The jukebox was going on strike. He had spent too many cold Minnesota winters in the corner of this dive bar in Minneapolis. Back in the gold old days, when people still smoked and wore polyester, he liked being a jukebox and helping people to get their grove on. Now he was lost amidst the sea of undergraduate hipsters majoring in some vague degree that fell under the umbrella of “liberal arts.”
In the winters, they would stumble over to him, their feel wet with the mush of snow and mud that would seep underneath his grill and sit like a cesspool. They chose songs for him to play that they would make fun of instead of enjoy. And no one danced anymore.
So, he was going on strike. This was it, he was going to stop playing music. Eventually, the manager would call the repairman who would jiggle some of his innards and say, ultimately, that nothing could be done. Then he could be transported to a dump, maybe settle down with some nice VW Beetle or a Volvo and have little scrap metal babies.
And then she came in.
Standing at five feet, four inches, she was nothing incredible. Just a normal looking Midwestern blonde with boots and a winter jacket. She carefully removed both her boots and jacket and carefully pulled out a pair of dry, clean, blue suede Minnetonka moccasins in a size six and a half.
She walked over to the jukebox and looked down upon him with blue eyes filled with reverence for a time long past. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out two quarters. As she leaned forward to make her selection, her pelvis gently caressed his hard plastic exterior. He fluttered shades of neon at her touch. She inserted her coins forcefully, one after another and with great purpose and ceremony, pushed the letter “D” and the number “7” in quick succession.
His strike was over. “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” as sung by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts blasted from his bellows. The young woman made everything from the blue moccasins up move, swerve and gyrate to the music in such a perfect way, the jukebox couldn’t help but play the song over and over even though she failed to put in any more coins.
For the first time in his electronic life, the jukebox felt joy.