Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Parade Of Assholes Part Five
Kirk Van Houten
Wow, okay maybe I wasn't as ready to come back as I thought. Well, what do you want, it's a free blog. On with the show...
This guy literally just popped into my head the other week. I hadn't thought of him in years. I know his real name, but his pseudonym will be Kirk Van Houten. They're both single (presumably divorced) dads and they're both a little sad.
I don't know when Kirk Van Houten started coming into the shop, but I think it was around the time Sarcastro was still working there. Kirk looked to be in his late-thirties/early-forties, but apparently should have been only in his early-thirties when I knew him. He had a classic "grown-up nerd" look to him: wire-rimmed glasses, wide mouth, overall awkward demeanor.
He would come in a lot with his son, who was somewhere between the ages of three to seven. I don't know a lot about kids, but he was young. The kid acted like he had some vague behavioral or attitude disorder. He was just really loud and seemingly out there. I don't want to call anybody's young kid an idiot, but he definately didn't have the spark, charm or wit of some of the other kids that I would see occasionally.
Kirk was also cheap. He was notorious for spending vast amounts of time, sometimes north of an hour looking through the alphabetically organized discount boxes. It was always a huge pet peeve when someone would come in around the time I wanted to eat, so you can just add fuel to the fire when that someone was obviously broke/poor/cheap and not going to spend an amount equal to what you were buying your lunch with. I would've rather put a Lincoln myself in the register and spared myself the aggravation.
But what really makes Kirk "asshole worthy" was the fact that he was indeed an asshole. He would constantly sigh when looking through comics one-by-one, as if he was above it all. If only the industry could write and illustrate to his standards, so he wouldn't have to endure the mundane indignity of looking through such dreck. Hey, here's an idea! Get a real fucking job and you'll be able to afford some higher quality comics. He wasn't too proud to not play Sarcastro's Dreamcast when he left it hooked up one day, either.
I remember talking to the filmmaker that worked there just before me and he mentioned Kirk as well. Said he used to come in every...single...week and ask if League of Extraordinary Gentlemen #6 was out yet. I suppose this was before the internet was in wide use. My friend said that when the comic finally shipped, he wanted to look out for him in the parking lot, then rush the door, throw it open and toss the book at him. "Here"!
Once again, a guy all too happy to perpetuate the stereotypes of comic fans. Sigh.