Monday, March 24, 2008

"Windy City ComDICKS"

Much less of a blog, much more of a rant...

I recently had the opportunity to tour the great city of Chicago. By and large, the people seemed to be friendly, mild-mannered and less concerned with making it than they were about being content. I dug it.

Looking back, there weren't many snags in the trip; however, one event does stand out... Almost getting my ass kicked in a comic shop in boys' town. Boys' town comic store, be proud, you're the first in a series of jerks and awkward circumstances that showcase my innate and uncanny ability to attract bad luck. Boys' town comic store, you're reason #1, why the world thinks "I'm the asshole."

It was a little over thirty degrees out and two friends and I were walking down Clark street in Chicago. It was about my third day in the city and so far things were going well. I had seen a lot of cool things and met a lot of cool people. Chicago was nice. There was still way more to see and experience though and my guides were determined to show me everything that this city had to offer.

On our way to more sight-seeing, one of my friends had to swing by her workplace and take care of some paperwork. She ran in and took care of business and we were on our way.

She works near what's known by the locals as "boys' town," a place where male mannequins sporting fishnets and leather suits are not completely uncommon. Heading back to the train, it was inevitable that we took a stroll through this unique little community; it was here where we would come across a little gem of a comic shop.

Now, I'll retain its anonymity, for the sake of saving face, but suffice it to say that this place has every potential to be rad. On coming in, I first noticed the stacks and stacks of carefully placed books and illustrations that harken back to every cool indie comic or record store you've ever seen. The clientele was your standard 40:1, male to female, comic-going ratio. I had to get a photo.

Suhh-nap. click.

Almost as soon as the shutter released I pulled my eyes away from the viewfinder only to meet eyes with the proprietor of this fine establishment. He spoke with a loud, booming (nasaly) whine:

"Excuse me, what are you doing?"

I stood there dumbfounded and his tone immediately gained more anger.

"You should probably ask before you start snapping pictures, huh?"

"I'm sorry, I'm just a fan of comic shops"

"Yeah. We should probably ask before snapping pictures, huh?"

"Sorry. Can I ..."

"--What are they for?!"

"I don't know, personal use? I'm just a fan of comic sho..."

"Personal use for what?!"

Spandex, bicyclist man turns around from reading his latest editon of whatever and lets out a shout from across the room.

"What, ya never seen a comic book shop before?!"

"I'm just a fan of comic shops."

Suddenly all eyes are on me and the people I came in with are deep into the comics that were closest to them and are doing everything they can not to laugh hysterically. I am soo confused and yet can sense the tension in the air. It's so thick it's nearly palpable. No one's saying a thing and the daggers are practically piercing my skin.

"How 'bout we stop snapping pictures."


I sneak away toward the back of the room and try to ignore the fact that I've just become the jock that was thrown into the geek den... I spot a cool cover and barely touch the corner of the light leaf before [dunk, dunk, dunk...] the display falls to the floor. The only sound is a kind of silent, growing fury. I dare not look up. I'm immediately in shock. I just grab the comics, stand back up quickly and scurry to fix the display. Instantly, I realize that it's time to go. My friends are busting up a little and I've got this awkward smirk/terror on my face [what an asshole].

We head toward the door and as the door opens and we're leaving, I make one last attempt to make amends, I look toward the man that started this all.

"You have a good one..."

He just glared back, as if I were both the spawn of Hitler and the Riddler. It was clear that I was no longer welcome anywhere in or around the comic shop.

Comic Shop in boys' town, you're reason #1: why the world thinks "I'm the asshole."

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