Sunday, February 3, 2008

Shop Talk

So in order to give these sordid tales some context, I'll give some background on my shop. It was located in a suburb of a capital city of a state in the southeastern U.S. It was within a mile or two (at most) of a major competitor. The shop was later moved, only to have a new competitor move within a mile or two (at most).

The shop was fairly nondescript, being located in a variety of strip malls of varying degrees of success, though none of them containing anything trendier than a Kroger or a K-Mart. The shop was moved towards the end of its run to a city a little less nice than the initial suburb, mainly known for containing negative stereotypes of all the various races, but still safe and far from the "ghetto" as ascribed to it by one of my coworkers (who I will get to later, believe you me).

It began life as a NASCAR memorabilia shop run by the owner's sister and brother-in-law, only to be purchased from them and turned into a comic shop. It mainly consisted of the typical superhero-driven comics and had a grand tradition of barely breaking even with the exceptions of the fads of pogs, yo-yos, Pokémon, and Yu-Gi-Oh. Our customers ran the gamut from cool to soul-crushing jerkwads. So, I figure, typical comic shop crowd. Needless to say, this blog will focus more on the soul-crushing jerkwads.

The owner worked in law-enforcement, something that will be seen as very ironic in stories later to come. I think it goes to show that character and morality are in short supply in all forms of employment, even in areas where one would hope that it mattered the most. I also worked with a sarcastic, alternately cool-and-dickish guy, a guy that went to the same high school as me interested in film that was smart enough to get out quick, a nerdy girl that looked smart but was dumb as a box of rocks who, while religious, had a nympho sister and a weird secret, and a redhead who is the epitome of the Comic Fan's Kryptonite.

I hope the stories and characters are universally recognized yet in that there will be enough quirky details to make this worthwhile reading. Or at least an interesting five-minute diversion a few times a week. I will probably make some people laugh, and make most people cry. Cry that a culture like this exists.

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