, people are hungry for entertainment.  Bands and record labels would be wise to release stuff from the vaults during this time.  Unreleased live recordings?  Put ‘em out.  B-sides and outtakes?  Release them.  There has never been a better time for a band to put out of a box set of rarities.  Record stores are opening and need the business.

Unless our collective mistakes cause another surge and another lockdown, I am optimistic.  We have made it through three months of this.  While in some respects we are looking at a lost summer ahead of us, I think we still have a lot to look forward to.






  1. Good to hear that u got around. Cool that u wear a mask. I got hit bad. Being let go. Not sure how to tell the kids. Faith is wavering a bit since so many are taking the hit. Faith no More’s the works just came on. Found the random albums choice on the file player and been using it a lot lately. Been listening to some interesting albums. Have even hit skip a few times. Been let go once before but that time it was the company trying to survive. That time didn’t tell anyone. This time I’m thinking about being open about this. Following your lead on that. Hope it helps. We care a lot, right? It just came on. Funny timing…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah shit. I am so sorry to hear this. Yes, a lot of people are taking the hit. I know a couple friends who lost their jobs, both are in the food service industry. Such bad timing on being let go too, with stuff just starting to open up again. I am really sorry to hear all of this.

      I would say be open about it for two reasons. One, there is no shame to be felt. Nothing you could have done to avoid this. Two, it might allow people to help you find something new.

      I wish you all the best. Believe me I worry about this stuff too. Our industry is suffering just like all of them and I’m very grateful to be working right now.


  2. Kudos to you for soldiering on and beating the bug in your own way. I think Doro might be onto something here, especially now as there are calls to ban mosh pits and crowd surfing at concerts. Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think Doro is onto something. Clearly we can’t have concerts the way we are used to for a while yet. Musicians have to work, so do their crews. Look at Deep Purple. They are releasing new T-shirts with all proceeds going to support their road crew.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great read Mikey.
    Great to see you guy’s out their giving it a go. Just take you own precautions don’t worry about what others think about the mask etc. Do what you feel is comfortable.
    Put your sunglasses on along with a hat and your mask and go Into a bank and see what happens! lol
    Have a good day Pal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great stuff Mike! We were out this weekend at the mall (I need shorts) and it wasn’t that crowded and most stores limited the number of guests inside. So you had to wait outside the store until your turn, yes it was inconvenient and yes I won’t do it very often, but it felt safe. We went in to one store that wasn’t practicing social distancing and it was crowded and people were in each others faces with no masks (we had them on) and I felt very uncomfortable and got out of there quickly. It is a different world, but we will adapt and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

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