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I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Weekend Round-Up Part One: That Dude from the Strand


After a matinee viewing of Little Miss Sunshine (yes, it was great!) near Union Square, we ventured over to The Strand to partake of some cheap-ass classics (namely, North and South and some Bronte minor works) and yes, some cheap-ass T-shirts ($3 and made by rip-off central American Apparel no less).

Now, the staff at the Strand are a pretty hipster crew, 'tis true. They're like the Kim's Video people except with a less universally-beloved medium to boast about (I am an avowed bookworm but in terms of the hipster social hierarchy, music is definitely king) which, I guess, makes them insecure or something. Or so I learned last night.

So here's how it went down. I handed my four $3.95 19th century novels and one t-shirt to the chick at the register, followed by my ratty old Bank of America card. Chick snarled at me. Fine, I've come to expect such treatment at Le Strand; despite my cool woolen hat and trenchcoat, I'll never be like them. So be it.

But then she disappears, and in her place is a new dude, "Mr. I'm-Too-Cool-For-School-so-I-work-at-the-Strand" who angrily slams my receipt down at the table and literally shoves the shopping bag at me. I exchange an eye-roll with my boyfriend, sign the receipt, and half an hour later over some mediocre Pad-See-Yew down the block, realize that the "I'm too tortured for eye contact" cashier forgot to give me my credit card.

Was this punishment for buying a butload of Bronte instead of Paul Auster or Nabokov? Was it because my bangs don't fall flat over my face due to the fact that, heaven forgive me, my hair is naturally curly? Was it because I bought a Strand t-shirt and he thinks I'm a tourist (but I was drawing my first breath in a NYC hospital while he was fantasizing about city life in some suburban bedroom)? Or was it because I was committing the cardinal sin of smiling with excitement over my book bargains, and in his mind, LITERATURE IS SERIOUS?

I wasn't sure. But as I ventured back into the store an hour later, having been treated to the mediocre Thai due to my absent card, I was seriously ready for blood--or to grab my credit card and slink away into the night.

"Excuse me," I said politely to a cashier with dreadlocks. "But I believe my credit card might be..."
SLAM. Mr. "Spoken words are a restrictive societal restraint, but I still work in retail" who happened to be at the next register, literally managed to stick my credit card aggressively in my face while deliberately looking in the exact opposite direction and keeping his vow of silence.

I couldn't help laughing aloud, and even the dreadlocked cashier appeared totally sheepish. And with that, I was on my way, clutching my precious plastic.

But I have a few words for "my" special cashier, whoever he is:

"Hey Mr. Snot-Nosed Strand Employee! I have an idea. Stop wandering your eighteen-miles of musty books with a disdainful look on your face for a second to PULL THE GIANT WAD OF OVER-ANALYZED BRETT EASTON ELLIS NOVELS FROM YOUR SKINNY WHITE ASS, YOU WASHED-UP THIRTYSOMETHING LOSER. I may love literature, but I hate pretentious literary wannabes like you. Take that, you snobby snobby man.

love and kisses,
the unashamedly happy nineteenth-century novel and cheap-t-shirt loving native New Yorker,
Fellow-ette"

2 comments:

  1. also sprach zarathustra2:30 PM

    yo TRU, that guy was a complete douche. thought: maybe he knew we saw "LMS" before visiting his esteemed establishment, and was doing his best impression of the rebellious teen sib in the first half of the movie? no? never mind - dwayne at his surliest, nietzche-readin'-est self was 10,000x cooler than that lame, lame book peddler and his bizarrely unfounded superiority complex.

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  2. i also sprach zarathustra12:26 AM

    boo to that lame dude. you've had similar experiences at the strand before? i thought it was a welcoming place where everyone loved reading or something. also, it's not like bronte isn't literary, or unhip in anyway. It's not like you were buying "Left Behind."

    (also, nabokov is dope. but not bret easton ellis.)

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