Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
An obviously wealthy Harvard alum walks into the store, loops around without actually picking things up, and says to no one in particular, "I used to come here thirty years ago. Harvard Square is changing So Much. I'm so glad this place is still here."
And, while making intense eye contact, I say "It helps that we have products for sale to help heighten the sense of nostalgia."
He didn't buy anything.
And He Did It...Just Like That
Jane's Addiction "Been Caught Stealing" is playing in the store.
Random Customer: "I haven't heard this song in years."
Me: "Yea, I was putting together a playlist for the store, and thought it could use some Perry Farrell. But it had to be curse-free."
RC: "Aren't you worried it will encourage shoplifting."
Me: "You're missing the most important word in the song 'Caught.' It's a warning."
RC: "But it's about how he and his girlfriend still--"
Me: "IT'S A WARNING."
RC: "I'd like to pay for this."
Before the open mic, I stopped at Already Been Chewed Pizza (not the Problematic place, but the place next to The Cantab) to grab a couple of slices of subpar pizza for me, and some mozzarella sticks for Dr. Bobby,
While I waited, I checked FB on my phone. The person behind the counter called out "Slices", and before I could look up, the person behind me in line said "Your pizza is ready, Phone Guy."
Me: "Yea, I'm waiting on mozzarella sticks, too."
Random Person: "I hate Facebook. But I love it, too. I have 600 friends. I don't even know 600 people."
RP: "And people be messaging me, like 'Good morning, wifey.' Do you see a ring on this finger?"
Me: "I do not."
RP: "Wifey? Maybe if they got a million dollars, though, right? Not these 4.99 motherfuckers."
Employee: "Mozzarella sticks are ready."
Me: "Thanks." No, really. Thanks.
When I brought the food into The Cantab, I relayed the story and Simone pointed out that that was not an unusual human interaction for me. For someone else, maybe, but not for me.
After the night was over, Dr. Bobby, Manon, and I headed to Noir, the absolute best worst place to get a drink. I bought a round that was fun but uneventful. The good doctor bought a round that was fun but uneventful, and I was sent to pick up the credit card and the final round, and...the person in front of me ordered a drink, and then turned around and began singing "I just called to say I love you. I just called to say how much I care."
Singing Guy: "I just called to say I looooooooooove you. And I mean it from the bottom of my heart."
Me: "That's a great song."
SG: "No New Year's Day. To celebrate."
Me: "Wow. You know ALL the words."
SG: "Only my solitary heart to give away."
Me: "Those aren't the words."
SG: "I'm 66. Just like Stevie Wonder."
I order the drinks and ask for the credit card.
SG: "No first of spring. No song to sing."
Me: "You're literally singing, right now."
SG: "I just called to say I lovvvvvvvvvvvvvvve you."
Then he gives me a hug, I pick up the drinks and go back to the table.
Me "Tell me you guys saw that."
Dr. Bobby: "Oh, did the guy by the bar just serenade you and give you a hug."
DB: "He does that all the time. He drools all over me. I don't mean he finds me attractive and gives me attention, I mean he has literally drooled on me several times."
I am both relieved to find out that at least ONE weirdo's actions can be verified as frequently occurring oddness by at least one other source, and annoyed that he is a regular near the area where I work.
But I'm mostly relieved he didn't literally drool on me.
Keep In Distance
A guy who stood me up on a date two years ago and never contacted me again, stopped in the store to let me know he is leaving the country tomorrow, and he gave me a book of postcards he created, so that I would "keep in touch".
I often believe, due to the transient nature of my relationships, that I'm the weirdo with the communication issues. And I'm not saying that I don't have communication issues, myself, but more and more I realize that I just attract people who don't know how to interact with the world, or how to interact with me.
Between this and the very brief return of Sora to my life in January, I'm considering joining a monastery with a lax porn policy.
The postcards are beautiful, though. Even though a rudimentary internet search proved he didn't make them.
I also attract fucken liars.
Comics With Women In Them
Guy On Phone: "Hi, guy. Do you guys take credit cards?"
Me: "We sure do."
GOP: "Even for comics?"
Me: "Even for comics."
GOP: "My girl likes comics."
GOP: "I like comics, too."
GOP: "I'm looking to buy an old comic with women in it."
GOP: "You have anything like that behind the counter."
Me: "Probably. But your best bet is to wait until six, and talk to our owner. We have a bunch of storage facilities that I haven't even seen. He can probably help you find the perfect book."
GOP: "Do you have any Elektra shit."
Me: "Umm." flips through the Daredevil pile, "Nope. No Elektra in the store, but you should call back and talk to the owner. He'll know if we have any Elektra in storage."
GOP: "I have a limited window, guy. The thing is my anniversary is tonight."
GOP: "So could you help me pick something out for her?"
Me: "If you came into the store with some more info, sure."
GOP: "Will you be there around 3?"
Me: "Nope. Casey will be here."
