Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
Ten minutes before close, Annoying Painter Who Did Too Many Drugs In The 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s comes in. Already in the store is someone who has been asking me about comics in the warehouse for at least four years. I am certain neither of them will ever leave.
Annoying Painter: "Is Tony--"
Me: "I told you yesterday to come in on Friday. I wrote it down. I told you to put it in your wallet. Friday is the day to come in and talk to him. Only Friday."
AP: "Are you--"
Me: "I can't price things, buy things, evaluate things, tell you what he's looking for, or tell you what's in the warehouse. YOU. HAVE. TO. COME. IN. ON. FRIDAYS."
And then my boss walks in with boxes of stuff to put away.
Tony: "Hi. I have to bring in a bunch of boxes. I don't have time to talk to you right now. Try coming in on Friday."
AP: "Of course, of course. You're busy. But I have these old comics, and I don't want them. But I think they're valuable, could you --"
Tony: "I have five more boxes to bring in. You should come in on Friday."
He leaves to get more boxes. I start putting away some of the books from the boxes he's already brought in."
AP: "I think Mad should do something with Trump because Alfred E. Neum--"
Me: "They have." I grab the Mad About Trump book. "We've talked about it before. Have a look again."
AP: "Did you know Stan Lee died."
AP: "Did Kirby write for Mad Magazine? Is Kirby even an artist?"
Me: "Not that I know of, and yes."
Me: "I'm sorry. I have to put all these things away, right now. Could you come back on Friday?"
Tony arrives with more boxes.
AP: "So some of the comics I brought in are pretty rare."
Tony: "You said that. I'll be right back."
AP: "How much do you thi--"
Me: "I don't do pricing or evaluating."
AP: "Got ya. Because he's the boss."
Me: "Sure. Just so you know, we are closed right now."
And to my eternal shock, the usually super annoying What Do You Have In The Warehouse Guy comes up to the counter.
WDYHITWG: "Sorry, I forgot you guys closed earlier now. I'll buy these."
And he actually buys two comics. And leaves.
While I ring in his sale, Tony comes in with the last of the boxes, and starts to put them on the shelves.
AP: "How much do you guys give for these books? Thirty percent of resale? Forty? Half?"
AP: "If you want to take a look at them, they're pretty exciting."
Tony: "Could you bring them in on Friday. I'm not really supposed to be here tonight, I'm just dropping off these boxes, and then I have to go home and read with my son."
AP: "Of course. Of course. No rush man. I've been to California before. Aren't you from there?"
Tony: "Yea, I'm from LA."
AP: "Do you remember...." And here begins a ten minute conversation about dead people from California. High schools in California. Venues from California that closed decades ago. California. California. Califuckenfornia. And nothing about how it knows how to party, or why Jonathan Coulton hates it.
Tony: "Well, it's great talking to you." Liar. "But I have to go home. And Adam has to close out and go home, and I'm in his way."
AP: "Of course, of course. Hey, do you have some time to look at these comics before you go?"
At this point, I would have decided not to buy anything from him, or totally lowball whatever crap he has. This guy has wasted hours of my time, usually talking about how much he hates comics, and what a waste of time they are. And how everyone steals from him, yadda yadda. And I think, if people do steal from him, maybe it's in the hopes he will be so mad that he'll never bother them again. Because Fuck This Guy.
But Tony looks at the comics, finds four he's interested in, and gives the guy thirty bucks.
Tony: "But now I have to go. And I can't go until you go."
AP: "What about the rest of the books? I don't want them."
Tony: "Bring them Friday."
AP: "Yea, you're the owner. You only have to come in once a week."
Tony: "I'm in other days, but I'll be busy. Bring the books in on Friday."
AP: "Could you write that down for me?"
Me: "NO. It's in your wallet already. I gave it to you last night."
AP: "I lost it."
Tony writes it down.
AP: "Hey, when you were in California, did you ever go to---"
Tony: "I really have to go. It's been great talking to you." Liar. "But you'll have to come back on Friday. I need to get home."
AP: "Sure. Sure. It's very New England. Having to go home."
He walks into the hallway. Tony and I exchange a look. AP picks up one of the boxes we use for shipping.
Me: "Hey. Those are not free. Or for customers. Those are our shipping boxes."
AP: "You need all these?"
Me: "We do. We do a lot of shipping." Liar. "Please don't take our boxes."
AP: "They're a perfect fit for my paintings."
Me: "Then you should get them from the Post Office. But we need those."
AP: "Of course. I would never take them without asking." Liar. "Do you have anything I could put paintings in?"
AP: "I used to do a lot of concert posters. There's this website--"
Tony: "It's time to go. it's been great talking to you." Liar. "We have to close."
AP: "Right. Right. Have you ever seen the Jimi Hendrix poster? The famous one."
I go into the bathroom. Not because I need to use it, but to get away from him. I immediately turn on the hand dryer. When I come out, he is gone.
Tony leaves. I am ten minutes into closing when there's a knock on the window. I see that it's AP. I get up, walk out the door, and sit in the hallway and play on my phone for five minutes. When I come back within sight-lines, he is gone.
How much do you want to bet he'll be back in tomorrow, asking if Tony is in? Or if I can price his books?