Random Clueless Person: "Hi. I'm looking for a collection of comics for my boyfriend."
Me: "Sure thing. What's it called?"
RCP: "I don't know. It's a collection of comics."
Me: "That's, like, three quarters of our store. Do you know what it was about?"
Me: "Can you ... find out the title?"
RCP: "It's definitely not The Flash."
Me: "That's specific but not helpful."
RCP: "It's volume ten."
RCP: "Not The Flash."
Me: "You are going to have to call him and find out the name."
RCP makes exasperated noise. It's not at me. They're not being entitled. It's a noise of frustration that the world is too complicated.
RCP: "Can I just look around?"
I go back to putting comics away.
RCP: "Kramer's Ergot!"
Me: "Wow. Yea, that wouldn't have been in my first five hundred guesses."
RCP: "Do you have it?"
Me: "Right here. Volume ten."
RCP: "How do I pay for it?"
Me: "Just bring it over to my coworker, and they'll check you out."
They walk past my coworker.
Coworker: "Over here, darling."
They walk past my coworker in the other direction.
RCP: "I'm too short."
They are not. They are of average height and, like all but small children, have to put something down on the counter, not reach up to it.
Eventually they get to the right spot, pay for the comic, and cheerfully walk out the door. Probably into oncoming traffic.
BvPP: "You know Wolverine is a very popular character."
BvPP: "Yea. A lot of people don't know that."
Me: "How is someone popular if a lot of people don't know they're popular?"
BvPP: "Do you have a Marvel Presents section?"
I had some non-stressful bank stuff to do this morning, so I was four minutes late for work. A seventy-something year old Very White Guy was yanking on the door with very little success.
Me: "Sorry. I was at the bank." I open the door. "Come on in."
VWG: "Your sign said you open at 11:00."
Me: "Yes. I was at the bank getting change, and it took longer than it should have. I'm sorry about the three minute delay."
VWG: "Do you have classic comics?"
Me: "Are there any particular titles you're looking for?"
VWG: "CLASSIC COMICS. From the 1940s and 1950s."
Me: "Classics Illustrated?"
VWG: "NO. CLASSIC COMICS."
Me: "Here's our back issue bins, they're arranged by title, and within the title they're chronological, so our oldest comics are up front. We also have a nostalgia section over--" He is on his phone not listening to me. "--by the hive of angry hornets that we keep to hand out customer satisfaction surveys."
I go back behind the counter to put the change away.
After a few minutes staring at his phone NOT looking at any comics. VWG: "These aren't classic comics."
Me: "Over here we have collections of newspaper comics and EC books from the 1940s and 50s. Are these more what you're looking for?"
VWG: "CLASSIC. COMICS."
Me: "Classics Illustrated? The comic versions of books like Huckleberry Finn and The Great Gatsby?"
VWG: "CLASSIC. COMICS. How long have you worked here that you don't know --"
I walk over to the Classics Illustrated section. Me: "THESE?"
VWG: "Yea. CLASSIC. COMICS."
Me: "CLASSICS. ILLUSTRATED. They renamed the book in 1947. I don't think there are any Classic Comics issues floating around, but if you're in another store ask for Classics Illustrated, and the people working there will be able to lead you to the right place in their store."
VWG: "Back in my day--"
A hooded figure carrying a scythe raises his hood in our direction. I shake my head, trying to convey "Not in here, please." The hood vanishes. Briefly, the air twinkles where the scythe was.
VWG: "These were ten cents and called Classic Comics. How much are they now?"
Me: "The price is on the back."
VWG: "TEN? DOLLARS?"
VWG: "Where can I get these things for ten cents a piece?"
Me: "Before 1950, when the price went up to fifteen cents. But you're not going to find any comics for ten cents in 2019."
VWG: "I'll take my business elsewhere, then."
Me, under my breath, "Tell the clerk in 1948 that society won't improve in their lifetime."
There is an unstable old lady who comes in every couple of months to ask me what time the copy shop is open, and to "steal" the free comic previews we keep by the door.
