Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Lunchdate at the Comic Shop with Extra Napkins

Sometimes I give my wife a hard time. Okay, I give her a hard time A LOT. But, she deserves it. Okay, maybe not, but still…

I guess it comes with marriage that you begin to nitpick each other (sometimes quite literally) and the ribbing is endless when you are both annoyed, intrigued, amazed, and flat out embarrassed by the little ticks that your life mate has.

For instance…napkins.

Now, this isn’t just for her. This goes for all you napkin-loving hippy-yentas out there. Yes, we all know that I am an Army/Infantry/Blood-Drinker/Baby killer that bounces bullets off his ball sack and eats live rabbits like they’re Jalapeno poppers from Popeye’s chicken, so naturally, when I go to a restaurant or sit down at home to enjoy my meal, the very LAST thing I’m concerned with is a napkin.

Think about it…you’re wiping away small fractions of your lusciously prepared meal…why not lick it off your fingers like the Viking brute that you are?

My Point: When out and about and sitting down to eat somewhere, my belly HOWLING for sustenance, my focus is eternally on the food. And when it arrives my chief concerns are:
A) Side of Ranch…STAT!
B) Where’s my fucking drink refill?
C) How fast can I get this down?

But not my wife. No, before anything can proceed beyond the lips there must be napkins. Not A napkin, but many napkins. Enough to make a tent after the meal is done. We’re camping out at Red Robin. Refill the fucking bottomless fries. We’re putting your hospitality to the test.

Now, for an exceptionally messy meal I can certainly understand the importance and/or urgency of a napkin…but not for every occasion. I don’t need a napkin with my coke. I know it’s fizzy. I know that there is condensation. I’m all set.

The worst thing you could do is send my wife off to GET napkins. The bitch will bring back the whole dispenser, emptied out into each of her pockets and ready for easy distribution. People will actually walk up and take the fucking napkins out of her as if she were the dispenser.

“Whoa, check it out…a female mannequin napkin dispenser…dude, get some napkins…and cop a feel while you’re at it…”

And you’ll find that it’s usually the really prissy little hippy bitches that will grab the most napkins. They want to make sure they ‘dab’ away and wipe the unhealthy greases from their fingers completely with the five trillion napkins they use as the TREES ARE CRYING and the monkeys in the rainforests pack up and move and the cure for AIDS is lost forever so that we can all get that glob of ketchup off our fingertip.

This does not mean I am opposed to napkins or their use. I will, in fact, utilize a napkin. I’ll even put the motherfucker on my lap at the restaurant, letting everyone know that I’m a sophisticated white boy with manners galore.

But usually…I just use my wife’s napkin.

I have a laundry list of things that have piqued my senses of late (like napkins and their excessive use) and perhaps this will come out a little misguided, but fuck it, I think like only two people read my fucking blogs anymore anyways…however, I have things to say…they need to be heard. You will be better off, trust me.

Next up: DVD Bins.

What the fuck? I mean, really, this is a fucking phenomenon. Wal-Mart is the master of this shit. I don’t know who came up with the idea, but they are the most brilliant and twisted motherfuckers on the planet. Seriously.

If you’re a somewhat normal person who frequents a Wal-Mart then you know what I’m talking about. You know your eyes light up the same as Christmas morning when you see that fucking bin. 2 for $11.00 sends your eyeballs to your chin and you jump in like a maniac on the amazing race, looking for another clue or some shit.

I mean, really, what the hell are we looking for? Seriously, they’re not gonna throw in a season of Smallville, or the director’s cut of Sin City, or Star Wars: Episode 3. Dude, you’re gonna get fucking gems like “Bedazzled” “Striking Distance” and “Along Came a Spider.”

Now, if you just looked at the aforementioned titles and are about to get on the defense and sprout out a “…but I liked that movie,” then you are wrong. Nobody likes those movies. Nobody. I don’t care how many millions of dollars they made.

