Some of the posts in here are just, you know, stuff that happens to me. My friend Michelle posited all the way back in high school that she and I and another friend – Tracy – were what she called “chaos magnets. I am not sure this is exactly the case. Sure, I can own that a LOT of bizarre things have happened to me. To us. How many people have ended up stranded in an elevator with an FBI’s most wanted fugitive?
Mostly, though, I think that I tend to NOTICE things and appreciate the ridiculous. In gaming it would be called perception, or a spot check. I see stuff. I remember I was sitting in a Sonic once and caught something out of the corner of my eye that my brain registered initially as a “really weird dog” in the car next to me. I think that a lot of people would have just gone with that, because there’s not a strong enough alarm that sounds that makes you go “wait……….”
Me? I had to verify. It was NOT a weird dog. It was a goat. The family in the station wagon next to me had a (presumably) pet got riding in their car. In a little dog seat carrier thing. It turned it’s head and looked at me and did the little goat “mblaaaaaaaa” thing. The little girl fed it a tater tot.
It was not obtrusive. It was not loud. It was not an in-your-face goat. But, I mean, goat. In a car. Car-goat. Weird, right?
So that is what I think generally happens. I just notice things. And I have a well-enough developed sense of the ridiculous that I ENJOY them and watch long enough for something interesting to happen.
Such was how things went down at the yarn store a few months ago.
I have a full width, partial thickness tear in my rotator cuff tendon. It’s probably a residual injury from when I played tennis. I thought I was going to have to have surgery on it, which would have meant seriously limited mobility during recovery. That would have made me crazy – having nothing I could do. So I taught myself to knit.
In the course of my knitting, I started frequenting a local yarn store. It’s a really nice little place with a super helpful staff and a wide selection of yarn and needles and other supplies. I’ve been in there a few times when a customer asked for something a bit outside the ordinary – like the people who wanted bison mane yarn. Because that’s apparently a thing. The clerks are always very friendly and seem to usually send them off to a yarn store in a nearby college town when that happens. I kind of want to go see this crazy college town yarn store at some point just to find out if they really carry this nonsense or if that’s just the standard ZOMGWTFBBQgettheseweirdosoutofhere response.
On this day I was back looking at the sock yarn display, which is a large-ish shelf. A woman came in with several obviously well-used, good-sized shopping bags from other stores, and if you’ve ever worked retail (I have), you know this is a Very Bad Thing.
She approached the clerk at the counter.
Customer: “I was wondering how much it would cost to get some yarn made from custom fibers.”
Clerk: “Sorry, what?”
I want to point out here that the clerk in question is among THE NICEST PEOPLE in the world. Truly. She is sweet, and kind, and soft-spoken, and really just loves needlecraft.
Customer: “I have some materials – fibers – and I want to have them spun into yarn. What do you charge?” *pulls 1 gallon ziplock baggy labeled WINKIE in black sharpie out of sack and waves it at clerk – bag is filled with greyish-white fluff*
Clerk: “Oh…..well….we don’t do that. I’m sorry. We don’t even sell the equipment to spin–”
Customer: “You’re a yarn store.”
Clerk: “Yes. But we SELL yarn, we don’t MAKE yarn…”
Customer: “You should have the materials.”
Clerk: “Well, I know that might seem confusing…”
Customer: “It’s my cat’s fur. She’s getting old and I want to spin it into yarn so I can make a sweater.”
Clerk: “…..Okay. Well, I don’t know if cat fur is – ”
Customer: “She’s a LONG HAIRED CAT. I’m SURE it will be fine.”
Clerk: “Uhm…well, yes, but we SELL yarn, we don’t MAKE yarn.”
Customer: “Well what I am supposed to DO with this then?”
Now, while the store is a retail establishment, it’s also a little social club of sorts, and there are always a few women in there sitting around a large table knitting. The Grande Dame of the circle is this elderly lady who always wears a big fuck off hat with flowers on it – she has one that matches every outfit she owns – and large glasses on a beaded cord and she SEEMS like just the sweetest little thing you set eyes on. She does SEEM like that.
Sassy Broad in Hat: “I’ll tell you what you can do with that crap…”
Clerk: *chokes* “Uhm…Maybe you can try the Redacted Store in College Town. I think they might do spinning.”