Tonight on Why Adam Doesn't Date Much Anymore Theater, a guy he's been mostly ignoring for the last four months invites him out for drinks after work so that Adam can meet some of his other friends.
Making sure to avoid topics like slam poetry, comic books, or anything political, Adam attempts to be Himself. The problem is, he doesn't really like The Guy all that much, and his friends are much much worse.
While discussing how much the Red Sox suck this summer, a particularlybro-ey dude says "I like you, you don't really talk faggoty."
To which Adam replies, "I was raised bisexual."
Which SOMEHOW leads to a four or five minute conversation in which Adam supports this lie with a series of less and less realistic anecdotes. Three of the seven people a the bar appear to realize that this is a joke (one of them being Adam, none of them being The Guy).
After the second cider, Adam leaves. He should have said something about "getting home to the wife" or "I have to go spend two hours with a woman I mistakenly had sex with, as well as her idiot friends just to balance this out." but, instead, he just says that he has to be to work at five tomorrow.
He does not mention that he has to be at work by five PM.
Hey shirtless twenty-something hanging out on Mass Ave with a PBR in one hand, and the other hand raised up. Yes. Yes, I will give you a high five. It's no thing at all. I'm glad to be of serv---brah? Brah, are you CRYING? Nawwwww. You can't cry after I give you a high five. We even got good volume from the slap, direct contact. It echoed. You can't CRY after an echoey high five from a stranger. What is IN that PBR bottle? Ya. Ya, of COURSE I'm walking away right now. Your friends are sitting on the stoop laughing. BECAUSE IT'S FUNNY, brah. Really. Really funny.
Frequent Loiterer, Never Buyer: "Hi, a few months ago, you showed me a bunch of Ghost books. Do you still have them?"
I walk him over to where the books are. "Yes. It looks like we do."
FLNB: "I don't know if I'm ready to buy them yet, but I'd like to look at them."
He spends about fifteen minutes flipping through them, then puts them down in a different section of the store and starts to leave.
I have seen him do this before.
Me: "Excuse me. Please don't pick up books from one section and then put them down somewhere else."
Me: "When you're in a store, always keep track of where you pick up merchandise, whether it's a book, clothes, food, puzzles, whatever. If I hadn't seen you put those books down on the wrong side of the store, then the next time you or someone else came in looking for those books, I wouldn't be able to find them and sell them."
FLNB: "You don't have to explain it to me like I'm a child. I know how stores work."
Me: "Well, if you know, then why did you do it?"
Loiterer leaves without explaining or without returning the books. I'm hoping he will take his non-business elsewhere.
Manager At The Sporting Good Store: "We seem to be sold out of the Cherry Blossom Energy Chews. Do you have any idea who's buying these because nobody is picking up any of the other flavors."
Wage Slave: "Our research shows it's mainly used by 20-40 year olds who enjoy hiking, climbing, wrestling surfing, and ultimate frisbee looking for simple ways to boost their energy. Oh, and also annoyed retail employees in Harvard Square."
Manager: "That's an odd aberration."
WS: "It's actually just one person, as far as we can tell. We believe he uses it exclusively on Mondays, as he doesn't sleep well on Sundays for some reason."
M: "So he uses it to refrain from killing tourists, drunks, and jerks?"
WS: "Our research doesn't prove that. We have no evidence that he's killed anyone with or without our product."
M: "We're talking about the guy who works in the comic book store?"
M: "And you say you don't have enough research to prove he's snapped or killed anyone while using or not using our product?"
M: "You're fired. Try not to trip over the pile of bodies he's stacked against our door."
WS: "I...I can't even get the door open. OH GOD."
M: "There's no god in Harvard Square, Jefferson, only The Angel Of Death. And you just sold him two pouches of energy gel, which he stuffed into his mouth all at once. There's nothing we can do now but pray."
WS: "But you JUST SAID there's no god!"
M: "Pray to your mistakes that they may visit you again before you die. Pray to your ignorance that it ceases to cling to you but stays just close enough that you see it on the horizon and remember its face. Pray to the bodies stacked against the door that they make this room a haven and not a tomb. Pray to time, that it passes you gently like an ex lover who sees you on the street and smiles, remembering when you were happier. Pray to the energy gel that it keeps us half as awake as it keeps him. Pray that the comic book employee does not know your name, lest he snap your dreams in his mouth like fat knuckles."
WS: "Jesus Christ."
NDOM: "There's no Jesus here, either, Jefferson. The only one dying for your sins is you."
WS: "What did I do to deserve this?"
NDOM: "You were bad at your job. There's little that frustrates him more."
In the distance, you can hear the monster slurping more energy chews.
