I took my boy to the comic book store. We had to drive through downtown to get there. I didn't know Jacksonville had a hair-burning factory. Smelled horrible. OR, the smell COULD be the Baptist Factory. We've got the third largest Baptist factory in the south! It takes up 11 square blocks, churning out Baptists left and right. Heck! THAT would solve our trade deficit. Yo, China! Send us cheap, plastic, lead-painted toys, and we'll send you a big shipment of Baptists! Oh, wait. We've been sending them missionaries already. China keeps sending them back. We'll have to look into our Baptist quality control department.
ANYWAY-- we drove through downtown to get to the comic book store. I was behind a car with a flapping car flag. It was in Gator colors: Orange and Blue. The flag read, "Jesus." (I think Jesus did some post-grad work at University of Florida. He discovered how to turn water into Gatorade.)
ANYWAY-- We finally made it to the comic book store. I warned the boy about turning the pages of the comic books very carefully, so we wouldn't stress out the comic guy behind the register.
We walked in, and headed for a Spider-man comic. The boy picked one up, and turned the pages with only two fingers, like I taught him. I stood over him like an in-law with nothing to do. "Very good, boy. Doin' good. You like that one?"
Some lady asked Comic Guy if they bought any back issues of a certain title. He told her to try Chamblin Bookmine in the haughtiest tone he could muster while watching us.
The boy picked another Spider-man comic, and rested it on the shelf so he could focus on his page-turning method. Comic Guy pretended to put some comics away next to us. "Um," he said, "Could you tell him NOT to leave the comics on the shelf like that while he turns the pages? They can get caught on the shelf above."
I had my boy hand me the comic. "Oh, sorry," I told my son, "Comics are meant for people without hands."
While my boy was reading Sonic, I said loud enough, "Say, don't breathe on it. The comic will lose 20% of its value."
I gave it a rest when Comic Guy got a phone call. "No. The owner isn't in. What is this about? I don't care if it's personal. He's never in."
My boy handed me an X-Men book with Storm on the cover-- my fave! "Did you lick this one? Or, did you expect me to lick it first?"
Well, we DID pay for some comics with our sullen, crumpled bills. Comics for a KID, of all things!
When we got home, we told my wife about the trip. She picked up the phone and called the comic book store.
My wife asked the phone, "Is the owner there?"
"No, I'd like to speak to the owner. When will he be in?"
"I would NOT like to leave him a message. Will he be in tonight?"
"It's about poor customer service," she told the phone. Today."
Well. The owner is never in, I guess.
But, I promised the boy I would blog this:
The comic guy at the comic book store wasn't very nice. He isn't very nice in The Simpsons comic book, either. But, we didn't get to step all over that title. Yet.