Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
March 29th, 2016
Random Loiterer #1: There's a comic here called Story Of My Tits. Me-ow.
Me: It's about surviving breast cancer.
RL 1: That sounds in.tense.
Me: I would imagine.
Random Loiterer #2: Look, they have Richie Rich! I used to have Richie Rich Underoos.
RL 1: You should wear them when we get home.
RL 2: They'd be a little snug.
RL 1: Especially when you read the tits book!
They are now arguing with each other about whether or not Snoopy is "sending the wrong message" to their friend's three year old daughter.
I am astounded they have a friend.
I'm not the type of person who crowdfunds books or tours but I'm thinking of starting an Indiegogo for my impending bail money for the day I finally snap and beat Tone Deaf Beatles Guy to death with his guitar.
Or, alternately, use the funds to purchase him a one way plane ticket to Abu Dhabi.
The Mrs Fletcher Of Cats
About three years ago, I agreed to catsit a couple of geriatric cats for a friend while he looked for a new apartment. I did not want additional cats, as Selina and Motherfucker are already Too Many Cats.
After about six months (of the two weeks I was supposed to be watching the cats), I noticed one of the cats (Zion) was walking stiffly. I called the previous owner. We decided to take the cat to the vet, and while we waited, the cat tried to jump on a bench and had a bad fall. When we got the cat carrier, he just gave up, and died before the cab arrived.
Since Zion died, the other cat, Zeke, has been super cuddly. He sleeps on my arm most nights. He follows me around a good portion of the time. He is what I assume optimistic people are hoping for when they get a cat. Whereas Motherfucker is a loyal cat who likes people but would rather sleep on your leg than be cuddled. And, Selina is a loud, furry, novelty siren that wants to be petted, but almost certainly not the way you are currently petting her.
Today, Zeke was hanging out in the hallway, and I called him over, and on his way, he went down hard. Both of the other cats, ran into the hallway and started nuzzling him, and I, of course,completely melted down, figuring, well, my cat is about to die.
I picked him up, brought him over to the bed. Spent an hour cuddling with him as he purred, and then, because I needed to get work done, I picked him up and put a pillow down near the food dishes so he could be comfortable.
Well, it turns out, he's actually fine. That this might have been akin to a human stumbling because their foot fell asleep.
I'm going to hold off on taking him to the vet unless he falls again because he has also melted on to the floor when I've brought out the carrier. Selina and Motherfucker don't like it but they don't shut down. And I'd rather have an old, happy cat whose health I'm not completely sure about, then an old cat who dies of stress because humans need to diagnose and try to treat everything.
Zeke is somewhere between 18 and 4,000 years old. He's probably going to lose his balance every once in a while.
May your next meltdown be so premature that it seems funny and unnecessary once you step away from it. May that project you're so freaked out about finishing on time have a deadline a month after the one you wrote down. May it turn out that your missing wallet wasn't stolen but is in a pair of pants you forgot you wore yesterday, and may it have twenty more dollars than you remembered. May it turn out that the person you opened up to who never texted you back had lost their phone, and they feel so guilty about not replying in a timely fashion that they buy you your favorite dinner. May it all be okayer than you imagined when you woke up this morning.
Between Two Books
A random loiterer with a particularly sparkly coat and the sort of sunglasses that would make Elton John say "You, sir, have crossed The Line." wanders into the hallway, where I am eating dinner. He paws through our free previews and cards advertising upcoming comic events, reading each of the dates out loud.
Seeing as it is my break, I walk away.
About fifteen minutes later, I come back into the store.
Ostentatious Elton John: "How much are these books?"
My Boss: "Where did you find these?"
OEJ: "They were with the back issues."
MB: "No. Did you take these out of a box?"
OEJ: "There were with the back issues."
OEJ: "With the Army at War and the westerns and the ducks and mice comics." (Those would be Disney.)
MB: "In a box? Because these aren't priced."
