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Inspirational Reads

Tales of the Bookstore, Chapter 2

March 29, 2010

I had trouble falling asleep last night. It could have been the late-night coffee, it could have been the late-night caffeinated intake of Diet Dr. Pepper, or it could have just been that we were getting some awesome thunderstorms with impressive, rolling thunder, but I just couldn't sleep.

You'd think that I would be able to write a blogpost last night and have it set up for posting this morning, right? Well, you could think that, but it didn't happen.

So, here I am, tapping out the second installment of the year of my life I spent as an assistant manager at a bookstore between graduating from college and heading off to graduate school. The first chapter can be found here.

As difficult as it might be to believe, when I first showed up at the bookstore, I was pretty quiet and reserved. I didn't talk too much with my co-workers as I wasn't sure exactly what the hell I was doing behind the counter at a bookstore--both from a job performance view as well as a "what the fuck happened to my career" view.

I started in the middle of June, which meant that summer was in full-swing. This meant that girls were wearing shorts and tank tops and, while I had finally decided to make that commitment to the Ex- that we were going to spend eternity together, I still enjoyed looking. It's like, even if you've eaten your fill at the buffet, you're still going to at least look at the dessert options, right?

So it was one day when this tall, beautiful blonde girl came wandering into the store. I was behind the counter, admiring her from afar. I had yet to truly befriend Shane (mentioned in chapter one), and I was taken aback when he came up front carrying a bunch of books. He stopped at the counter, saw where my eyes were affixed, and turned to take a look, too.

He then turned back to the counter, rolled his tongue out of his mouth, and started panting. Then he looked up and said, "I need to go to the back for a moment." And left.

He came back after she had left the store. In his defense, he was busy shelving books in the interim, but he also liked to go to the back and talk with the lady who did receiving and the other lady who did the non-book merchandising for the store. When he returned up front, he looked around for the tall, blonde girl.

"Is she gone?" he asked.

"Unfortunately, yeah," I responded. "We've had some more action, but nothing like her."

"Well, you need to page me if she ever comes back into the store."

"Will do," I said. And then I added, "She was a dirty one."

"What?" Shane asked. "Dirty?"

I then proceeded to explain to him that a friend of mine--Will's little brother, Pat--was in a band and he one time sang who he liked a "dirty girl", one that was so hot she was dirty, that you'd want to do everything to.

"She wasn't just hot," Shane added at the end. "She was fucking filthy."

And so that was our code-word for hot girls in the store: filthy.

Fast forward a few months to the following spring. We had had a somewhat regular patron come into the store who was...well, I don't know if she was a hippy, just enjoyed the lifestyle, or was lazy. Or a bit of all three. But she was the kind of hippy who really has an aversion to soap, shampoo and razor blades.

I see her come into the store in her tie-dyed shirt, cut-off shorts, and green cloud of funk hovering around her like an aura. She passes by the front counter and, because I'm so fucking customer-service-oriented, I smile, nod, and say, "Good afternoon. Is there anything I can help you find?"

She declines my offer for help, for which I was secretly--silently!--thankful. She wanders over into the general fiction section and peruses the titles therein.

Along comes Shane a few moments later, bipping his way up to the front of the store.

"A real filthy one over in fiction," I tell him.

His eyes light up and he gets that goofy Shane grin on his face and he does an immediate 45 degree turn to port, making a bee-line for the girl who, if she ever washed or took any sort of pride in her appearance, probably would have been quite fetching. Instead, she's, well, stinking up the joint.

Shane runs into her wall of funk and I immediately hear him gasp. I look over and, from a different aisle, he's looking back to the front of the store, glowering at me, shaking his head, and making a throat-slash gesture.

It's all too much and I start laughing.

Finally, he returns to the front of the store.

"If you ever do something like that again, I'll slit your fucking throat," he threatened.

Barely able to contain my mirth, I responded. "Hey," I fired back, "I told you she was filthy."

[NOTE:] Blogger is apparently having issues with pictures right now. So...I'll fix it later.


BigSis said...

That's funny.

I once worked somewhere where the guys would call out a "blue light special" if a hottie walked in. They thought they were so clever!

carissa said...

Soooo... This girl sounds a bit like me, I'm kinda offended.

I mean...Except for I at least try to use body spray...

MJenks said...

@ BigSis: I didn't page him often, but I would do it as discreetly as possible and just ask him to come to the front of the store.

But, yeah, we were dogs.

@ Carissa: I guess I should have noted that I have nothing against the granola lifestyle and hippies in general. It's the body odor that I have an issue with.

Lizzy and Elle said...

It's like, even if you've eaten your fill at the buffet, you're still going to at least look at the dessert options, right?

Men always have an excuse. Women just look, examine and give a full review....

Great post

Ed said...

Ahhh, the old "fool your buddy with the ugly chic by pretending she's hot and making him vomit on his shoes when he realizes she's not" ruse.

Nicely done.

Wynn said...

If he's anything like the videostore dude in Clerks you should watch out. People like that get all kinds of verbal in front of all kinds of people :D

mo.stoneskin said...

Good trick. It reminded me, for no apparent reason, of a trick we played on a mate a university.

Ok, so the tenuous link is the fact it was a trick...

But we were at a pub table and at the bar was someone that looked identical to a friend of ours from behind.

Andy came late and joined us. "Look," someone said,"see Tom up at the bar, sneak up and stuff some ice down his back"!

Always up for fun Andy goes up there, stuffs a load of ice down the back of a total stranger and then pretty much wets himself with horror as a total stranger turns round.

red said...

So filthy is a compliment (assuming one showers)? Good to know.

BeckEye said...

I'll bet that girl would have done anything you asked her to. Except showering, of course. Oh, unless it was of the golden variety.


Amber Tidd Murphy said...

Now all I can think about is buffet food. I am hungryspice.

Yelling to hubster, "GET in the kichen."

Living Shallow, Living Well said...

Nothing a little Axe Body Spray can't fix. Funny.

Moooooog35 said...

AAARRRGHHHH!! No pictures?!?!?!

This is awful.

I mean, good post..just..awful about the pictures thing.