ATHENS, GA–Captivated by her adorability and off-the-charts hipness, the U.S. populace sheepishly admitted a deep infatuation with 22-year-old Danielle Metzler, that amazing girl with the multi-colored hair who works at Slipped Discs in Athens.
"God, she is so fucking unbelievably cute," Sam Kiefer of Euclid, OH, said Monday. "The last time she was wearing these super-tight silver pants and this rhinestone-studded New York Dolls half-shirt, and I was just like, 'Wow.'"
Metzler was first spotted at Slipped Discs, an independently owned store stocked with a wide selection of indie rock, hip-hop, electronica, and otherwise hard-to-find music, in September 1999. Ever since, the nation has had a major crush on the girl.
"[Metzler] works at the coolest record store in Athens, and she's totally up on all the latest stuff," said Ryan Griggs, 48, a television repairman from Salem, OR. "You have no idea how many people go in there every day and buy some obscure Go-Betweens B-sides collection or the latest Stephin Merritt side project just to try to impress her."
Griggs recently purchased Toby Dammit's vinyl-only Gopher Edits EP–a highly successful move which prompted Metzler to ask about the record.
"I couldn't believe it," Griggs said. "For 45 glorious seconds, it was just me and her talking about bands like Tipsy and Jazzanova."
Residents of the Florida panhandle admitted that their own attempts to impress Metzler were less successful.
"I heard her talking to someone about these great new Boredoms remixes, so I bought the one by U.N.K.L.E.," Pensacola's Andy Nichols said. "I don't even own a single original Boredoms album, but I now have an import remix I paid $30 for."
Continued Nichols: "When she was ringing up the U.N.K.L.E. thing, I said, 'These are supposed to be really good.' So she says, 'Yeah, but if you're not going to get them all, the DJ Krush is really the one to go with.' I was like, oh, great. But then she gave me this really big smile, and it was all worth it."
Upon discovering they were not the only ones with a long-standing crush on Metzler, residents of the Midwest came forward with their own tales of longing for the girl, sharing everything from the time she wore that really tight Le Tigre T-shirt to the time she danced to Cheap Trick's "Southern Girls" as it played on the store's stereo.
"Once, she was reaching up to grab a CD for a customer, and I noticed maybe half an inch of leopard-print underwear peeking out of the back of her hip-huggers," said Carl Mills, a Beloit, WI, truck driver. "That was a year ago, and I still remember it."
Josh Starkes of Boise, ID, is among the few Americans who know the girl's name.
"I was hanging around the store one afternoon, and I heard one of her coworkers say, 'Hey, Dani, could you grab me a few of the new Dirty Three/Low from the back?'" Starkes recalled. "Turns out, her name is Danielle, but she goes by 'Dani,' and sometimes even 'Dan.' On the employee-suggestion rack, it says, 'Dan's Pick Of The Week.' I mean, how cool is that?"
According to millions of Americans, unlike many of the other clerks at Slipped Discs, Metzler never asks if you need help finding anything. Even if you make it obvious that you are struggling to find a particular record, she will remain by the front counter, talking and laughing with a select crowd of visitors.
"I was in there, and I recognized this one guy talking to her as the lead singer from [Athens band] Corky Thatcher," said Dave Douglas of Riverside, CA. "I can never figure out if all these people hanging out are her actual friends or just people she's deemed cool enough to talk to her. And, if the latter is the case, how do I become one of those people? Oh, who am I kidding? I don't stand a chance."
Despite such insecurities, the people of Southern California say the mixture of desire and insecurity associated with a trip to Slipped Discs is "exhilarating."
"I wanted to get the first Modern Lovers album, but I didn't want her to know I didn't already own it," said Jody Osbourne of San Diego. "To cover up, I told her some big, long story about how my friend is such a jerk because he borrowed it a long time ago and never gave it back. When I was done with this four-minute spiel, she just said, 'I hate Jonathan Richman.' I wanted to curl up in a ball and die."
While it's unknown whether Metzler has a boyfriend, the American people have always assumed she does.
"Whenever I see her out at a show, she's always surrounded by this pack of slim-hipped, good-looking hipster guys," said Jesse Avery of Roseville, MI. "She's never hanging on any one in particular, but one of them has got to be her boyfriend."
The nation has no plans to try to advance its relationship with Metzler beyond that of customer and clerk, saying it prefers to worship her from afar.
"She's way out of my league, and even if I could get her to like me–which I couldn't–it would only cause problems," said Earl Shaw, 36, a Gulfport, MS, actuary. "When a girl has so many guys fawning over her, she's bound to want her way with everything."
Continued Shaw: "That is, unless she was sick of all the rock 'n' roll assholes she dates and was ready for someone who doesn't fit into that mold. Maybe she is. Maybe she's looking for someone a little smarter than those guys–someone like me."
Shaw added that maybe he could even learn to play bass guitar.
Informed of the nation's crush, Metzler shrugged her shoulders. "That's cool," she said, "but lately I've been more into British guys." She then returned to sorting CDs.