OEJ: "No. Not in a box."
MB: "Ok. Why don't you show me where you found them."
OEJ walks over to the pile of boxes, and opens one.
OEJ: "They were between these two books."
MB: "In a box."
OEJ; "I guess."
MB: "I haven't had time to price these yet. Are you looking to buy them?"
OEJ: "Yes. I have two of these already, and I want to make a set."
MB: "You have two of these?"
MB: "Ok." He looks through the Overstreet guide, checks EBay and Amazon. "They're about ten dollars apiece."
OEJ: "So I have twenty bucks at home!"
MB gives him his slightly more judgmental but less rageful version of My Glare. It almost looks like concern. It isn't.
MB: "Do you want to buy one of these?"
OEJ: "Oh no."
OEJ walks back over to the boxes.
MB: "If you could....not look in the boxes, and, instead, look at the things on the shelves. What's in the boxes haven't been priced yet."
OEJ: "Ok." as he continues to go through the boxes.
I start walking around the store doing inventory.
OEJ: "How much is this one?"
MB: "It's not for sale yet. What's in the boxes aren't ready for sale."
OEJ: "How much is it?"
MB: "It's Not For Sale."
OEJ: "But when it's ready, how much is it?"
MB: "Peter. Stop. They're not for sale."*
OEJ: "But when they are for sale."
The phone rings. My Boss answers it.
MB: "Adam, could you watch the comm?"
OEJ: "How much--"
Me: "I have no idea. If it doesn't have a price sticker on it, I can't sell it to you or tell you how much it costs. It's information I don't have."
He reasks his question a few more ways before leaving.
My Boss hangs up the phone and sighs.
Me: "You know his name?"
My Boss: "Yea." He sighs. "I do."
Entitled Jackass From New York: "Hey, I haven't been in here in twenty years. Where are this week's books?"
Me: "Welcome back. Our back wall is all our recent issues, and we have a list of this week's releases right behind me here."
EJFNY: "They aren't lined up by week?"
Me: "Nope. We don't have the space."
EJFNY: "My store just lines them up so I can bap bap bap bap bap."
Me: "Well, we don't have the space to do that. But there's a list behind me. And if you pick up your comics I can tell you which are from this week, and which aren't."
EFJNY: "Well, then I'm going to accidentally buy books I already have."
Me: "Can't help you there. All I can do is tell you when a book you've picked up is from a previous week."
EFJNY: "You need to change the layout of your store."
Me: "We. Don't. Have. The. Space. And this has been working for us for over forty years. You are first person I've ever heard complain about this."
EFJNY: "Well, I can't deal with this."
Leaves the store.
I start angrily typing.
Random Loiterer: "Did that guy just came in and complain to you that he is too lazy to remember which comics he already owns?"
Me: "I didn't even think of that."
Because I was imagining the poor people in his regular store, having to interact with him every week, and theorizing how I could beat that guy to death with a hammer in exchange for them beating one of our annoying irregulars with a hammer, and how we could provide alibis for each other.
But I slowly put the hammer down. No. No. I released it. Newly. This week. This week's new release is a hammer, laid down gently.
I've been avoiding the large CVS in Harvard Square because it is clearly managed by ADD lemurs with nasty cocaine habits. There will be a line of fifteen people, one employee behind a cash register, seven closed cash register, two employees lazily stocking Vitamin Water that I've never seen anyone buy, while a manager barks orders at the customers waiting in line, under the guise that he (and it's always a he) is somehow helping the line flow.
This morning, after next to no sleep, I went in to get some liquid nourishment, and all the colors in the display looked wrong. I thought I was having some sort of stroke or sugar-induced visual failure.
It turns out, the last time I was in there was around Valentine's day, when everything was red and white. But now it's almost Easter, so the almost precisely the same products are pastel purples and yellows.
Luckily, I had nine minutes in line to figure out that it's a holiday issue, and my vision is completely fine. In this particular case.