Inspired by the very nice lady who stood in front of the counter, searching through her phone's photo album for pictures of her son to show me, so that I could figure out what type of comic books he might like, based on his physical appearance. Just as the energy chews kicked in, she said "There, I've almost got it. Please don't kill me." And she gave a funny little laugh until I replied "Kill you? I didn't even know that was an option."
After the second drink, I tore up my coaster for no good reason. After the third drink, I grabbed a new coaster.
Bartender: Oh my god. Did you just put that thing back together?
Me: Yes. I am the David Blane of coasters.
Guy Who Just Sounded Really Rude And Entitled From The Moment I Answered The Phone: Did you get those X-men in yet?
Me: X-Men what? Comics? Graphic novels? Playing cards? Action figures? DVDs? Posters?
Rude & Entitled: The X-Men stuff you were supposed to get in.
Me: I'm sorry you're going to have to be more vague.
Me: What X-Men stuff? When were we supposed to get them in? What are they?
R&E: The girl said they'd be in today.
Me: What would be in today?
R&E: The X-Men.
Me: Yes, all the actors from the movie are in the store right now just waiting for you to show up.
Me: That's what "The Girl" said, right? You're the guy who wants to meet the cast of X-Men Age Of Apocalypse, all of whom flew directly from San Diego Comic Con to our store JUST TO MEET YOU?
R&E: No. I'm just looking for old comic books.
Me: OHHHHH. YOU'RE THAT GUY.
(I have no idea who he is.)
Me: Well, no one has brought in any old X-Men books for at least a few weeks. If you're looking for certain issues, and want to e-mail us a list, I can forward it to the owner.
R&E: Well, why not?
Me: There was an isolated flood in our warehouse. Like freaky isolated. Only our X-Men comics got wet. Who knows how long it will be before we can replace them.
R&E: That's terrible.
Me: Yes, it's heartbreaking. Anything else I can help you with? I have a huge line of customers right now.
That was a lie.
R&E: Do you know when you're going to get Ant-Man comics in?
Me: You're going to have to talk to our Pest Control department. They're in Wednesday after six, ask for My Boss.
Misogynist Blowhard Whose Opinion No One Values: What's the deal with Spider-Gwen?
Me: What deal?
MB: Did she just drop in from another universe? Because Gwen Stacy died.
Me: Yes. She's from a different universe.
MB: I don't know how I feel about that.
MB: Because sometimes, you know, they just make a superhero a minority for no good reason, and I don't like that.
MB: Like, let's make Spider-Man a woman. That's why...that's why Spider-Woman never took off.
MB: She-Hulk, she's ok, but, I mean, why you know...why does it have to be a woman?
MB: I mean, I like diversity but now it's She-Thor and She-Hulk and Spider-Gwen and Captain Marvel is a woman and Captain America is, you know.
I swallow a roar of laughter that Captain America is "you know".
MB: Have you read any of those books?
This is a lie.
MB: Ok. Ok. Do you watch SHIELD?
MB: Agent Coulson is interesting but why did they have to make it about all the girls? I mean, I like girls, but the story it's....it's....you know?
MB: I should probably go now.
Me: We DO agree on something.
Me: Sorry, I just something on Facebook.
MB: Oh, ok. Bye.
Some days are a slow descent into madness. Others are slow descents into anger.
Customer In Store answers cell phone: Hello?
I do not hear the other half of the conversation,
CIS: Yea. Yea. I can be there in a half hour or so. Uh-huh. Where am I? I am at the football store. Being manly.
He then sat on the steps outside for about five minutes, showing his friend a Youtube clip from Rupaul's Drag Race.
Last week, a person came fast around the corner of the store while I was up on our ladder, trying to find a space for a giant, oversized book. The guy either jostled the ladder, knocking me over, or my body presumed they were going to jostle the ladder and flinched. Either way, I ended up falling tailbone first on to the concrete floor, then hitting my head.
I've been on the ladder about twenty times in the intervening three shifts I've worked. Today, a very awesome woman asked for one of the books in our window display. I had just sold the only other copy in the store, so I grabbed the ladder, and climbed up to the window. In the less than thirty seconds I was up on the ladder another, definitely not awesome, woman put her purse on the rung directly beneath my foot.
When she did not respond to my "Excuse me." I kicked her purse off the ladder, knocking her various supplies and papers all over the floor.
I gave her a brusk "Please watch what you're doing, and where you're placing things. If I hadn't seen you put your purse there, I would have fallen on you, probably hit that woman on the head with this very heavy book, and at least one of us would have been conked on the head by this ladder."
She apologized, and while I was helping her pick up her stuff, a third woman SAT ON THE FUCKEN LADDER like it was a chair and started flipping through a book.
I am assembling a rubber band and paper clip weapon to use for the rest of the afternoon. Be warned.