Sunday, July 20, 2014

Another Encounter at the Convenience Store

Recently, there have been more suspicious persons loitering around my workplace.

There is only one convenience store in this part of town, and it is air-conditioned, so I can partly understand why many people choose to hang about here, but the situation is really becoming a bit too ridiculous.

For instance, hiding behind the shelves of the innermost aisle was a man dressed in red spandex. He was looking about nervously for something.

Perhaps he did not manage to find a brand of hair loss cream that he accustomed to. This was a sensitive topic to many men, so I could understand his distress.

“Sir, could I help you with anything?”

“Oi boy, have you seen any monsters around?”

“Were you able to find it amongst the shelves? I don’t think we have that brand of hair loss cream, Sir.”

“No not that, real monsters! Mon-sters! Mooonnn-sssttt-ers!”

By slowing down his speech, the red spandex man was clearly trying to make me understand his strange point in an ineffective manner. This kind of scenario usually happened when two people were trying to communicate in different languages. Perhaps he was a foreigner, as reflected by his strange manner of dress.

It would be poor service to judge him any further, so I tried to clarify his point.

“I’m sorry Sir, but we don’t have any product by that name. By the way, that aisle is only for hair loss products.”

“Ah no, I’m not looking for hair loss products today. I’m-”

“Yes Sir, I understand. You were totally not looking for hair loss products.”

Customers often try to disguise their purchases for embarrassing products. This happens very often in our business; men doing grocery shopping in the middle of the night with an innocuous packet of condoms in their basket, or women accidentally buying a leg-shaving razor for their supposed family members, or hobos buying alcohol claiming to be thirsty.

Admittedly, the red spandex man had used quite a novel line of disguise. I had not yet encountered this method during all my part-time work here. Still, I could not comment on the effectiveness of his strategy, which did not seem to have succeeded. Also, I did not understand how he could have tolerated the embarrassment of his unusual costume, though he did not seem very affected wearing it.

There are all sorts of perverts in this world, but customers are customers.

“Yes, now about the monst- eh? No, I’m really not here to buy hair loss cream! Don’t misunderstand me!”


“You’re totally misunderstanding me now, aren’t you? No really, what you’re thinking is wrong! All wrong! No, actually I’m a hero! A heee-ro! I’m here to prevent a monster attack!

You might have seen some strange things around here recently. To the untrained eye they may simply appear as odd occurrences that are quickly dismissed, but that is actually an effect of monster mental stealth magic! But this magic can be defeated with greater awareness! Now, try to think back on any unusual happenings or strange people. For instance, people with unusual appearances, such as a person with a cannon for a head, or hammers for hands, or a speaker in place of a mouth…”

“I can’t disclose any information on our customers. Also, it’s discriminatory to judge people based on their appearance!”

“What! The survival of the world depends on this! Monsters must be defeated without exception! By withholding information, you are indirectly helping the monsters! The world will be destroyed by customer privacy protection!”

The red spandex man continued to rant on about invasions, foot soldiers, and giant robots while making different combat poses. He seemed to be very passionate in his violent hatred. Rather than monsters and other imaginations, it seemed much likelier that his fanatic intolerance would bring about the end of the world.

“Sir, your presence here may be affecting our other customers. Furthermore, you have actually threatened to use physical force against some of our potential customers! If this continues, I may then have to call the police to rein in your behavior.”

“The police?! You’re going to call a police on a HERO?”

“Also, if you’re not going to buy anything, then there’s reason to believe you’re here just to stalk our customers. Then it becomes a police matter, doesn’t it?”

“M-me, a stalker? A STALKER!?”

Everyone in the convenience store turned to look at the red spandex man, who had shouted the last word out loudly. His face quickly turned a hue of red not unlike his costume.

“Yyyooouuuu! I’ll wash my hands off of this! Don’t regret it if Earth is destroyed!”

The red spandex man quickly grabbed something off the shelf, threw it down my counter, paid for it, and left.

Coincidentally, it was a bottle of hair growth liquid.

That was quite a bit of fuss over a hair loss product. He would have saved himself quite a bit of embarrassment if he had simply paid for it quietly. Then again, perhaps it was intentional. A masochist, maybe? That would explain his costume; he could have been involved in some new kind of play that was not of the theatrical kind.

A pervert stalker that made violent threats against our customers? I had better call to inform my colleague that was going to take over the shift. Although he had a gentle nature, he was tall and had a strong-looking build, so he might be able to handle the situation if it turned violent.

“Hello, Mr. Anvil-face? There’s this potentially dangerous customer that you’ll have to be wary of…”