Random Mom: "Hi."
RM: "So, my brother came in here this weekend to buy some books for my ten year old and for my sixteen year old nephew. And I think he mixed up books."
RM: "He left us some Greek God comics, which were fantastic, but also this."
She puts down a copy of "The Adventure Zone", a comic based on a podcast based on gaming culture that is not geared for ten year olds.
RM: "I work for a publisher so I didn't want to to throw it away, but also I can't have it in my house. I was not ready for my ten year old to ask me what 'masturbating' means."
Me: "Sure. If you want to just grab a book that's a better match, we can switch it out for you."
RM: "You don't need to do that. I just wanted the book to go to a more appropriate home."
Me: "I appreciate that. But it sounds like you have a responsible ten year old who deserves another book."
RM: "Thank you."
Me: "It's no problem. We'll definitely sell 'The Adventure Zone before Christmas."
RM: "Last summer I bought a book about a girl who goes to camp. Is there a sequel to that?"
Me: "'Be Prepared'? Not currently."
RM: "I think it's called 'Hidden Witch'."
Me: "Oh, that's a sequel to "Witch Boy'. We do have that."
RM: "I'll get that."
Me: "Here's your change."
RM: "You don't need to give me change."
Me: "Your book didn't cost as much. And we'll definitely sell the one you returned."
RM: "This went way more pleasantly than I imagined."
Me: "The rumors about my temperament have been greatly exaggerated."
After spending half an hour looking for fishing wire so I could hang up some t-shirts.
Coworker: "Could you go over to the hardware store and buy fishing wire?"
Me: "I feel like I just did this three months ago. There has to be a spool of it around somewhere."
CW: "Do you know where?"
Me: "No clue."
CW: "Let's just get a new spool then."
Me: "Ok. Any particular weight I should be looking for?"
CW: "I don't know. How much does a t-shirt weigh? Fifty? Sixty sharks?"
In a conversation about the Madeline L'Engle's Kairos Cycle.
Dude: Did you read all of them?
Me: No. I tried. Earlier this year, I started in on them, but they were way too Christian for me. And the endings of each book were pretty basic garbage writing. I get why they're important. And I'm glad they exist for the people who like them. But, mainly, I think, the best thing they ever did was inspire other women to write better science fiction books for children.
Dude: You couldn't make it through three childrens' books?
Me: There's eight of them. Wrinkle In Time, Wind In The Door, Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, Mostly Harmless, Fantastic Beasts, Rogue One, and The Simarillion.
Dude: Fuck you.
Me: There really are eight of them.
For the fourth time this year, an artist who did way too many drugs in the 60s and 70s comes in, just as I'm about to close the store.
Artist: "You guys probably don't buy original art, do you?"
Me, the first two times: "It depends."
Me the most recent two times: "No."
Artist: "I'm a famous rock and roll painter. I designed posters in the 60s and 70s."
Artist: "They sell for a lot of money online."
Me, the first time: "That's fantastic."
Me every other time: "Sure."
Artist: "It's not fantastic. I don't get any money from them. Do you know that website rockandrollpostersorsomethingdotcom?"
Artist: "They sell my work for hundreds of dollars, and I don't get a penny."
Me: "That sucks."
Artist: "I have a lawyer send a cease and desist, and....nothing. They keep ripping me off."
Me: "That's terrible."
Artist: "You guys sell comics."
Artist: "Comics are terrible. They're all violence and murder and rape."
Me, the first time: "No, there are a lot of different subjects, there are---"
Me, every other time: "All murder all the time."
Artist: "The people that read comics. They're sickos. What happened to peace, man? And love? They don't make love comics."
Me, the first time: "They do. There was a whole line of romance comics that started in the fifties, and now there are ---"
Me, every other time: "Nope. Murder murder murder, death, death, death."
Artist: "Sickos. Ditko, Kirby, Eisner. A bunch of sickos. Do you know any bands that might be looking for an artist to make posters?"
Me, every single time: "Nope. I don't listen to music. Or read."
Me, today: "Just murder murder murder, all day long."
Artist: "When's a good time to stop in and sell my posters."
Me, the first three times, "Come in on" I give him my boss's schedule. I write it down. All three previous times, I wrote it down for him.
Me, this time. "Alternating Thursdays during a month with two new moons. I think. It might be Wednesdays."
Artist: "You sickos probably don't buy original art anyway."
Me, the first time. "Not often. But you should come in, any way, and talk to my boss.
Me, the second time: "Nope."
Me, the third time: "It interferes with all the murdering."
Me, this time: "No. We spend all our money on knives and guns."
He leaves. Every time, no matter what I say.
I hadn't realized this time that there was another person in the store, until she laughed when I said "murder murder murder, death death death" in my sing-songy Fuck Off voice.
She was very nice, and bought a Junji Ito book, after asking where I kept all of the store's knives.
(Spoiler alert: unlike my previous comic book employers, we are a knife-free store. Though I do have a very adequate hammer, and three pairs of dull scissors.)
After about fifteen minutes of perfectly reasonable discussions about collectible comics, a Perfectly Nice Guy says "Hey, I was in a store the other day and I saw this Deadpool issue with two girls on the cover that I wanted. Do you know the one I'm talking about?"
Me: "No. Who were the two female characters?"
PNG: "They weren't specifically Marvel characters, it's just two generic women, and Deadpool is giving the peace sign."
PNG swipes on his phone. "Oh, here it is. Sorry, it's a variant cover for Seige #3."
Coworker: "I don't remember that one."
Me: "Because you never had it. In order to get it, you had to destroy fifty copies of DC's Blackest Night and send it to Marvel."
CW: "You're joking."
Me: "I'm not. I had to go through four different stores to find enough issues to send back for a former employer. I think we ended up with three of those variants. They sold for about $500 apiece, I think."
PNG: "No. It was cover price."
Me: "You should have grabbed it then."
CW logs into Ebay. "Wow. Someone sold one last month for $3,000. There isn't a single sale under $1800 since...I don't know."
PNG: "Who would pay that much for one issue?"
Me: "Not very many people. It's also an almost unmemorably Bad issue, which is probably why they had to do the silly Deadpool publicity stunt."
PNG: "Can you get a copy for me?"
Me: "Do you have three thousand dollars to spend?"