GOP: "Is that a woman?"
GOP: "Oh perfect. I'm a dude. You're a dude. A woman would be super helpful."
Me: "Sure. They know all about disappointing anniversary gifts." Pause. "And how to avoid them."
GOP: "Exactly! Thanks, guy!"
Only Fuck Felines Consensually
Book Store Retail Employee: Fucken Black Panther.
Me: You don't like it?
BSRE: No. I love it. But what it's done to the industry is annoying.
Me: It came out a week ago How is it "affecting the industry"?
BSRE: Because people are coming into book stores asking for the new Ta Nehisi Coates book, and can't wrap their fucken heads around the fact that it's a comic book. 'What do you mean you don't have it? What kind of bookstore is this?" NOT A COMIC BOOK STORE. I've probably sent fifty frustrated white people to your store to buy it. You've probably noticed a large uptick in morons.
Me: Ehhh. We have a fairy large moron population already, and, honestly, if they can't figure out the difference between a book and a comic, they probably got lost on their way over and ended up in Newbury Comics, anyway. All the while cursing you for not knowing the difference between upstairs and downstairs.
BSRE: Oh god.
Saga Volume Two
Guy Who Didn't Give Me His Jacket Last Week (hereby referred to as Poe Dameron) comes in and starts talking about Brian K Vaughan.
Poe Dameron: My friend teaches third grade and she has a boy in her class named Ampersand. And I did the math, and that kid is DEFINITELY named after the monkey in Y The Last Man.
Me: Does she have a sister named 355?
PD: That would give me Feelings. I have a lot of Feelings about 355. Plus, it's kind of dooming.
Me: Right. At least the monkey lived a long, healthy life.
PD: Did he? I thought they ended up with a bunch of wonky clones.
Me: He lived a long, healthy life for a male monkey in a world where all the male mammals were killed in some weird cataclysmic event.
Another customer, hereby referred to as Finnicky pops his head around the corner.
Finnicky: I thought that was you. How is touching fruit?
PD: I don't want to talk about it.
Me: Ummm. I want to talk about it. Is Touching Fruit the new, poorly titled book by Mark Waid?
Finnicky: He works for Whole Foods in the produce department.
PD: My entire job is touching fruit and being yelled at by Cambridge people.
Finnicky: And I NEVER get to see you any more.
PD: There's just too much fruit to touch.
Me: The world is your terrible garden.
That Episode Of "The Simpsons" Where A Mall Is Made Up Of Nothing But Starbuckses.
Random Nail Salon Customer comes into our store.
RNSC: Are there any banks in Harvard Square?
Me: Dozens, if not hundreds.
RNSC: Within walking distance?
Me: Take a right out of the door, and you can see one across the street. There's another one on the corner. If you turn around with your back to the bank on the corner you can see three other banks. If you take a left out of the door, you have to walk about twenty yards, look left, you can see about five different banks. Look straight ahead, you can see another two. I'm not sure if there are any on the block to the right, but there's probably at least one.
RNSC: Which one is closest?
Me: It depends on the traffic light, but there are at least three that are less than a thirty second walk.
RNSC: Do any of them have ATMs?
Me: Are you trolling me? All banks have ATMs.
RNSC: But, like, will I have to actually walk inside a bank.
Me: Actually, no. If you take a right, there are two rando ATMs on the corner.
RNSC: I don't have an account with Rando.
Is there seriously no one working in the nail salon who knows that we are SURROUNDED by banks, that they are, in fact, squeezing out all of the local businesses in Harvard Square? In two years, the only thing in Harvard Square will be banks, CVSes, and places that sell burgers. And, naturally, Starbuckses.
There is a live action spin-off of Drunk History, called Idiot History happening in out store right now.
I tune in and out, but so far the most egregious "fact" has been "Well, the Republicans just passed a law so that Obama can't be elected for a fourth term because he's so popular. And that's why they're pushing for Hillary because she came in second last time, so she's, like, the most popular possible person to be President."
Her friend then asked why she wasn't Vice President, and she replied "It has something to do with the electric college."
They both bought quite a bit of manga.
The Shipping News
Random Customer: "My girlfriend, like everyone else in the the world, is shipping Poe Dameron and Finn, and I'm like, why? Why can't two guys just be friends? And she says 'But they touch each others shoulders.' And I'm like, I touch people's shoulders all the time. That doesn't make me gay."
Me: "Right? It's not like they touched penises."
RC: "Hey, I've touched penises before. Don't label me. My friend said the shoulder thing is fine but Poe gave him his jacket, and he thought that was really gay, and I was like YOU gave me YOUR jacket once. And he was like "Yea, but that's because you were cold and my friend, not because it looked better on a guy I met, like twice.'"
Me: "Some guy who Saved His Life, who Thought He Was Dead. It's not like they just met in a bar and traded jackets."
RC: "Right! You get me. Finally, someone gets me."
Me: "Can I have your jacket?"