Sunday, December 12, 2010

Suggestionator 2010: "Write about the customers"

To view the Suggestionator 2010 details and suggestions, click here.
I'm going to go out of order on the suggestions as I have ideas come to me. Cameron's suggestion was "write about the customers." I work with Cameron at Pegasus Books of Bend, our local comic store, so that's what he was referring to. Hope you like it Cameron (and Jasper and Duncan too, if they read it).

It was a day like any other. Or at least it started out as one. It was 1:33pm on a December Saturday, and I was standing behind the counter at the comic book store. I flipped the page of the latest issue of New Avengers (which is interesting enough to read, but crappy enough not to spend money on) and glanced out the window, and saw the snow blow gently across the sparse downtown streets. The neon sign in the window read "open" but the white powder covering the sidewalks told Bend to stay inside.

It was a slow day. There had been a few regulars in to pick up their comics, and a board game player or two, but nothing extraordinary. I returned my attention to the comic book on the counter and chuckled as Spider-Man made a poop joke.

The bell on the door jingled softly and a quick gust of cold air swept in, followed by the door closing a bit too forcefully. I looked up and saw a well-built man in a long grey coat. He had glasses and a hat to accompany his warm smile and strong jaw-line. He had dark black hair that was all neat but for a single curl hanging in front of his forehead. He smiled warmly and I greeted him.

"Hi, how are you?" I said, putting the comic out of sight under the counter.

"I'm just fine, thanks," he replied. "It's pretty chilly."

"I know, I can't stand it," I replied.

"I've vacationed in colder spots," he said, as he looked at a collection of Prince Valiant comic strips.

"Can I help you find anything?" I ask the visitor.

"No, I don't think so. I'm just browsing. Thank you though."

"Alright. Just so you know, the used books on the other side of the store are half of the cover price," I told him habitually. He nodded in acknowledgement and wandered over to the used section.

I walked around the store for a few minutes, straightening books while the customer browsed the books silently. I was returning a copy of The Hunger Games back to its appropriate place on the shelf when I heard the man say something from the other side of the shelf:

"Oh no. Not now."

Instantly, the window shattered into countless shards as a grey-skinned man dressed in an off-color Superman costume crashed into the store.

"You am not looking for Superman," he grunted at me with crossed eyes.

"Excuse me?"

"Bizarro am not looking for Superman."

"Kid," the customer poked his head around the corner. "Are there any phone booths around here?"

"Who uses phone booths?" I asked, confused.

"Customer service is great in this store! Bizzaro am not trying to talk!"

"Just answer me!" the customer said urgently.

"Yeah, actually. There's one down that street," I said as I pointed down Bond Street. "Probably the last one in the county."

The customer ignored my remark and dashed out the door towards the phone booth. I turned back towards the crazed Superman fan that had crashed through the window.

"Bizarro not wants Superman later!" he yelled at me.

"Superman?" I asked warily. I dashed around the corner and grabbed the latest issue of the "Grounded" story arc and handed it to him. The writing was crap, but he didn't seem like much of a critic. He stared at the cover for a moment, then tore it in half and tossed it on the floor.

"Bizarro am not wanting real Superman!"

The bell on the door jingled again.

"Wish granted, Bizarro."

Superman punched Bizarro straight back out the open window. He turned to me and winked, then shot out after him.

I looked down at the floor. There was broken glass everywhere, an issue of Superman laid in shreds, and a copy of Ice Towers had been destroyed by Bizarro in his entry.

"Duncan is going to be so pissed," I said.


  1. Superman walks away without fixing my window!!!!!

    Superman should have used his super speed to reassemble the window and fuse it with his heat vision. Putz.