Monday, November 3, 2008

The Condescending Stole-Away

It's one of those points where there are so many customers coming in and out of the shop that i loose track of how many there actually are. Once they have all checked out and left i seize the opportunity for death metal. I like lots of different types of music and for the most part i get to play pretty much whatever music i like at the shop. However, i tend to stray away from the more heavy music while customers are in the store. I don't want to make moms uncomfortable and metal heads too comfortable. So when the store is empty i like to get a fix and play some death metal. So i do. I'm repricing some anime because of the constantly fluctuating interest rates and Satan takes hold of me. I pick up two pens and im playing a drum solo on the counter. Leaning back shredding a guitar solo and head banging. I start pretending to metal scream. Not like a real scream, like a deep throughty one. Like the ones you would do as a kid playing with action figures pretending to be loud. Then i see a bit of movement behind the shelf of back issues. And a middle aged black man that has been in the store many times stands up and gives me the crazy eye. He had been sitting cross legged on the floor reading and i didn't notice that he was still in the store. I was really embarrassed so i turned off the death metal and continued repricing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

pins and needles

i wake up. i get in my car. i start to drive to work and my day is all ready fucked. I'm less then three minutes away from the shop and i see them. The ones that go to the conventions. The ones i have described in a previous posts. The people who dress up in costumes of their favorite characters. And they are headed right in the direction of my store. I immediately panic. Racking my brain. Could there be a convention in the city that I'm not aware of? Perhaps they are just going to the GO station across the street from the shop. But i couldn't even fool myself into being that naive. I was starting work in two minutes, and this flock of hopeless foolishness was going to invade my store. I've dealt with their kind before. The ones that don't only dress up for conventions, but for fun in everyday circumstances and more often than not, to go shopping at a place where their kind is to an extent tolerated. They come and they browse and they ask five hundred questions and they shriek and scream in excitement and they are loud and they are rude and they will often ask to order something they know is impossible to find just so they know that I know they are into some seriously underground shit. Waste my time, and patience and fuck wit my chi like a sonovabitch. I get in, open the shop and make a tea and i wait. I sit and i wait for them to arrive. Its kind of like how the few seconds before a doctor sticks you with a needle feels like ten minutes. I sit and I wait and I pace and I sweat and get nervous. I wish it would just happen so I could get the whole ordeal started and then over with. Customer after customer normal people come in and shop and leave. I'm waiting for these ghouls to enter at any second, and I'm cringing every time i hear the door open. Minutes into hours, and before I know it its closing time and there was no appearance of the costumed brigade of nerds. As I lock the door and turn off the OPEN sign i have an unsettling feeling that all though i was dreading their appearance, because i was expecting it my day some how feels incomplete. Sort of out of sorts. Half a step back words. I'm worried that those people in the costumes actually had some thing ELSE to do other than come to a comic store. I guess i feel a little rejected. But I'm more worried about how these people who I chastise and mock behind their backs were able to control my day and some how actually make me feel a specific way. I'm all out of whack now, and i think i have a weird co-dependent relationship with nerds to make me feel good about myself or something. I dunno, comic stores and emotions is like onion. layers nigga. mad layers.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hang-overs avec Van Halen

So i am really hung over and tired after being out in the city until six am having been drinking since six at night. Lots of fun and lots of friends but to say the least i felt like shit. I came into the shop and made a nice cup of tea and put on some soft sounding relaxing music. I was ready to enjoy my tea, chill the fuck out and loose my hang over in some low volume Otis Redding. I hear the door open and before i even turn my head to see him, i hear him. He is a head phone exhibitionist. You know those people, who walk around with their head phones around their neck with their music at full volume just so they know that you know that they not only like Disturbed but like them enough to advertise it. Well this dude is one of those dudes. Its unseasonably freezing out. He has got on a denim jacket, dirty looking white shirt on and cut off jean shorts. High white socks and some brown nikes. But its not disturbed coming out of his head phones. Its Van Halen. Particularly that song "JUMP". You know it but just in case you don't know that you know it,
I would have been a little annoyed becuase of his energtic and loud pressence but as he walked past me behind the counter he pointed at me with both hands in the signature heavy metal hand gesture and said "Whats up brother!?" in a really positive manner and i kind of admired his enthusiasm. He walked around the store a for a few minutes and i noticed that when the song eneded, it simply started back up again. Same song. Jump. Van Halen. I thought it was a little weird and then when it started again for the third time i jsut found it halarious. This dude woke up on sunday morning, put on shorts and a jean jacket and walked to a comic store with jump on repeat. That was his morning. Jump started for the fifth time and he was drumming on his legs and tapping his toes when i asked him if he needed a hand with anything. He took one hard look around the store scanning for nothing in particular and said. "Nah...there's nothing for me here man...thanks though." and then he left. Stoic and content, he walked off into the distance. He kind of reminded me of kwai Chang Caine but if he listened to really upbeat power rock.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Panic! at the Campus

