Things I Would Pay For

Latest column is up at the MicroSoft column. It may look familiar to you.

So I was waiting for a bus this afternoon to take me to the airport. I was standing there at the bus stop as bus after bus stopped briefly, then went on their way. At one point, I looked into the reflective sheen of one bus’s side advertisement and saw the reflection of an attractive young woman standing next to me and staring right at me. But when I looked to my left to see her… she was nowhere to be seen!

Another bus came along, and sure enough her reflection was there again! This time she was preening her long hair, using the ad space as a mirror. But yet again, when I looked over, there was no one there!

Was I seeing a ghost? If so, I was glad I was being haunted by a sexy babe. With ghosts, you never know what you might get.

It wasn’t till many minutes later that I finally figured out that I was standing in front of a glass-walled building with strange refractive qualities. When viewed slightly askew, the glass is opaque. But when viewed head-on, the glass is translucent. You guessed it: the hot babe was standing behind me and behind the weird glass. She could only be seen when the bus’s reflective surface provided a head-on reflection.

I’m sure she had no idea she was freaking me out.

Now, on that long bus ride to the airport, I had time to think about stupid things. One of them was the question, “What surprising thing would you still pay to see?” What do I mean by this? There are some obvious things I’m enough of a fan of to pay to see; for example, a good comedy show or a top movie. I no longer enjoy most forms of live music, but I would always see a good sitar player or qawwali singer. Even though Bono spat on me 25 years ago, I might pay to see U2, if you got me in a good mood. I would certain pay to see Ian Brown or a re-formed Stone Roses.

But what are the things I’m unironically a fan of, that might surprise you? Here are three:

1. Justin Timberlake – Boy can sing, boy can dance. (And I say “boy” because he was born when I was already in high school).

2. Lata Mangeshkar – Girl can sing, but girl can’t dance. (And I say “girl” because I’ma jerk like that).

3. Christopher Hitchens – Can’t stand the man, but I’m one of those folks who appreciate a good lecture. I might not agree with him a lot of the time, but I enjoy Hitch’s arguments, and would pay to hear them.

4. Kanye West – Not sure there’d be room for both of our egos in the same stadium, but I’d love to hear the little braggart live…. even if he does have a thing for fish sticks.

That’s all for today. I’m gonna watch TV. Yayyyy!


Justin Timberlake from "Jizz In My Pants"