Symbiotes, My Lord. Kumbaya.

[Despite the signs all over the damn place that state we can only have two customers in the store at any given time, a group of four people — including a straight woman wearing a purple unicorn horn — try to squeeze in at once.]

Me: “Hey, guys, I can only have two customers in here.”

Straight Woman: [pointing to the man next to her] “Oh, it’s fine. We’re married, so we count as one.”

Me: “That is not how this works.”

Straight Woman: [winning smile]

Me: “Two of you need to get out. Now.”

She huffed a bit at that, but realizing I would not be swayed, the group had a brief conference in the doorway (right next to the sign that says, “Please Don’t Block the Doorway”) and decided to take their business elsewhere.

I probably could’ve been a little nicer to them, but frankly, her unicorn horn was pissing me off ferociously.

That and, y’know, her attempt to use heterosexual privilege to override the rules in a gay bar, because her marriage is ever so much more authoritative than our piddling little sodomite health guidelines.

But mainly just that fucking horn.

I told Ben this story, and he was like, “You should’ve said, ‘You may be one in the eyes of God, but He doesn’t work here.” This is why Ben has a career in Hollywood, while I have a desk job.

Alice Doesn’t Sling Here Anymore

Customer: “I thought Black Hawk Leather closed, but someone just told me it reopened?”

Me: “The owner of Black Hawk retired four years ago. After that store closed, the Montrose Forge opened up in the same space.”

Customer: “So Black Hawk reopened.”

Me: “Black Hawk closed, but a new store opened in the same location. That new store is called the Montrose Forge. This is the Forge’s bar store. Our main store is in the building where Black Hawk used to be.”

Customer: “Let me put it this way. Around the corner from this bar, there is a house. If I were to walk into that [air quotes] ‘house,’ would I find a shop similar to this one?”

Me: “… Yes.”

Customer: “Okay, so like a sex store or something.”

Me: “Sure. Just like that.”

Customer: “Great! I’m going to go check it out.”

And he zipped away before I could give him the main store’s hours of operation.

I am 100% looking forward to his angry online review about the Black Hawk employee who misled him.

Opening in Circles

Customer: “Could I get a bottle of Double Scorpio, please?”

Me: “Sure. Which scent would you like?”

Customer: “Hmm. What do you recommend?”

Me: “I’d go with either the Amber or the Gold.”

Customer: “Okay, sounds good. I’ll take that one.”

Me: “Which one?”

Customer: “The one you recommend.”

Me: “So… would you like the Amber, or would you like the Gold?”

Customer: “Yes.”

It’s the returning sense of normalcy that I treasure the most.

I Don’t Know Is in Third

Customer: “I’d like some Scorpion, please.”

Me: “You mean Double Scorpio? Sure. Which one would you like?”

Customer: [looking over my shoulder to the Double Scorpio refrigerator on the counter behind me] “Hmmm… I’ll take the one in the third quadrant.”

Me: “Um… which one?”

Customer: “The one located in the third quadrant.”

Me: “There’s actually a display of all the solvents we carry just to your right, if you’d like to…”

Customer: [not looking to his right] “Third quadrant!”

Me: “If you could just look at the display and point…”

Customer: [pointing forcefully at the fridge] “It’s the one right there in the third quadrant! How do you not know where the third quadrant is?

Me: “What color is it?”

Customer: “SILVER. SILVER IN THE THIRD QUADRANT.”

[Defeated, I turn to look at the fridge. There are no silver bottles.]

Me: “Okay… I think the one you want is the Double Scorpio Black. The printing on the label is silver, but the lights reflecting off of it kind of make the whole bottle look silver.”

Customer: “NO. I WANT THE SILVER ONE IN THE…”

Me: “Third quadrant. Got it. But seriously, look.”

[I take a bottle of the Black out of the fridge and hold it up next to the same bottle on the display.]

Me: “See? Not silver.”

Customer: “BUT THAT OTHER BOTTLE IS…”

[Before he can finish, I swing around and grab a bottle of Double Scorpio Gold.]

Me: “Gold. The other bottle is gold. There are no silver Double Scorpio products.”

“… Oh. Well, then.”

I went home that night and did some research, and guess what: The Black and Gold bottles are actually in the second quadrant of the refrigerator.

So fuck that guy. I mean, we clearly both flunked high school geometry, but at least I’m honest about it.

You Never Even Call Me By Whatever Everybody’s Calling Me This Week

Customer: “Hey, Thomas.”

Me: “Hello.”

Customer: “Oh! Sorry. I mean, hey, Thumper.”

Me: “No apologies necessary. I pretty much answer to anything at this point.”

Customer: “Okay. Hey, asshole.”

Yeah, I kinda walked into that one. But I’ll add it to my tragically expanding list of Nicknames For All Occasions anyway.

That is… not how math works.

Customer: [pointing to a bottle of Rush] “May I see that yellow bottle, please?”

Me: “Sure.” [I hand him the bottle.]

Customer: “Hmm. No. This has a red top. I need the Rush with the black top.”

Me: “I’m afraid the only Rush we carry has a red top.”

Customer: “The Rush with the red top doesn’t work for me. I bought a bottle over at that sex store…” [waves hand vaguely to the Southwest]

Me: “Hollywood?”

Customer: “Yes! Hollywood. It was like water. I’m going to go back and demand a refund and throw it in their face!

Me: [speechless]

Customer: “Yeah, okay, I’m not going to do that. But I bought a yellow bottle with a black top at the bathhouse the other day, and it worked really well.”

Me: “Oh! That’s Pig Sweat. Yellow bottle, black top.”

Customer: “No. It was Rush.”

Me: “Well, like I said, we don’t carry Rush with a black top, but…”

Customer: “I need to invent little disposable, one-use solvents and sell them for like $8 each.”

Me: “That would certainly fill a niche.”

Customer: “I buy three bottles a week at least. It would be a lot more convenient to just have the little one-shots. Because I’m at the bathhouse every night, and I go through a lot of poppers.”

Me: “Solvents.”

Customer: “Solvents. Hundreds. There are hundreds of bottles around my house, just from this month alone!”

If he’s not exaggerating about how much he consumes in a week, there should really only be like twelve bottles around his house (minus however many he loses at the bathhouse). So if he’s seeing hundreds, then either he’s turning into a human fly, or his friends and family need to get about the business of staging the world’s first solvent intervention.

Unless the solvents are what’re turning him into a human fly, in which case his friends and family should just lock their windows and not leave any raw meat laying out.

Breakthrough Performance

[Our front counter, weakened from years of abuse, finally died the True Death when an extremely intoxicated and/or high as balls customer tripped and grabbed onto it for support, thus bringing it down to the floor with him. The following afternoon, the staff got together to rebuild and reinforce it.]

Rok: “Okay, I think we’re good. Thumper, pretend to be a customer, and we’ll see if it holds.”

Me: [slamming into the counter and flinging myself across it] “WHEEEEE, I’M DRUNK AND HAVE BOUNDARY ISSUES. POPPERS POPPERS POPPERS.”

Rok: “Wow. That was… actually pretty accurate.”

It held, by the way. We’re very proud of ourselves. Plus I’m probably going to win like a Daytime Emmy or something. About damn time, really.