Socrates Junior (Double-Shot Part 2)
I realize that I talk about my customers a lot, but every now and then someone says something utterly life changing, like a laser fired directly into your brain. I'm thinking here of the Cap'n's soulful mutterings about self-control while he watched Clone Wars, and the guy who said that Wolverine was, quote, "an animal by instinct."
That's the kind of thing I got today.
It was a Wednesday with no comics, those rare bastard children of federal holidays that are scientifically proven to be no fun, so I spent most of the day behind the counter telling people over and over again that, no, comics won't ship until tomorrow. Until two guys walked in and blew my mind forever.
I don't think it's unfair to say that I was dealing with double-digit IQs here. Heck, I don't think it's unfair to say that I was dealing with a double digit combined IQ, but I'm prone to exaggeration, so make of that what you will. They're both regular customers who come in and talk complete and utter nonsense, but today they'd apparently run into each other outside and formed a fast friendship. Together, they were going so nuts that I actually grabbbed a pen to take notes like some weird comic book store Jane Goodall.
One of them did the most talking, and was dropping such incredible pearls of wisdom that I've dubbed him Socrates Jr. His rantings--mostly centered on inter-company crossovers like Marvel vs. DC--were full of obsessive fervor and poor grammar, and yet completely missed the point, a combination that so often leads to erotic fan-fiction. Here's a few gems I managed to copy down:
"You'd think he'd win because he's a mutant, but the Flash beated Quicksilver."
"Yeah, I love Captain Marvel, he's my favorite! He had some other people too, but the only one I can remember is Black Adam, the other counterpart of himself."
"They had Superman beat the Hulk! I mean, you could be a normal man--a normal man, right?--holdin' a piece of kryptonite and just be--" (and here he starts punching the air) "Psh! Psh! Psh! Whoopin' him! And the Hulk, the madder he gets the stronger he gets! But that's what happens when you let DC do it, man. They say DC is more dominant." "I like Marvel better." "Me too!"
"Namor could beat him strength to strength, but Aquaman, he's got that mental telepetty, and Namor got a little reptile in him."
"See, what happened was that they had been running out of ideas, so to keep the younger generation, which is the readers that are younger than you and I, they had the Identity Crisis."
"Right now they got the Marvel House of Ideas, where Wanda the Witch is controlling the world through a portal, so the X-Mens have to get together to go into the other world and stop her."
And those are just the ones I could write down. They were going a mile a minute and I could barely keep up, but I distinctly remember a discussion of Patrick Duffy's The Man From Atlantis and how it relates to the Sub-Mariner, and the phrase "The Flash TV show was off the chain!"
They eventually moved to the back of the store, and I told Tug about what they'd been saying, so he went to eavesdrop on them under the pretense of arranging some trades. By that time, apparently, the conversation had turned political, and when Tug came back up front, he told me he'd heard the following:
"In the rich neighborhoods, all the abortion clinics have protesters, right? But down in the poor neighborhoods, you just see people goin' in and out, killin' them babies."
When they left--after Socrates Jr. swapped phone numbers with the other guy, taking four tries to spell his name (Allen) right--the other guy told him that he'd put him on his prayer list. Which, in all honesty, is right where he belongs.