Search Me!

Think about it...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

HOM: Jerry Again

I told you he'd probably show up again. Here are a couple of incidents I just recalled. ----- A man came in and poked around the store for quite a while. Jerry asked him if he was looking for anything in particular and he said he was on a quest for one special book, a quest that had lasted for years. He was looking for Johnson's "Queen Of The Flat-Tops" and would give ANYTHING for a copy. Serendipity. We had just gotten in a mint hardcover in the original dustjacket. Jerry presented it to him with a flourish. The man was thunderstruck at his good fortune, exclaimed over the condition of the book, talked of how this made his day, and told us how much it meant to him. Then he asked the price. When Jerry said five dollars, the man told him it was outrageous, highway robbery, that no book was worth that much and Jerry should be ashamed of himself, dumped it on the counter and left. Jerry was so peeved he doubled the price in the book before he put it back out on the shelves. ----- A woman came in, one of the type we used to call a "dol" -- Dithery Old Lady. Jerry waited on her since he had a lot more patience and was better at handling them than I was, and she buried him in questions, criticisms and comments for a good half hour as she called him to different sections of the store. Every time he tried to walk away she'd snare him with another question. Finally she made her decision, a ten cent book from our sale table. Jerry was at the end of his patience by that time, and when she dropped a Canadian dime in his hand, he thrust it right back and said "Make that an AMERICAN dime!" Yeah, he snarled! She paid and left, he muttered and grumbled and let off steam for a while, and I teased him about temper. Neither of us felt bad when she never came back. ----- On quiet summer afternoons, I loved to stand in the door and watch the world go by. This always irritated Jerry, who said nothing looked more pathetic that a shopkeeper standing by his place of business yearning for customers to come in and that it gave the store a "loser" image. So I compromised and was "outstanding" on his days off and behaved when he was there. TBC (Me) (Blacktail Books)