No one sits around talking about great Bruce Willis movies and mentions “Striking Distance.” They will get punched in the face. By me. Yes, I’ll be there. Even if you’re in Canada.

Even better than the fact that people are digging in these bins looking for that gem of a movie, that fucking long-lost great from their childhood that starred some no-name fucker and gave them their first boner, is the people themselves.

The conversations are awesome.

“I bought ‘Passenger 57’ already…did you see a ‘Pushing Tin?’”
“Naw…Ooo, but here’s that Steven Seagal one you were looking for…”
“Which one?…Oh, hell yeah, ‘Fire Down Below,’ that’s a fuckin’ classic.”
“Oh wait…look…this is that one with that bitch from ‘American Beauty’ that shows her tits…where she’s homeless and shit and goes to Harvard…”
“Hell yeah, put that in my cart…”

Obviously, the entire DVD bin thing is working because people are buying up bullshit that they WOULDN’T EVEN RENT, let alone watch on HBO, but all of a sudden the bin comes a callin’ and they’ve been looking for the piece of shit for years.

“Finally! ‘Frogs’ on DVD!”

Now, I don’t view the DVD bins as a sign of Christ’s second coming, but I do find it highly entertaining and I love to witness the social distortion that takes place in and around the bin.

What bothers me is this: I have actually gone looking to buy an older movie and couldn’t find it on the shelves and was forced to take the plunge. And there it was…fucking “Hamburger Hill”…buried and bearing the price tag of six bucks.

To keep the drones coming back for more, I think Wal-Mart would benefit from advertising an actual prize inside the bin…namely a Jenna Jameson feature length porn tossed deep into the abyss of the bin once a day…every teenage boy and perverted old man in America would tear that fucking bin apart…and maybe finally get their copy of “The Last Starfighter” in the process.

And speaking of porn.

Look, I’ve got issues. I’m a flawed human. Deeply flawed. I blame my genes. Really, everything is mom and dad’s fault.

However, on this one I’m gonna go ahead and blame my porn addiction on society. I mean, let’s face it…Now, more than ever in our society, SKIN is IN. Or out, depending on how you look at it.

Pornography, or the visual stimuli that promotes it, is everywhere. Everywhere you look seems to lead to the thoughts a la dirty.

That being said…we are ALL doomed. Sex no longer sells…It’s free trade now, motherfucker.

So, being the F-R-E-A-K that I am, I found myself venturing into the ‘forbidden’ zone of the comic book store (which is obscured only by a ‘beaded’ curtain) and began to peruse of the pornographic, yet artful and informative, comics and reading material.

People, there are some fucking crazy porno comics out there. I tend to shy away from many of them. But, on this particular day I was feeling bold (a.ka. perverted and ‘in heat’) and decided that I would buy an adult comic book.

Now, I should note that, even though we’re all cozy with the porno shit these days, it doesn’t stop you from feeling like the lowliest pervert on the planet when you’re in that section. Even more so is the fact that you are looking around to choose your porno poison.

It’s as if there is an angel on your shoulder looking over every book you pick up. And it’s not like you can open them up to see if it fits your…taste. No, they’re all in child-safe plastic bags. You take your chances with these books.

And that fucking Angel, man. He’s onto you. Every book you pick up you hear this guy in your ear…

“Oh, ‘Head’…how nice. You really gonna take that up to the counter and pay for it?”
“Goin’ for ‘MILFs in Heat,’ huh? Seriously, you should be ashamed…”
“Nice…’Teens in Love’…what are you, a pedophile now?”
“There you go…’Demon Bitch’…I’m sure they’ll allow that through the pearly gates when you die…”

Once the sweat dries and you decide to pay for your book, as if you’re crossing into some new territory in your life, overcoming a lifelong obstacle, the angel never shuts up. He’s yelling at you to reconsider, to stop being a perv, and you’re yelling back at him, which makes you look even more shady.

