Thursday, January 15, 2009
Look Back In Apathy: To Live & Die In Comics
This is the blisteringly exciting tale of one of the few times I worked there that somebody started some shit. They didn't know that I wasn't no ho, though.
There was this dad that would come in with his kid, and he forever wanted a bargain. Nothing could be for what it was marked. I've always been fascinated by this. I've always wanted to go into the Golden Arches and say "you know you've got some Big Macs that have been sitting out for a few minutes... how 'bout letting one go for 75 cents, huh?" Or to Best Buy and say "this DVD of Cool Runnings has a dinged corner. You might as well dollar bin it, and you might as well let me pick it out of said bin and buy it for said dollar." Anywho, I remember this guy wanting a deal for the then-white hot Pokemon tins, and the owner let him have one for a few bucks off, but I still charged him tax and got a thrill when I could tell through the miracle of peripheral vision that he furrowed his brow at the amount. He looked normal, a guy in his mid-40s, glasses, with a kid probably around nine or ten.
He came in one day with his kid and looked around, oblivious to the way I crumpled up a piece of paper on seeing him. He took a look at some sort of Pokemon merchandise that for the life of me I can't remember what it was or how much it cost, so we'll just say it was a box of cards and cost $20 each. He said to me as casual as an elevator companion commenting on the weather, "how about doing 2 for $30 on a Friday afternoon?" Okay, there are so many things wrong with this I don't know where to start. One, you are asking me to knock down an item in price. A significant amount. Our profit margins skewed small to begin with. Two, you are asking me to knock down a popular item in price. This wasn't a back issue of Youngblood: Bloodstrike Deathforce edition. This was something that was going to sell out anyways. That's like going into Wal-Mart and saying, "I see you've got some Kevin Costner movies in the discount bin... how 'bout coming down a third on that Nintendo Wii?" You will get your ass kicked by the reanimated corpse of Sam Walton himself. Lastly, what the flying fuck does it being a Friday afternoon have anything to do with it? I'm obviously still at work, you obviously are not. So... why am I in a good and generous mood? Dumbass. Needless to say, I told him essentially "nice try" and he sheepishly admitted he had to try in case it worked.
They looked around and the guy brought up a Pokemon box and I rung him up. He then pulled out a couple of twenties that looked a little odd. Now, I might have had all the attention and care of a heroin addict in a poppy field, but I could spot this from a mile away. Normal money looks (or looked) dark and light shades of green. This looked jaundiced yellow and black. I pulled out this counterfeit pen that we had. If you marked something and it came up clear, it was good to go. Black, and we had a problem. I was supposed to check high bills, mainly hundreds and up. In all my years, nothing had come up black... until now.
I said something on the line of "uhhh, I don't think these are any good." He furrowed his brow and mentioned something about coming directly from the bank. I told him what the counterfeit marker did, and that if he had come directly from the bank then he had better go directly back because they gave him fake money. He pulled out some other money he had (surprise, surprise!) paid, mumbled something and got the Hell out of Dodge. I can't really remember seeing him again, at least with any frequency.
Looking back, it would have been fun to pretend to have to make a call real quick, and dial the cops. Some of you might think that he was a counterfeiter. Maybe not a professional one who makes flawless copies of Benjamins, but someone who tries to make some twenties to pass around local businesses in order to avoid spending his own income, but I honestly don't think that's the case. I think he was just a weaselly guy who got handed some bad money as change somewhere, and then upon finding out tried to pass it off on a gullible comic shop employee. My man just ended up with the play money still on him, less real money and a near heart attack after narrowly avoiding the Secret Service putting a bullet in his ass.