Little David was forced into a jukebox apprenticeship. Yes it involved years of study and practice. Tearing jukeboxes apart and putting them back together. Dusting them inside and out. Counting all the records and then counting them again.

But it also involved being forced into a jukebox itself. Crammed inside one against his will, Little David spent two weeks pulling records for patrons of the Yellow Bench All-Nite Cafeteria. Quickly counting coins while cuing up Chicago singles brought Little David a richer understanding of what a jukebox is really up against. It made him recognize all the advantages his birth had provided him that he had taken for granted.

He thought about, for perhaps the first time, the thousands of hunched over men toiling inside jukeboxes all over the country. He felt their fears. Not of being obsoleted by iPods and musical greeting cards, but of being replaced wholesale by modified garbage disposals with brooms strapped to their side.

Little David came to understand the craft of jukeboxes. He came to appreciate the devotion they engender. And, finally, he understood the sense of duty only men who spend their adult lives hunched over inside jukeboxes or standing inside public washroom stalls counting each square of toilet paper as it's used, can.

Chris Weagel

Chris Weagel writes about the intersection of technology and parenting for Wired Magazine. No he doesn't. He can't stand that shit.

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