We have a couple of crazy regulars at work. Most of them are homeless people who like to yell at the listening stations, bathe in the sink, and pick fights with other crazy late night customers over religion (I am not shitting you here. Some McViegh type once flipped out because we didn't have an engineering magazine and said that it was proof the world is doomed. And then he blamed it on religion. And then a crazy homeless chick who bathes in the sink and talks to herself got into it with him. It was way less awesome than it sounds). But on Monday, I was a part of something more insane, odd and gross than ANYTHING I ever experienced working at punk rock clubs. And remember, I used to have to clean the bathrooms at Fitzgerald's.
Last week, some random cat waltzed in the store, picked up a kids biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. and started reading while talking to himself in the corner by our first floor entrance. He was covered in turqoise paint (shit was slicked back in his hair) and was wearing shades. Since he wasn't really bothering anyone and providing me and the cashier with some amusement, I just told the boss and he shrugged his shoulders.
A few hours later, the guy is now over by the newspapers and is starting to get pretty loud about racism, the government conspiracy against him, and robots in between random fits of dancing. I thought I had discovered the black Heidegger. We have TV's that broadcast bands the company is pushing and even Oprah because of that whole Eckhart Tolle pseudo-scientology thing. When this appears on screen for the 700th time, the Blue Dude (as we dubbed him) began talking shit to the Oprah. "Yo mama, Oprah! That's right, bitch! Not my, mama! Yo, mama, Oprah. And your auntie, and your sister, and your uncle! Fuck you, Oprah!" I dug it, and couldn't help but start laughing but the boss asked the guy to calm down. And he did. For a few minutes. The boss thought he was half-pretending to which my reply was, "What is this? A fucking performance art piece? If so, this dude's got talent!"
Of course, it wasn't. While re-shelving magazines (seriously, if you go into bookstores and grab 10-15 magazines and leave them in a pile for ME to clean up for you, then fuck you), I heard the Blue Dude getting agro. I thought he might be beefing with the boss and I went around the corner to check it out and the Blue Dude jumped out at me, in the midst of a jig. It was freaky and such a shock I had my fist cocked back. We closed, he left and I had a new story to tell. Until Monday.
Towards the end of my shift, at around 4 p.m., I noticed the Blue Dude chilling in the cafe, with a carton of milk and a grown-up book this time. He was quiet, which was shocking, but I still hung around knowing sooner or later he would flip the fuck out. It started slowly, he began kinda rubbing himself (hey, I adjust my junk pretty often at work. Running up and down those stairs in jeans requires occasional shifting) and then starting chastising some imaginery person he saw beneath him on the floor. A few customers looked up but didn't really seem bothered.
I checked back a few minutes later to find his seat vacated, but, his milk and book were still there. "Oh, fuck," I thought, "He went into the bathroom."
This disturbed me because our bathrooms are fucking hellholes. One time, I had to help clean up a big pile, of mushy feces that had been deposited NEXT TO the toilet and lately I'd been discovering, ahem, "used" pornography. On my way to the bathroom, a customer stopped me, really upset, and told me there was someone naked in the stall save for a paper bag (don't ask me) and masturbating. I called a manager, a really nice, non-confrontational type who begrudgingly said he would check it out as long as I accompanied him. I did.
We walk in and sure enough, the Blue Dude is butt naked in the handicapped stall. He jumped back into view when he heard the door open (and yes, through the cracks and all it was way obvious this dude was sans clothing) and asked what was wrong. The manager told him he had a customer complain about what he was doing. The Blue Dude's response was brilliant.
"Man, I'm just handling my FUCKING business!"
Security was called, they showed up with their helmets firmly attatched as they cruised to the back on their Segueway's with a couple of HPD in tow. It took about 7 minutes before the cops came out (what the fuck took so long? Did they let him finish?), one while putting away his baton. They asked for some plastic gloves and a few more minutes later, escorted the Blue Dude from the store and the Galleria for good. Work pretty much went to a stop for 20 minutes as we all laughed and joked about the events that had just transpired.
Retail, man. It's a fucking trip.
Oh, and if you have no idea why I put that picture with this post you need to meet Carl Monday.