In order to help out a friend, who is, in turn, helping out someone else I know (from the world of both showbiz and reading his blog), I set out this lunchtime to find a particular track. It's the theme tune to a radio programme, which I'd been asked if I had a copy of, and didn't. Getting hold of a single track should be easy these days, what with the likes of iTunes and other music download services. However, when you're making some sort of use of the track, the copyright issue, which you can resolve by paying PRS, becomes an arse. The download services use digital rights management, and this, essentially, makes it excessively inconvenient to use the track for anything other than putting into your ears.
The advantage of looking for a track which is also a radio programme theme tune, is that it should be on a wide variety of CDs. So going round the local record shops, should be quite fruitful. There are a lot of possible positive results in the search. This is a good thing.
Farnborough, however, is a soulless backwater populated by what I can only describe as a bunch of freakish mutants, whose idea of an economy is firmly pitched in the region of lowest common denominator. Any shops that might have sold CDs were selling either top ten discs, or a random small collection of nothingness. Indeed, the ghoulish denizens of the place are probably frightened of the shiny discs that play songs they might not have heard recently on the strange singing box.
I thought I could play my trump card and go to the charity shops, which are more dense in one street in North Camp (on the outskirts of Farnborough) than I've seen in any other street anywhere else. I duly went to these shops and looked through all their CDs. The track was nowhere to be found. I was frustrated and annoyed. If Farnborough people could lift themselves out of the neanderthal mindset, perhaps the laws of supply and demand might create an economy which provided more than just sportswear (that is never used for sport) and pastry, with the occasional health food shop, selling healthy goods ironically.
Getting back to my desk, upset that my mission had been a failure, I started to ask around some of my online contacts. I thought of sending my sister, who lives in London, where they have proper shops, which stock more than just the basics, to go and have a look for me. Ordering online would, of course have been possible, but that would have taken some delivery time. I want it on CD, not in encrypted form, so that I can rip it to mp3 and send it to my friend. I was down.
I also contacted another friend and, while I was contacting him, I just had a quick second search on my computer, found the file, and sent it to the original requester before this last person could respond. The conversation went:
Me: Have you got so and so?
Hang on. I've just found it. I'm a tosspot.
Him: No. I didn't have it anyway.
Me: Er... do you want it?
So. Mission a success, no thanks to this godawful place that I'll probably not want to return to after my job here reaches its natural end, a week on Friday. However, I could have avoided the mission by just searching my computer properly. What a tosspot! Farnborough's probably better off without me.