So school started and I'm at the comic store a lot less than in the summer. So not as many jokes at the store. However, because i go to a college deeply rooted in the arts industry a lot of the general clientele that would frequent the shop also attend classes in the same building that i do. So i guess the comedy i find in this situation is this: Because i work at a comic store the people that come in assume i am on the level and will have no hesitation what so ever about full disclosure based on the extremely nerdy and often embarrassing interests that they might have. I'm all ready in the store. The store is a safe haven and i am one of them. No ones has any problem asking me if the wall mounted Dragon statue has a good chance of selling in the near future or to special order them a PVC statue of a naked twelve year old girl with a giant banana between her legs. However when i bump into these customers made aquintances on campus its like a deer in head lights. Wide eyed. Focused on me and then looking down at their feet, paste on a smile and then look back up. They look at me like a we met at a party and fucked and they gave me a fake phone number and are now bumping into me at the mall. They look at me like a closet homosexual who left their journal on a park bench when they were writing about sucking dick or licking box and i am the guy who found it, called the number and we are meeting so i can give it back. They Say "Hey" and they studder and their voices crack and they some times sweat. And i say "Hey" back. They feel threatened because no matter how tight the jeans are that they wear or how many unique tattoos and piercings they have or how many cigarettes they smoke or how many cool under ground band t-shirts they have, i know the truth. They all look at me as if i know some kind of horrible secret that if revealed could tear the very fabric of their existence. And in a way i guess i do, right? sort of?
Thats pretty funny i guess then.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fear and Loathing at FAN EXPO 08

This past weekend i worked at a large convention in Toronto. It was called FAN EXPO 08 and for Friday Saturday and Sunday thousands of comic, anime, horror and science fiction fans all gathered in one giant room to buy things, meet celebrities and dress like fucking assholes. It is a display of everything that disgusts and shames me as a comic book fan about the culture and industry that i feel (for the most part) produces extremely relevant and socially important media . Every year i spend time reading under ground and indie books and regarding them as serious litterature and researching artisits and illusrators trying my hardest to hide from the social perspective of being lumped into the same category as the people we see at these conventions. The nerds. the ones we mock in movies and televison. The Ones who care about bullshit. More concerned with collection and condition and signed copies rather than good narritive story telling coupled with percise and interesting art. Every year i spend my time telling myself that i am not part of this demographic. That comics are a mature medium. And every year at FAN EXPO my confidence is shattered. Into 50 000 peices by fat fucks in skin tight spider man costumes. I could go on for paragraphs about all the things that go on at a convention. And to be honest i wouldnt scratch the surface. Instead while i was there i took note of the funnyest things i was whitness to.
1) A guy who bought a replica ninja sword from me took out his wallet from a fanny pack that was literally under neath his stomach. He had to lift up his fat to get at his fanny pack.
2) A girl dressed up as Princess Leia pretending to give a hand job and lick the balls of a guy dressed up as Darth Vader.
3) Bald guy with glasses wearing sweatpants cut off into shorts, socks pulled up to his knees, stark white reboks and a tattered wolverine t-shirt straight up sneezed all over his hot dog before eating it and spilling a combination of mustard and snot on his right tit.
4) Really creepy looking girl walking really slowy by herself down an isle sucking a wooden spoon.
5) 35 to 40 different vagina's eating 10 different kinds of colored spandex.
6) Five or six hairy fat guys (who didn't come together) dressed like sailer moon. Make up and skirts. The whole sha-bang. They looked like Russian hookers.
7) Super Mario taking a piss while a janitor try ed to un-clog a toilet mere feet away from him.
8) A hundred person line up to meet some broad from star trek: Deep Space Nine and a ten person line up to meet Buzz Aldrin, who has actually been in space.
9) A mother who clearly dressed up as an anime character to please her 12 year old daughter (who was dressed in the same fashion) looked me right in the eyes with sheer desperation and asked me for a cigarette.
10) Some fat creeper going around taking pictures of all the 14 years old girls who dressed up CLEARLY had his boner not only tucked up in his sweat pants waist band but also the black clip on strap of his fanny pack.

This is just the tip of the ice berg. I don't ever want to go back for fear that if there is a god and he is indeed vengeful and decides to send a message to the scum of the earth with a plague of locusts and a volcano, that is the first place that is going down.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

grand kids with unanswered questions

An older woman with really tanned skin and really white teeth walks in the door and immediately makes eye contact with me. Right then I knew she was going to ask me a question that i couldn't hope to ever have the answer to but i smiled any way and said hello. She was wearing really white capris and a a yellow Hawaiian shirt with pineapples all over it. She told me about how she bought a Barbie c-d ROM game called Barbie Explorer. From what i understand its kind of like Tomb Raider, but your character is Barbie looking for some fucking giant crystal that gives Ken a real Penis or some shit. But none the less, She tells me that Her grand kids played the game and were "Shocked and Horrified" that when Barbie finally finds the crystal the words "...To be Continued." pop up and the game ends. This Woman was personally offended by the game developers choice to end the story with a cliff hanger. She didn't buy the game at my store, nor have we ever stocked any Barbie related products. So i looked it up on Google and actually went to the fucking Barbie website to see if the second half of this gut wrenching tale could be purchased anywhere, only to find that it in fact does not exist. I break the news to her that as of now there is no second part. She gave me a look like that your catholic grandma would give an abortion doctor and asked me how could that be? I said i didn't know and that perhaps they have writers working 12 hour shifts writing the story for Barbie Explorer Part two and the game has yet to be made. She said that i wasn't being very helpful and then left the store.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

