I Prefer Muzak

How often do you leave a store because the piped-in music is unbearable?

A shoe store on Broadway broadcasts techno-y dance music at such a painful volume, shopping there makes me want to throw stilettos at sales clerks and kick over displays. I won't cross the threshold anymore, not even for a blowout sale on Adidas.

A middle-of-the-road ladies' clothing store had me running for the door yesterday, due to non-stop treacly girly pop (pap) that must have tested well with the doped-on-Valium sweater set crowd. (Sample lyrics, set to a gently strummed, mind-numblingly repetitive 1 / 4 / 5 / 4 chord sequence: "You and me, by the sea, that's where we'll be, you and me....")

A higher end clothing store featured a live DJ and compelled me to wear earplugs as I shopped. No, I didn't wear earplugs; I just left.

And yet, I will linger at the grocery store on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn to hum along to the oldies. Good, solid, old oldies. There's always a chorus of singing shoppers, voices ricocheting off aisles of overpriced cereal and mediocre produce.