Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How I Spent My Vacation From Vacation, Part B


Definitely my favorite item we sold




View from the stand




The stand on the last day


Trolling Koreans was fun. My buddy David from the Seoul era worked with me for a couple of days, so we were jazzed any time Koreans came by and tried to switch the pod to a K-pop song whenever possible. A Korean family came by and I put on a Super Junior song. They were amazed - all but one of them seemed to only speak Korean. The guy who spoke English told me that he went to a K-pop show in Baltimore (which I was unaware of, or would have considered going) and said that the audience wasn’t as Korean as he thought it would be, it was largely “foreigners.” Yep, even in ‘merica, non-Koreans are foreigners.

On the 4th proper, a kid came by and asked if we were hiring. Yeah, you know, that Labor Day fireworks rush is coming up.

I had a kid attempting to sell illegal fireworks in front of my stand on the 4th. He held up a big roll of Black Cats to a customer that I was talking to. I kept telling him to leave, and he wouldn’t, so I actually had to call the cops, but of course he was gone by then. Fucking balls on this kid. Everybody else that I kicked out (usually underage kids that can’t buy) left right away, but this kid kept hanging around.

Probably my longest anecdote. I had to hire helpers, and because two of the people who said they would help flaked out (including Cree, big surprise) I got some random workers that I didn’t know. The one who worked with me for the longest, 4 days, was this 19 year old girl. Her face was meh, but she had the winning combination of a decent body and very little clothing.

After working with her for a day or so, I was kind of into her. On our first day, she locked her keys in her car, and I attempted to jimmy it open for her (with a long sparkler and a box cutter), though that’s easier said than done on these newfangled cars, so she had to call a locksmith. Then, this massive storm came through, and we had to abandon the stand and hang out in the nearby bike shop. So now, I’m dealing with this soaking wet girl in an extremely short skirt in an intense situation.

I chatted with her some, of course, on that first day and the next, but she was kind of quiet, so I found myself inventing this whole back story for her. I’m fairly certain that this is because of the girl situation that I’m in now. I never talk to any girls ever. As noted, there were no girls coming to the stand. The longest conversation I’ve had with a girl in the last 3 months or so has been exclusively in retail situations, so under 2 minutes. Thus, I’m probably predisposed to dig any girl that’s moderately presentable. I’m that isolated. I suppose it’s the downside of avoiding work for 6 months.

Now, I presume most people are familiar with the concept of “sneaky hot.” A girl who at first glance looks bland becomes interesting and desirable after working/being in close quarters with after a certain period. Well, this girl was the opposite of that, a term that really needs a name. After a day and a half of working with her, I was into her and scheming moves. After 4 days of working with her, I was completely sick of her shit and didn’t even find her cute anymore, and when she called in sick on the fifth day I was happy about it.

Overall, selling fireworks was fun, even though customers got in the way sometimes. However, I once came across an unimaginably horrible experience - worse than any customer antics. Near the stand was an Italian restaurant with outdoor seating and some sort of party deck in front. On the second Saturday that I worked, this deck was given over too... outdoor karaoke. Like a rat in a cage, I had nowhere to flee as I listened to some 8 year old kid sing No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak.” Maybe that’s something that Korea has right. Karaoke should never be thrust upon the ears of an innocent bystander, particularly a captive one.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fireworks Round 2 - or How I Spent my Summer Vacation from Vacation

Who amongst us can resist the Siren’s song of fireworks sales? Indeed, when the opportunity arrises to spend several hours a day reading and doing crossword puzzles under the cool shade of a yellow shipping container knocks, only the foolhardy would fail to answer, deapite putting on hold a life of, well, reading and doing crossword puzzles on the back porch. Add in the factors of payment for services rendered as well as far superior Taco Bell proximity, and one can see that I had little choice but to return.

Of course, it wasn’t all just Will Shortz and Mark Twain I would be dealing with, but also the general public. I hate the public. I abhor dealing with the elites for their elitism, and the commoners for their commonness. When working retail, I am interested in speaking with the following patrons: A) foxy girls and B) my friends. As I don’t have any friends in Baltimore, and as the first presentable to fairly-hot girl stopped by my stand on Day 10, this meant I pretty much didn’t like any customers - but that’s to be expected.

I had one customer who was a KU grad, and that even worked at the Sprint call center in Lawrence before I did. He seemed like an alright dude, says he moved to Baltimore a couple years ago (like me, because his mom moved there from Kansas and he was crashing there) so we chatted a little. He said he really didn’t know anyone in Balto either. Of course, as hetero dudes, it’s completely taboo to go meet up for beers or something, because you can’t ask for a dude’s number in a chance meeting unless you are overseas - this is simply not done.

On Day 8 or so, a Jetta rolled up. Jettas used to be considered the standard issue hot-girl car, so I watched with anticipation as the door opened - of course, only to have a fat chick lumber out of it. I suppose attractive girls don’t buy fireworks, at least not in June. Fireworks, however, do attract guys with no teeth that wear jean shorts by the bucketful.

Some guy drove by in a delivery truck - music turned way up. His music? The National Anthem. I think it was the Whitney Houston version from Superbowl XXV. People are ridiculous. And no, this wasn’t on the 4th of July, but some time in June.

One crossword puzzle clue - Strikeout King Ryan. Going with Don Theory, I immediately started writing “Howard” without counting the boxes. It didn’t fit. They meant Nolan, of course.

On Day 12 or so, a trashy mom came by. Maybe 26 (though if she looked that, she was probably 22) with an awful tattoo on her calf, and swearing at her kids like crazy. Yet, at this point, she was easily amongst the top three most attractive women that had shopped at my stand. I was briefly into her, and thought about closing down the stand to take her to lunch at Denny’s, which was conveniently next door to my stand.

Speaking of Denny’s... It was my bathroom for three weeks. In the shitter there, there’s a baby changing station called the “Sturdy Station,” and somebody had scratched away the S in Sturdy - brilliant. Once, when going into Denny’s, the PA there was playing the most apropos Denny’s song possible - “Hip to be Square.”

A couple of young girls, maybe 19, stopped by my stand asking if I was hiring. I wasn’t, and they seemed the type that if I were, nothing good can come of it. Then they asked if I had any smokes. I said no. An hour later, on a smoke break, they walked by again. “You lied!” Hey, nobody has been a more liberal bummee of smokes over the years than me, just ask Wiley. But with the prices these days - no fucking way,

I eventually came across “The Comedian.” I hate this asshole. Comes up, hey man, do you have any M-80s? I answer with a cold stare and a no, as I always do, and then he revels that he’s just kidding, and then in “jest” asks for several more illegal products. Listen, all you would-be Dane Cooks - your jokes aren’t funny if they consist of asking somebody the same stupid questions that said person gets in seriousness all day from idiots. After dealing with tons of idiot customers, asking me for bottle rockets - in seriousness or in jest - just makes me want to shoot you in the face.

This gangsta dude was on the phone while shopping. To the person on the other end, he said “How much bread you spendin?” I was amazed that gangsta types are using Archie Comics slang.

I had a dead ringer for Derek Morris (Zack’s dad) show up - no suit jacket, suspenders, slicked hair, mid 40s - but a bluetooth instead of a Zack Morris phone.

More to come soon, including some usual suspects from my posts - scantily clad girls and random Koreans, plus pics
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