I think she gets a thrill from stealing, and, thusfar, she has only gotten far enough into the store to get her hands on the pile of giveaway comics we have by the door.
If you tell her a thing is free, she shakes her head, and sighs.
For the last couple of weeks, we've had a ton of promotional mugs for The Dead Don't Die. She noticed them immediately, and asked how much they cost. They're free, but I lied, and told her they were $10.
Unstable Old Lady: "Ten dolars that's very reasonable, I have a grandon who's ten. He likes ninjas but not ninja turtles. Is there anything I could buy for him? It has to be something good. He gets so mad when I give him the wrong things."
"I don't have any ninja books right now." I make a big presentation of looking at the all age stuff, as I hear her stuff one of the mugs in her tote bag.
UOL: "I wish Staples made copies."
Me: "They do. They have a copy center. As you walk in, it's on the left.
UOL: "They don't do copies, though."
Me: "They do. There are four or five machines where you can make copies yourself, or you can give them the originals and they'll make copies for you. Unfortunately, they closed at six tonight."
UOL: "They don't do copies, though."
Me: "Oh. Ok. They make copies for me. They must like me."
UOL: "Why aren't they open across the hall?"
Me: "They are closed on weekends in the summer. Their hours are posted on the door, if you want to check."
UOL: "What time do they open?"
Me: "You'll have to check the hours posted on the door. I don't know what time they open."
UOL: "How come?"
Me: "I'm new."
UOL: "Ok. Well, I will go and try and find another place to make copies. But I'll be back to buy more ninja books for my nephew."
UOL: "Hi Brandson. I'm Olivia. Nice to meet you."
Me: "Certainly a pleasure."
She eyes the mugs again, then looks at me. "Goodnight Brandson."
Me: "Goodnight, Olivia."
Dude: "They have latex pillows now, which are kind of cool, but you have to make sure you're not allergic to them."
Me: "I'm not allergic to latex."
Dude: "Are you sure?"
Me: "I am So Sure."
Dude: "Do you use latex dishwashing gloves a lot?"
Me: "How are you not understanding this?"
Dude: "Oh. You have to use them when you evaluate old comics?"
Dude: "Then how do y--ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."
If Boston realtors worked at hardware stores:
Me: "Hi. I saw in your circular that you have stepladders for sale for $50."
Boston Realtor: "Oh, I'm sorry. We don't actually have $50 stepladders, if you'd read the fine print, you'd have seen that it says 'stepladders may no longer be available'. I actually haven't seen a $50 stepladder in over ten years."
Me: "But there were pictures. In a flyer YOU gave me. Yesterday."
BR: "I have this $700 executive ladder. It's thirteen feet high, and painted blue. One of the legs is shorter than the other, but that's just the way the economy is right now."
Me: "How much is your cheapest stepladder?"
BR: "I have this phone book with half its pages torn out. You could stand on that. It's $160. Also, it was sprayed by a skunk about an hour ago."
Me: "How about a stepladder? How much is your cheapest one?"
BR: "This half broken milk crate is only $300. I, personally, know it's not safe enough to step on to reach anything, but it might be just the thing for you."
Me: "A stepladder. How much would a stepladder cost? I don't want a broken milk crate or a half-torn phonebook. A stepladder."
BR: "I'm seeing....based on the fact that you have one full time and one part time job that, combined, equals twice what we're asking for a $400 stepladder...that the person who owns the hardware store doesn't think you can afford it."
Me: "I have the money right here. Plus no debt, and excellent credit."
BR: "Yea, but this hardware store owner blows all their money on cocaine and lawyer fees, stemming from all the lawsuits from all the people who've fallen off our cheaply constructed stepladders, so they're very cautious with people. It's easier to just sell stepladders to students with rich parents. You just aren't what the hardware store owner is looking for."
Me: "But I have the money, which is eight times the amount of the stepladder YOU advertised in the flyer."
BR: "Have you considered sharing a stepladder with four of five people at a time?"
Me: "Yes. That seems uncomfortable, and would lead the stepladder to break pretty quickly."
