Stream: The Advent of Lousy Music
Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to read could be true. The names and locations have not been changed to protect the innocent.
There are no innocents.
You’re a detective sergeant. You’re assigned to Domestic Division. You get a call of a major disturbance with possible violence at a high rise on the Upper East Side. There’s no telling what you might find when you get there. Your job … maintain order.
It was Wednesday, November 24th, the day after Thanksgiving. Black Friday, they call it. I was working the Night Watch out of Domestic Division. My partner was out sick with turkey poisoning. My name’s Briggs. I’d just come out of the last remaining Te Amo where I had bought a small cigar. It was 7:18 P.M. when I got my first call.
I arrived at 642 East 60th at 8:22 P.M. and was shown to the thirteen floor by a nervous doorman. He didn’t need to tell me which apartment. You could hear the loud banging as soon as the elevator door opened.
The door wasn’t locked. I went in.
“Sir, may I ask what you’re doing with that hammer?”
“Killing this radio. What does it look like?” He demonstrated by hitting the radio again.
“For what reason, sir?”
“Because it was playing Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time! by Paul McCartney.”
We had been warned this might happen. A Departmental criminologist earlier briefed patrols that the composer of this tune belonged to the Bruce Springsteen school of song writing. Pick a lyric, repeat it endlessly ad nauseam over and over and over and over again forever and ever and keep on signing it so that the listener is forced into a violent reaction.
Before I could ask another question, from the remnant of the radio came a squeaky but recognizable Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time! The man clobbered what was left with a chair.
All became silent. The man visibly relaxed.
“I’m going to let you go with a warning, sir. Try not to listen to the radio or television before December 24th. It’s Christmas then, sir. It’s Advent now. Now is a time for sober reflection in anticipation of a tremendous and unique spiritual event. The birth of our Lord. The time for bad music will come, sir.”
I took the elevator down. Before I could exit through the revolving door the second call came in. A possible jumper just four blocks north. It was 8:37 P.M.
I arrived on scene at 9:08 P.M…
Deck them halls and click this link to read the rest.