A 20-something male stood ahead of me in the checkout line, his face impaled by a variety of piercings. He wore all black, including a toasty-looking winter hat, and appeared to be pretty pissed off. I did not judge him in the least for his appearance, however, or I like to think I didn't. No, the judging came from the fact that he was playing heavy metal music on his phone at maximum volume in the middle of a store. No earbuds for this fella.
This guy was hardcore. He didn't adhere to social norms. He didn't care what anyone thinks. Sure he was buying a pint of Ben & Jerry's, but that's only because his mother specifically told him not to. And anyway, it wasn't a popular flavor.
The cashier and other customers glared at him, shaking their heads. The thing is, these dirty looks only fueled the fire. It was like watching people feed a bear at the zoo. He was aiming for shock value, and they weren't disappointing. One song finished, and another one started. It was then that I made a quick executive decision.
I discretely pulled my phone from my pocket and Shazaamed that shit.
"Godsmack fan, huh? Sweet. I love them!" I nodded at him excitedly, still holding a pack of Angel Soft and a corn-bristled broom (good for indoor and outdoor use).
The Godsmack enthusiast looked at my khaki shorts, side ponytail, and grocery items and winced. He was probably asking himself the age old question: "If a dork like her likes Godsmack, is Godsmack still hardcore?"
Within seconds, he switched off the music on his phone. I can only hope it was because I created in him an effect similar to when my mom would try to listen to the music I liked in middle school.
All-in-all, I'd call my Walmart trip a success.