Tuesday, April 11, 2017


I am a long standing customer of the International House of Pancakes. I was in their establishment in La Mirada, California regularly during my five years in college. I crammed a four year major into five.

After an evening of bowling or shooting pool, my friends and I would end the night at the local IHOP. In those days they still had German potato pancakes with sour cream or apple sauce on the menu. We guys tipped heavy, and the waitresses saved "mistakes" for us. Life was good.

So, it is with some years of experience that I suggest that IHOP needs to reconsider their policy of controlling every detail of the chain from corporate headquarters. I am talking now about the background music in IHOP.

The boys in the $700 office chairs in Glendale,  California decide what music we get in Texas. They think they know what we like, but they are totally out of touch. Texans are quite tolerant of dumb people as a rule, but when they sit down to eat, and some fluff head comes on wailing like she is in ER trying to pass a kidney stone, that is NOT Texas music.

My wife and I usually go to IHOP in the mid afternoon. This is the hour when the place is least crowded, and it is the hour of the old timers. We do not like to hear this moaning and wailing along with our waffles. Indeed, when I was growing up back in Oklahoma, along the Canadian River, when we had a horse wailing like those singers the IHOP gurus prefer, we shot that horse and put it out of its misery.

Now, I did my research in several local IHOPs, and I learned that there is only one music channel, and the manager has no choice what is played. This music is brought in on the Internet, as I understand it, and there is NO reason IHOP corporate could not send five channels.

Add country music for Texas and Oklahoma, and add Big Band era music. Then, there is '50s era, and you might be surprised at what some of your locations would find if you had Mariachi Mexican music for cities like El Paso and San Antonio. These would be infinitely more popular in Texas and the whole Southwest for that matter.

Now, it is always a good thing to sell an idea to corporate gurus by using their bottom line. What does the whining moaning sexual innuendo music do to many people? It makes them eat in a rush to escape from the place. That may seem clever. McDonalds tried that in the 1980s, along with bright orange, red, and yellow decor. It worked, but it assured them that they lost the old timers. When we eat in a rush, we get a horrible knot in our stomachs.

I notice that IHOP has toned down the decor in recent years. That is smart. It lets people feel like they can eat more leisurely and chat with the people around them. The place becomes a bit of a social club, which makes people want to go back. It also means they eat slower and may hang around for the dessert. So, give these people music to relax to. They will leave more cash in your register when they exit.

You boys in Glendale do not understand your customers as well as you imagine. Get you ever loving posteriors out of California, run the roads of America, and see what your managers would like. They know the local culture far better than you guys do. 

The waitress this afternoon told us her manager had begged for a music alternative, even to corporate gurus, and her manager was told to just deal with it.

Now, having roasted IHOP well done, I hasten to add that local super markets have the same problem. Older customers shop for their list of groceries, and in the background wails a horny dude with an ruptured hernia. The pain can be literally felt by the shoppers. This causes the shopper to hurry up, pass up all those sucker sales the store posts, and rush out the door.

I do not know who makes the choices of background music these days, but they must think they will make all their profit off of millennials and rug rats. The rest of us are grinding our teeth.

There, I have that off my chest.

I must say, I did hear one song that had a real message to it this afternoon in IHOP. It was the following, and if it is true it gives me hope for the present generation. Back in my day, every girl was indeed crazy about a sharp dressed men. 

In recent years, I have seen so many photos of the splendid Hollywood couple making their grand entrance. The starlet is dressed to the nines in an expensive dress, what there is of it, designed by some French queer, and the dude escorting her is dressed in Goodwill dumpster rejects, and he has three days of stubble that needs to be shaved off.

If every girl in America would demand that the guy who comes knocking be sharp dressed again, I would have hope for the future of American culture. No more grungy baseball cap on backwards, nor trousers down around their knees, and no T-shirt with the F word front and back.


I need to go take a nap after watching that drummer.

All the rest of the music at IHOP this afternoon was either vulgar, grim, or painful.