I approach the line and stand, waiting for two kids to buy their pack of role playing game cards. I calm myself and start running the facts through my brain…I convince myself that I’m exercising my right to choose and all that other Free Country stuff that we usually toss around when in a moral question.

I set my books down, leaving the adult book on top of the rest of my ‘normal’ books. I do this to let the clerk know that I’m not ashamed to buy this book. It’s nothing to me. It’s second nature. Like buying the newspaper and a coffee every morning. This is my routine. Get used to it.

The clerk in question today is a native Alaskan (a.k.a. Eskimo) who speaks with a slight lisp. He’s a big motherfucker, who, honestly looks like he’ll leave the store and hold up a cardboard sign on the side of the road after his shift looking for spare change and a cheeseburger.

Yes, I realize I’m an asshole for saying that. But, I made up for it by giving him a dollar later that day at the corner of Spenard and Arctic. And what was left of my Diet Coke.

Okay, FIRST and FOREMOST. A word about Comic shop owners/employers. Unless you are an uber geek like myself, then you’ve probably never stepped foot into a comic book store. You’ve probably only laughed and thrown slurpees at those that do. And thanks for ruining my Daredevil jacket by the way you insensitive fuckers.

The thing about ‘comic shop people’ is that they are fucking WEIRD. They ARE the uber of uber geeks. They are the equivalent of movie critics when it comes to comics and gaming. They know every issue of their favorite character’s books and swear by them as if Jesus Christ Himself created them.

They are the freaks, geeks, losers, and nerds. Imagine a store owned and run by Napoleon Dynamite and his friends. That’s a comic book shop. And beyond that they are generally dicks. Not every last one of them, but they all have that chip of weirdness on their shoulders that is undeniably annoying and sad at the same time. It’s as if they are in the “safe-nerd zone” where they are untouchable. They are in their element. They are Gods here.

And checkout is always a fucking surreal experience. I mean, they actually make it painful with all their nervous ticks, weird personality traits, and off kilter remarks. These are the weird kids that you would never normally talk to at school. And now you have to. And they say EXACTLY the kind of fucked up shit you’d expect. They also, in true weirdo fashion, bring their personal problems to the checkout experience.

“Man…I’m in SUCH a bad mood right now. My life is like misery. Peanut butter doesn’t make sense and jelly is just not jelly at all. Fuck. Dude, the art in the new Superman is KICK ASS by the way.”

“Yeah, I just want to hand you my credit card, you can run it through, bag up my shit, complete this motherfucker and get me the fuck out of here. Let’s just NOT talk at all. Howabout that, Columbine?”

Anyways, this guy, this comic shop clerk, has the audacity, the gall, the motherfuckin’ cajones to LECTURE me about the placement of my comics.
“Next time if you could put the adult book at the bottom of the stack when the kids are around…”

The angel on my shoulder starts laughing hysterically. He covers his face and points at me. I try to muster a response to my native friend. All I can get out is a rebellious “Sure.” Like, yeah, that would be no fucking problem, dick.

Not another word is exchanged as he finishes ringing up my books. He puts them in a bag and I walk out, my mind still reeling from our little exchange. Naturally, it takes me a few minutes of reflection to come up with the response I failed to give.

If they want their adult books stacked underneath the ‘safe’ books then why don’t they inform their customers? And further still, the book in question merely had a portrait shot of a blonde female with ZERO nudity and an ‘Adults Only’ sticker on it.

What did he think the kids were gonna see exactly? I didn’t break open the bag and say, “Hey kid, you ready to kickstart the mess that your brain will become after you’re exposed to porno?”

No, I merely walked up to pay and got humiliated by a drunk native with an overly concerned conscience for “the children”. The books that are lain out for all to see have WAY more racier images on their covers than my true-to-life porno comic. The new issue of Wonder Woman shows more tits. Seriously.

