Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Thai food: coming soon to a Chinese restaurant near you.

A year or two back a new Chinese place opened up in the food court downstairs and it rapidly became apparent that this was the Worst Chinese Restaurant In the History of Planet Earth. You may recall me praising their use of wasabi in the homemade mustard, but that didn't last long, believe me folks. From the high prices and hideous taste to the surly counter girl and congealed buffet, they somehow took Bad Restaurateuring to a new level of suck.

Now they've decided to do to Thai food what they did to Japanese food: take the general idea, bastardize it until the look bears little resemblance to the original, then prepare it in such a way that every dish on the menu has the same odd sugar and egg taste and the same creepy grey sauce. Thanks, Panda IV!

I just tried the "Thai Angel," one of about 20 new Thai dishes on the menu. Never mind the fact that no Thai chef ever put the word "angel" in his cuisine's title. I'm more concerned about the pork sausage flavor I got in this supposedly chicken-based meal. Just what the hell is going on in that kitchen down there?! There's been a large staff change in the past month and I can't shake this funny feeling that the previous workers are hanging in the walk-in freezer.

And yet, I'll continue to try new dishes there and report back to you good people. Stay tuned and pray for my colon.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Man: Is Don working today?
Me: Which Don?
Man: The one who works here.
Me: We have two Dons.
Man: The one with glasses.
Me: They both have glasses.
Man: And facial hair.
Me: They both have facial hair.
Man: Are either of them working today.
Me: Yes. The shorter one.
Man: I don't know if the one I'm looking for is shorter or taller than the other one.
Me: Yes, I suppose that's true.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

In case you haven't been checking up, my other blog The Lefthand Window is finally shutting down. I've depleted the supply of photos I'd built up over the winter and we've abandoned the space. Thanks to all who commented on the pictures. I love photography so maybe someday I'll start another blog with my shots.

Don't panic! I'm still selling music in the shop, so the Retail Blog will continue.



Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Last night I was hanging around at the counter killing time when a guy and girl came up to purchase some music. Turned out the guy was British and looking for popular TV show "Prison Break". I let him know it wouldn't be out until the next day and he thanked me.

Then he asked, "Hey mate, any idea where I can score some weed?" I laughed and he said he hoped he hadn't offended me. I assured him it was fine, even though I don't toke myself. Then I told him that with the local college empty until September, finding Mary Jane might prove difficult for him. His best option, we agreed, was probably to hit up the local bars that night and look for a likely fellow who could aid him in his holy quest.

I just hope he doesn't end up needing a Prison Break of his own sometime soon.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A couple of Regulars this week:

First there was the Blues Guy again. (see the February 3, 2006 entry for details) He's still exactly the same: short, troll-ish build, permanent five o'clock shadow and beet red complexion from walking around in the sun all day. Ugly button-down shirt over shorts and sandals. Carries around a gallon jug of water and comes into my store EVERY SINGLE DAY. Presumably he has no job and therefore no car, so he walks around town and browses all day for stuff he can't afford. He's always coming in and pawing through our blues CDs with his grubby paws, seemingly oblivious to the fact that we've had the same 100 albums for years. I hardly ever order new ones because nobody around here seems to want them.

He still wants to hear everything before he buys it. That's cool, we'd all prefer to do that, right? And music retail technology has advanced to the point where Borders and other large bookshops -- and Wal-Mart -- have machines where you can scan in CD barcodes and listen to albums before you buy them. You'd think Blues Guy would shop only in those places and leave us alone. But he keeps on coming back because my coworkers -- after I told them not to -- keep allowing this guy to choose CDs and they go on the internet and play the 30-second sound clips from our distributor's website over the speakers in the store.

Doesn't seem too bad, right? What's thirty seconds to make a sale? But keep in mind that this guy wants to hear EVERY song on EVERY CD before he buys. And he's interested in, you guessed it, EVERY blues CD we have. Never mind how many times he's heard them before, he still brings up a stack of ten to the counter. With 15 songs per CD, that's 150 songs. At 30 seconds each (not counting load times, etc.) we're looking at over an hour of standing there clicking on songs so he can listen to them. Well I'm sorry but fuck that. He never even buys anything anymore, he just wastes our time.

These days when he comes to the counter and asks me to play something I tell him the computer audio is broken so I can't play anything for him. He knows it's not true, yet he keeps on coming back, hoping I'll change my mind. I told him it's not going to happen, that he could go shop somewhere else where he can scan the back of the disc *hint hint* but he still shows up. Auugggh!

The second guy this week was Talkative Tim. He's been a regular for years and he drives everyone here crazy with his incredibly loud voice, his fascination with science fiction, and his penchant for standing at the counter and blabbering away for hours whether you respond to him or not. This week he spied my Indian coworker Steve and remarked, "Hey people must confuse you with that 'Sixth Sense'/'Lady In the Water' guy, huh?"

Steve was mystified. Turns out the guy was referring to film director M.Night Shyamalan, who also happens to be of Indian descent...and looks absolutely nothing like Steve, who is in his late 40s, sports a moustache, and has greying hair. Score one for the culturally sensitive Talkative Tim.


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