Sunday, March 22, 2009


As i walk towards the front door to unlock it i hear the sound of plastic scraping across the concrete beneath the soul of my shoe. I fiddle with my keys and notice a broken cell phone and fragments of its shattered screen and keys littered all around it. I nudge it with my toe a bit and then give it a slight kick before i unlock the door and enter the shop. During the day every once and a while i glace out the window and look at the broken phone laying in the sunlight. It's being kicked ever so slightly inch by inch as customers trample it before coming into the store in a pattern not unlike the illustrated diagrams found in dance step theory books. This guy comes in wearing a grey, white and black Columbia jacket, a Montreal Canadians hat and really thin framed glasses. He is a semi-regular customer, but not regular enough for us to know each others names and we say hello. He is tall and thin and has large dark circles under his eyes. Judging by his facial hair in comparison to his previous visits it looks as if he hasn't slept in a few days. He is your typical super hero reader, X-men, spider-man and green lantern but today he looks unsatisfied. With a grimace he examines the shelves and actually sighs when he is through. He asks me if i could recommend any alternative comic books. Something that doesn't necessarily include super heroes. Something maybe a bit more reality based. I offer many suggestions and eventually land on a personal favorite about a young man in relationship crisis upon returning to his home town. I describe the plot loosely to him and he replies saying that it sounds good but maybe too close to a personal dilemma he is currently going through. I ask . He tells me that he had been dumped by his long time girl friend a few days ago. I ask. He tells me that she had problems concerning their inability to function as a successful couple unless in a public situation. They never talk. When they do he never listens. The broken record that plays for seemingly all males at one point or another in their lives. He decides that maybe its time for a change and on second thought he will give the book a try.
He attempts to pay for the book with debit but after an uncharacteristically long "processing..." period the screen flashes at me and reads " BAD COMMUNICATION."
The guy says "I'll just pay in cash."
Out of the corner of my eye I see a pedestrian kick the broken cell phone out of view.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Industry has Changed

Just opened the store and this dude comes in the door before Ive even hung up my coat. I say "Hey." and he says; "Hockey Cards." He is wearing a blue wind breaker and matching pants, some really new looking Nike's and a tattered earth toned baseball cap that said "Copenhagen." The H in hagen was an evergreen tree. His face was slightley wrinkily and his moustache was white and spars. I showed the man where the cards were and he proceeded to barrage me with questions on specifics about the cards that I must admit was a little embaressed to not have the awnsers. What the defference in the series were, why some of the packs were more expensive than others, where they were manufactured. I just didnt know and eventully got tired of tip toeing around it and just began saying "Dunno." immeadiatly after each question. He finally decided on the packs that he wanted to buy saying that they were for his nephew and he would most likely be happy with anything. As I'm ringing him through and he is punching in his debit code into the hand held he decides to leave me with this comment; " Yeah i used to collect hockey cards back when i was a kid. But the industry has changed way too much...too many niggers." The printer spews out his receit. I tear it and hand it to him and he walks out the door.