As I stood outside contemplating the events that had just transpired, the two brats that were in danger of being exposed to my perverted buying habits were tearing open their role playing cards and flipping through them like a heroin addict fixing his shot. And there, on the cover of the card packs, is a drawing of a woman with a piece of cloth jammed up her ass and nipples ready to do battle with a piece of glass.

I look at the angel on my shoulder. I biff him in the forehead and spit in his face. Yeah. I think the comic shop clerk’s intentions were in the right place, but I doubt he’ll ever realize how wrong he was.

Which is why the next time I saw him on the corner of Spenard and Arctic I sped the fuck up and splashed a whole puddle of water on him while simultaneously jutting my cup of hot fucking coffee in his face, mixed with the muddy water so he’ll never understand why he got freezing cold wet and burned about the neck and head at the same time.

The last thing I’d like to comment on is restaurant conversation. Otherwise known as “Me eavesdropping on everything you say so that I can write about it in my blog.”

While eating breakfast this past weekend at a place in downtown Anchorage, my wife and I happened to catch onto two twenty something ladies’ conversation and I found that, upon comparison to past eavesdropping, there is a pattern that transpires amongst women when they are on a lunch/dinner date: Namely, the making of plans that are so ridiculously over the top and obviously never going to happen yet still discussed as if set in stone.

EXAMPLE: My wife will come home after her numerous ‘lunch dates’ with all her lady friends and I’ll be bombarded with the results of said date.

“We’re going to start doing lunchtime Yoga and start rock climbing on Mondays, nature photography on Wednesdays, and we’re also gonna work to get our periods on the same cycle so that we’ll always be in a similar mood and we’re also going on the South Beach Diet for one month and we’re going to start holding each other’s hair when we barf up everything we eat after lunch. I mean, we both do it anyways, but now we both know, so why not help each other out, right?”

Okay, obviously an exaggeration. Or is it?

At our splendid little breakfast where our twenty something duo sat nearby we learned that they would be starting a fucking wine garden business, become pilates instructors, start making charm bracelets to symbolize child slave labor, and will plant 100 trees in 100 days. And get their periods on the same cycle.

Now, I’m not picking on women. Men talk some crazy trash sometimes on their lunch/dinner dates, but mostly they both just point out girls to check out to each other and grunt and moan about how they’d ‘bone that chick hardcore’ even though they’re on complete pussy lockdown back at home.

This is why Hooters has such allure to men. We can go and eat some decent food, watch sports (if you’re into it), and stare at a waitresses assets in scantily clad clothing while downing a beer. It’s not because we intend to land that waitress. We just want to satisfy the main urges that drive us on a daily basis without sacrificing the sanctity of our pussy lockdown at home.

Anyways, back to the big plans. It is merely an observation…a fascination and wonder as to why women are so damn busy. While we’re eating chicken wings and rooting for the Red Socks and staring at orange clad ass, women are planning a ‘help the homeless’ campaign, having a bake sale for kids on Ritalin, and starting up a lab in their garage to assist in finding a cure for breast cancer.

Do I have a point? No. I have an observation. It is an interesting thing to watch the two sexes interact with members of the same, almost as much as the opposite. My wife had nothing to offer when I asked why women are so prone to making big plans for the future. Nor do I have an answer as to why men are usually just in the moment, staring at stems and fun bags.

We each have our own quirky and oddball ways of doing things, but ultimately, what separates us is what draws us together. For men and women it’s the differences that make us attracted to one another. It sounds all too simple…and it is.

The lesson to take home kids, is thus:

Save a few trees for the sake of mankind and the monkeys and the rainforests and lick your damn fingers once in a while; Don’t be afraid of your perversions when standing at the checkout line and especially, don’t be afraid of the ignorant weirdo that’s ringing you up…he’s just pissed that you stiffed him on your console change while waiting for the light to turn green; And finally, don’t make plans to go to the moon when you know you’ll never even try on a spacesuit…and watch out for the weirdo sitting next to you, reading the porno comic and licking his fingers clean…he’s listening, watching, and probably recording everything you say and do.


