Today is notable for two reasons: 1. it's not raining and 2. it's Wednesday, so there's a Farmer's Market going on just a few yards from the used book store.
And that means lots of browsing customers.
Unfortunately, several of them smell. It reminds me of taking the subway in Boston during the summer. Some people apparently don't like deodorant.
And--as long as we're AIRING things out--I'm going to be honest and tell you that I don't like those people.
Okay, I'll admit: when I think about how deodorant works, I get that same uncomfortable feeling as when I think about asphalt. Both of them block surfaces that should be porous. But even so, Reader, deodorant should be worn. ESPECIALLY in late June in an enclosed space.
Also, I'm developing a theory that customers are just using the back room of the store to fart. That's the only explanation for the stale, dead smell I keep encountering back there. Not cool, flatulent customers. Not cool.
A few minutes ago, a guy came up to the counter. He was wearing an Amish-type straw hat. He was not wearing deodorant. Amidst other customers, many of whom were children, he proceeded to tell me a story.
It went like this (parenthetical asides are my own):
"A couple months ago, my girlfriend and her friends bought a bus. Like an old bus. And they totally repainted it and then they drove it to California. And then she called me the other day and told me she was pregnant. It's mine. And she wants to keep it. And she said she read this book (in his hands: The Celestine Prophecy) and she always wanted me to read it and now I have to read it. (Don't ask me how this relates to the baby--I have not read the book). And anyway, all I've got is a little change on me. (Opens his hand to produce some lint, a quarter, and a few pennies) but I need this book. I've also got granola (he plunks down a small paper bag of granola from the Farmer's Market). Could we maybe make a trade?"
A trade. One $6.00 book for granola and 28 cents.
No, kind sir. No, we cannot.
Now there was a part of me that felt guilty. A little guilty. But I am gullible by nature and short and baby-faced, which has led my heart to turn cold and shriveled and distrustful. So I said no.
And then a teenaged girl offered to buy it for him, which was sweet but, please don't. Your mom is here somewhere and if she catches me letting you pay for this random Amish-Not-Actually-Amish guy's book, she's going to make me void the transaction.
Long story short: I apologized but declined the granola as payment. He came back a little later with a credit card. He is going to name the baby Celestine (okay, I made that part up but come to think of it, that would make a rather nice name for a girl).
The Moral of this story is that you cannot buy books with granola. And practice safe sex. And wear deodorant. You should especially wear deodorant while practicing safe sex. The end.