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Looks like another example of Shinma being stuck with the old tech, as Toast selects some tunes via the ride’s cassette deck. On the other hand, in our present-day world the cassette has proven itself to have some resilient cultural cachet among the hip. For one thing, among regular folks who don’t have specialized equipment, it’s a real-time operation to copy and make mixtapes, leading to a bit more intimate, handmade feeling than arranging a playlist on a computer screen. It’s also got an undeniably distinct sound, which ever so gradually gets softer with each play. Personally, I prefer the clarity of other formats, but there’s definitely a strong sentimental feeling to cassette tapes.

We get our first glimpse inside the concession area of the Belladonna Theatre, which is pretty much identical to the same area of the theater I worked in as a 16-year-old, the historic Belle Meade Theatre. I mainly remember it as an immensely quiet place – primarily because of the lack of crowds due to prolonged mismanagement by the parent company – yet it was enlivened by the odd and funny crew who’d been assembled to operate it. Definitely lots of stories to tell from that era, but it’ll be a while before I can get to any of them, as this is just the beginning of a road trip.

In the same era from which these setting details spring, I was driving that old Corolla I mentioned previously. It had a tape deck, but due to some haphazard wiring, the playback speed was somewhat variable depending on the speed of the car itself. This phenomenon seemed to be particularly noticeable in cold weather.

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