A very fashionably dressed woman walks into our store. She walks from shelf to shelf looking excitedly at various books. “This store is great!” she says.
I smile. And I actually mean it.
Fahsionable’s friend picks up our last copy of Saga Volume Two. “I don’t usually read comics, but I’ve been loving this series.”
Saga is one of my favorites, too, so we spend a few minutes talking about it. Fashionable, overhearing us discussing the most recent issue, walks up to the counter and says “Oh, don’t buy that! You can totally torrent it for free. I never pay for comics anymore.”
I squint my eyes at Fashionable, hoping to give her a horrible migraine, or, better yet, the common sense to not come into a store and encourage potential customers to illegally download product, thus stealing from the store, the artist, the writer, the distributor, and, you know, everyone.
I don’t think people who torrent comics or music or tv or movies or what-have-you are, necessarily, terrible people. But I do think that the people who claim to love independent stores who go in to those independent stores to research what product they plan to steal online are slightly awful. And the people who say, out loud, to customers and retailers that they only steal the product they could purchase in independent stores are almost definitely terrible. And, often, in many varying ways.
Her friend seems appropriately ashamed and walks to another section of the store. But she doesn’t say anything.
A few minutes pass, where I do paperwork, and Fashionable chatters away in a voice which I may have found annoying BEFORE she talked about torrenting. “I can’t believe you’ve never heard of Adventure Time, it’s only the best show on television, like, ever, and anyone who says it isn’t it a complete” and hear she says a word I just couldn’t understand. I think she made it up. I don’t think it’s derogatory to any group of people, and the only reason I’m not repeating it is for fear that it IS a horribly offensive word that I’m just not familiar with.
(Aside: When I was in third grade, I had a “friend” who loved to use ridiculous but inoffensive words to make fun of people. Words like “Frappefoot!” “Potatobrain!” “Glorp!” and “Mogwai!” One day, I was excited about something, and bumped into him and he got this very intense look on his face and said a word I had never heard a before. A word which rhymes with “grunt” and is a disparaging word for female gentalia. And I, very loudly, in the middle of the library said “Ooooooooooooooooooooh, Ricky called me a” and I said that word that’s so popular in England. And the librarians eyes exploded, and she kneeled down to my level and said “That is not a word you should ever use.”)
After she said whatever it is that she said, I must have let out a sound because she started glaring at me.
I glared back. While smiling. (And this time, I definitely didn’t mean it.)
"It’s really cold in here. You should turn down the air conditioning."
I continued to smile. “Maybe you should consider torrenting some heat.”
She continued to glare.
I glared back.
She glared. And then she left.
She did not buy anything.