Marx The Spot

11 Mar

Lookit. I’ve clipped plenty of things before in my retail days. When I was young. I mean, I was the assistant manager of a record store, for chrissakes. Every Sunday I did inventory. We had those 7″ singles back then. I mean on vinyl. So you know I got my share of free stuff. I used to let Giancarlo from the pizza joint next door come in and snag Iron Maiden tapes or AC/DC or Zep, in exchange for countless slices. Pepperoni and garlic. And a large Mountain Dew. I cut deals to the Speaker Man across the mall in exchange for a set of Jensens that went straight into my Trans-Am and all the free wire in the world. The guy was Greek, so he’d always request shit like Nana Mouskouri or Panayiotis Kokoras. He mostly dug Julio Iglesias, so I’d always set aside a couple of things by him. Julio had this version of “Begin the Beguine” which ripped! It was live, too. So much better than Jo Stafford. Anyway, what I’m saying is, I can understand the desire for snagging shit. You know, “sticking it to the man” and all that. But this is a little independent, used book store, so when the fellas come in and clip stuff, it really does hurt the bottom line. I’ve had to chase the rats out. Literally. I’m not kidding; Louisville Slugger and all, I’ve had to run out after these bastards. “Go rob a fucking corporate chain, you scumbag!”

One time this guy came in with a list and asked if we had anything by Brat…Brauts…Brautztigun. I assumed he meant Brautigan and asked to see the piece of paper he was holding. It was written in very neat handwriting, clearly not his:
1. Charles Bukowski
2. Richard Brautigan
3. Lawrence Ferlinghetti
4. William S. Burroughs
5. Hunter S. Thompson
(and any graphic novel you can get your hands on)
I asked him if he preferred Brautigan’s “Trout Fishing in America” to “In Watermelon Sugar” as I did, or Burroughs’ “Junky” to “Naked Lunch.” The chatter made him nervous at first, then angry. He stormed out of here calling me a highbrow faggot.

The best clip ever, or the one that made me laugh the hardest, was some little Armenian or Albanian guy. I watched him the entire time. He was in the place for almost an hour. Just looking. But he somehow still got his junk. I couldn’t prove anything so I didn’t go chasing him with the baseball bat. You couldn’t bring out the stick unless you had proof, and I hadn’t seen him do anything out of the ordinary in the time he was here. But a few minutes after he walked out, I noticed that all six copies of Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” were missing. On the shelf, in their place, he had left a home made audio cassette and a note which read: “The Communism long live.” I played the tape later in my car. It was outrageous. It was a copy of “Die Internationale” sung in German. It was blaring out of the Jensens. “Die Internationale” in a Trans-Am in the parking lot of an outdoor mall. It was brilliant.


2 Responses to “Marx The Spot”

  1. dr. zombieswan 12/03/2008 at 9:16 PM #

    I like this a lot. I like that image of the trans am. Bitchen camaro. What did his hair look like?


  2. (S)wine 12/03/2008 at 9:29 PM #

    However you imagine it. Love the Dead Milkmen reference. They do all the music for Higglytown Heroes–one of my daughter’s faves; they rock.

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