BR: "Oh, it's already broken. But if four of you go in on this stepladder that's missing all the steps, except for the one that says Don't Stand On This Step, then it will only be twice as much as I originally told you."
Me: "I'm going to go to another hardware store. There's one down the street that advertised a $75 stepladder."
Calls the other hardware store. Seven people are loudly talking in the background.
Other Boston Realtor: "HI. ARE YOU *****STATIC***** STEPLADDERS?"
Me: "Yes, I'm responding to your--"
OBR: "YOU'LL HAVE TO SPEAK UP. I'M TOTALLY LEGITIMATELY A HARDWARE STORE IN BOSTON. AND I HAVE MANY STEPLADDERS."
Me: "Ok. I'm just looking to buy a stepladder in Somerville. I saw you have some advertised for $75."
OBR: "WHERE IS SOMERVILLE? IS THAT, LIKE, NEAR FENWAY PARK? I HAVE A NICE $500 FOOT STOOL ONLY THREE MILES FROM FENWAY."
Uncle Creepy: Tony?
Me: Nope. This is Adam. Call back on Friday to talk to Tony.
UC: Ok. Ok. Hi. Adam. You've helped me before. Do you know Nosferatu?
Me: Not personally.
UC: Nosferatu The Bald Vampire. You know him?
Me: Is there something I can help you order?
UC: Do you know Nosferatu. He's the bald vampire. Like the first one. He's really old.
Me: Is there something I can help you find?
UC: Do you got statues of Nosferatu the bald vampire?
Me: No. And I'm looking it up now. There aren't any available. There will be one in November, but it's $650.
UC: I'm looking for the $100-$200 range. Like a bust of Nos--
Me: --feratu The Bald Vampire, yes. I get it. But there aren't any available.
UC: What about raven? You know raven?
Me: The wrestler? The Teen Titan? The bird? The bookstore?
UC: Yea. Yea. You know. The bookstore. The Raven bookstore.
Me: It's a couple blocks away. Want me to give you their phone number?
UC: No. No. Not the one nearby. The bookstore.
Me: I don't know what you're talking about.
UC: Sometimes you get me stuff from Raven?
Me: Nope. They're a different store. They sell books, but they don't sell statues. I can give you the number to call them, but I'm not going to call them for you.
UC: Maybe it's not Raven. But it's a store. Sometimes you call other stores.
UC: Ok. Maybe not another store. That's ok. That's ok. You know how you guys have comics with Vampirella the---
Me: the almost topless vampire hunter?
UC: Yea. Yea. Vampirella the Vampire Hunter.
Me: Uh huh.
UC: Can you get me statues of her?
Me: You're going to have to call back on Friday and talk to My Boss. He is the one who does the statue ordering.
UC: Ok. Ok. I should call tomorrow?
UC: Friday? Sometimes I call on ---
Me: The next time he'll be here to talk to you about statues is Friday. Until then, he won't be here. And none of the rest of us can help you with statues.
UC: What about Wedn--
Me: Friday. Not Tuesday. Not Wednesday. Not Thursday. Friday. Only Friday. Friday is the only day you can call him this week. Not Saturday. Not Sunday. Only Friday. You need to call him on Friday. I have to go now. Remember, call him on Friday. Thanks.
I hung up the phone.
Buckle up. It's Monday.
Random Stoner: "Hey. Alright. I came in because I'm ready to talk about that movie."
RS: "You know, there's all that...talk about it this weekend. And, like, it was supposed to be big."
Ah, Captain Marvel.
Me: "I haven't seen it yet."
RS: "No. Noooooooo. I came in to talk to you about it."
I've never met this person before.
Me: "Sorry, I'm seeing it later this week."
RS: "But, it was good, right?"
Me: "I don't know yet."
RS: "Oh, man. I -- Do you have any, like giant -- You guys don't have giant books."
Me: "Like the ones on the top shelf there?"
I point. He walks in the opposite direction. Of course.
Me: "No, there."
