JERK OF THE WEEK: Jerks of Christmas Shopping, 2014
I was watching TV one evening when a hilarious trailer for a movie came on. I had seen it before, but I wasn't sure if my girlfriend did. I told her to take a look, and she laughed at it.
"I want to see that," I said, making note that it would be released on Christmas. Saying this was quite unusual, given that I seldom go to the movies. The last time I was actually in a movie theater was back in May, when I saw Oculus. If you're wondering why I don't go to the movies, it's because, as a fat man, I'm offended by the amount they charge for snacks. You have to take out a second mortgage just to buy a bag of candy and a soda. AMC really should consider having a loan officer from the local bank stand next to the concession stand.
I won't be seeing this movie on Christmas, or any other day, unfortunately. That's because cowardly Sony pulled the Interview, all because a few pimply faced Korean virgins living in their parents' basements threatened to create "9/11-type attacks" for those who wanted to see the movie on its previously scheduled release date.
What were these dorks going to do, challenge movie-goers to a game of Magic: the Gathering? Nothing was going to happen, and it's appalling that freedom of speech has been censored in this country by a bunch of Internet thugs who are just pissed that they can't get laid in real life.
There is speculation that Kim Jong-un is behind this, and that he hired these hackers himself. If so, that's even lamer. Is anyone actually intimidated by that fat turd? Kim Jong-un is probably just angry that he has no friends to see that movie with him, so he's taking it out by issuing meaningless threats. North Korea just got indoor plumbing like two weeks ago, and they're supposedly capable of "9/11-type attacks?" Please. Kim Jong-un is capable of summoning a 6/6 creature with trample on turn two, but he most definitely can't do anything to harm a single American civilian.
Sony's ridiculous cancellation of the Interview has ruined my Christmas. Luckily, I was able to cheer myself up by going to the mall. There are more jerks worth writing about there this time of year, as you can imagine. Wait, forget imagining. I rant about jerks I see at the mall every Christmas. It's like a tradition - one that Kim Jong-un and the people he pays to hang out with will never ruin.
Free Car Salesman:
One other reason I like going to the mall around the holidays is because there are way more options. Various vendors set up tables around the center of the mall, so you can purchase gifts from them in addition to the stores.
One of the vendors wasn't really trying to sell anything. In fact, he was attempting to give away a brand new car. This guy in his late 20s/early 30s, who looked like he just got off a surf board, was tasked with handing out slips of paper to people so that they could enter a survey online in order to have a chance to win a new car he was standing in front of.
What kind of car was it, you ask? It was white. That's all I remember, because I didn't really care. I hate cars. I despise when people rant about cars. "Oho, I have a V8 engine that not only goes fast, but actually pumps out V8 juice!" they boast. I don't even know how to pop open the hood of my Honda Accord. At least, I think it's a Honda Accord. I'm not 100-percent positive. But I'm not exaggerating. The battery in my car died recently, so I had to call AAA. When the guy arrived, he asked me to pop the hood so he could look at the engine. My response: "Uhh... how do I do that?" He then had to do it for me.
My battery is fine now - it was seven years old, so it just had to be replaced - and other than that and a broken windshield wiper, I never had a single issue with my car. I've owned it since 2007, and it's never given me any problems (knock on wood). So, as I was approaching this guy, I thought to myself, even if he gave me this car for free, I wouldn't even want it. I like my current car enough that I would just want to keep driving that.
"Want to win a new car!?" he exclaimed, shoving a flier into my face. I declined, thinking that would be the end of it, but he followed me.
New Car Salesman: Don't you want to win a new car!?
Me: Nah, I like my car.
New Car Salesman: But you'll have a BRAND NEW CAR!
Me: Nah, I'll pass.
New Car Salesman: YOU DON'T WANT A BRAND NEW CAR!?
New Car Salesman: Just take this flier and enter the survey, anyway!
Me: Nah, it's OK.
New Car Salesman: Please enter the contest!
New Car Salesman: PLEASE ENTER THE CONTEST, PLEASE!!!
I actually had to start running from this guy. He was so desperate for me to enter. I guess he had a quota he had to meet, but he wasn't doing himself any favors by begging and pleading.
Come to think of it, I think I missed out on an opportunity of a lifetime. This guy probably would've done anything if I agreed to enter the contest, so I should've asked him to do something for me. Perhaps I could coax him into entering a foreign, second-world country so that he could take out a maniacal foreign leader. Sounds like a great script for a movie, doesn't it? I'll begin working on it right away!
My dad is a huge Philadelphia Flyers' fan, so one of the things I bought for him was a 2015 Flyers' calendar. I did this at one of the center tables at the mall, which typically has all sorts of calendars available. They have a whole shelf for dogs, where they have calendars for every single breed - except, of course, for the two breeds my parents have. There are never calendars for Akitas and Old English Sheepdogs. I haven't seen any in all the years I've been going to the mall. Either Akita and Sheepdog owners hit the mall early and buy up all of these calendars, or these vendors hate Akitas and Sheepdogs.
Anyway, as I spotted a Flyers' calendar and reached for it, this creepy-looking old man standing behind me remarked, "I have that one already."
Oh, you do? Congratulations! Why do I need to know this? And why do you have a 2015 calendar already? It wasn't even Christmas yet, so this guy must've bought the calendar for himself. Who buys calendars for themselves? Creepy old men who sneak up behind you at calendar kiosks, that's who!
Barnes & Noble is always an adventure, though I have to rant about the cashiers before I tell you what happened this time. Prior to this occasion, I had never seen an attractive cashier at Barnes & Noble. Instead, there has been:
An old guy who thinks I don't want to donate to the local children's hospital (I kind of don't).
