A dad in his thirties comes in with a six or seven year old on a leash. The retail employee senses trouble.
It's not a leash,exactly. It's not around the kid's neck. It's toddler handcuffs. They're plastic. They probably don't chafe. As much as metal.
A dad in his thirties comes into a store with his sixish year old son handcuffed to him . But, you know, big goofy, colorful plastic handcuffs with a two foot long cord, so it doesn't look as terrible as it is.
A dad in his thirties comes into a store where there is one employee, and one former employee on a ladder...
The former employee loves to stand on ladders. Earlier in the day the current employee got up on a ladder and made a joke about how he wasn't like that former employee who just went around standing on ladders for no reason. He clearly Bettlejuiced the former employee who is now standing on the fucken ladder.
...and the dad is followed by two also bearded, also thirty-something dadbros. No other kids.
The handcuffed kid is crying. "I want Pigget. Give me Pigget."
The dad with the handcuffed son says "We didn't get Piglet. Remember? You weren't good enough for Piglet."
I am not a dad. I do not know what this kid's behavior is like. I do not know their financial situation. It is not yet for me to judge how the dad is handling the Piglet crying. This could be totally legit. You know, without the toddler handcuffs.
The dad turns to me. "This is his mom's fault. Bitch has to mention Piglet. he doesn't even know who fucken Piglet is."
I am now judging him. In my experience, misogynists are rarely good parents. Particularly when they misogyne in front of their seven year old handcuffed kids.
The dad and his short prisoner wander around the store, coming perilously close to knocking my former coworker off her ladder. She doesn't notice this. The air is thin up in ladderland. The ground is another terrible world.
The handcuffed child sees a series of Pops and Dorbz. He wants one. Dad says "You don't even know who they are." which, again, might be reasonable without the context of the misogyny and the handcuffs.
The handcuffed child says "Huck."
The handcuffer dad says "Hulk. That's close, though. Good. Uncle Stan will get that for you." And then, to me. "That was pretty good. He was non-verbal until a few months ago."
I do not reply with "Maybe he just didn't want to talk to his shitty dad." but I think it really loudly.
Uncle Stan says "I'll get him the Hulk. But if he cries about Piglet again, I'm going to throw it into traffic."
I don't like Uncle Stan, either.
The group inoffensively talk about Comic Con both to me, and each other. Again, without context, their conversation is fine. With context, I hate them.
The handcuffed child says "Huck."
The handcuffer dad says "Be patient."
The handcuffed child says "Pigget."
The handcuffer dad leads the kid out of the store. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt (which he doesn't deserve) that he took him out of the store so that Uncle Stan wouldn't hear him talking about Piglet and refuse to buy the Hulk.
With the Escaped Convict Family gone, Uncle Stan starts talking to me about comics he's looking for. Again, without context, his conversation starts fine.
While Uncle Stan rambles about books he can't find anywhere, my former coworker finally descends the ladder. She has been up there since the late Cretaceous Period.
Uncle Stan says "We don't have comic stores like this where I'm from." I do not ask him where that is.
Uncle Stan says "Where I'm from, we have a church basement where once a week, they pull out hundreds of long boxes and some specialty items."
Uncle Stan says "They had this really cool signed Spider-Man plate that I wanted, but it was $1500."
"That's a lot of money." I say. "That's a lot of money to spend on Spider-Man plates."
"That's three antique guns worth of money." Uncle Stan says. "I'd rather have guns than Spider-Man plates."
I really want Uncle Stan to buy his shit and leave.
Uncle Stan asks "Do you collect guns?"
"No." I say. "I don't collect guns."
Uncle Stan says "Where I'm from, a lot of collectors double-dip. Comics and guns, coins and n...paraphernalia."
Is Uncle Stan a Fucken Nazi? Of course Uncle Stan is a fucken Nazi. Of course Handcuffy Dad has a friend he calls Uncle Stan who is a fucken Nazi. Handcuffy Dad? Probably also a Nazi.
Today? Nazis in the store to-fucken-day?
I don't know they're Nazi fucks. Maybe he was embarrassed to say Naruto to me? Neopets? If Uncle Stan and Handcuffy Dad hadn't been otherwise shitty, would I have even assumed the "n" paraphernalia was Nazi?
Uncle Stan returns to talking about humdrum humdrum whatever comics that he couldn't find. Very polite. Talks more about Comic Con. Nothing offensive. Regular conversation.
Is Uncle Stan a Nazi Fuck, though? I mean, I think so. I definitely think so. Don't Nazi Fucks just look like anyone now? No visible racist tattoos. No Klan hoods. No racist shirts when they are just out buying comics like regular people. Like Nazi Fucks are regular people.
Uncle Stan pays for his comics with a Hundred Dollar Bill. It was not the last one in his thick wallet. I don't know what Uncle Stan does for a living, but he appears to be loaded.
The Third Man, who has been Entirely Silent for the entire trip says "Stan, you should tell him about the Hulk vs. Wolverine statue you bought."
Uncle Stan says "It's huge."
"Could barely fit it in the car." Third Guy says. "We almost had to tie Tiernan on the roof."
Uncle Stan says "If he mentions Piglet again, I'm going to tie him on the roof for real."
Third Guy says "I told him he should have Stan Lee sign it. Stan Lee was Right There."
Uncle Stan says "But it was too big."
Third Guy says "The base, then."
Uncle Stan says "But I don't think Stan Lee created Wolverine. It was someone else."
"Len Wein" says my former coworker who is on the floor like a reasonable human being, and not up on a fucken ladder.
Uncle Stan does not acknowledge her. She does not appear to notice. "Chris Claremont or someone." He says.
"Len Wein." I say.
"Really?" Uncle Stan asks. "Huh."