RS: "Wow. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwww. These are -- what I'm looking for are coffee table books. Motorcycles. Sketch art. You know, for the foyer...or, the, ummmm gazebo? Parlor. For the parlor.
Me: "Sure. We don't have those."
RS: "I need people to walk in when I'm painting and be like wowwwwwwwwwww. This --- this is some --- like A level shit, you know?"
RS: "But you don't --- You seriously haven't seen that movie yet?"
RS: "It's fine. I shouldn't be spending money anyway. I have to --- I need to -- do they do laser printing across the hall?"
Me: "You'd have to ask them. I don't know."
RS: "What I'm gonna do, right? Before my show. I'm gonna have shit lasered into wood. Like a table with good wood, but I'd laser it --- like SPACE. I have 47 --- no 59 paintings I need to unload, you know? Renewal. Like when those anime guys take all of their stuff and --- Do you have any gundam?"
Me: "Not currently."
RS: "Shit. Hey, when did the weed store go? I mean --- not a weed store -- a paraphernalia store."
Me: "It's still there. It's across the park."
RS: "I shouldn't be spending -- Hey, instagram --- like marketing --- I could get you 20%." of what I have no idea.
Me: "Great. You should come in on Friday and talk to the owner."
RS: "Yes! Like I did for the collectible store in Methuen. 20%. I'm not a monster."
Me: "That's good."
RS: "You get my vibe. Social media -- it's -- like 10% for you but maybe you have a friend who can help, and they get 10%, that's TWENTY PERCENT."
RS: "Check out my Instagram. I need honest critique. Like, it's time -- my parents know I'm not like that -- but, like, I need to get rid of these paintings. Even if it's just 100,000. Which is -- which is 10% of what they're worth. You feel me?"
RS: "Let me write down -- what's my insta -- I think -- here. I should go. Do you think they really laser across the hall?"
Me: "I have no idea."
RS: "I'm a mech guy. Captain Ha -- He -- you know."
RS: "I'm not like manga. A little, I guess. But, like -- They need to make a Captain Marvel game. Open world like Tarantino, you know? Or Portal. Yea, Portal. How come there aren't any VR arcades around here where you can walk" he shows me what walking looks like "while you're in the virtual world? All they have around here is pinball."
Me: "I don't know."
RS: "They could make bank on that."
RS: "Friday. You should get people to BOGO. Like, not BOGO, but make people think they're getting a deal. You watch Big Bang Theory?"
RS: "You should youtube the gaffs. It will make you. You get people who smell the comics?"
Me: "No." Ok, a couple of times, but I'm not going to talk about them with this guy.
RS: "It's always wrong but -- how late is the paraphernalia shop open?"
Me: "I have no idea."
RS: "Marketing is key. You get it. You got it. I'm gonna go laser."
Me: "Good luck."
He walks across the hall. I think the entire staff has gathered around him. So he must be equally entertaining there.
His instagram is locked. His follower to following ratio is 1/100. I will not be following him. And, thus, shall never know of his million dollar paintings.
Me on Saturday: I like the ad you posted about the apartment in Medford. Here's some info about me. The ad had "roommate" in the title, I would like to know a little bit about the person currently living there. Here is my availability.
Realtor on Sunday: Let's meet Thursday.
Me on Sunday: Great. What time? Where? And could you give me a little info about the person already living there?
Realtor on Monday: Thursday at six.
Me on Monday: Where?
Realtor on Monday: At the house.
Me on Monday: There is no address listed on the ad for the house. Where should I meet you?
Realtor on Monday: It's on Riverdale Street.
Me on Monday: You are very bad at your job, and I'm not interested in property you represent. I'll look elsewhere.
Realtor on Monday: I also have apartments in Cambridge and Watertown.
According to my first nurse, she knew she was going to like me based on a story she heard from one of the med techs on the helicopter.
Apparently, when they asked me some questions trying to orient me, I massively failed to recognize what was happening around me.
The only think I kept saying (over the sound of the helicopter blades whirring) was "I fucken hate Goodnight Saigon!"