the Bucky Four-Eyes Cotillion

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The devil wears blah blah

Old guy wanders in, wanting product a co-worker ordered for him. I check and it's not in yet; old guy is very cool about it, and I'm thinking, Well, isn't that a relief that he's not bitching at me for something out of my control. What a nice old man. Then he compliments my speaking voice, and I suddenly remember that I've waited on him before, that he is the Talkiest Talkingest of the Talking Old Guys, and that I may be eligible for full retirement benefits before this conversation is over.

He tells me, at length, about his friend with the bright red hair and the melodious voice who used to be a DJ, and about another friend with a booming voice that needed no amplification, the guy who should have been a DJ but couldn't be bothered to learn the trade. Somewhere along the line, he segues into the story of his immigrant grandparents, and how they were made to run up and down the stairs at Ellis Island before being granted admittance to the States (I suspect that it was because watching people run in wooden shoes is universally hilarious, but I keep that to myself), and how his grandmother took all her money out of the bank the night before the stock market crashed in '29, and he doesn't know why they called it the "Great" Depression, 'cause it kinda sucked, actually.

My boss is wandering through and gets dragged into the conversation because she's found the item that was ordered for him. She and I share the thought, in our girlie telekinetic way, that perhaps he'll buy it and vamoose so we can get back to the stock that needs to go up. But no, he's now launched into the tale of how he and his wife ventured into the wilds of New York City in the late '60s, and how, by God, it was really a hellhole, and there were people dancing topless on the tables. I'm wondering, to myself, how I get on the waiting list for this hellhole, and then I remember that some asshole cleaned up Times Square in the '90s, and my little private bubble of breast awareness is deflated as the old guy relates, in excruciating detail, how he and his wife were trapped on the 88th floor of the Empire State Building during a blackout, but "this little Jap" fashioned a battery-powered lamp and led all the tourists down the stairs to the darkened street. I can't help but picture George Takei dressed as the Statue of Liberty.

We edge him over to the counter and manage to ring up his purchase as he launches into his explanation of how the Mexican drug wars could be easily eradicated with some of the US of A's heavy artillery. I decline to mention that the US of A's heavy artillery seems to be already in use elsewhere in the world, as doing so would only prolong the conversation. He asks me at least three times if I've ever been in the military, and I keep thinking, Do you really think anyone would willingly hand me a gun? Finally, miraculously, after the longest 45 minutes on record, he's out the door, and my boss and I are staring at each other, eyes wide with disbelief, exclaiming in unison, "Oh. My. GAWD."

And the thing is, he's a nice enough guy. Not once do I have the urge to hit him or gouge him or tightly wrap his danglies in speaker wire. Really, I feel kinda bad, because it's obvious that no one he knows will hold still long enough for him to get this out of his system, and dammit, it's a family's job to let him ramble at home so he's all rambled out before he's allowed to go out in public.

So, we go back to our work, and there is work aplenty for the two of us. We price, we stock, we hang tags, we sell phones, we sell cell phones, we sell cell phones by the seashore, we do price changes, and before I know it, it's an hour to closing time and my boss is leaving me to close the store by myself. I still have a few tasks on my list, but the last hour is usually slow, and I'm figuring it will be a breeze, a cakewalk, a walk in the park, a walk in the cake. Boss lady has her hand on the door when a familiar vehicle pulls up...

Chatty Grampy is back.

I shriek at my boss and she whips around to see what's gotten up my ass. Then she sees who it is and I can see her getting ready to bolt past him, out the door and into her car, where she will lock the doors and squeal out of the parking lot like she just robbed the place and put three bullets in the clerk. I beg her, "Oh, sweet Jesus, promise me you'll give me FIVE MINUTES and then call me on the store phone, where we will have a long conversation about digital converter boxes and their place in a kosher household. Promise me." She promises me, and I have no reason to doubt the sincerity on her face, though I only see it for a split second before she makes like the Road Runner and she's gone, into her car, a streak and a puff of dust, tire tracks on the concrete all she's left us to remember she was ever really there.

It seems we neglected to preach the gospel of "Do you need batteries with that?" when he made his purchase, and as it turns out, he needs batteries. The battery sale turns into his proud display of a bullet-shaped pen, which somehow turns into a solid half hour of his movie recommendations for me. He likes Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton together, and also that Jack Nicholson movie "where that one guy is a queer." He basically spoils the endings to several movies which, thankfully, I have no interest in seeing anyway. Surprisingly enough, his most enthusiastic recommendation is The Devil Wears Prada. In fact, he mentions high-heeled shoes and women in high heels so many times during the conversation that I begin to wonder if he's going to whip out a pair of red stilettos and beg me to wear them as I clog dance on his back. I begin to wonder exactly how much I would charge for that.

But mostly, I begin to wonder Where the hell is that phone call I was promised? Betrayal, that's what I call it. When a chick asks another chick to make a fake phone call to rescue her from an awkward situation, it's Chick Law that she make that call at precisely the preordained time. My boss has broken one of the cardinal rules of Honor Among Chicks. I make a mental note to fart in her office chair if and when this conversation ever concludes.

