An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The Chester Submission (or "More Fun with obscure Robert Ludlum titles")

Sunday afternoon, the wife and I popped by the local "mall" to see the afternoon matinee of Spider-Man 2. Rather than driving around back to the theater portion, we walked through the mall itself so I could pass by my favorite comic shop kiosk and say hi to Garin the comic shop guy, (who's nothing at all like his namesake from the Simpsons).

The comic shop kiosk was unfortunately closed, but who should we see coming around the corner from the direction of the theater but everyone's friendly neighborhood alleged pedophile Chester the (Potential) Molester.

Well, this should be interesting, I thought.

Chester didn't notice me at first, but when he finally did see me an exquisite look of fear crossed his face. His eyes bulged wide for a second and he lost a step in his pace. By then he had already reached the closed comic kiosk and had no way of gracefully avoiding me. His only options were to turn around and head back the way he'd come, or turn around and walk all the way around to the far side of the kiosk, or he could continue toward me and the wife.  He chose the later.

I turned on my usual scowl of hatred and loathing, which never had much effect on him at the library until I finally combined it with the whole confrontation element last Monday. This time the scowl had a very odd effect on Chester.

As we got closer, Chester gave me a nervous sort of smile followed by a nervous and clearly submissive sort of wave. It was the sort of wave I imagine a schnauzer might give a rotweiler to indicate his low-caste position in the whole Alpha/Beta dog ratio.  That definitely seemed to be Chester's message to me, though.

"Uh... hey. How're you?" he said.

I couldn't believe it. Chester was actually trying to sound cheerful at me! However, his facial muscles gave him away by fighting with one another in an attempt to register new levels of nervousness.

I didn't say a word. I just kept right on scowling at him and didn't break my gaze until we were nearly beside each other. Then I walked on past and around the corner.

The wife looked at me with a confused, disturbed and vaguely disgusted expression.

"Who was that?"

"Chester."

"Oh," she said. "Oh, my."

"Yup."

We walked on a few paces.

"Sure was a gratifying look of fear he had, don't you think?" I said.

"I'd say."

It's probably wrong of me to revel in my newfound role as bully of alleged pedophiles. However, if you're going to be a bully, I suppose alleged-pedophiles may as well be your target.

By the way, Spider-Man 2 was fun and a much better film than the first one.

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