Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Twilight Zone - My Adventures in Barnes and Noble!


Imagine a place where strangers listen in on your every conversation. Imagine a place where people sit themselves down at your table to disagree with you or convert you to their idea of religion. Think of a place where random people tell you the most personal of things for no reason at all. And then add in a coffee throwing nutcase just for the hell of it.

Am I talking about a bar? Is this the kind of place that Scully and Mulder should be looking into?
No. It's Barnes and Noble. The bookstore.

I have been a regular customer of Barnes and Noble for a very long time. I like books. And I like bookstores because I was taught that knowledge is power. So forget all that book crap! I like power! And Barnes and Noble is full of it.

A few years ago I became something of a regular at my local B and N. I'd go inside, wander around the aisles of books and settle in for a coffee and some idle intellectual chat with my friends. But something went wrong........

I have a theory. I just dont look like the bookish type. I went on a date once and the girl told me that she always thought I was cute, but she really expected me to be dumber. In her early estimation, I was the cute, dumb boy. Ouch. When we started talking about physics...no doubt I disappointed her entirely.

I was at first excited to meet some of the other bookworms at Barnes. We had a lot of nice chats and I finally got to use my brain in a conversation. My girlfriend at the time spent all of her time talking about herself. My brain was so full of "Mmm...hmmms" and "no...no...you're beautiful honeys" that I needed a break. At Barnes I had a chance to talk about politics, science, religion and other hot topics I like.

Poor me. I didnt even see it coming.

Before long, I was a hot topic. Rumors started about why I didnt come in with a girl. Um...because my viking blonde girlfriend is too busy at home looking in the mirror and trying to hook up with my friend behind my back.

Soon I was an irreligious libertine!
"You're reading a book about Buddha!! You worship Buddha! You're an idiot! And I can't wait until you burn in hell for it."

Yes. I actually was told those things...by a preacher's wife no less. What would she think now that I'm a Freemason? Am I taking over the world? Damn. I can't even get a price break on coffee at the Barnes and Noble Starbucks! I'm doing something wrong here!

I had a hothead for a friend. I talked with everyone and he clammed up unless it was to threaten to lay the smackdown on some intruder. That certainly didnt help. That was guilt by association!

There have been a lot of really strange things that have happened at Barnes. One guy told me that if I aligned my chakras in the wrong way then I would become gay. Now I'm wondering what else my chakras might do and if the alignment is screwing up my game with the girls I'm looking for.

Lots of people just saunter up and tell you that you are dead wrong about what you are talking about. That's good to know. But who are these unwanted visitors!? Do I listen to the conversation next to me just waiting to jump in and give them my two cents? No...unless they are scandinavians named Shay that like movies about Pirates. And I really should have gotten her phone number.

I met the worst partner in history at Barnes and Noble and developed an idea there that he has been stealing from me for 3 years by operating a business I built. Well, boo hoo. That's what I get for making friends in the Twilight Zone.

An ex french call girl sat down with me one night and started asking me a lot of incredibly personal questions...like where I live and that kind of thing. I managed to ask her a few questions about the Eiffel Tower and the answers she gave me didnt really surprise me.

There are some really nasty people that I've come across at Barnes...not the least of which was a crazy JFK obsessive who watched me and my friends for weeks before trying to befriend us. He started following me and threatening me. Two years later and he was still obsessing. Why? It's anybody's guess. I dont think he was the popular type. He turned me into his projected high school revenge pathos.

The last time I saw this B and N gem he ran up to me and threw a hot cup of coffee in my face followed by a couple of nerf punches. I just put him in a lock like a five year old and held him until management showed. It was the civil thing to do. And I was near the religion section. Goddess was watching. At least I finally got that free coffee I've been wanting.
Oh...and the First Rule of Barnes and Noble. We dont talk about Barnes and Noble!

You might expect that from bars...not Barnes. Hmm... Bars....Bar..nes......Maybe I'm onto something!

I went in with a friend recently and we sat at a table in the coffee shop there. We were laughing about how weird B and N people are. Is it really Barnes that's at fault or are people just weird? I'm beginning to question everything!

We sat there and talked about the things people did there and then, out of no where, this old guy asked us... "Where are you going?"

"Um. I dont know."

"What time is it?"

"Uh...like three."

"Where are you going?"

Hmm. Personally...at Barnes and Noble...I'd rather like to know just where the hell I am! Is it Purgatory? Is it the Twilight Zone?

Where am I going? I don't know that. I'm here. Now leave me alone so I can do nothing of any real consequence.

Where are you going!? You're not a Buddhist are You?! Have some hot coffee!

Hmmm. Maybe it really is better not to read.








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