In a recent conversation about LaVerde’s, one of my faithful followers, Gico Nuida, told me that one of his favorite parts about trips to LaVerde’s is the awesome 90’s music that’s always playing when he walks in there. In contrast to the monotonous polyline trimming in a dark, cold CRON room, this music always brings him a welcomed distraction, nay, entertainment. He’s experienced at least one awkward moment where he and a staff worker there have started simultaneously singing the chorus of the current song together. It’s hard not to start singing to those catchy tunes that transport you from the MIT campus commotion back to a (likely) happier time and place of your youth, free from Rhinos, Grasshopper, Ladybug, Python —to put it succinctly, in an animal-free zone, full of bed-times and regular home-cooked meals.
For me, I generally heard pop 90’s tunes on the radio on the bus home from school. I’d be sitting in the back of the bus, leaning against the window, my knees pressed up against the hot, sticky brown leather seat back in front of me with my off-brand backpack from Wegmans beside me. There was undoubtedly a thick paperback book leaning against my plaid-skirt-uniform-covered legs. Happily engrossed in the pages of my book, my only fear to worry about was the feeling of emptiness I would feel when I finished the book before my dad had time to take my sisters and me to Media Play to get another one.
It was this blissful happiness that was brought back to me today when I heard a familiar 90’s tune playing at LaVerde’s.
This evening I walked into LaVerde’s to grab some food for my Saturday night Rhino sesh. I had my mind set on the Stouffer’s microwaveable Lasagna. The song playing was “Spiderwebs” by No Doubt. Just picture me navigating through the frozen food aisle boppin my head and gettin in step with Gwen Stefani raging “Leave a message and I’ll call you back!”
And then as I made my way up to the register, a few other students chimed in on the lines “I scree-ee-ee-een my phone calls. No matter matter matter matter who calls, I screeeeen my phone calls”. It even looked like they threw in a few choreographed spins into the chip aisle. As I selected some reliable mini rolos from the candy wall, I turn around to see the three cashiers each open the registers in unison to the beat. Impressed, I watched as they let the line of customers get longer as two of them lifted the smallest one into the air, spinning her while she tossed change at the Dropbox-Tshirt-clad student who grabbed his 2 red bulls from the counter and cartwheeled out of the store. Overtaken by the power of the 1995 hit single, I stepped in beat up to the register to pay, just as two trombonists popped up from behind the sandwich counter, rotating their horns left to right in synchronism. Then they slowly sunk back down below the corner, de-crescendoing while I walked out as the song ended. The whole things was surreal. But that’s LaVerde’s for you.
I’ll leave this here for you to enjoy. Note: This song also reminds us that stalking is not ok. Don’t be that guy!-or girl!
And this is generally how it is in LaVerde’s.