A couple walks in three minutes before the store closes, and the woman announces that she is going to walk around and point out all the things she didn't know were inspired by comics. She mentions From Hell, V For Vendetta, The Tick, and then she stops and asks, "There's a Buffy The Vampire Slayer Comic Book?"
"Yes," I say, "it's a continuation of the TV show."
"Oh, I never watched the TV show. It didn't have Paul Reubens, which makes the movie instantly better. And my research professor is a big fan of it, and he's just...he's no good. Although," and she turns to her poor beleaguered companion, "she would make a good match for your mother. We should hook them up."
"I think my father might have a problem with that."
"I don't like your father. He's so....unlikable. Anyway, I don't get the appeal of the whole comic book thing. This whole modern serial style of storytelling is so unnecessary."
"Actually," Beleaguered says "serial stories have been around for generations. Most Dickens stories were released as serials. Oh, and let's not forget The Oddyssey."
"Ugh." She says, and points her finger at his chest. "You need to read more. The Odyssey, The Iliad, and The Inferno were a trilogy, not a serial. Like Star Wars."
And I couldn't let that slip. "I'm sorry. Did you just mention The Inferno as being a part of a trilogy with The Odyssey and The Iliad?"
"Yes." She says.
"You're aware that The Odyssey and The Iliad are two ancient texts attributed to a possibly fictional person named Homer from at least 400 B.C., and that The Inferno is part of The Divine Comedy, which is a thirteenth century poem written by Dante, right?"
"I'm not talking about comic books." She says. "I'm talking about literature. Homer was a major character in Inferno."
"No." I reply. "Virgil is a major character in The Inferno section of The Divine Comedy. Virgil wrote the Aenid, which IS related to The Odyssey and The Iliad, though they're not generally considered a trilogy."
"I don't mean in the comic books." She replies.
"Neither do I." And then, mimicing her tone, " I'm talking about literature."
"Whatever. They're not a serial."
"You're right." I say. "They're not a trilogy, either, much the way Star Wars: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Clerks aren't a trilogy, even though Kevin Smith went on to make Jay And Silent Bob Strike back."
"What do you know? You work in a comic book store."
And with the gauntlet thrown down, I ask "What do you do for a living?"
She puffs out her, admittedly, sizeable chest. "I'm a Mass Art Student."
"And how many times did you fill out an application here, and get rejected?"
Beleaguered snickers again.
And she says, "Can we just...can we go?"