I Hate Me, part 710,887

Old guy called the store. Bad connection or a speaker phone, maybe both:

Do you buy records? Cause I gotta lot of classical, they’re good.

I’m sorry we’re not buying classical records right now, we have a lot and they don’t sell. You could try Princeton Record Exchange, they used to buy them.

Prince Tom’s Record Exchange? Who’s Prince Tom?

Nononono..no it’s Princeton…PRINCETON

…Where is this Prince Tom at?

…no..no..uh Princeton…PrinceTON…like the college and the town…not Prince Tom, PRINCETON…The town has a record store

…Are you saying Prince Tom Exchange? I’m not looking to exchange records with this Tom fella, I just wanna get rid of ’em

….no…uh look..it’s Princeton..P..R..I..N..C..E..T..O..N…Record Exchange…it’s a record store..they buy and sell records

Oh..Princeton…that’s too far away

And then he hung up

Aim lower

We have a large choice of convenience stores to choose from. There’s the lower end of Krauszers and Jersey Pride where some items on the shelves look like they’ve been there for decades to the usual 7-11’s and Wawa’s. Being someone who has lowered his sights considerably and is quite capable of self delusion, I’m throwing my support behind Wawa because it feels like you’ve won something when you shop there. Paying with cash? Your change comes out automatically (untouched by human hands), it’s like you won at a slot machine

Ordering a sandwich? You get a print out like a lottery ticket and when you pick up your sandwich, the ticket pays off.hope I win this sandwich lottery

I won, relatively speaking 

I Hate Me, part 729,810

A busy-ish Friday night at work, one of the first warm evenings we’ve had this year. Right on the verge of “yes, we should turn the AC on” but not quite there yet. Thick and warm, check. Doors open and fans not doing shit, check. Are you a fat guy so naturally you always want the AC on, check. While I was pondering this quandary a guy brought in a small stack of records, “you buy records?” Yes. “I have a few, can I borrow the hand truck?” Sure. Sixteen moving boxes later he was done. Out of sixteen boxes I only ended up buying 250, it was a tough slog going through them and I really wasn’t paying attention to much else. A woman came up and asked what we were playing, it was an album by Linton Kwesi Johnson who is a British reggae dub poet. I didn’t put it on so as I was going thru the faulty rolladex of shit in my head to figure out who it was:

Uhhhhh….mmmm….uhhhh…reggae guy

(Did I just fucking say “reggae guy”, aauurrghhhh!)

Reggae Guy?…that’s his name?

Uhhhh…no…it’s….uhhh…LINTONKWESIJOHNSON!

I blurted it out and I’m sure the way it sounded made even less sense then “reggae guy”

……thank you…. (and walked out of the store)

I turned the AC on


I found this album in the collection with a great cover by Jim Flora

I Hate Me, part 799,035

Saturday before work, running a little late, went to get a quick cup of coffee. The line at Starbucks was short but they had a slow crew on, very friendly and competent but glacial. The first customer had three coffees and wanted to pay for them in three different ways, “see, if there’s any money left on this” was said about five times as various gift cards were proffered. The guy before me was an amiable old guy who had a rusty gate voice and acted like he wasn’t even sure why he was there.

Hmmmmmmm…..what’s good today?…..hmmmm (vaguely pointing at one of the breakfast sandwiches)…gluten?

Which item sir?

He ignored her and pointed at something else

Hmmmm…how about that one

I’m sorry, which item?

Ohhhh…it doesn’t matter…I want two of them…and uh…what’s that (again vaguely pointing at the left side of the case)…is that good?…no no not that one..no…next to that one…is that good?…hmmm…I’ll take one….gluten?….oh it doesn’t matter… two small coffees…how small are your smalls? (He was shown the small or “tall” in Starbucks speak)..ohnonono that’s too small…do you have a larger small?….never mind I’ll take two mediums

The whole thing only took about a minute and a half but felt like an hour


Do you have a larger small?

I Hate Me, part 783,033

Slow night, older woman came to the back counter holding a Chris Stapleton cd

I need two of these, I only saw one out there

Sure, we should have some more in the back

Ok, ’cause I need two

Right…I’m gonna grab one from the back…the storeroom 

I want both of them

…ok…I’m going to go in the back, where we have the back stock and get you a second copy

Alright, because I need two

I went into the storeroom and grabbed a second copy, it took about a minute

Here you go, you now have two of them

Thank you…I thought you forgot about me

I hate me, part 775,973

This one is pretty goddamned thin:

Nice sunny Saturday morning, I was walking to work. Some guy who was way to bundled up for the day (coat, hat, scarf, snow goggles) zipped by me on an undersized BMX bike. When I got to work, he was parked, talking to his reflection in the front window, in an exaggerated child’s voice

Records! I like records!…I like Records!

Then to me in an age appropriate voice

You guys open?

Not yet, 9:30 today

ALL RIGHT!…TEN MINUTES!…TEN MINUTES, BRO!…I’LL BE IN…YEAH!

A half hour later, he quickly walked his bike thru the store without looking at any records or saying a word.

I hate me, part 700,631

Ordered lunch from a deli, it wasn’t ready to pick up when I got there. So, I sat on a waiting bench that’s on an aisle that leads from the counter to the tables in the back. As I was sitting there intermittently checking emails and staring off into space a large family came in with a guy in a motorized wheelchair. A couple of family members looked at the sitting arrangements and the wheelchair guy started down the aisle. I was stuck, on one side there were people looking at the seating on the other side was the wheelchair that couldn’t get through without running over my feet. So I stood up to let them get by. I was standing in what could be described as not a comfortable position. The wheelchair was an inch from my leg, he stopped and a family argument ensued.

“I can’t fit down there”

“Yes you can”

“I’ll never make it”

“Just try it”

“No!”

“C’mon”

“I can’t make that turn!”

“Alright, lets go…but you could’ve made that turn”

“Not a chance”

I was standing awkwardly trying not to look at anyone in the middle of this family discussion, without ever being acknowledged. Like I was a deli ghost, haunting the deli in search of lean (but not too lean) pastrami. They finally trundled out and my lunch was ready.