Mr. Boy said...

Splendid read as always, Sgt. Shirey.

I have three things to point out:

1. I remember my last day in Alaska, you purchased a porn comic and remarked that you had "heard some great things about it."

2. I've had not one, not two, but THREE run-ins with the ladies from the Red Hat Society during my three-plus years in LA. Weird.

3. It's Red Sox (not Red Socks). I know that grammatically speaking, "sox" is incorrect. But still, it's Red Sox (and White Sox). I just don't want you to sound like you don't know what the hairy sack you're talking about.


Oh, and I also snagged "Face/Off" from the $6.99 bin at Circuit City.

Rock on, I say. Rock on.

agent y said...

well, I can now say that my wednesday is complete and it has really yet to begin. If you could just write one of these a day and I could spend my early mornings sipping on too-hot coffee, but yet still laughing thru squinty eyes...yes, that would be just fine.

item 1: Napkins
When you are blessed with the upkeep and maintenance of children, you too will become the almighty napkin dispenser. Ot maybe super Diaper Bag Boy. Until then, enjoy these napkinless moments and thank god that your significant other is into the pre-training!

But dont you love the 'blotter' chics. They take their chicken off their already reduced fat chicken burger and BLOT the gd thing. Next their gonna start serving them with little Biore pads...

Item 2: Dvd bins
Your idea of putting a prize at the bottom is killer. Lets get on the horn to hq down at wally world and let 'em know how alaskans need to have some extra inside fun.
And dude, I totally found 'Wayne's World' in there...and 'Quest for Camelot'.

Item 3: is it porn, already?
I wouldnt know about all that mess...I AM porn!

Item 4: venus and mars
Women DO make plans...I have plans dammit. LOTS of them! And sometimes they spill out after a few too many midday margaritas with some lucky gf to hear probably use as her own someday. But thats only after we have totally run out of all the gossip there is to be had...I mean, we are social BEASTS~

But you said it nicely when you say its the difference between the two genders that ultimately brings us together. What a strange world.

Kudos...keep up the good work, Mr Kent.

Cherie said...

I need all those napkins because:

1. Why do you think my boobs are SO big? They are actually 34 b's without the help of napkins.

2. You are messy. VERY messy. And you eat like a cave man.

3. Popcorn bags at the movie
theatre DO in fact leave grease marks on your pants. This you know. Stop hating. R-E-S-P-E-C-T Paul.

4. Dogs are not an efficient way of getting rid of sauce on your fingers after eating. They are only good for licking the peanut butter off your ho-ha.

The thing is YOU use napkins to blot the grease off of pizza at Sam's Club. I have seen you do this for years. I have also had to fill up the napkin holder at home 2-3 times in the past week so SOMEONE must be using them. I just use the ones in my bra.

Moving on to lunch daters and their secret society.....

Yes, women do make lunchtime plans on ridiculous things they one day HOPE to accomplish. Just last week alone I made plans to run a 5K (that's 2 weeks away), visit a friend in L.A. for the holidays,only eat free range chicken from now on, spend an entire day at the spa the day after you leave for your "vacation", AND read a book a month with a book club. Really, I will probably accomplish NONE of that. I guess in the end lunch dates are more detrimental to my well-being since I end up feeling like a loser after making my grand plans.

On to dvd bins and the allure of rummaging....
I think they should throw a midget at the bottom of the dvd bin. He could bite people's fingers when they get near the bottom. Plus, who doesn't love a fiesty midget? Or you could use him to test his skills at Who'se in my mouth.

And finally.....just so you are aware of this....someone shit ON or AROUND the coats.

Anonymous said...

I hear what your saying about the napkins man, tell that twat to not get so many god damn napkins.

Anonymous said...

“safe-nerd zone” i have been here, and it is a scary scary place. but it also feels like home :-)