11 03 2008

I know, I know. I haven’t blogged in a while. And while I appreciate all the thousands upon thousands of you caring so deeply about reading whatever random thoughts happen to pop into my head, I must humbly request that you stop berating me about it. Look, I’m a busy guy. My days are full of busy… ness? Sometimes I can’t accomodate all the piles and piles of requests to continue writing. I have my limits, you know? I mean, I’ll try to do better, but your constant bellyaching and threats of violence are ridiculous.

Moving on.

It has been suggested that I talk a bit about work. Specifically, my work. I kind of thought that I would only really talk about The Bookstore That Shall Not Be Named whenever I had a really good story to tell, but I realized recently that along the way to finding those really good stories, there are nice little stories. So, what I’ve decided to do is to list out some of those nice little stories and if I feel so inclined, I may one day expand one or more of them into really good stories. So, here goes.

– A woman recently came in, and was pretty personable, and since I was on the 3rd floor (also known as “Where the Books Go to Retire”), we started talking a bit. She started chastising our pitifully small music section. I politely chuckled (“Heh, heh. Yeah, wow. We really do have a small music section. Huh. I never really noticed that before you just right now mentioned it. You’re super observant. Are you like, a detective?”). Then she points to a copy of His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. For those who don’t know, this is a trilogy of books, the first of which was recently turned into the movie The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman. This woman says, “What is that, His Dark Materials? Is that written by a man?” I pointed to the prominently displayed name, Philip Pullman, on the cover. “I think so, yeah.” “Mmmm-hmmmm,” she replies. Then she adds, “You know, most fantasy books with little girls and bears, like that one has on the cover, are written by women. That’s a fact. My book club was talking about it last week.” Which, okay? How do you respond to that? So, I said, “Oh? Neat. Um, which books did you talk about? Which other books involve girls and bears that are written by women,” to which she replied, like a wise old sage, “Oh, you don’t even wanna know.” And that was that.

Shortly after, another woman came in, asking if the new Eckhart Tolle book right there was the one recommended by Oprah. Pointing casually to the prominently displayed “Oprah’s Book Club Recommends” sticker, I said, “Yeah, I think so.” The woman hungrily bought the book and left. Then the first woman, the girls and bears woman, came back up to me. “You think she’s even gonna read it, or you think she just bought it because Oprah said to?” “Uh, well…” “Why do you think Oprah is so popular now?,” she interrupted. We then engaged each other in about a ten or fifteen minute conversation about Oprah, covering topics ranging from The Secret to how Oprah started out as nothing more or less than Ricki Lake, Jerry Springer, or Phil Donahue, to, I kid you not, whether or not I feel that Oprah’s fame and standing was divinely handed to her by God. Yeah. So, that was that woman.

– Another time, sometime last week, I think, a girl came up to my register and said, “Can I ask you? Do people actually watch porn?” I sincerely thought that I had mis-heard her. But she was absolutely serious. Now, in fairness, I truly believe that she overheard a conversation or something that she assumed I had also overheard and she was referencing something from that overheard conversation, and when she realized I had no idea what she was referencing, she got kind of embarrassed, and so decided to go with it instead of supplying context, but even so. So, I reply, “Uh… yeah. Yes, it is my understanding that people watch porn.” “Oh, okay. Like, a lot of people?” “Um, well, yes. Again, it’s just my understanding, but I do believe that the pronography industry is one of the most financially lucrative. So it would stand to reason that yes, many people watch porn.” And then she says, “Okay. That’s just weird. So, I guess what you’re saying is that people really will just have sex for money.” Now, I can’t remember exactly what I said next, but I believe it was something like, “Well, you know, there is a difference between watching porn and being in porn.” Her expression indicated that in fact she did not know this. It was around this time that I asked her why she was asking what she was asking. he said that she was just curious. I said that people don’t usually ask this just out of curiosity, so I reckon there must be a context. She said it would take too long to explain, to which I replied that if she didn’t tell me the context, I’d probably end up blogging about this and I’d create a context. She seemed to understand. And so…

PORN GIRL: Hey, Russian Mafia. Why have you kidnapped me?

RUSSIAN MAFIA LEADER: No kidnap. Ask you to come, politely.

PORN GIRL: My bad. I thought I was being kidnapped. That’s why I came with you so easily.

RUSSIAN MAFIA LEADER: Da. Happens often. Bad reputation, you know? We say, “Please come,” you hear, “I kill you if you no come.” Is our curse: always misunderstood.

PORN GIRL: Okay. Well, if it’s all the same to y’all, I think I’ll just go back home now.


PORN GIRL: “Wait! Wait” like you’re kidnapping me, or “Wait! Wait!” like, “Please wait”?

RUSSIAN MAFIA LEADER: We no kidnap! How many time I say!? I just — we have question.


RUSSIAN MAFIA LEADER: People, do they watch the porno?

PORN GIRL: What? Yeah, it’s like, one of the most lucrative industries in the world.




PORN GIRL: No, it’s just. You seem disappointed is all.

RUSSIAN MAFIA LEADER: No, is not that.

PORN GIRL: Well then, what?

RUSSIAN MAFIA LEADER: Is just… I think I fall in love with you, and love confuses what I think. I want believe you that people watch the porno, but maybe I just believe because of love. I think maybe you ask someone I no love. But someone smart. Works in smart place. That boy in that bookstore there. You ask him. I listen. Then I believe. Because I no love him.

PORN GIRL: You… you love me?


PORN GIRL: Sure. Sure, I’ll ask him. And then maybe, afterwards, we could…




Both smiling, PORN GIRL enters the store, and walks up to the register.

I figure I pretty much got that verbatim.

— ldi




One response

13 03 2008

Yep, I’m sure that’s exactly how it happened. 🙂

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