A Cinecle View – Sue’s Crusade, Part 5: No Backsies!

Tony Marion

Tony Marion

It had been three weeks since my mother sent her letter to (REDACTED) corporate demanding that they reevaluate the in-store playlists for all 200+ of their locations and remove any songs that weren’t, in her words, “common sense” unanimously declared “songs that everyone can enjoy” by a committee of wizened grocery executives.

I had completely forgotten about her one woman war sparked by an unfortunate encounter with the last eight lines of the song “Possum Kingdom” by the Toadies thanks to a more pressing matter in my life – the elimination of my job after 13 years.

My attention had been far too focused on filling the empty hours between packets of Ramen and episodes of American Ninja Warrior to worry about Sue’s crusade. Little did I know that I was about to receive an update before the inaugural installment of “Matinee Tuesdays”, number seven on my list of ways to distract myself from staring at my declining bank balance, wedged between number six, “Waking the cat hourly from a sound sleep with a different loud noise every time just because I can” and number eight, “Filing nuisance lawsuits”.

“I was just getting to the good part of that dream about the scarface-sized mountain of catnip, asshole.”

The doorbell rang.

“Hi, how are you feeling?” my mother asked in that way that only a mother can.

“Okay. I showered today.”

“There you go!” she praised me cheerfully, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

I rolled my eyes as she took a seat on our sofa.

“So what are we watching today?”

HA! Just kidding, she’d never make it past Paul Allen. Knowing that she is a HUGE fan of both old school Star Trek and gratuitous lens flares, I decided to see how feel about JJ’s interpretation …

“Do we have time to talk for a minute before we start the movie?”

“Mom, it’s the middle of the day on a Tuesday and switching the input on the TV from HDMI1 and Judge Maybelline to HDMI2 so that we can watch Chris Pine get his Kirk on is the most I’ve moved in nearly 47 minutes. I got nothin’ but time.”

“Good. I got a call from (REDACTED) corporate about my letter.”

Suddenly, she had my undivided attention.

“It was just yesterday …” she began as her story transitioned to her living room and her cellphone ringing on a table beside her favorite chair.


“Hi, is this Sarah Barkley?”

“No, this is Sue (REDACTED)”

“Oh, my mistake; that is what it says on my notes here, Sue (REDACTED). Sue, my name is Devin McTaggart and I am the Director of Public Relations for (REDACTED) Markets, inc. and if you a minute I’d like to talk to you about your letter.”


“Okay, I want to assure you that I spoke with both, Steve, the General Manager, at our (REDACTED) location …”

“You mean Scott?”

“Oh … yes … Scott, that’s what it says here in my notes. I spoke with both Steve and our instore music, signage, and scent provider, Mood Media. Interesting fact, Mood got into the in-store music business by purchasing the Muzak corporation, do you remember Muzak, Sue?”

“Yes, but what I heard was a far cry from Muzak …”

“I know, and I apologize for that. Usually they do a great job scrubbing out songs with swears and curses and … adult subject matter. I relayed your
concerns to them, because, you know, they are really the only people that can do anything about songs like … you know, the one that offended you …”

I imagined the sigh and look of resignation when she realized that this assclown relayed her issue to the service provider followed by an insipidly upper management “NO BACKSIES” and considered his own problem solved.

“I’m glad to hear that Steve …”

“Scott …”

“Scott and one of hourly employees, Marisol …”

“Not even close …”

“… treated you well, and I will keep all of your information here so that I can update you if Mood responds, that sound okay?”


“Great, we’ll do. Thank you for shopping (REDACTED) Markets, you have a great rest of your day.”

As much as I disagreed with her goal, I felt bad for her having come so far only to be hot-potatoed off to an even larger faceless corporation by what I can only imagine was the medium-grocery equivalent of this guy …

“I’m gonna need you to bother Mood Media from now instead of me, if you could go ahead and do that, that’d be greeeeeat.”

Back in my living room, I was actually a little bummed for her.

“So, you got your wish; they’re not going to do anything,” she said with an upbeat attitude.

“Probably not. But regardless of whether I agree with your motives, I am proud of you for sticking with it.”

“Thanks, hon, that means a lot.”

We hugged it out; all of the tension of the last several weeks gone in an instant.

“Can I use your bathroom quick before we start the movie?”

“Yeah, sure. I have to wake up Leo, anyway.”


“Because it’s number six.”

Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.

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