Regular I Haven't Missed: Do you have FandangoNow?
RIHM: Well, the other day, I saw that there was an animated movie on the service that I'd never heard of before. I don't remember the name of it.
RIHM: It looks like it's by an artist that I hate, do you know the artist Blah Blah Blah Nobody Cares?
RIHM: Well, it looks just like his stuff. And his stuff is awful.
RIHM: I went to watch it, and it wasn't very good. But at least it wasn't by Blah Blah Blah Nobody Cares. It still stunk, though.
RIHM: I think you can also find it on Youtube.
Me: So you're saying there's a terrible show, that you hate,and don't even know the name of, on a streaming service I don't have access to, and I should commit my time to tracking it down on
Me: Why would I seek out something you just told me was awful?
RIHM: Maybe you would like it.
I very much don't miss Saturdays here.
Random Vendor: Hi, can I talk with (Former Coworker Name)?
Me: They haven't worked here in years.
RV: I guess I haven't called in a year.
Me: It's been ten years since they left.
RV: Are you sure?
Me: Yeup. They trained me, and left a few months later.
RV: Can you get me their personal number?
Me: Nope. We don't have it.
RV: How would I go about selling my product to you?
Me: What is it?
RV: It's a fanzine.
Me: About comics?
Me: ... uhhh ... why don't you call you back on Friday and talk with the owner?
RV: Does he have their number?
I delete the person's phone number out of our computer, and write it on a note, to add it back in a couple of weeks, when I'm certain the person won't call again.
RV: It's pretty important that I get in touch with them.
Me: If you leave your contact info, I can pass it along to them. We have some mutual friends.
This is another lie. I see them every few months.
RV: I don't feel comfortable giving my number out to someone I don't know.
Me: RIGHT? I hear you.
RV: Will they be in next week?
Me: No, dude, they DON'T WORK HERE anymore. At all. Ever. And haven't in a decade. Your info is way out of date.
RV: That can't be right.
Me: It's right.
RV: Who have I been talking to?
Me: Couldn't tell you. But we haven't carried that book in the decade that I've worked here.
RV: NO. I send them out to you every year.
Me: Nope. Never seen it before.
RV: Is this Name Of Store That's Not Even In The Comic Book Industry?
Me: No. It's Store Name.
RV: OH. Yea, you guys don't carry my books.
Me: We sure don't.
RV: I didn't even know Former Coworker Name worked there.
Me: I'm thinking now that it is an entirely different person with that very common name.
RV: Wow. I just wasted a ton of my time.
RV: Do you happen to have the phone number of Store That's Not Even In The Comic Book Industry?
This is yet another lie. I have Le Google. But I'm not going to le use it.
RV grunts and hangs up.
I re-add the former coworker's contact info into the computer.
Selina: GOOD MORNING!
Me: Ugh. What do you want?
Selina: GOOD MORNING!
Me: What do you want?
Selina: GOOD MORNING! GOOD MORNING! GOOD MORNING! GOOD MORNING!
Me: MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW.
Person Standing Outside Window: There is something seriously wrong with that cat. It sounds awful today.
Other Person Standing Outside Window: That wasn't a cat, Phil. That was a person yelling at a cat.
Phil: Who yells meow at a cat?
The Other Person answered, but they were walking away from the window so I couldn't hear them. But I know The Answer.
Random Loiterer: "How much are the comics behind you?"
Me: "They vary in price between $25 and $200 depending on condition."
RL: "I used to have a paper route when I was a kid."
RL: "And I would save up my money. And I had all the Marvel books for several years."
RL: "We kept them all bagged and boarded, and safe in boxes in the attic. But one year they tarred the roof, and some of it dripped on the boxes, so now they're not in great shape. But better than the ones you have here."
RL: "I give them to my nephew to read. They're the best comic stories. I don't want to waste his time with the Black Spider-Man and ... didn't they kill Captain America and replace him with a Black guy, too?"
I continue typing things into the computer.
RL: "Didn't they?"
Me: "Didn't they what?"
RL: "Kill Captain America and replace him with a Black Guy? That kind of stuff is too confusing for a kid. Don't you think?"
I continue typing things into the computer.
RL: "Maybe I'm wrong, but --"
Me: "I have work to do, and my boss says I don't have to talk to racists. Bye."
He left without buying anything.
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."