Don’t you hate when you end up in a deep conversation with someone that you desperately want NOT to be in, to the point that you think about stabbing yourself just to have an excuse to leave?
It’s a long and very uninteresting story, but I’ve been promising Jack that I would make some stuff for him to hang on his bedroom walls and I finally got around to it today. I planned to use the paper cutter at the school, but since I had time to work on the project today and the school was closed, I dropped by Fedex Kinko’s (or whatever it’s called now) to do my slicing and dicing there. As soon as I walked in, I thought UH-OH, because I had no copies to make or anything I needed to buy; I just wanted to use their paper cutter. And with my luck, there was a Kinko’s dude working in that area so it was totally obvious I didn’t need to use the copiers. I’ve spent pa-lenty of $$ at Kinko’s in the past; I probably shouldn’t feel bad using them for their paper cutter one time. I did anyway.
I had all my black posterboard laid out, and many large LEGO Indiana Jones photos to mount, and I couldn’t be discreet about it right there in the middle of the Kinko’s workspace. Fortunately, a couple came in right after I did, and they needed help so I didn’t have anyone bugging me for a while.
I half-listened to their conversation while I worked. They were making copies of a funeral program. Kathy and I LIVED at Kinko’s the week we prepared for Dad’s memorial service, and were always very grateful for the staff’s help when we needed it. This Kinko’s dude—we’re calling him K-Fed, alright?—was very kind and patient with them, and I was impressed that he showed them some extra care. They thanked him profusely, and he made a strange comment about funeral preparations being an emotional time and that he occasionally gets yelled at by customers so he tries to be extra careful.
The couple was horrified that people could be so unkind to K-Fed. The conversation turned to classes and minimum wage and all three of them got a little louder. It was obvious they were all in agreement about how people should treat others the way they want to be treated, blah blah blah. There was something said about Americans and privilege, but I was busy slicing and didn’t hear every word. And the next thing I heard was K-Fed making another even stranger comment, this one about Palestinian children throwing rocks at soldiers.
Can I get a Scooby-Doo “wuh-huh?” here?
Suddenly there was, like, an icy chill in Kinko’s Land. I heard the woman say, “Well, we’re Christians, so we don’t feel that way.” K-Fed back-pedaled a little and the woman said again, “We’re Christians.” K-Fed said, “That’s great. I’m a pagan, but Thor is similar to your god, really, when you get down to the very basics.” She muttered something, but he just kept going.
I’m thinking, “Oh my Thor, K-Fed! Shut up!”
The niceties were over. The woman reminded him they were Christians—yeah, I think we got that part, Churchy!—and left. K-Fed wandered over to my work area.
“Whatcha got here?” he said, and I chuckled as I started to explain why I had so many photos of LEGO Indiana Jones. K-Fed interrupted me with a detailed description of every scene depicted in LEGO and how it compared to the original movies, the years in which they were released, and who played each of the main characters.
Oh, goodness. I missed Churchy. Come back, Churchy!
He blathered on for a while, and I sliced away, offering just the right number of nods and laughs and “uh-uhs” to keep him going. Another few customers came in and K-Fed went off to help them, leaving me alone not quite long enough to miss him. Within minutes he was back. He pointed to my photo with Indiana Jones and his dad. I told him about the time Victor said, “Look! It’s Han Solo and James Bond!” and Julianne thought that was the funniest thing, like, EVER. K-Fed thought it was clever too. (Yay! Vic made K-Fed laugh!) But I didn’t realize the mistake I’d just made, because K-Fed started in on the history of James Bond movies.
I’ve been a James Bond freak since high school. I’m not an expert, but I probably know more about Bond movies than the average person, and I HATE when people talk to me about James Bond as though I don’t know anything about it. It’s hard for me to keep my big fat trap shut when the topic comes up, though. And when K-Fed said one of his favorite Bond movies was “A View to a Kill,” he lost most of his credibility right there. Are you kidding me? NOBODY liked that movie!
This cutting project was taking way too long, dammit. K-Fed went through every actor who’s played Bond, giving his critique of each movie they were in, before he turned it into a debate over the Gaza Strip and Nazis and UN Decision #4925A-23 and its effect on the world’s perception of the US. He also suggested that I should never let anyone I love get a political science degree because they will analyze everything to death, just like he does. Duly noted, K-Fed.
It surprised me a little when he mentioned the couple that had been in earlier, and how they turned on him so quickly. He said he was shocked at their behavior. I was as diplomatic as I could be, and said, “These days, we have to be more careful than ever when conversation turns to politics and religion. You never know who you’re talking to.” And it took everything in me not to say something like AND MAYBE STOP MENTIONING HOW THOR DIED FOR ALL MANKIND’S SINS TOO.
I was finally done with my project and cleaning up my scraps when K-Fed said, “Well. Aren’t you fun to talk to!” and left to help another customer. At least he said I was fun to talk TO, not WITH—after all, he had done most the talking. Whatev, Kinko’s dude. He’s just lucky he didn’t trip and fall onto the paper cutter, because I was at the ready—I’d have sliced that jabbering tongue of his right off. It would’ve been tricky, too, because it was one of those sliding cutters, not the chopping kind. I would’ve made it work, though. I’m crafty that way. And quick like a bunny. Or more specifically, a killer. A fast one.
Next time? I’m definitely using the paper cutter at the school.