Thirty minutes to closing time, my work list not getting any smaller, and finally, miraculously, another customer walks in. Old guy sees him, grabs his batteries off the counter, and has the good grace to say "Well, you have a customer, so I'll let you get to it." The angels sing for just a split second, until New Customer smiles at us and says "Oh, you guys go ahead, I'm fine over here."

NO! I scream in my head. YOU'RE NOT FINE! YOU DESPERATELY NEED MY HELP TO PICK OUT A CALCULATOR! My attempts at telepathy fail. I will the phone to ring, but its will to remain unrung is stronger, and I swear that the caller ID briefly, silently flashes Sucks to be you. I'm sure New Customer is doing this to me on purpose, this blatant "knowing what he wants and where it's located" nonsense that he's pulling just to fuck with me.

After an eternity of movie plot spoilers, I see New Customer making his way toward the counter, slowly, slowly, slowly, and I practically spit a lung out screeching at him, "I CAN HELP YOU OVER HERE, SIR!" Old guy moves aside and bids me adieu, and I take my time waiting on New Customer, making sure I ask a lot of questions, make a lot of recommendations, assure myself that old guy is really and truly out the door, on his way out of the parking lot. I bag New Customer's items, and then I pick up the phone, dial about four digits, and pretend to engage in a fascinating debate about the availability of lead-free solder, just in case Grampaw Fuck-Me Pumps changes his mind and turns the car around.

It is with the greatest sense of relief that I lock the store, kill the lights, and shut down the electronics; it is with the greatest sense of revenge that I let loose an ass-rumbling thunderstorm upon the office chair where my can't-bother-to-phone boss will sit in the morning.

I shall never again forget to offer batteries with each purchase. Amen.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lazy Bucky's quickies (Spring edition)

I've started and abandoned about four different posts since the last one that went up, so I guess it had better be quickies or nothin' at all.

  • I got my hair did! Squirl's very nice hairdresser (also the stylist who dyed my hair the last time it was done, about a year and a half ago) offered to do it for me pro bono (because who doesn't like Cher's ex?). How could I pass up an offer like that? I went about as wild with the color as I'm allowed to at my present job (where they also make me button my shirt right up to the collarbone; how's a girl supposed to make commission with her cleavage obscured?).

    New dye!
    It's called violet burgundy, with just a little Roxy mixed in for brightness, whatever that means. I give it the Bucky Stamp of Approval, which is generally reserved for the finer things in life, like Corona Light, solar-powered buttplugs, and drama-free girls who will put out on the first date.

  • Perhaps the TV needs to be turned off while I sleep. I recently had a dream where I was in a natatorium, but for some reason, there was snow in there, so as I walked to the main pool, I kept falling into the drifts and found it difficult to stand back up again (I think this is my subconscious mind telling me "Lose some weight, you four-eyed lardass!"). After I regained my feet, I decided to walk in the opposite direction, where I spied a smaller, wading-type pool. Martin Sheen was in the pool, showing some boys how quickly it drained when the plug was pulled. Apparently, West Wing was on TV as I slept, because I walked to the edge of the pool and addressed him thusly:

    Me: Mr. President, do you plan to fill the pool with Jell-O Shots?
    Martin Sheen: Not in front of the minors.

  • While I have no use for their service (I don't need anyone to tell me my credit is about as solid as a bowel movement the day after Cinco de Mayo), I love the free credit report commercials. You know, the ads with the three dorky guys who sing about how their credit sucks ass big-time? I recently found out that there is a pirate hat in each one of the commercials. Of course, the one in the seafood restaurant is rife with pirate hats, but I've also managed to scope them out in the used car spot (it's in the back seat next to the bass player), the "married my dream girl" spot (on a table next to the singer), in the bicycle ad (on a shelf in the garage where the band is playing), and at the renaissance fair (on the drum kit). But I can't find the one in the ad where the guys are waiters at the hip-hop party. Has anybody else cared enough to spot that one? Do tell, do tell.

  • I have about had it with this itchy nipple syndrome. It's not wintertime anymore, I'm not wearing steel wool in my bra, and I'm not being stingy with the goddamned lotion. I know that itchy palms mean money is on its way (or, in my case, it means a fresh growth of hair is always sprouting every time I shave), so what do itchy nipples mean? Is the milkman on his way?

  • Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger has given me a new word for which I find daily use: Bragasaurus. I think it every time I listen to that kid at work open his mouth. Why is the Bragasaurus not extinct? Can't we move that bit of evolution along a little faster? He and I had the following conversation today:

    Bragasaurus: (talking about how he's charmed his latest romantic conquest) I really try hard not to brag or talk myself up...
    Me: (incredulous, to say the least) No, you don't!
    Bragasaurus: (caught off guard) Uh...well...that's what I like to tell myself.

    And then I smashed him in the face with a subwoofer while screaming "Why don't you tell yourself to shut the fuck up?"
    Well, no, I didn't. But I thought it, and that has to count for something.