Thursday night loiterer comes in earlier than usual, takes my coworker outside to impress her with knowledge he gleamed from reading a poster. An hour later he comes to the counter and asks to use the phone.
"Local call?" I ask.
"Yea, I need to call my friend. I just read in Django Unchained that Quentin Tarantino chops his movies in half, and I need to know where the other half goes."
"I," don’t laugh “think you should probably wait and call him from your phone. You can use our phone for emergencies, but not for” what’s an appropriate word “casual conversation.”
"I don’t have a phone." He says.
"I’m sorry. But the phone isn’t public."
He stares. “But where do they go?”
I am befuddled. “The phones?”
He continues to stare. “The other half of Tarantino’s movies.”
"Sequels? Like Kill Bill." I guess.
"Ahhh!" And he returns to loitering.
Fifteen minutes later, he asks “Do you have the comic with the weird ending?”
Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh. ”What’s it called?”
"I don’t know. Bullets?" He asks.
"100 Bullets? Stray Bullets? Kennedy And The Magic Bullet Go To Space?"
He either ignores my joke, or doesn’t get it. “No. The one with the weird ending.” Loud, exasperated sigh. “You know the one I’m talking about.”
I don’t. “I don’t.”
"Clowns and twins and guns. And bullets, you remember, bullets."
I really don’t. “I have no idea what you’re talking ab—-Bulletproof Coffin?”
"YES!! Remember the weird ending?" He asks.
"I didn’t read it."
"Why not?" He asks.
"I can’t read everything. It’s on my To Read list."
"I need issue three."
I walk over to the shelf with him. “It’s not here.”
He asks “Can you order it?”
I check. “Nope. It’s out of print.”
He asks “Are you sure you don’t have a copy somewhere in the back?”
"We don’t really have a back. It’s possible it’s somewhere else in the store, but I doubt it."
"Check your computer."
"Our computer," and this as polite as I can put it "is ill-equipped to track inventory. I can’t check it that way."
"You should really get a better computer. Your lack of technology is embarrassing.’
This is true but “I’m sorry, didn’t you just say that you don’t even own a phone?”
He stares at me, and then goes back to loitering.