Last night, some bozo got anxious on us 'cause we were smoking in the Myopic basement, while we were sheliving some Sci-Fi. By the way, how many fucking books did Michael Moorcock write? Jesus on a telephone pole and monkeys with typewriters: science fiction novelists. Also guilty? Poul Anderson. Guilty? Robert Jordan. Harry Turtledove, god love him, writes too much. We feel like we've shelved 200 Moorcocks in the last week or so. Anyway, back to the bozo.
Him: "You guys allow smoking here, but not cell phones? Jesus, that's insane. I thought they passed some big law against that."
Us: "You know what the great thing is about America is? Two things, actually. One, there are literally hundreds of thousands of bookstores you can can choose to shop at, many of them selling used merchandise. Two, laws are much harder to enforce than they are to create. I love America."
Needless to say, we finished our Marlboro Light 100. Don't know about you, but who goes to where some other poor chooch is working for cheezwhiz and honor and some cash out of the drawer and starts giving orders or mouthing off? No wonder Mark Eitzel wrote a song about us. We ARE dicks. But still. At Myopic we do things a little differently. Yes, Crazy Eddie is asleep on top of the ladder by the Anne Rice overstock. You ever seen "Grizzly Man"? Go ahead and wake him up. If you don't have a Jarritos in your hand, preferrably Strawberry or Tamirand, you are liable to draw back a stump. We have seen Crazy Eddie literally pick up by the scruffs of their necks two annoying drunken Dave Matthews-style fratboys and toss them onto Milwaukee like sacks of Russian potatoes. This man goes back for FOURTHS at the Red Apple Polish buffet when one plate has made your stomach feel like you swallowed a fully inflated kickball and forty shot glasses of jizz. Uh huh? Know that you let the man sleep.
Another grand Myopic tradition is Closing Music. When Jon works the skinny guy shift with us (AKA the Missed Connection Express, AKA Sunday Night Triage Unit AKA Guy Montag Society bro-down), we bring in some harsh tuneage to fleece out the last of the lollygaggers. And there are always a few. For instance:
--Frank Sinatra, AKA the Worst of the Bookstore Shitters. This is one of the chess guys, a Wed. night regular. He eats three or four bags of the really lousy Chex mix while he plays, and at 12:45 AM when we go clean out the upstairs and tell remaining shoppers to hit the damn bricks already, he goes and locks himself in the bathroom underneath the fiction balcony til we literally cajole him out. And that always sucks, because he turns the entire back half of the store into a Hiroshima-esque death zone with his, as Eddie likes to call it, trucker spray. We call him Frank Sinatra because he talks fast and with a kind of broken NYC accent and tries to charm us with kindness because he thinks it distracts us from the fact that he has just laid down a half gallon of chemical waste and we have to work for ten minutes in his, uh, effusive mushroom cloud of ass raunch. Thanks Ol' Brown Eye. You motherfucking ring-a-ding-ding.
--Mr. Macrame, AKA Batty Dread, AKA Dr. Shift Killer. We have arrived at the bookstore at 5:45 PM to begin our chores and seen him perched, already, on the couch by Cooking and Nature. He will stay for seven hours and not leave until we make it painfully obvious (physically running into him with the vaccum cleaner repeatedly, handing him his bookbag and silently pointing at the door, turning off all the lights wherever he is, shouting "All praises be to the savior that we are closed, Jon! I can't wait to the get the fuck out of here, go home, and beat off to my rare Dave Van Ronk records!") that we are way passed closed, the drawer has been counted, and our patience is being sorely tested. Does he ever buy a damn thing? No. He's not really creepy, but the bitch of it is that no matter how many times over the years these tiresome scenarios involving Mr. Macrame have occurred, he ALWAYS looks surprised when we ask him to leave. "Oh, you mean you are closed now?" No, douchebag. We turn all the lights out because we're worried about Iraqi airstrikes.
These are just the worst two offenders. Normal citizens realize that when we turn up VERY LOUD, say, Napalm Death's Complete BBC Sessions, or Eazy-E's early solo material, it's prolly scootin' time. Hopper knows some of these records, because we have used them to help her get out of bad rent/employment situations by usage of the old loud volume/speakers laid on the floor cones down technique. Aube, Childskin Breakfast, various Brotzmann combos (Machine Gun is a annoyance factor classic), Incapacitants (a Japanese band whose entire recorded output, several long-players and myriad comp tracks, mind you, all sound like you are ten feet from a 757 jet engine as it attempts takeoff...check out 1996's classic Ministry of Foolishness first) and many others have had the desired effect. Oh, and how could we have forgotten Voice Crack? An entire record that sounds like a donkey giving birth to a shopping cart which ten Nazis then attack with power tools for an hour or so. For shame!