vomit inducing Canadian super villain

i drag myself out of bed more hung over than ive ever felt. i throw up twice. Once in the shower. Once out of the shower. I drive to the grocery store and buy some bananas and apples in an attempt to undo what ive done to my body. I pass a bus that say "Have a nice day" on it with a little smiley face. I get to work a few minutes early so i got to the washroom and throw up three times. When i come out there is a guy waiting outside so i unlock there door. He comes in and says that he loved the new batman movie so much that he had to come in and get some batman comics.
He is on a "Batman High" and he needs a "fix". As he is browsing the comics he says to me that he thinks for the next batman "they" should bring back Jim Carey to reprise his role as the Riddler.
I feel like throwing up again.
He buys about twenty different batman comics and one super girl and then leaves.

Monday, July 14, 2008

lesbian porn and sabrina the teenage witch

I’m pouring myself a cup of tea when he walks in the door and says "Hey, Brother." in an accent that I can’t quite place. His skin is dark brown. Black hair and spars facial hair. He is pretty short, about 5'2 or so and has more clips and buckles on his person than a professional cave spelunker. It’s so hot outside and I can see this guy has on a black t-shirt and a black dickies jacket under his dark navy blue army camo coat. Black socks, black cargo pants with enough pockets to keep at least one memento from each of the 23 women he has raped and murdered. The most complicated white shoes Reebok has ever designed with additional silver reflector tape and flashing red lights. Black gloves with the Tips of the fingers cut off. Around his ankle is a Velcro strap with a compartment that is concealing god knows what, but most likely date rape and toxic glue sticks for sniffing. A mountain climbing back pack made by North 49 littered with similar reflectors to those on his shoes. There is a waist clip on his back pack. Used if you’re climbing a fucking mountain, that he has clipped around his waist, but his large stomach hangs over top of it. LANYARDS. Fucking this dude has four fucking lanyards. All black. From his back pack hangs a light jacket, on the opposite side, a black lunch bag. From the top of the bag there is a giant blue tube that runs along the right arm strap, to his bicycle helmet and hangs loosely by his mouth. Some transparent liquid drips from it every few minutes that at this point I’m convinced is urine he has collected from un-flushed women’s washroom toilets. His helmet is also covered in lights, reflectors, flashing lights, and wires that look like phone cords connecting them to some sort of power supply tucked away in that mess of clips and straps he calls a back pack. He is wearing a pair of those giant black sunglasses that cover your head on the sides as well, typically worn by the blind. And when he removes them, regular glasses underneath. He has a large yellow button pinned to his chest that reads “Keep on keeping on.” And has a picture of a cyclist with peace signs in place of their bikes wheels. He buys a candy bar and after stuffing the wrapper in his pocket, he brings his gloved hand out and a tissue covered, SOAKED in blood, fresh blood still bright red falls out. He takes of his glove only to reveal a tattoo on his hand, on that little piece of flesh in between his pointer finger and thumb that reads “SEXX” in block capitals. He picks up a Japanese comic that has a lot of gay man on man sex in it and flips through it. Then he asks me if we sell the opposite of this book. He starts telling me that he was pissed when Sabrina the teenage witch was canceled and immediately after its cancellation the animated series begun. The cartoon did not have the same kind of magic as the live action. He tells me about how he really liked the cat, and how Sabrina was always “messing up the magic and wearing really short skirts…” He points a batman poster and says he likes it because “It has a lot of dark shades in it…just like me.” Then he asks me if there is a comic called “Dark Shade” maybe about him. My tea is getting cold. He tells me he has to ride his bike to see a guy about buying a car. And all I can think about are those fucking lanyards and how this guy has no conceivable reason for having any keys, except for the padlocks on giant wooden boxes in remote locations around the city that he keeps his kidnap victims in.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

dried fruit and loot bags

A mother came into the store today getting various things for what seemed like loot bags for a child's birthday party. She was walking around the store making choices and placing them on the counter with intent to purchase them later. I walked over to the mini fridge and took out a cranberry muslix yogurt cup with granola. As i was pouring the granola into the yogurt the sound of the grain sliding out of the plastic cup seemed to attract the mothers attention. She then noticed the small dried cranberries that were mixed in with the granola and asked me
"Are those Craisins?" I looked at her and said "Yeah, i guess they are..."
She Turned away from me and started walking around the store again and said;
"My little Marshal just goes ga-ga for craisins." I said nothing. She paid and left.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sith Army, nothing in particular.

Some guy wearing a really nice looking black suit white button up shirt with no tie, and really expensive looking leather slip ons walked in the door, pointed at me and said "Storm Troopers?"
I asked him what he was looking for in particular and he said "In General. Just Storm Troopers."
He stroked his goatee and eyed me carefully when i told him we've got nothing. Then he recieved what seemed like an important phone call on his black berry and walked out the door.