Thursday, August 30, 2007

End of the Month....Whew!

Well, it's been a record setting month at the bookstore. All the help I've blogged about came back again this semester and one of them is now a keyed employee. The good news is that she can watch the store for me while we try to expand to a second store this semester. That's the goal anyway but I'll keep you posted. We did get one new girl by chance this year that I was happy about. Other than calling her the wrong name a lot, things went well. I'm not sure why, but I kept calling her Susan. I finally asked what it would take to get her to change her name and she never responded.

Only a few good stories from the rush this year, and nothing too exciting. This year everyone was really big about wanting us to help them buy their books online. Some of them even went as far as to say "you're ripping me off so I need the information to buy somewhere else." I can't imagine doing that to an independent business owner, but maybe it's because I'm not as big of an asshole as I think. At any rate, this was huge this year. What was funny to me is that we take in to consideration what we sell the book for based on what they sell for online. Sometimes we can beat it, sometimes we can't touch it. Either way, we get as close as we can. A couple of the people that came in and told me I was "a huge fucking ripoff" came back because we had a better price that the people online. Nice huh? I thought so. Only one guy made me fantasize about beating him down because he yelled and cussed that we were a huge ripoff, then came back and said "well, your price is better than online, and better than the campus store, but you're still ripping me off." So very calmly I said "well sir, you don't have to worry about that because if it's that bad I won't sell the book to you," and I proceeded to put the book on the shelf. We stood and stared at each other for a minute. He was in shock, and I was picturing what it would be like to jump across the counter, kick his cain out from under him and beat him with it as he was lying on the floor all the while quoting Samuel L. Jackon from Pulp Fiction - "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee." He apologized and paid for the book. Realistically though, for anyone in college reading this, we're on the lower end of the spectrum and our margins are about 20 percent on average. We've got some that are 25, and some that are 12.5. Put in to perspective, most clothing stores are well over 40 percent so a ripoff we are not. Our campus store here won't do anything that they can't run a 35 percent margin on. So if we're on average 15 percent cheaper than are we the ripoff? Anyway...

Our new counter girl is good help, and probably trustworthy...but man she's weird. One of the girls here was checking her MySpace page and she walked by, glanced and said "Oh...MySpace. That website almost ruined my life." Then of course we got busy so she never explained how that happened. We asked her again later, but nothing came of it. I guess it's a sore subject...but wow...why would you say that if you don't want to explain it? Shortly thereafter she told us that her and her husband were separated and had just gotten back together. She told one of the girls that they were married in April, separated in May and got back together a week before school started. She also mentioned that she's 21 and he's 36. We met him. Seems like a nice enough guy, but man does she have some weird stories to tell. She's almost worth keeping around for next semester just to find out what happened to her on MySpace.

That's about it from your friendly bookstore. Still cleaning up from the busiest month ever, but if I had to guess I'd say the bookstore is working out for us. I'll keep you up to date on our progress on a second store, but for now I'm out.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fantasy Football and Farting Etiquette

So it's been a while since the last blog. I'm sure you all figured it was that time of year for a guy that owns a bookstore and no one is holding it against me. Only a few good stories from the rush, and a couple about a new employee that none of us can decide on. More on that later, but for today something new.

One of my friends, we'll just call him Big E, asked the other night if I'd be interested in playing Fantasy Football. I don't watch the NFL much, and the New York Jets are only my favorite team because of a stupid line from a really cheesy 80's movie. So I figured, what the hell. Right? Some other friends of mine have asked me to play for years, but somehow they always screw people out of their money so I've never felt like giving them $500 to play a game they're certain to win. Big E said the buy in was $25 and I figure that means on Sundays we can send the women folk out shopping and we can drink beer and watch some football. All in all not a bad plan I think. We'll see how it works out. During our draft the other night I was picking the Auburn alum that are in pro football and Big E called (we did the draft online) and said "Jesus man! You can't pick all their alum. What if they suck?" The good news is I got Tom Brady and Eli Manning as my quarterbacks. Cool right? I guess so. Anyway, wish me luck. I stand to lose $25 or win up to $100. Either way, I'm sure it will be fun.

So todays main post is about Farting Etiquette. We all do it because we all eat Mexican, so I thought I'd help with some tips. I noticed this semester that people don't know when is a good time to bust ass on someone so lets go over some acceptable times and some unacceptable times shall we?

A grown man came in yesterday to buy a book, only to inform me he bought his online. Why he did this is a different post, but as he was talking he unleashed the fury in my lobby. He did not say a word. Just paused, lifted a leg, made sure it was all out, then went on. While the paint is peeling in my lobby he told me how he always came here second but he shopped online first. Good for you ass face. I make sure to go to Target and tell them about all the things I buy at Wal-Mart while I'm polluting their air. If you hadn't noticed, this scenario is an unacceptable time to break wind.

Another time, me and my Rum Running homeys were watching a funny video on my computer. We had one of my wifes friends over who brought her boyfriend along. We didn't like him all that much, but we were polite. While we're watching this video he comes in and starts ripping the most unholy farts on the us I've ever heard...and I lived at Boy Scout camp for two summers. He also pretends like nothing is going on, farts on us until the room has a fog about it and the rumrunners and I leave for fresh air. To this day I don't think he has a clue why we left.

So both of these situations could be considered unacceptable times to fumigate the locals, so what do you do? Well, it's simple. When nature calls you can make the most of it with three simple tricks.

1. Cough - While this might give you away if poorly timed, a good hack, sneeze or cough that's believable can cover up the worst fart. Just remember, you're the only one that can figure out the timing so it's all on you if you get busted.

2. Keep it silent - Yes, sometimes it's hard but keeping them silent but violent can sometimes work to your advantage. While on a road trip you can blame these on a skunk, a paper mill, or a sewage treatment plant. Even if you know none of these are near by, if it's vile enough people will believe you when you say "Yeah, I've driven through here before. It must be the creek, or that sewage treatment plant that's near by." This has worked for me on many occasions and if you sound confident enough and aren't a repeat offender this can keep you in the clear with your friends.

3. Point and laugh -'s juvenile but if you must unleash the fury and the locals think at first it's a foghorn, find the person closest to you and push the blame on them. This is also a situation where you should be confident. Looking guilty while screaming "Good Lord! I thought there was a barge coming through until I saw the smoke rising from your ass!" is a good way to let everyone know you're the culprit. The best plan of attack is to take a step away from someone, scrunch your face, point and scream "Damn! Did you shit? Do you need to go check?" Not only will everyone else in the room think it's them, they will start to wonder as well.

So there you have it friends, a quick update on me and fantasy football and how to bust ass on your friends and get away with it. Use these tips wisely as they could save you some serious embarrassment.