Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Dangerous Minds

When we were kids, we really liked Coolio. Who didn't in 1995/1996? Gangsta's Paradise was the shit. Naturally, my brothers and I wanted the Dangerous Minds soundtrack.

We begged my dad to allow us to buy a "Parental Advisory" CD. Fuck you, Tipper Gore. My dad made us write an essay on why we should own it.

We put our heads together and wrote the best bullshit I've probably ever written in my life.

"The Dangerous Minds soundtrack is an important piece of art. It provides a window into the lives of people who have different lives. It is a good complement to a movie I have never seen about education and crime and poverty. I think you should let us buy this CD."

My dad relented.

We went to the Sam Goody at the Cerritos Towne Center and I went straight for the Rap section. There it was. Michelle Pfieffer being a Breatharian on the cover in a leather jacket and red lipstick. My mind, friends, was getting into dangerous territory.

Dad escorted us to the cash register where some thirty something year old nerd looked at my purchase then back at my dad and said, "You let your kids listen to this filth? They should be listening to Hootie and the Blowfish." I don't think my dad was embarrassed or anything because he said something like, "They wrote a very thought out essay about why it was a necessary purchase." Or maybe he said, "Fuck you, chump. Just take their money."

The mustachioed music gestapo rolled his eyes and allowed us to pay $19.88 for the soundtrack. That's what CDs cost back then. What a scam.

It wasn't long until my brothers and I did something to merit losing our Dangerous Minds privileges. It was a good thing that we backed up the CD to cassette tape because as punishment for whatever sin we committed, he made us return Dangerous Minds in exchange for Hootie and the Blowfish. My dad was a Stalinist for creative and funny punishments.

Lo and behold, the same rules nerd checked us out on the exchange. When I gave him the Hootie and the Blowfish CD to exchange for it, he tapped on the jewel case and said to us, "You see? This is real music."

Hootie and the Blowfish is so irrelevant that it's not even a punchline anymore. We never got that Dangerous Minds soundtrack back but my folks also didn't make us write essays for the shit we wanted. If we had the money for it, we were welcome to take the bus to the record store to get it on our own.

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