Sometimes I forget how many churches there are in this town. And then noon rolls around, and the thirty-twelve million churchbells within a two block radius all start fighting for attention.
----Hand washing meme, except that someone accidentally puts "20 minutes" instead of "20 seconds", and instead of the lyrics to some generic song, it's just the sheet music to Rush's "2112".----
If you were wondering what sort of people were out and about and going into stores today, Yes. Those People.
One Of Those People: "I didn't know you opened a store down here."
Me: "Oh, we're our own store. Did you visit our old location down the street? We moved here a year ago."
OoTP: "I go to your Harrison's store."
Me: "Oh, that's not us. That's another store. Harrison's."
OoTP: "Do you have plastic?"
Me: "Plastic bags? Plastic action figures?"
OoTP: "The medium ones."
Me: "Medium plastic bags?"
OoTP: "I'll know them if I see them."
I lead them over to the different sized bags we have.
Me: "These fit regular comic books. These fit some of the older comics, and these here will fit magazines. Are any of these what you're looking for?"
OoTP: "I need the ones that will fit my nieces and nephews' drawings. I can't tack them to the wall anymore. I'm all out of thumbtacks. And wall."
OoTP: "I just moved into a new place because they wouldn't let me stay in the last one because of the holes in the wall. And now, POOF. POOF! No more walls."
Me: "Oh, of course. About how big are they?"
They move their hands as wide as they go.
Me: "Oh. I don't have any bags THAT big.
OoTP: "That's ok. I just wanted to show them to you. I ordered mine from your other store. You guys have too many" they wave their hands "comics and things. Not enough bags."
Me: "Ah. Ok."
OoTP: "I'm not trying to be mean. I like your store. It looks nice. You should close it down before the looters come."
Me: "Of course. You always want to shut down before the looters show up."
OoTP: "Do you know how long your other store takes to get my bags?"
Me: "Um. How long ago did you order them?"
OoTP: "A week ago."
Me: "I'd give it two more weeks. Unless they call you."
OoTP: "What about the looters?"
Me: "You're right. You should stop in today, just in case they came in."
OoTP: "That's a good idea. Thank you. Have a good day."
Me: "Yeup. You, too."
They left without buying anything.
Comic collectors have, for decades, laughed at all those jamokes who were holding on to their Spawn comics, thinking they'd be worth money. But now that there's a toilet paper shortage, Who Is Laughing Now?
The improperly face-masked yutz in front of me in line at Family Dollar, where I stopped on my way to work to pick up a drink and a box of Cheez-Itz, bought $120 worth of tinned beans, cans of tunafish, and toilet paper. At Family Dollar.
Guy Behind The Counter: "It's the end of the world, and you're getting only one box of Cheez-Itz?"
Me: "I just need to get through eight hours of work. If the world ends while I'm at work, I'm not going to need twenty-five four-packs of toilet paper."
GBtC: "You would if you'd just eaten all those beans."
I pay my pittance, and am walking out, as the guy behind me gets to the register.
Guy Behind Me: "Where's your hand sanitizer?"
GBtC: "Oh, wow. We've been out for days. Our next shipment comes Sunday, and they already told us there won't be any hand sanitizer on it."
GBM: "I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY NOBODY WAS PREPARED FOR THIS."
I put my headphones on and walk the empty streets to work.
Upstairs neighbors, if you can read this, I know I made fun of your awful piano playing. I know I loudly rolled my eyes when you switched it up to saxophone. BUT I WILL NOT STAND FOR YOU TRYING TO TEACH YOURSELF HOW TO PLAY THE RECORDER. This is a second grade music teaching tool that only adults who are master of other instuments should ever pick up. If adults want to learn how to play it, cool. Take a class. Somewhere else.
I can not abide by a twenty or thirtyomething year old certifiably untalented musician trying to play Hot Cross fucken Buns while I'm getting ready for work.
I will give Selina catnip, tell her you want to talk about how the American Economy works, and send her into your apartment.
