I’m always nervous when someone comes in with a large tupperware container. Not the kind you could store a terrible casserole in. Not even the kind you fill with ugly sweaters and the bones of your enemies to store under your bed. This kind of tupperware is used for three things: an assemblage of winter coats you will never wear again, butterscotch pudding for ‘Rasslin Night at The Strip Club, or comic books collected during the 1980s and 1990s that no store or human being has any interest in buying. Given my occupation in a comic book store, that the container happened to…well…contain…the latter is unsurprising.
"I’m here to sell some comics." The fairly friendly man said while his three kids frazzled into the store like drunk gazelles released from a zoo into an open field full of starving lions.
"I’m sorry." I said. "Our buyer is out to lunch. What type of —"
"—comics do you have?" asked our buyer, lunch in hand.
"Mainly stuff from the 80s and 90s. None of it is in very good condition."
My boss, aka the buyer, nodded, flipped through the pile. “Yea, sorry. There’s nothing in here that interests me.”
And this is where it usually gets weird. The guy thought he was going to make a couple of hundred dollars and gets irritated and pleads for the owner to reconsider. But this guy seemed to know he had the comic book equivalent of a box full of vomit covered Beanie Babies, and closed his container. “Ok, kids, I’ll be right outside.”
Thirty seconds later there was a commotion. “IT’S NOT REAL COMICS YOU PUSSWAD!” screamed the kid who had clearly been exposed to too many 1980s coming-of-age movies.
"Yes it is, you—"
And the first kid ran past his father and out of the building.
The dad’s head made a return appearance in the store. “What was that about?”
"I don’t know. He’s still mad." The second kid said.
"Still mad about what?"
"i DON’T KNOW." The second kid shouted. "He’s being a dick."
"Well," the dad asked. "what is he being a dick about?"
"I DON’T KNOW." The second kid shouted. "He’s just being a baby."
"Ok." The dad said. "Which is it? Is he being a dick or is he being a baby?"
"He’s being a dick baby!" The second kid shouted.
The dad waved the remaining kids to him. As he walked up the stairs, he said “Look, you can be a dick, and you can be a baby, but you can’t be a dick baby.” And then their voices trailed out the door.
My boss turned to me, “That’s going to be my next children’s book ‘You Can’t Be A Dick Baby’.”
I nodded. “It should be narrated by Morgan Freeman or Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump. ‘My father always taught me that you could be a dick or you could be a baby but you could never be,” my boss joined in, “a dick baby.’
I think I may need another vacation.