School vacation week is over. For 9 last week, the Aquarium was overrun with an incredible amount of guests because Boston Public Schools were off. Due to the large crowds, a tent was set up to protect those waiting in line from winter. There was a video screen in the tent for the last vacation, this go around it was decided to just have music. The idea of hearing the same songs repeat over and over all day was not a new one for me.
While working at Back to the Future, there were a variety of positions you could be placed in. The greeter position was located at the main entrance of the attraction, where, well, you greet people and answer the stupidest of their questions. It is your duty to tell people that their kids do not meet the height requirement, the wait really is that long, they have to finish their ice cream before going inside and most frequently, where the nearest bathroom was. But that's not the worst part. The worst part was the music.
The powers that be at Universal Studios Hollywood (the entertainment capital of L.A. ... sorry, force of habit) once decided that the same 13 upbeat songs will play on a loop. From opening to closing in Future Plaza, there was no break from the designatd playlist except during the Christmas season (approximately November 1 - January 15). The rest of the year, we were stuck with the following songs:
Shakira - Suerte, The Romantics - What I Like About You, Enrique Iglesias - Escape (en Espanol), Ricky Martin - Loaded, Christina Aguilera - Come on Over, The Wonders - That Thing You Do, Bob Seger - Old Time Rock and Roll, Jennifer Pena - Besame, Kenny Loggins - I'm Alright (theme from "Caddyshack"), Katrina and the Waves - Walking on Sunshine, some unknown Spanish Marc Anthony song, The Gogo's - We Got the Beat, and finally, Three Dog Night - Joy to the World.
Each time you were sent to a new position it was for a minimum of one hour and that was if your rotation was made on time, which it usually wasn't. It took approximately 45 minutes to get through all of those songs, so by the time you were rotated out, you likely heard several of them more than once. Since I worked there for over three years, I personally heard each of these songs enough times to have choreographed individual dance moves for each beat. I didn't really - but I could have. In the days before Rock Band was a video game, I would sometimes play along on air drums with That Thing You Do to see if I missed my calling as a rocker.
When you're out there too long, you get something I like to call, "the mix tape prediction syndrome". You know the feeling. When you have a mix tape that has random songs in a certain order, and you listen to it enough, that when you hear one of said songs on the radio, you are expecting the next song from the mix to come on next. It worked that way at Future. For the longest time, I couldn't hear Come on Over without thinking That Thing You Do should be on next. It's a good thing I never listened to Come on Over outside of work.