Thursday, July 30, 2009

Saddest Story Ever

I have recently read a short story in Talebones magazine by Tim McDaniel called "Discards." It's about a Japanese man who goes to his dead mother's house to sell all of her old things and finds a box in the attic full of toys he had when he was a kid. One of these toys is a silver box that holds all of the monsters he had ever caught, trained, and battled with during his youth. Unless you have been living on the moon for the last ten or so years, this is Pokemon we're talking about. So he wonders if these monsters were still alive after all these years, but when he opens it he finds most of the monsters to be dead. The only two left alive are a yellow mouse and a blue-skinned turtle (Pikachu and Squirtle, for those who don't know), but they are old and decrepit. He feels guilty for using these creatures to bring him fame and glory, and thinks about killing them to put them out of their misery. Instead, he drives them to the woods and leaves them there to die.

This was a well written story, but damn. So sad. I think a little part of me died while reading this.
Who's that Pokemon...(sniff)'s P-Pikachu! (cries)
Makes me want to dust off the old Gameboy and play some Pokemon, though.

Friday, July 17, 2009

One Fine Day at the Theater (Part 2: Angry Bob)

I've been meaning to get back to this little series for a while, but school has been intense and I've been distracted by video games. But now I'm back to tell you about another adventure of mine from the old theater.

If you work at any fast food or entertainment-related job long enough, you are bound to recognize those customers who are regulars. Most of the time they are friendly people who like the place and get to know the staff by name. For instance, there was one cool biker dude who always stopped by every Friday to buy a large popcorn with extra butter and had some great stories to tell. I'll introduce him in a later installment. However, these regular customers are not always so friendly. Sometimes, they are downright nasty.

I never found out this man's name, so I shall refer to him as Angry Bob. He was a big man whose neck and arms were as big as tree trunks. His face was always set in a permanent scowl and he had this flat, army-like haircut. He was the kind of guy you would expect to see at the gym, pumping iron and chugging protein shakes. But he was a regular at my theater, a venue for artistic, foreign, and independent films. Go figure. Most of the time Angry Bob just watched his movie and then leave without any problems, always wearing his trademark "I'm-going-to-bite-your-head-off" scowl. But there was one night where I had an unpleasant encounter with the man.

It was a slow night when Angry Bob walked in to see "The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas," a film about two boys who become friends in WW 2 Germany, but one of them is a Jew and the other is the son of a German Army Officer. It was actually a good movie, but I digress...
So Angry Bob walked in, bought a small soda and popcorn, and went into his theater to watch the movie. He was the only customer for that showing. About half an hour after the movie started, a coworker and I were talking in the lobby when Angry Bob came out to tell us that the screen was too fuzzy and asked us if we could do anything about it. My coworker left to find a manager. As for myself, I was stuck at register duty. I had to stay there no matter what to make sure no one stole anything. Some time later the coworker came back and told me that he had informed a manager about the problem and then left. I assumed that that would be the end of it.
I was wrong.
Angry Bob came back out looking, well, angry. "Excuse me," he said to me, since I was the only poor slob available to yell at, "but this is not the middle ages. Is it that hard to focus a projector?" (No, I did not make this up. He really said this.) A common problem that occurred to me while working at this theater was the lack of backup whenever a customer came out to complain about something, but I was in no position to help because I couldn't leave my post. This was another one of those times. I told the man that a manager had been told of the problem and would fix it as soon as he could, but Angry Bob still didn't look pleased. He walked back in and I felt very uncomfortable.
Some time later he came out again, looking royally pissed. I could see the veins bulging on his abnormally large neck and his face was bright red. I was truly afraid that something very bad and very painful might happen to me. "I want to talk to a manager," he says, "I payed ten dollars to see this movie! This is ridiculous!" Fortunately, a manager had walked into the lobby and Angry Bob redirected his anger towards him. The manager assured him that he would fix the problem, then walked up to the booth to adjust the picture. Meanwhile, Angry Bob angrily paced the lobby. I tried to busy myself with some work to ignore the man, but I couldn't shake the feeling that he would explode at any second. To my relief, he only paced and grumbled for a few minutes before going back into the theater and not bothering us for the rest of the night. After that, the manager came back into the lobby and said, "it's already as focused as it can get. I don't know what his problem is."

I already knew that people were weird, but Angry Bob amazed me. I was told by another coworker that this wasn't the first time this man had a problem here. So why did he keep on coming back? Who knows. Maybe he liked to yell at people because it made him feel big and strong.
So please, whenever you're out at the movies or at a restaurant or whatever, be considerate for the minimum wage people serving you. We deal with crap all day long and it would be nice to not have to deal with the Angry Bobs out there. Besides, if things go wrong it might not be our fault!

Monday, July 13, 2009


So my brothers and I got up this morning and did the usual routine: shower, eat breakfast, do some last minute studying for our Italian test, etc. But when we got our things together and walked outside to get in the car and drive to school, we noticed something...odd.
Apparently, someone had decorated the hood of Alan's car with donuts, as you can see here. My own car wasn't hit as bad, but there was some kind of cream smeared on the hood and a few other donuts littered the pavement.

We thought this was funny and it wasn't too hard to clean them off, but seriously, folks...donuts? Talk about a waste of food! They could have at least used Krispy Kreme donuts instead of the cheap Safeway kind. Heck, if I had done this I would have bought a whole box and be more creative! It could have been worse, I suppose, but the only thing to worry about in little old Benicia are the bored, High School skater boys.

This wasn't the first time our house/property was goofed around with, either. Once all of our cars were tp'd overnight, another time we found chunks of pineapple thrown against the house, and during last year's hectic presidential campaign someone had spray-painted all the cars on the neighborhood with: "OBAMA."

Who knows, this might be someone's way of saying they like us.

And no, we did not eat the donuts.