"You know that guy who works at the hardware store? He was on the phone with someone, and he was saying a bunch of Pro-Trump stuff, so I sort of tuned him out. And then I heard him say 'You're going to abandon me for being pro-Trump? After I stuck with you through your whole child pornography situation?' I have to know that now. I have to know that this guy isn't just a Trump voter, but that he's a long time supporter of a child pornographer. And you know that everyone who works with him knows both of those things."
A dad in his thirties comes in with a six or seven year old on a leash. The retail employee senses trouble.
It's not a leash,exactly. It's not around the kid's neck. It's toddler handcuffs. They're plastic. They probably don't chafe. As much as metal.
A dad in his thirties comes into a store with his sixish year old son handcuffed to him . But, you know, big goofy, colorful plastic handcuffs with a two foot long cord, so it doesn't look as terrible as it is.
A dad in his thirties comes into a store where there is one employee, and one former employee on a ladder...
The former employee loves to stand on ladders. Earlier in the day the current employee got up on a ladder and made a joke about how he wasn't like that former employee who just went around standing on ladders for no reason. He clearly Bettlejuiced the former employee who is now standing on the fucken ladder.
...and the dad is followed by two also bearded, also thirty-something dadbros. No other kids.
The handcuffed kid is crying. "I want Pigget. Give me Pigget."
The dad with the handcuffed son says "We didn't get Piglet. Remember? You weren't good enough for Piglet."
I am not a dad. I do not know what this kid's behavior is like. I do not know their financial situation. It is not yet for me to judge how the dad is handling the Piglet crying. This could be totally legit. You know, without the toddler handcuffs.
The dad turns to me. "This is his mom's fault. Bitch has to mention Piglet. he doesn't even know who fucken Piglet is."
I am now judging him. In my experience, misogynists are rarely good parents. Particularly when they misogyne in front of their seven year old handcuffed kids.
The dad and his short prisoner wander around the store, coming perilously close to knocking my former coworker off her ladder. She doesn't notice this. The air is thin up in ladderland. The ground is another terrible world.
The handcuffed child sees a series of Pops and Dorbz. He wants one. Dad says "You don't even know who they are." which, again, might be reasonable without the context of the misogyny and the handcuffs.
The handcuffed child says "Huck."
The handcuffer dad says "Hulk. That's close, though. Good. Uncle Stan will get that for you." And then, to me. "That was pretty good. He was non-verbal until a few months ago."
I do not reply with "Maybe he just didn't want to talk to his shitty dad." but I think it really loudly.
Uncle Stan says "I'll get him the Hulk. But if he cries about Piglet again, I'm going to throw it into traffic."
I don't like Uncle Stan, either.
The group inoffensively talk about Comic Con both to me, and each other. Again, without context, their conversation is fine. With context, I hate them.
The handcuffed child says "Huck."
The handcuffer dad says "Be patient."
The handcuffed child says "Pigget."
The handcuffer dad leads the kid out of the store. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt (which he doesn't deserve) that he took him out of the store so that Uncle Stan wouldn't hear him talking about Piglet and refuse to buy the Hulk.
With the Escaped Convict Family gone, Uncle Stan starts talking to me about comics he's looking for. Again, without context, his conversation starts fine.
While Uncle Stan rambles about books he can't find anywhere, my former coworker finally descends the ladder. She has been up there since the late Cretaceous Period.
Uncle Stan says "We don't have comic stores like this where I'm from." I do not ask him where that is.
Uncle Stan says "Where I'm from, we have a church basement where once a week, they pull out hundreds of long boxes and some specialty items."
Uncle Stan says "They had this really cool signed Spider-Man plate that I wanted, but it was $1500."
"That's a lot of money." I say. "That's a lot of money to spend on Spider-Man plates."
"That's three antique guns worth of money." Uncle Stan says. "I'd rather have guns than Spider-Man plates."
I really want Uncle Stan to buy his shit and leave.
Uncle Stan asks "Do you collect guns?"
"No." I say. "I don't collect guns."
Uncle Stan says "Where I'm from, a lot of collectors double-dip. Comics and guns, coins and n...paraphernalia."
Is Uncle Stan a Fucken Nazi? Of course Uncle Stan is a fucken Nazi. Of course Handcuffy Dad has a friend he calls Uncle Stan who is a fucken Nazi. Handcuffy Dad? Probably also a Nazi.
Today? Nazis in the store to-fucken-day?
I don't know they're Nazi fucks. Maybe he was embarrassed to say Naruto to me? Neopets? If Uncle Stan and Handcuffy Dad hadn't been otherwise shitty, would I have even assumed the "n" paraphernalia was Nazi?
Uncle Stan returns to talking about humdrum humdrum whatever comics that he couldn't find. Very polite. Talks more about Comic Con. Nothing offensive. Regular conversation.
