Customer: [holding up a leather armband] “Is this an armband?”
Me: “Yes, it is.”
Customer: “Oh.” [immediately tries to put it on as a collar] “It feels like a neck brace. I can’t move my head.” [to the friend who came in with him] “I’M GONNA FUCK YOU SO HARD, WE’RE GONNA HAVE TO EXCHANGE INSURANCE INFORMATION.”
Customer: “Did you get a picture of that?”
Customer: “Okay, I’ll do it again.” [directly into friend’s camera] “I’M GONNA FUCK YOU SO HARD, WE’RE GONNA HAVE TO EXCHANGE INSURANCE INFORMATION. Did you get it that time?”
Friend: “I got it on video.”
Customer: “Send it to me. That is some FUNNY SHIT. But don’t put it on Facebook — my mom is trying to help my aunt die and would not appreciate it.”
And see, if I were trying to kill off a conservative relative via social media, a viral GIF of my drunk son screaming obscenities in a fetishwear shop would probably get the job done efficiently. Unless she doesn’t have insurance, in which case it would just be gloating. Way to kick a girl when she’s already on her way down, you monster.
I saw my psychiatrist yesterday, because I take medication for a panic disorder, and I have to check in with him every two months to make sure the happy pills are still keeping me unbothered. So we’re chit-chatting about how things are going in general, and suddenly he was like, “You know, awhile ago you said the funniest thing about dating, but I can’t remember what it was.”
I told him that I remembered making him laugh but for the life of me couldn’t recall what I’d said. “Oh, no worries,” he replied. “I put it in your chart. Let’s see… ah, yes! Here it is!”
And he read it out loud and cracked up all over again, while I flashed back to an earlier incident in his office, when I was complaining about friends who come over to my apartment and blithely move things around after I’ve spent hours arranging everything just so [Ed. Note: I’ve also got Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, itself an extension of my anxiety issues], and he interrupted with, “hang on one second; I want to finish writing down everything you’ve said.”
And that’s when I realized I’d been going on and on about the flying penis statue in my living room, which is a perfectly normal piece of home décor, so stop oppressing me, but also maybe a little weird to have included in one’s medical records.
While I’m certainly not going to censor myself in front of my shrink, I do need to be a lot more aware of what pops out of my mouth during sessions. In related news, I’m pretty sure someone at my insurance provider chokes on his coffee whenever it’s his turn to read my claims.
Customer 1: “I like these onesies!”
Customer 2: “So do I!”
Customer 1: “I need a small. What size do you wear?”
Customer 2: “I probably need a small too.”
Customer 1: [suddenly aggressive] “A small? Really? You think you can fit in a small? You honestly think you need a small, like me? Okay, fine, let’s see you in a small, and oh, look, there’s a dressing room. Get in.”
Customer 2: “Um, okay.”
Customer 1: “And here’s a large. If we put you in a small, you’ll be a Santa ho-ho.”
Customer 2: “Yeah, thanks for size-shaming me…”
A few points of information here.
a) Customer 2 needs new friends.
b) Customer 1 needs a medium. (The fit is based on height, not weight.)
c) Size-shaming is repugnant, and any gay man who size- or body-shames any other gay man deserves to get stabbed in the eye with a dirty fork.
d) “Santa ho-ho” is the lamest insult in the history of throwing shade. The entire cast of Paris is Burning has been alerted and will be here any minute to destroy him, while Customer 2 and I eat popcorn and giggle.
Convenience Store Clerk: [having not seen me in ages] “Good morning!”
Me: [realizing I’ve left my wallet in the car] “Hello! I’ll be right back.”
Convenience Store Clerk: [sympathetically] “Do you need beer?”
Me: “Um… what?”
[He gestures to the clock behind the counter. It’s 11 a.m. In Texas, it’s illegal to sell alcohol before noon on Sundays.]
Me: “OH. No, I don’t. I just forgot my wallet.”
Convenience Store Clerk: “…Oh. Okay!”
And you know what’s fucked up? I haven’t shopped at this particular establishment in years. Years.
Reputations are sometimes very hard to scrub off.
Every year, one of the Misfits (Dean: center, blue do-rag) draws a group portrait of our organization’s active members, and it gives me immeasurable joy to show off his 2017 masterpiece.
Dean really went out of his way to make us look like we’re all competitive bodybuilders, which is, y’know, inaccurate at best. Some of us are actually professional gymnasts, while others were bombarded by gamma rays during experimental weapons testing. John (top row, red cap) is an alien god from another dimension who came to earth seeking adventure, whereas Eric (bottom row, far right) volunteered for a secret government “Super Soldier” program and spent many years fighting valiantly against the Nazis before pledging a leather club.
Scott (second row, green camouflage) is a cyborg assassin sent from the future to annihilate Linda Hamilton, and I (gray shirt, between Scott and Dean) have been seeing a nutritionist and working out a couple of times a week. But I can also fly and walk through walls, so they went ahead and let me stay.
Anyway, these are the Misfits — my brothers; my tribe; my teammates; my occasional archnemeses. Genetic mutations and film adaptations that fail to live up to canon aside, I definitely think I’ll keep ’em.
Customer 1: “We’re doing Secret Santa at work, so I need to get something for my co-worker.”
Customer 2: “Wait… isn’t he straight?”
Customer 1: “Yes, but he’s in love with me.”
And then they left before I thought to suggest beard oil.
Straight dudes totally fall more in love with their gay co-workers when given beard oil. That’s just science.
I feel like we all missed some opportunities here.
[Carlisle and I are chatting idly by the counter, when a customer walks in, stands in the doorway, and surveys the shop.]
Customer: “Ohmigod, this place is SOOO CUTE. [over his shoulder, to the friends behind him] “This store is for MEN ONLY. YOU CAN’T COME IN.”
Carlisle: “And the next blog post is written.”
Me: “So let it be done.”