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Justin M. Stoddard

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Just a Big Bunch of Rambling Crap
December 8, 2003 — 8:00 pm

Eric sent me a very humorous link the other day about a guy dealing with various customers while working at Barnes and Noble. Though the ongoing journal is pretty long, it grows increasingly hilarious as you read along. More so for me because I used to work in an industry that dealt exclusively with the fickle public. Not just any job, but the most thankless, greasy, low paying job any teenager could hope to have.

I’m sorry. It’s really hard to concentrate on what I’m writing right now cause I have Tenacious D playing in the background and I’m pretty much laughing my ass off. Well, on the inside anyway.

Back in the late ’80s, Eric and I worked at the local Skippers in Portland, Oregon.

Another reason I’m having a hard time concentrating is because some lame ass spy ware is on my computer right now that freaking underlines and links random text in my browser for seemingly no reason at all. A full scan of my computer using adware reveals nothing. Neither does a cursory search of my Add/Remove programs folder. Undoubtedly, I accidently clicked the ‘yes’ button on one of those ubiquitous pop up windows that asks you “Would you like to install the latest version of our lame ass scumware on your computer?”.

Back to Skippers. One day, Eric and I were working the evening shift, which meant dinner rush. A man I assume to be in his late 30’s approaches the register, orders, and proceeds to pay with a check. Now, in those days, we didn’t have those nifty machines that spins your check around like a loop-d-loop giving it instant verification. Instead, we had to call these things in.

Me on the phone: Yes, I need to verify a check…pause…Routing number blah blah blah blah blah….pause….Account number blah blah blah blah blah

Man in front of me: Heavy sigh…evil look

Me on the phone: Sure, I can repeat that…pause…Routing number blah blah blah blah blah….pause….Account number blah blah blah blah blah

Man in front of me: Oh for the love of God.

Me on the phone: Really?…pause…Um, OK, thanks. Looking up at man in front of me I’m sorry sir, we can’t accept this check.

Man in front of me: What the F%#K do you mean you can’t take my G*D D@#N check?

Me: Um, I can’t take it. I called…

Man: I don’t give a F&#K about that. I’m standing here and you are calling me a F*#KING thief!

Me: Sir, I can’t take your check

Man: F*$K that!

Now, keep in mind, this jerk off is swearing at an elevated level in a family restaurant. Not only that, the customers standing behind him are visibly shocked that the behavior.

Me: I’m sorry sir. I’ll be happy to call and let you talk to…

Man: What the F&#K? Do you think I’m a thief or something?

Eric: Sir, if you don’t leave right now, I’m gonna call the police.

Man: F*&K this.

Exit Man.

There is something vaguely satisfying about secretly rocking out to the Ramones and The Sex Pistols while sitting at your desk working for the Man 8 to 10 hours a day.

One night at Skippers, Eric turned half of the ceiling tiles upside down. The end result was our ceiling looking like some demented blue and white checker board. Our manager didn’t catch this for nearly 2 weeks. When she finally noticed, she proceeded to blame me for the infraction. It took nearly two years and a forced confession from Eric to changer her mind.

I simply don’t understand people who have the constant need to deconstruct movies. Can’t I just enjoy a movie without someone telling me how much it sucked? I mean, where does all this hatred come from? I love movies. I love the art form. I love its beauty. I love being absorbed. Sure, there have been some movies that weren’t too terribly good. Battlefield Earth comes to mind. But, even that movie had elements that I liked.

I’ve recently found a wonderful band in The White Stripes. If you like artists like Beck and The Strokes, I think you’ll really appreciate The White Stripes.

One Friday afternoon, I happened to suggest to a friend of mine that if he wanted some free food to stop on by Skippers after we closed and Eric and I would hook him up. Ten minutes before closing, nearly 75-80 people from our High school showed up to collect the promised goods. Eric and I panicked. All was eventually worked out when we promised everyone some French Fries if they would just leave the premises as quickly as possible.

I’ve been falling in love with the work of director Michel Gondry. Not only does his work include some wonderful Bjork videos, he literally put The Chemical Brothers on the map with some of the most amazing music videos I’ve ever seen.

One night after closing up the store, Eric and I had a few friends in for some free food. We had a helium tank in the back. I thought it would be pretty funny to fill up a 55 gallon trash bag with helium and put it over my head to see what happened. I don’t remember hitting the floor or the resulting 5 minutes of lost time. I’ve never experimented with helium again.

I have a secret. I dig chick bands. Bands like Letters to Cleo, The Breeders, Throwing Muses, Veruca Salt, Belly, and even Hole really appeal to me. Not only do they rock the house, their voices are mesmerizing to me. I always thought that if I were in a band, I would want a female to sing for us.

For some reason, I was once talked into putting on the Skippers mascot costume (a giant ass parrot) while riding around the deserted streets of Portland at 1am in the back of a pickup truck. Though word of our escapades got back to our manager, we denied any involvement to the end.

I’m really digging this White Stripes album.

One of the coolest things I’ve ever heard anyone say came from the lips of my friend Travers. When Eric asked him how he stayed warm walking around barely clothed in the dead of winter, he said “I just walk, and I walk fast”.


— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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