Is Uncle Stan a Nazi Fuck, though? I mean, I think so. I definitely think so. Don't Nazi Fucks just look like anyone now? No visible racist tattoos. No Klan hoods. No racist shirts when they are just out buying comics like regular people. Like Nazi Fucks are regular people.
Uncle Stan pays for his comics with a Hundred Dollar Bill. It was not the last one in his thick wallet. I don't know what Uncle Stan does for a living, but he appears to be loaded.
The Third Man, who has been Entirely Silent for the entire trip says "Stan, you should tell him about the Hulk vs. Wolverine statue you bought."
Uncle Stan says "It's huge."
"Could barely fit it in the car." Third Guy says. "We almost had to tie Tiernan on the roof."
Uncle Stan says "If he mentions Piglet again, I'm going to tie him on the roof for real."
Third Guy says "I told him he should have Stan Lee sign it. Stan Lee was Right There."
Uncle Stan says "But it was too big."
Third Guy says "The base, then."
Uncle Stan says "But I don't think Stan Lee created Wolverine. It was someone else."
"Len Wein" says my former coworker who is on the floor like a reasonable human being, and not up on a fucken ladder.
Uncle Stan does not acknowledge her. She does not appear to notice. "Chris Claremont or someone." He says.
"Len Wein." I say.
"Really?" Uncle Stan asks. "Huh."
Taking a walk around my neighborhood this morning, I noticed, for the first time, that there are about a half dozen rainbow flags hanging from various houses on the block I live on. I also noticed that all of them are upside down. I just don't know if that was done purposefully.
After the hideousness that is 2016, the only way I can hold out hope for 2017 is to imagine the entire incoming administration gets so excited about all the civil rights they're going to remove, and all of the people they're going to oppress, that they all climax to death, and Obama, who isn't perfect but also isn't nearly as evil, is forced to remain president for the first six months, as we run another election cycle. But during this one, everyone who has ever run for President before is banned, resulting in America's first Muppet Administration.
President Scooter turns out to be a fair and bipartisan candidate, even reaching across the aisle and nominating Sam The Eagle as Supreme Court Justice. Rowlf the Dog is originally disappointed when he's rejected as Surgeon General but Dr. Teeth defies all expectations by both legalizing marijuana and eradicating tooth decay in his first four months in office. Janice (did you know she and Scooter were married?) becomes the First Lady, and her Dance Yrself Clean Initiative lowers the national BMI by five percentage points.
Celebrity deaths are at an all-time low because the media fails to report that the entire casts of Duck Dynasty and Jersey Shore, as well as Tila Tequila, Bill Cosby, Scott Baio, Fred Durst, and Matthew McConaughey are all felled by the Shartington Epidemic which only affected people who ate at a particular Chic-Fil-A.
When I was in high school, my father gave me a copy of "The Way Things Ought To Be" by Rush Limbaugh, and I thought it was really funny. Then, for Christmas, he gave me Limbaugh's "See, I Told You So" and there was one particular chapter (possibly about Ted Kennedy?) that made me do some actual research at a library. Five minutes of research made me realize that my father's favorite radio personality was a horrible monster deliberately misleading the lazy (seriously, five minutes of research was all it took) and uneducated for his own (and his favored political party's) gain.
But for about six months, I totally bought into it. #nationalcomingoutday
There is a live action spin-off of Drunk History, called Idiot History happening in out store right now.
I tune in and out, but so far the most egregious "fact" has been "Well, the Republicans just passed a law so that Obama can't be elected for a fourth term because he's so popular. And that's why they're pushing for Hillary because she came in second last time, so she's, like, the most popular possible person to be President."
Her friend then asked why she wasn't Vice President, and she replied "It has something to do with the electric college."
They both bought quite a bit of manga.
I think watching Problematic Pizza Guy watch the Obama speech explains precisely type of stupid, not ignorant, stupid American who falls for idiots like Trump.
Obama: I keep reading letters that say 'Do something.'
PPG: He wants me to do something. Everyone wants ME to do something.
Me: No. He said people want him to do something. Him. Not you. You've got to actually listen to what someone says before you criticize them.
PPG: I don't need to listen. I pick up enough of their underling (sic) message.
This is the problem. This absolutely moronic waste of reproductive material talks constantly. And there are people stupid enough to think this guy has a single functioning brain cell. He doesn't. He doesn't listen. He doesn't understand what he half hears. But he speaks as though he's an expert on any subject brought up to him.
There are four people in this place who are having very serious conversations with him, where they are on his side.
Someone actually said "Obamacare taking all our guns away isn't going to solve anything. People will just get their guns from the black market and kill even more people because it was so difficult to get their guns."
Now they're discussing the stock market, as if one of them wasn't unemployable, and the other didn't inherit this business from his marginally more intelligent parents.
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.
I am an unapologetic hater of people who need to use the word "unapologetic" to describe a political stance, occupation, or place of birth in their biography.
