I Hate Me, part 472,914

One of the many problems of being a middle aged man who works at a record store that you don’t own is that you get mistaken as the owner. This usually happens by the tire kickers who come in on friday nights while they’re waiting for a table to open up at a local restaurant. They’re not buying anything, they just want to look. Which is fine, a lot of the time I get a variation of,
“This is a great store, I hear records are making a comeback …you must be Jack”, (because why else would a middle aged man be working at a record store). “Thank you but I’m not Jack, I just work here” Most of the time I get a pitying look that seems to say “mmm I understand, times are tough…I’m sure things will pick up”. I respond to the pitying look with a wan smile and the transaction is over.
Last week a guy came in who was easily in his mid sixties and was looking through used records. I was on the other side of the counter pricing a large stack of them.
“I’ve been coming here since I was a kid” to nobody in particular
“….yeah, a long time…”
“Well Jacks has been here for over forty years.”
“…..you’re Jack, right?”
“How could I be Jack? I’m younger than you…I didn’t open the store when I was a child.”
“yeah, but I thought…”
“yeah?….thought what?…a…a time machine was involved?”
I stopped, bit my tongue a little too late, melted into the back room, slunk out another door and got a coffee.

the only way a 52 year old man could open up a record store 42 years ago

the only way a 52 year old man could open up a record store 42 years ago

reprint: Town Frowner

[I was taking the garbage out to the curb this morning. In it was a large packing box, some of it could have been recycled but it was festooned with packing styrofoam and I just said fuck it and put it out with the trash. A neighbor walked by and gave me the stink eye because I should have recycled it. To make a boring story even longer, it reminded me of a blog I posted awhile ago. drum roll....]

Town Frowner
Times are tough and sometimes you have to be inventive to find your own niche. With this in mind here’s a new job I invented just for me, The Town Frowner. A brief explanation: I would be hired by the town of Red Bank (where I live and work) to walk around town*. Wherever there was new construction or building improvements I would go and stand in front of the building in question, wearing a ceremonial uniform (based on those worn by European royalty; a crown,ermine cape and bejeweled scepter) and depending on my mood, either smile or frown. A smile would mean “good job, carry on” and I’d add a small positive comment like “That bird feeder looks like a tiny version of your house, well done” or “Kudos, those gargoyles are sufficiently gruesome”. Of course a frown would be a death knell for the project and all work would stop. A short derisive comment would be added as well, for example “ Hold up there buddy, a two car garage?! Who do you think you are Donald Trump?”, or “What’s with the new lawn? You’re setting a bad example for us plain folks, just paint the dirt green like the pilgrims did.” or “Two dogs!?! What do think this is a zoo?” Ok, to be honest I’ve been doing the Town Frowner thing on a freelance basis for awhile now and I’ve actually said those things to various townsfolk. Unfortunately most people don’t take my criticism in the spirit it was given and I’ve heard it all from my so-called neighbors; “nut job”, “Get off my property”, “kook”, “Is that my veal?”, “crazy person”, “put on some pants”. I’ve also been pelted with rocks and garbage, but I’m not giving up. I think if I was made official Town Frowner incidents of punching and insulting me would go down and I wouldn’t be arrested as much. Clearly a win, win situation. Your move Red Bank.

*If it was inclement weather I would have a horse drawn carriage at my disposal

Wide_Mouth_Closed_Frown

I Hate Me, part 415,015

I went to Starbucks and there was this giant biker in front of me.
The girl behind the counter was a new employee.
Biker- I wanna plain ice tea
Girl-Do you want sweetener?
The way she said “sweetener” sounded like “Swedener”, perhaps an additive to make the drink more Sweden like.
Biker-Wut?!
Girl-Do you want SWEDENER?
Biker-…Huh?..What are you asking me?
Girl-…Do YOU want any SWEDENER in your ice tea?
Biker-…I have no idea what your asking me…Swede what?
Girl-…Sugar…do you want any sugar in your ice tea?
Biker-No…No I said plain.
I was listening but looking off into space so it looked like I was oblivious and not paying attention. (although to be honest it often looks like I’m oblivious) What I should have been doing was staring intently at my phone. I thought of this just as the biker looked over at me, I couldn’t read his look. It was either “these people are idiots, am I right?” or “are you fucking looking/laughing at me?” This is when I started to look at my phone in a completely fake “I’m not getting a call, I’m avoiding life” type of way. Before this could go any further (ie: me acknowledging his look) his iced tea was delivered, I then ordered my iced coffee with swedener.
starbucks-3-0_1x