Regular Magic The Gathering Peruser seems to come in about once a week and try to convince me I need to play MtG. I told him that I learned a bit for the 2011 NPS and it didn't appeal to me, as I already spend enough money on comic book collections (trade paperbacks and hardcovers, not individual issues).
RMtGP: But, like, do you read them, or do you just look at them?
Me: I read them. I have about a small library's worth of books.
RMtGP: But once you read them, then what? You know? Now you've got this thing in your house that you'll never read again.
Me: I do read them again, though.
RMtGP: Why? I mean once you know the story. It's not like the story is going to change, you know?
Me: Well, if a story took ten parts, I probably read each part as they come out, and before the final volume, I go through and read them all again so it's all still fresh in my mind.
RMtGP: People don't have time to READ, though. You know? I play Magic every week. So my cards are my life. You know? I wouldn't have time to read something that's going to be the same as last time I read it. With cards, every experience is different.
RMtGP: Do you collect board games?
I do not explain to him that my dudefriend collects tabletop games, and so there are a variety of tabletop games where I live.
RMtGP: You should, man. I know everybody has their ... you know ... thing or whatever. But card games are just a better investment than reading.
Me: *non-committal noise*
RMtGP: What kind of discount can I get on cards if I play a lot?
Me: Depends on how much you buy, whose cards they are, as we do consignment for some people. There are a variety of factors. Are you looking for any particular card? Did you want to buy a box?
RMtGP: Oh, I don't usually buy them here. I'm just asking.
Me: Ah. Well, if you have like a Holy Grail card you need, or want to fill up a particular themed deck, we have a number of people here on weekends that are more knowledgeable about cards than I am.
RMtGP: If you ever want to get in on a better hobby, let me know. I can tell you where all the best tournies are.
Me: Thanks. I'm sure I'll be in touch.
Then he left ... without buying anything.
Obviously, I much prefer the loiterers of Beverly to the loiterers of Harvard Square (the customers at Harvard were rarely the problem ... not never the problem ... but rarely the problem). But this dude who is "testing" our dice by tossing each die against the table over and over to listen to the sound of them, I'm going to roll his head out into the street and listen to the sound of it bouncing through the traffic.
Last week, there was a wonderful moment of Terrible Humanity.
While my Coworker was on Dinner Break (of course), a Cis-Male and Cis-female entered the store. CM was walking around, picking up books, and Educating CF on comic history. Incorrectly, of course.
CM: Do you know about X-Men? It started in the 80s, it's this pro-diversity comic that thinks being Canadian is being diverse. If you're into progressive metaphors, it's ok. Have you read Batman Year One?
CF: Yes. I've read all of Miller's DC and Marvel stuff. Even the Superman Year One he just did.
CM: Batman Year One is different.
CF: I. Know. I've read both of them.
CM: You probably read Wonder Woman, right?
CF sighs and walks away while CM continues babbling.
I sharpen my Killin' The Patriarchy Stick.
CF eventually grows bored enough to leave while CM is still talking at her.
Me: Dude. She left. She's gone.
He continues to putter around, but stays mercifully silent. Until. A guy around the same age comes in, walks over to him and nods his head.
New Cis Male: Hey.
CM: Hey. Have you read Frank Miller's Daredevil. Some people think Bendis's run in the best of the series, but without Miller's foundation it's just fluff. You know?
I found myself relieved to realize this person wasn't a Mansplaining Dudebag. He was a condescending jerkface to everyone, regardless of gender identity.
I have reached the point in my retail observation where even that feels like somewhat of a victory.
Dude: What are you humming?
Me: Something by The Beatles?
Dude: Which song?
Me: I don't know. I think it's ... (hums for a bit) ... Yes, the name of the song is "Something".
Dude: Wow. You really nailed it, there.
It turns out my knowledge of post-White Album The Beatles isn't what it should be.
Also, notice our restraint in not turning it into a Who's On First routine.