When Chic-fil-a decided to be more Openly Bigoted a few years ago, one of my very close friends, a woman who had stayed at my house when she was fighting with her idiot boyfriend, and who had invited me to her wedding before she and her idiot fiance broke up, a woman who introduced me to her best friends: a lesbian couple who lived in the South End, wrote a long post about how she was devoting her free time to protest in favor of Chic-fil-a's freedom to be homophobic.
Because she was my friend, and someone I'd always viewed as an ally, I refrained from being sarcastic, and asked her how she could reconcile the way that company was treating at least four people she cared about (the fourth being the guy I dated through most of our friendship), and she sent this long disconnected Jesus tirade about how Christians were being persecuted for blah blah blah, false dichotomy, metaphorical bible quote taken literally, etc. So I defriended her, and sent her a very brief e-mail telling her that I was disappointed that she valued a fictional version of a two thousand year old dead guy more than her living friends. I didn't hear from her again until the Boston Marathon bombing, where I sent her a reply of "I am unaffected." and presumed, correctly, that I wouldn't hear from her again.
Today, in the midst of all the rainbow memes, and wedding pictures, I scanned through my friends' posts and was pleasantly surprised to not find a single argument. Like, REALLY surprised. So it was with much disappointment that I found a solitary post, made by the woman I almost married twenty years ago talking about how "love won when Jesus died on the cross" which is...ASTOUNDING. You'd think that if you were going to be Jesus-y, you'd go with "love won when Jesus rose again" or "love won when...." actually there's not a lot of love in the New Testament, once the whole "let's kill the protagonist" angle starts up.
She went on to talk about how difficult it was going to be to teach her children about checks and balances when "there aren't in any in the new America". And how this wasn't about marriage equality rights, this was about states' rights.
Huh, where have I heard that recently?
As I've been doing more and more often recently, I wrote a long, calm, point about why I disagreed with her status, and then, instead of posting it, I erased it and defriended her.
I know there is a sentiment among many of my friends that you shouldn't be silent, and that you should fight through your feelings and argue with people about their ignorance and/or bigotry, but that's not for me. I've long grown tired of trying to use logical thinking when talking to a bunch of metaphor-comprehensionally impaired bigots who belong to really judgmental book club, which is #notallChristians but #yesallliteralists. How can I hope to compete logically with someone who, if he existed, has been dead for so long that he wouldn't even know that calendaric time has started flowing in the opposite order.
Also, when I get frustrated with people laying down irrelevant platitudes that they didn't even come up with themselves, but overheard on their news show of choice, I tend to say very specifically hurtful things that I can't take back like "I feel really bad for your children, what with them being homeschooled by a prejudiced idiot." or "I don't think someone who majored in violin at a glorified musical academy is really qualified to be discussing constitutional law." or "As the person who helped finance the abortion you got when you cheated on me, I think you are woefully unqualified to be talking about morality and so-called-family values." but that's not going to solve anything.
I'm fairly meticulous with who I am Facebook friends with. I don't expect everyone I talk to agree with me on what kind of poets I respect, or whether the last episode of Lost proved that the show was super racist, but if I see that you've made a post about Barack Obama where you use any pejorative term that dehumanizes him (I'll disagree with you about "stupid", but I won't be mad about it. I understand "disappointing", and any synonym for "liar" is acceptable what with him being a politician and all) or if you want to defend the use of racist imagery or using the law to impose your religion on people, or tell me how woman aren't qualified to (insert anything here...actually anything), then I don't give a shit that we used to go to Middle School together, or that we both really like X-Men comics, I'm done communicating with you.
------I don't want anything from this post. It's not here as a dramatic "if you do X, you better defriend me now!!!111!1!1!" statement. I'm happy to do the work of defriending myself if I see repeated ignorant bullshit. It's mainly that I'm sad that someone I used to be really close to, someone who, granted, has always been from a really weird family, a family who, after they moved west somehow found Jesus in every corner of their house, and at the grocery store, and on their toast, has finally pushed me to the point where I just can't communicate with her anymore
--------for those of you who've been around since The Insafemode Journal days, Yes, this is the same woman who called me at work to let me know that she had a half-brother who turned up. She was letting me know because her mother had given him up for adoption and "My mother would never have agreed to meet him, if he hadn't mentioned that he wanted to share with her the gospel of Christ. So maybe if you accept Jesus, you can get in touch with your birth parents." She was unimpressed when I let her know that if I wanted to get in touch with my birth parents, I just had to fill out paperwork with the agency that oversaw the adoption, as I was a ward of the state of Connecticut, not Jesus. And when I informed her that, in fact, my family abandoned Christianity specifically because my former-altar-boy father was told by The Catholic Diocese that he wasn't fit to be a parent, she started to talk about my family's shortcomings. I hung up on her, not just because I thought she was being an insensitive, unChristian ass, but because I was also in the middle of a nine hour shift waiting tables.
--------we now return you to your regularly scheduled series of posts about how annoying people are in retail environments