Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
The comic book store has signs like skin has pores. Like an ocean has hydrogen atoms. Like sororities have STDs. Like lazy authors have analogous similes. When our stores have sales, the signs cover the front window, the door, the ceiling, the shelves, the counters, and, in some stores, even the floors.
This is why no one can ever tell when we are or aren't having a sale.
When I was still fairly new to the comic book store, I had a fairly terrible day. I was living in Slummerville, but still had loads to do in Allston (and not the laundry kind). So I got up early one morning, and discovered it was blizzarding. I was in Allston in God May Or May Not Know Who's apartment. I threw on my shoes, trudged through the snow to the Allston store, opened the door, and sleepily entered the alarm code to one of our other stores. Now, I'm sure someone had told me what to do to clear out the alarm so you could enter the correct code, but all I could hear and think of was "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
I tried calling the alarm code company, but the siren was hogging the phone line. So I just kept pressing the code until it worked.
I picked up the Chinese food I'd left in the refrigerator the day before, and hopped on the bus home.
Back at home, I was leisurely (read: naked) updating my Livejournal when my phone rang.
"Hey, Adam, it's Lulu. What are you doing?"
"Oh, I'm just working on some writing. How about you?"
"Aw, nothing. Just working in Harvard, looking for some books. I called Allston to get some transfers but, uh, you aren't there."
It was one o'clock on Not My Day Off, and there was no one in the store that was supposed to open at 11. Crap.
I hoofed it through the blizzard to the 66 fucken bus. Of course, I could have crawled to the stop, as I waited over an hour for the first bus. I didn't get there until three, and my boss was there, not very happy with me. I signed my first You Fucked Up Form, and she left. For the first time since I met her, she did not high five me when she left.
Ten minutes after she left, two women in too much black makeup came in. "Excuse me. I don't mean to be a pest, but..." Anyone who says this phrase is a liar. "one of your signs says 'open', and the other says 'closed'. Which is it? Are you open or closed?"
"Oh, sorry." I said, going over to flip the sign. "We're open. I must have missed the sign." Ans I smiled my fakest customer service smile.
"So, do you only get half paid for the day, then?"
Over by the new arrival racks, a customer who knew me sucked in air through his teeth.
"Ha." I ALF laughed. "Is there anything I can help you find?"
She came up to the counter and smiled at me. "Do you have a girlfriend?"
"Are we playing The Question Game?"
"I'm asking because I"m here with Avon Cosmet--"
"Oh, I'm sorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry." I said. "So, you could read the 'closed' sign, but not the big sign next to it that says "no soliciting'?"
"Well, we're just here---"
"Your just here to bother people who are working with your cheap products that can't work or be stylish or else they'd be being sold in stores by people hired to understand the product and its customer base, not by some--"
She leaned over the coutner toward me. "Hey! Look,, buddy, if you don't want--"
"I'm not your buddy." I said, leaning into her. If this were a sitcom, we would have started making out in less than ten seconds. "Take your friend and your briefcase full of garbage out of my store. And tell your boss, if they're going to try and push make up on people, they should hire someone who has a sense of fashion."
"GET OUT OF MY STORE."
And, she did.
I knew her company didn't take the product seriously because they'd sent her and her creepily silent, and also creepuly made up friend. They looked like a 1994 Nine Inch Nails video. When a company had a product they believe in, they send two middle aged men or two middle aged women in professional suits, who immediately ask to speak to the business owner or "the man of the house." If the product is mediocre, they send a man and a woman, and it doesn't matter what they're wearing. But if a product is beyond hope, they send two attractive women under the age of twenty-five. If they send two blonde chicks who, like, totally don't even look like they're even, like, fourteen, RUN.
Last week, two, like, blonde chicks bopped into the store. My coworker took one look, and meandered to the back of the room.
"Hi!" Bimbette #1 said. "We're here with, like, Vita Coco."
"It's this totally delicious coconut water." Said Bimbette #2, matching #1's cadence.
"It is soooooooo delicious. We drink it all the time." Giggle.
"It's realy refreshing, and totally good for you, too." Giggle.
I was transfixed. I don't like blonde women at all. Especially not, like, totally stupid and fake ones. But these two were hypnotizingly moronic.
#1: "Like, all we do is work out and drink this delicious beverage."
#2: "And now they totally come in different flavors. Would you like some samples?"
NO. No, I did not want any samples. I just wanted them to leave. I had started digging my finger nails into my palms. And I focused on the only thing in the world that can block out a person when they're trying to hypnotize you.
"Thanks." Giggle. I couldn't even remember which number she was.
"You're totally going to love it."
And they left.
Quentin, my coworker, made his way back to the front of the store. "I wouldn't. I wouldn't drink that if I were you."
I opened it up. "How bad could it be?"
VitaCoco tastes exactly like sperm would taste if sperm could vomit. And vomiting is what I nearly did after drinking it. It was the single most vile thing I've ever had in my mouth, and I've put my tongue in some questionable places.
I brought all the samples out to the bar with me that night, expecting to make horrible drinks for people, but several of my friends clained to love VitaCoco. Some of them even taking huge gulps of it without flinching or making a face.
"But...but...sperm vomit." Was all I could say.
The next day, the Vita Coco Van was parked outside the store. I barely contained myself from going outside and slashing the tires.