GREEN  1.2           Listening to Music the Stan Keaton Way

      What Stan had heard whilst under the spell of Larry King was the sound of Susan laughing at the latest updates to his three star web site,, AKA 'Listening to Music the Stan Keaton Way'. As soon as Stan had faxed off his McCartney/Jagger review to Flatliner, he had aesthetically cleansed himself by posting a much different account of the day to his weblog.

      “Hello kiddies. Let me tell you, today has been a pretty fine day for Mister Stanley B Keaton. First thing this AM, the UPS truck pulls up and pulls into the Keaton driveway with a nice fat package of corporate collectibles. Yeah I know, the same as almost every other day. I bet that you think this is something I actually look forward to, don’t you? How tragically wrong you are. My stomach ties up in knots sometimes, that’s the reality of the situation. What sort of garbage am I gonna be faced with today? There are times when I can barely bring my trembling fingers to open up those beige UPS bags and boxes.”
      “But today, ahh, today was very special. Wahoo! I got me a couple advance copies of Paul McCartney's 'Driving Rain' and Mick Jagger's 'Goddess in the Doorway'. White label, that’s what we called them back in the day. Needless to say, I was Holy Roller excited.”
      "I’m sure that you haven’t had the opportunity to hear these excellent new releases yet. You know, just between you and me, these particular disks won't arrive in the stores for – I don’t know -  several weeks. The artwork isn’t even finished. The companies send you advance advance copies when they want you to do a feature instead of a short review… So to synopsize, this was a particularly thrilling object d'art to have placed upon my humble doorstep. Oh yes indeed. Especially if you are a true die-hard fan of these pathetic plodding old dinosaurs. Like I am..."
      "Right, right, now don’t you desert me, people, stay with me. In spite of your justifiable cynicism, I do want to sincerely assure you that I was terribly thrilled at receiving these particular disks. The truth of the matter is that I could hardly wait for ‘Kalimba's New and Used Compact Disk Emporium’ to open for the day. You see, Cal and I have a tight relationship that goes all the way back to the Eighties, back into the distant past. I'm old and I am wise – as I’ve often mentioned - and if there's one thing that Cal and I both recognize and capitalize on, it's the fact that there is absolutely nothing hotter in the whole wide world of rock and roll paraphernalia than advance copies of brand spanking new releases by useless old superstars."
      "And do you know who buys this crap at  premium prices? Well, Cal for one, and I got me a few crisp new Jacksons to prove it. But then Cal – he’s no dummy – he turns around and sells them for even bigger bucks to these nerdy twenty-somethings who need to be the first one in the neighborhood to posses these tawdry treasures…
      “You should take a gander at these guys! This is one sad and sorry group of individuals. Calvin has all of their names in a little red sucker book that he keeps stashed right behind the cash register. I’m telling you, anything that reeks of Beatles or Stones, Cal gets these guys on the horn and lets ‘em fight over the price like Jersey housewives at Filene’s Basement. These disks are round shiny heroin to the geek squad. Mac and Mick. Music by people who were over and done with before these little nerds were even born."
      “The happy bottom line is that everybody ends up feeling pretty good about their busy day. My old buddy Cal gets some very easy cash and a chance to close shop early. I get lunch at the fabulous Super China Buffet and a carton of smokes and I still have more than enough left over to finance Happy Hour, top shelf style. And some kid, nostalgic for a past he never knew, gets to pay big bucks for something that my buddy Cal, your buddy Stan, and you yourself, dear reader, would never think of listening to unless someone were to pay you."

      The irony, of course, was that someone actually did have to pay Stan Keaton, and Stan really did have to listen. But it was his deeply held professional conceit that he was under no obligation to enjoy the experience.