Friday, December 20, 2013

(12 Days) #7 An Ode to Bill

If there's one problem with the 12 Days of Blogging, it's that it's interfering with painting!  Everything is finally out to start the process, but finishing these entries may prevent me from posting later posts of the fini shed product.

I could go in many different directions with my now-annual "ode" during this time of year, but I'll play it sweet and safe:  Bill from Dreamscape.

When you're on a coffee mug, you've hit the big time
One of the great advantages of living two blocks away from Dreamscape Comics was Bill.  He was the manager of the Easton location, and perhaps the one person behind the counter who had the right mix of customer service and product knowledge.

Fun Fact:  Despite being the Easton manager, Bill lived just a few doors down from the Bethlehem location.  Ironically, despite living two blocks away from the Easton store, I was the manager of the Bethlehem location.  I just assumed the owner Nick had shares in ExxonMobil he wanted to prop up with our gas purchases.  

Bill was an avid comics fan and part time gamer, just enough to let some wild eyed geek talk to him, but nowhere near the level of Comic Book Guy.  Despite his stereotypical appearance, he could easily win over any mundane customer with a nice mixture of empathy and knowledge.  

Fun Fact #2:  I believe it took all the effort from deep in his soul not to kill people on a daily basis.  Despite daily arguments with an owner who claimed to accept input, but rarely acted on it, and about 10% of the customer base that should not have been born, Bill managed to keep his cool at all times, and only admit to to close company what type of vengeance he would exact on them.  After getting a job at a different store, we would simply sit on some afternoons and compare customers.  It was sad when some of the worst frequented both stores, yet never bought anything greater than a pack of cards.  

Bill lived vicarously through the antics of the "good" customers:  the ones who could tell a story without starting it with "Let me tell you about my character," or "In issue #49 of X-Force, Jasmine Ducktape's states her mutant ability only works on mammals, but in issue 57, she uses it to enchant a Platypus, which I learned is mythical animal, from my friend on the BBS."    He seriously let us get away with murder if if amused him, as customers, as well as employees.

Outside a few games of Magic, we never got to game much, and that is as criminal as it gets.

Bill was a fixture for years, even hanging around after the close of the Easton location.  He got a degree of some sorts in computers and went off to real world.  When I swung by Dreamscape in the summer, he had happened to call the store at the same time.  He's now married, and just as it read in the prophecy, is the father to TWINS.    His life of geek luxury and prestige is long past him now, and that makes me feel a bit older than I should.

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