the Bucky Four-Eyes Cotillion

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A short bus story

Friday requires your obedience.
When Friday does this, I feel like a midget at a puppet show.

It's hard to follow the migration pattern of the free-range idiot. Sometimes the idiots show up singly, sometimes they come in pairs, and quite often an idiot is accompanied by a semi-willing/semi-mortified/just-used-to-it-and-ignoring-it companion. One thing that can be predicted about the species, however, is that each and every idiot within a 50-mile radius of here will, eventually, will find me where I work and will annoy the living shit out of me.


I've already introduced you to Motormouth Gramps. This would be as good a time as any, I reckon, to have you meet The TV Bitch.

She and her husband arrived via bus, and as I always do when customers are dropped off by the bus, I said a little prayer to the retail gods that these people would not be assholes. In Grand Haven, you see, the bus does not run on a set schedule - it's a dial-a-ride service, so when someone has to call the bus to come fetch him or her, there's no guarantee that it will be there in anything resembling a timely fashion. Since there were no other businesses within walk-in distance, it wasn't like they could really wait for the bus anywhere other than in my store.

So, the couple disembarked, entered the store, and made straight for me. I either have a sympathetic face, or I look like a complete and utter sucker, because the weirdos will inevitably zero in on me. These two didn't seem outright weird; but you know how some people look...not quite right? Yeah. That.

They were nice as could be, though, and I chastised myself for pre-judging them based on their bus ridership and not-quite-rightness. Quick and pleasant transaction made, bus called, my customers wandered the store awaiting the chariot of mass transit.

While they waited, I walked over to talk to my boss toward the front of the store. She and I were deep in conversation, probably about something completely inappropriate, when the lady of the bus couple appeared next to us fairly abruptly.

"Hi, did you have a question?" I asked her, hoping it wasn't the "Do you have a bathroom?" question.

"I don't like those TVs." She said it emphatically, firmly, with great conviction in her voice and a fervor in her eyes that burned like jalapeño ass lube.

My boss and I were caught totally off guard. Confused, we asked her which TVs, and why the hate, hon?

She gestured at the three TVs we had on display. "All of those. I don't like those TVs." Still totally serious and not to be fucked with.

We finally figured out, after many interjections of "I don't like those TVs." that she was not a fan of the flat-screen TV.

"What if they fall over? Who's gonna put that on my wall? Why don't you have the regular TVs in here?"

She just kept at it and kept at it, always coming back to her questioning of why we didn't have any of the old, square, hella-heavy TVs in stock. Well, ma'am, it's because most sane people prefer a TV with a better picture, and one that can be moved without a fucking crane.

Finally, I tired of the question and said, "Neither of us has any say in what is or isn't stocked in the stores. You'd have to ask someone a lot higher up on the corporate food chain about the decisions made." That's the standard joke I make each time I encounter an idiot customer who's under the impression that I have any control of any part of the company for which I work. See the name tag, pal? People who make the decisions don't usually have to sport a "Welcome to...My Name is..." lapel-side.

TV Bitch looked a little confused by my statement, and my boss translated for me. "You'd have to talk to our CEO."

TV Bitch rolled her eyes. "Oh, yeah, that'll take a hundred years..."

Boss and I briefly exchanged raised-eyebrow looks.

TV Bitch rolled on, "...and then the ghosts will come in and knock over this building."

We had a moment of silence in memory of any true direction this conversation was taking. Boss and I had no idea what to say at this point, and TV Bitch/Ghost-Demolition lady looked like she was winding herself up to continue down the path of whatthefuck-ness. I glanced over at her husband and the expression on his face said many things, but mostly it said Oh, crap, she's doin' it again, and I have to be married to her, you guys, and please just entertain her so I can shop in peace for a few minutes, 'kay?

I have never in my life been so overjoyed to see the bus pull up in front of the store.