I Hate Me, part 499,103

I live in the house that my wife grew up in. There are a few heirlooms that a museum style protection is given to. Highest on that list is “the jelly closet”, a large cabinet in the dining room that is full of family treasures. No drinks will ever sit on it, even with a coaster. There is also an old red stool in the kitchen that I thought was on the heirloom list as well. I even imagined a back story where Carrie’s dad brought it back with him from the war, a souvenir liberated from Hitler’s bunker. This goddamned stool is always in my way. I’ve bumped into it and tripped over it’s legs more times than I care to mention. I had grown to hate this thing, it sits there stoic like some zen master only to move right behind me when I’m not looking. I had gingerly mentioned to Carrie my hatred for the stool and how I had to defer to it because of the family history attached to it. She gave me a kind patronizing look that one would give to slow people and explained that she bought the stool years ago and that I even helped her move it to this house, to the best of her knowledge neither of her parents were ever aware of the stool and she was a little worried that I had such hatred for an inanimate object. I heard these things but in my mind I heard “Alright stool, you’re not protected. It’s on!”. The next morning as I was getting my coffee, I turned around and bumped into the stool. I lashed out with a feeble kick, really hurting my big toe but I knocked over the stool. Victory. The victory was short lived as the falling hated stool knocked over another stool that I was fairly ambivalent about which had a small stack of records and cd’s on it, these went flying all over the kitchen table knocking over pretty much everything. “hey asshole, pick me up” It was the red stool, I had entered into my own private Twilight Zone. Not really, I just cleaned everything up and felt like an idiot.

my nemesis

my nemesis

Even More Album Inserts

Some more inserts found in records that were too beat up to sell [click on image to enlarge]

The Outlaws

The Outlaws

Thank God It's Friday, front

Thank God It’s Friday, front

Thank God it's Friday, back

Thank God it’s Friday, back

ArtRock, found in a Doors album, envelope

ArtRock, found in a Doors album, envelope

ArtRock, Doors offer, page 1 front

ArtRock, Doors offer, page 1 front

ArtRock, Doors offer, page 1, back

ArtRock, Doors offer, page 1, back

ArtRock, Doors offer, page 2, front

ArtRock, Doors offer, page 2, front

ArtRock, Doors offer, page 2, back

ArtRock, Doors offer, page 2, back

David Bowie, fan club, 1

David Bowie, fan club, 1

David Bowie, fan club, 2

David Bowie, fan club, 2

 

Sunday Music 7/27/14

Zig Zags- Down The Drain
This is from the great self titled album these guys released this year on In The Red. Big Dumb Rock, that’s really big and not so dumb.

CS3_12JktTemplateFINAL_large

I Hate Me, part 491,922

Went to Foodtown the other night for some supplies, which included apples. Their apples were terrible, like red balloons full of mush. So I headed over to Whole Foods, Bought the stuff I needed, (the Pink Lady apples were pretty good) and headed to the checkout. There was one woman ahead of me, the checkout conveyer wasn’t full of food so I figured it wouldn’t be long and I plopped my groceries down. I ran into my brother-in-law there, he was in the next checkout line and we were shooting the shit about comic books and other world altering stuff. His line which had many people on it was moving quickly and I realized that mine hadn’t moved at all. I looked and there was the same amount of groceries from the woman in front still on the conveyer. I didn’t know what was going on until I saw the woman still had a full cart of food but was deciding on each piece of food before she put it on the conveyer. She was adding another step to the drudgery of shopping. Instead of what most people do which would be “Hey, I want 6 apples. These look good.”, she had bags of produce and then was thinning the herd at the counter. “I only want these three tomatoes, I don’t want the other two”, “mmmmm Yeah I don’t want this celery….wait wait…I take that back but I don’t want this one.” This went on for a long time, Dave had finished checking out and came over, we were exchanging some “WTF” looks, I’d never seen anything like it. Finally somebody came over from customer service and offered to ring me up at the customer service desk, and the long national nightmare was over.”

Whenever I see Pink Lady apples, I'm reminded of an 1980's variety show called Pink Lady & Jeff. I don't really remember the show but I remember the title was used as a punch line by some late night TV hosts

Whenever I see Pink Lady apples, I’m reminded of an 1980’s variety show called Pink Lady & Jeff. I don’t really remember the show but I remember the title was used as a punch line by some late night TV hosts

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