My Very Patient Coworker came in to pick up some paperwork. While he was in the store Baron Von Poopypants came in. I was in the midst of unpacking boxes, which has never deterred him from talking at me.
BvP: Flash comics are really selling, huh?
BvP: Do you think it's because of the TV show?
BvP: I think so, too. I called yesterday, and your coworker said you didn't have the Gee-off Johns run but she pronounced it funny.
Me: It's pronounced "Jeff".
BvP: But it's spelled Gee-off.
BvP: I think Zoom is the best villain because he's not really a rogue, you know? He sort of does his own thing. Not like the rogues, you know?
BvP: I've been reading the Gee-off Jones run because he did Rebirth and Rebirth is one of the best selling Flash stories, right?
BvP: You could say that the Flash has really *flown* off the shelves. Get it? Because he's so fast.
Me: But he doesn't fly. he runs.
My coworker chuckles on the other side of the shelf.
BvP: I guess. Have you ever read any Gee-off Jones books.
BvP: You should. He's really good.
My coworker made his way around the shelves and BvP stood directly in front of him, staring at a shirt hanging from the ceiling.
Coworker: Excuse me.
BvP stands, agog.
Coworker rolls his eyes, and walks around him.
BvP: I'll be going now.
Proceeds to stand in place.
Baron Von Poopypants IV was waiting when I got to the store at 10:30. (we open at 11:00). I came into the store, abruptly closed the door behind me, and turned on the computer.
While I wrestled with the computer (Not reading Drive C Abort, Retry, Fail?), he knocked on the door, then went back outside and smoked, presumably to deaden his sense of smell.
At 11:00, I, begrudgingly, opened the door.
BvPP4: "I did it. I cleaned out all my comics?"
Me: "You wiped all of your mom's Cheeto fingerprints?"
This isn't a weirdly specific mom diss. He has told me on multiple occasions that his mom reads his comics (not likely) while eating Cheetos (further unlikely).
BvPP4: "No. I took all the books that I bought for nostalgia purposes or that I bought to be greedy and I threw them away. I should have probably sold them or given them away but last time I brought a big briefcase" a plastic shopping bag "to the store in Arlington, and they said they couldn't sell them." because of the Cheetos "because of the Cheetos fingerprints."
Two other people come in and surround the counter, which can't be a good sign.
Person 1: "I want to make a zine."
Me: "Ok. We buy local comics at half of cover price, as opposed to commission. Depending on what our stock is like, and the price point, we tend to just buy 3-5 copies of a title."
P1: "What should we make it about?"
Person 2: "I think it should be about a snake boy with eye lasers who fights, like, dragons, and tigers, and sheep."
The phone rings.
Me: "Excuse me a minute."
Person On Phone: "I'm looking to sell some comics. Do you buy comics?"
Me: "It depends on what the comics are."
PoP: "Well, my grandfather won a purple heart." Jesus. "And he was really proud of his collection and left it to my kids as an inheritance but I want to sell them, in case they aren't worth anything." Fuck. "How much do you think they would go for?"
Me: "Well, I don't know what they are, and what condition they're in, and I'm not the buyer. Your best bet would be to call back Wednesday after 6pm or Friday during the day,"
PoP: "But what if I wanted to get rid of them now?"
P2: "Maybe he would fly and have x-ray vision."
P1: "He can't have x-ray vision AND laser eyes."
Me: "Sorry, I can't help you You're going to have to call back Wednesday or Friday."
PoP: "I've had them appraised. They're worth a lot of money. I just don't want to go with my first offer, you know?"
I thought they might not be worth anything and you wanted to get rid of them right now.
Me: "I can't help you. Try Wednesday or Friday. Good luck."
I hang up the phone.
BvPP: "Do you know what happened to Shrike or Artemis? They were my favorite comics. Remember when Artemis was Wonder Woman? Did you like that run? Or when they thought Boone died but he came back as Shrike. But then they didn't really do anything with them."
Me: "I don't remember those runs." I do, actually.
Me: "So, I'm not the person to talk to about making comics I don't make them. But there's a group that meets once a week here in Cambridge" and they're going to hate me for giving you their info because you're both nuts "called The Comics Roundtable who all create comics, and they might be able to help you figure out what kind of comic you want to make, how you want to distribute it, and all that."
P2:"Do you think the snake boy should have laser eyes or x-ray vision?"
BvPP: "How do you feel about black and white comics?"
BvPP: "They don't turn me on. Do they turn you on?"
P1: "Laser eyes."
BvPP: "I might buy this Wonder Woman book but it has newspaper pages. I don't like newspaper pages do you?"
I type the store number into GChat and call the store.
Me (to Me): "Hi. Yes? I have custo---oh, yea, ok. Sure thing."
Me (to BvPP, P1 & P2): "Sorry, I have to do some inventory. They have questions at the warehouse."
BvPP: "You have a warehouse?"
Me: Not really. "Yes."
P1: "How do we meet the Round People Comics?"
Me: "Comics Round Table." I write it down on a business card. But not in my usual handwriting, in case I have to blame someone else later. "They have a website. Good luck."
I take the phone over to the back issues and start blindly flipping through them.
P1 and P2 leave, talking about going to the library to do research. Presumably on laser-eyed snakes. BvPP shark circles the store a few times before announcing that he might come back to buy things later.
When he and most of his funk have departed, I go back to the counter. The phone rings.
It is the same stupid Giggly Robot that has called every week, trying to get us to buy something: "Tee-hee. Sorry, I dropped the ph--"
Me: "DIE ROBOT SCUM!"
GR: "Tee-hee. I'm not a rob--"
I hang up the phone.
So, my vacation is off to a great start.