LP: Plastic Surgery Disasters by the Dead Kennedys
1982 Statik Records STAT LP 11, Virus 27 (UK)
28 page booklet included
Favorite Track: Terminal Preppie
Ugh. There is a creep looking at me through his thick glasses. It’s like he has never seen an attractive woman standing behind a counter before. I can tell exactly what is going through his mind. Men are a strange and simple species. Sure I stand as tall as him (in my brown boots), both my hip-hugging jeans and striped shirt reveal a fair amount of feminine curve, and freckled face betrays a hint of naughtiness (what would he know I was up to last night?), but where does he get the nerve to smile at me like that? He probably thinks I am a student instead of a dropout. 25 instead of 32. Happy working in this crummy vintage store in Athens, Ohio instead of hating everything in here because vintage is just another word for jacked-up prices for junk. Single instead of complicated.
What a perv.
I should have left this town long ago. There’s nothing to do here but stay up late at the Union Bar & Grille watching We March or going to a rowdy house party to obliterate that dead feeling growing inside me like tangled weeds. However, here I am putting Smother Brothers VHS tapes next to the only decent thing in this shop: a Dead Kennedys record. I should be finding myself on the road or being myself in a large city. This kid has no idea what the future will have in store for him: the uncertainty of life hovering above (or below) waiting to suck you into its eternal void.
Oh god. He’s looking at the lingerie. And then he glanced from the changing booth to me. He is certainly a pervert and too skinny. The T-shirt he is wearing drapes him like a toga, his hair is oily, and his nose reminds me of a vulture’s beak. I can tell how he moves about the store that he is a virgin. (A few months in the future, he will ask me out during the Black Keys show at the Union. I will ask what he could possibly do for me and he will stand there with his mouth open not saying anything. I will laugh, tell him he is hopeless, then add he shouldn’t sleep with my sister cause she had a VD at the time. Two years later, I would finally move from this dead-end small town. I will throw a going away party and damn, I will invite this silly boy. I don’t know why. He hung around the periphery of my small circle of friends and he seemed lonesome at the time. I swear I had no regrets about turning this kid down. Anyways, toward the end of the party, he will try and bring up all that pointless shit up so I shut him up by telling him he is selfish and showing him the door. Once a creep, always a creep. I will have my own VD at this point and didn’t want to bring it up.)
He’s coming up to the counter now. His dirty sneakers squeak against the unpolished tile. He’s holding the one good item in the entire goddamn store: a British copy of the second Dead Kennedys album Plastic Surgery Disasters. Go figure he would have good taste. Too bad he doesn’t have a motorcycle. The cover of the album is as grotesque as the kid’s eagerness. I get the impression the kid doesn’t even own a record player but is purchasing this LP to arouse my attention. I have no problem taking his twenty dollars.
“What is your favorite track?” he asks, “Mine is Terminal Preppie. What is your name?”
I make up an answer, hand him his receipt, and give him the old we-are-done-here eyebrow raise. He shuffles up the stairs and out into noisy Court Street to become lost in the crowd of students. I sigh. There was a brightness in his eyes that was maybe charming if only in its innocence. He will become a collector, maybe even a good one. But one day, he is going to realize all his records are just empty trophies to bandage a broken heart. The poor sucker.