On Customers and Snarkiness

I couldn’t deny it. The kid was baked.

Two guys walked in the store and made a bee-line to the 8-bit Nintendo dump bin. The taller of the two, the one wearing sunglasses, said that he needed some games for a party they were holding tonight. He asked how the games were priced–it depends–and started leafing through the bin.

His friend picked a game out of the bin, held it close to his face, and studied it. Then he turned to me.

“These games,” he said, his words drawn out, his enunciation drawn, “can you make us a deal on them?” Minutes seemed to pass as he tried to put his sentence across.

I shook my head. “They’re priced as marked. I can’t offer you a sale on them, no.” And why did my head suddenly start to pound?

And then I knew. The kid was stoned. He reeked of weed.

His friend knew it, too. “Dude,” he said, “don’t say a word. It’s okay.”

“But you don’t sell these old games,” the stoner said. “They don’t move, there’s no turnover, but if you make us a deal we’ll buy up a lot because we need them really bad.”

Please, I thought, please move away–you’re giving me a migraine just standing there.

Finally his friend caught his attention. But he was gone, I could see it in his eyes.


An hour later a kid called the store. We chatted aimiably for a few minutes, then he asked, “What’s new at the store.”

“We’ve got a store project. We’re building a trebuchet.”

He sounded bewildered. “What’s a trebuchet?”

“It’s a medieval siege weapon. It’s a really fancy catapult.”

“Why are you building that?” he asked.

“When the Viking hordes descend on Raleigh, we’ll need a few trebuchets to fend them off and protect the city.”

A pause. “Okay, then.”

My sales associate could barely contain herself. I had explained why we were building the trebuchet in such a straight manner she couldn’t help but laugh.


Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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