i think everyone should have a retail job during the winter holiday season sometime in their too short lives. my theory is that after every person gets the sh*t kicked out of him/her by the blood-thirsty, holiday reduction obsessed hoi polloi, s/he gains a little perspective and the world becomes a much better, calmer, happier place.
while in college, i worked for one of the oldest and most respected toy stores in the world.
yes. that one.
and except for the theme song (which by the way, when you get the job, they tell you that you hear it while you sleep for a few days and they are not kidding), it was one of the best jobs of my life.
ok, so the actual working hours weren't all that much fun admittedly. the constant questions:
"do you have *insert brand name of toy, vague description, ancient year of issue, random series #, limited edition nightmare color & useless size*? is it still on sale? it better be because i made a special trip..."
and the complaints:
"this one isn't "fresh" (said while holding aforementioned inanimate toy at arm's length). can you get another one from stock? and you people can't wrap. just let me do it."
from duty bound parents and their overstimulated kids.
and kids, if there's a lesson to be learned, it's this - you never, never, ever, ever, ever want to piss off an overworked, underpaid grunt in the retail regiment - especially IN their place of employment. and it doesn't matter if the irrefutable question and/or grotesque complaint is regurgitated out of the mouth of an obscenely rich, beautiful and famous person or a regular, obscenely rich, beautiful joe. winona, take notes.
anyway, after closing, the click of the lock left us refreshed and renewed - we'd begin to work dilligently to clean & to get our specified areas straightened so we could go home. but, there was something dark and primitive deep inside of us, working its way up to our shiny vulnerable surfaces and one thing would lead to another and we'd be blaring blatantly anti-oompaloompa music, engaging in sanguinary nerf bow & arrow wars, late nite b-movie gak theatre, painfully slow demolition derby and then we'd dive to our most plebian and utterly base depths - the stuffed animal orgy.
oh, the horror, the corruption!!! *fade to black*
well, the poor defenseless, decaffeinated morning crew would arrive thru the rear entrance. in the back office, they'd put their things away in their cubbies, sip their coffee, nibble on a croissant, chit chat and finally, they'd enter the store and begin the routine of morning duties.
and then, you'd hear it, the collective gasp (and hysterical laughter) as the dimmer knobs were turned and our night shift masterpiece revealed - our cute and cuddly visual aids to the world of sexual slang - it was "puddles" buffing the beaver with "bixby", "chaplin" spanking the cat with "spencer", "madge" bumping fuzzies with "melvin", "patrick" doing it doggy style with "bootsie", "felix" feeding the kitty with "dreyfus", "biscuits" givin' the "george" a banana, "ozzie" riding "chuck", the pony - all of these and more would be on brazenfaced display in the licentious stuffed animal section.
it. was. anarchy. (oh, c'mon, like ANYONE would have noticed...)
wow. hmm, it's like i need a ciggy now....