Another old guy who looks like he was just exhumed out of a coffin.
Two fat women I can't differentiate. I only know they're not the same person because I once saw them at the same time. I don't feel bad, however, because no one can differentiate between fat women. I know that's racist, but you'd be lying if you told me you could do it.
A sickly looking woman with red hair and meth-head teeth.
A plump, middle-aged woman whose hair is falling out.
I feel bad for the latter, but as you can see, Barnes & Noble doesn't exactly have the type of personnel to stage a beauty pageant, or anything. That might be changing, however, because I finally saw an attractive cashier during my latest trip. She wasn't beautiful, or anything, but she was a pretty brunette with tan skin. I don't think she'll be working there very long, unfortunately.
I approached her with everything I planned to purchase. She held up her finger, indicating that I had to wait a bit. Why? Because she was on the phone.
"Oh, that sounds like fun! ... Yeah, we'll totally do that! ... Oh, that's awesome! ... What is Tony up to!? ... Oh, that's cool! ... Did he, really? ... What a dork! ... Oh. My. God! ... That's so cool!"
These were the sorts of things she was saying as people waited in line. I could understand it if she was having a serious conversation that she just couldn't end. Based on her responses to the person on the phone, I'm willing to bet that she wasn't saying goodbye to her dying grandmother.
This lasted at least five minutes. There were half-a-dozen people behind me in line, all looking pissed. Some of the ones at the end of the line couldn't see what was happening, and I heard them murmur, "Why's that guy taking so long!?"
Great. And now, because Miss Talks-A-Lot won't get off the phone, I'm the bad guy. I finally had enough.
"Hey, I'm running late, can you just ring me up?" I asked.
She gave me the death stare, paused, and then talked into the phone, "Hey, sorry, I have to go, there are customers in line, ugh."
"Ugh?" Sorry to inconvenience you while Barnes & Noble is paying you to do a job. How highly inconsiderate of me. I should've just waited for hours so you can talk about some a**hole named Tony to your friend over the phone. What the hell was I possibly thinking by rudely interrupting your conversation?
So, yeah, she won't be working there much longer. Bring back the Ugly Brigade! Say what you want about hideous-looking people, but they sure as hell don't keep their customers waiting for hours. That's because no one wants to talk to them on the phone.
My last stop was a hobby shop that opened a few months ago. I've gone in there numerous times, and I had my eye on a framed Flyers' panorama for my dad. I picked it up and lugged it to the register. It was huge.
The cashier, a nice, bearded guy in his 50s who is always in there, tried to bag it for me, but he had trouble with it because it was so massive. Meanwhile, this other guy, whom I eventually presumed to be his boss, was standing next to the register and laughing the whole time.
"Let's see how much you screw up this time!" he howled.
That's not a very nice thing to say, I thought, but this guy kept going and going.
"You'll never get anything right!" he laughed. "Oh wow, you just can't do your job, can you?"
The cashier eventually figured it out. Sort of. He put both sides of the panorama in plastic bags. Looking discouraged, he told me that this was the best he could do. The other guy erupted in laughter, but I tried to cheer him up.
"This is perfectly fine, and my car isn't too far," I said.
"Perfectly fine! Hahahahahahaha!" the other guy bellowed.
The cashier then tried to ring me up.
Cashier: OK, so this is $125.99, and you just handed me $140, so I'll enter in $140...
Other Guy: Just make sure you don't enter $1,000 in this time!
Cashier: I won't do that, I'm Mr. Perfect!
Other Guy: Mr. Perfect? Yeah, right! OK, Mr. Perfect, what about that time entered $1,000 instead of $100 and gave away $1,000 worth of change!?
Cashier: I told you, I'm sorry about that!
Other Guy: Oh, it's coming out of your paycheck, Mr. Perfect.
Wow. OK, so this guy screwed up. He'll pay for it, so it'll be fine. Granted, I don't know how someone can mindlessly give back $1,000 worth of change, but he shouldn't be berated like that in front of a paying customer. That's pretty unprofessional.
Come to think of it, if I had a dick boss like that, I'd probably try to screw him out of $1,000 as well. Well, at least you tried, Mr. Perfect.
Leaving the Mall:
I wasn't exaggerating about the panorama being massive. It was quite difficult lugging it around. And I told Mr. Perfect a white lie - I had quite the long haul to the parking lot because my car was on the other side of the mall.
Unfortunately, getting to the other side of the mall meant walking by New Car Salesman again. I spotted New Car Salesman from afar. He was trying to hand out fliers to mall patrons, but all of them brushed him off. He begged and pleaded, but no one would take any of his fliers.
I was determined to get by him without him seeing me. How? I planned to use the car to obstruct his view of me. If you ever played the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, I was going to sneak around like Link at Hyrule Castle while trying to avoid the guards:
Imagine me doing this, except not wearing green tights and a green cap. Unfortunately, the panorama proved to be too heavy, and I dropped it as I was sneaking by. New Car Salesman spotted me.
New Car Salesman: Oh, you're back! Want to enter the contest now!?
Me: No, I'm leaving the mall.
New Car Salesman: So take this while you're leaving and enter online later!
Me: No, I don't want to.
New Car Salesman: Come on, please take it. Please!
Me: I don't want to!
New Car Salesman: PLEASE JUST ENTER THE CONTEST, PLEASE JUST DO IT, PLEASE!!!
I ran away as fast as I could considering that I was lugging the panorama. I managed to get away, but I'm telling you, I'm really regretting not turning this guy into an assassin. I could have saved my Christmas by getting him to kill Kim Jong-un!