September 1, 2005

The Alkie Mist: A Novel

The world's gone mad! Mad I tell you!

The Setup
The Borders information desk. A couple - in their forties and no more ignorant looking than most - are waiting for some assistance. The desk is abandoned.

Him: What are we looking for?
Her: The Alkie Mist.
Him: 'Bout alcoholics or something?
Her: Nope. Don't think so. Don't know why it has "alkie" in the title.

The phone rings. Surprisingly, the woman picks it up.

Her: Hold please.
Him: Where are these information people?
Her: I'm not sure.
Him: Who's this thing by?
Her: Guy named Cole Ho.
Him: Heh. Ho!

Phone rings again and again, the woman picks it up.

Her: Hold please.
Him: Here's somebody.
Poor Borders Bastard: Can I help you.
Him: Yes. We're looking for The Alkie Mist by Cole Ho.
Her: Oh, and there are some people on hold for you.

Turns out, these scholars were looking for Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist. Unlike much of Western civilization, I haven't read it. But neither have these gems so I can't feel too bad. And also? Who just picks up a phone in a business establishment in which they aren't employed to put people on hold? I mean, come on! And the guy? Didn't miss a beat. It seemed as though it barely registered. Does she, perhaps, do this everywhere?

I do have to say, I'd like to get my hands on a copy of The Alkie Mist by Mr. Ho. I'm sure that's a compelling read.

P.S. - I've migrated from Guns n Roses and Green Day to Pearl Jam. I've been running this playlist for, oh, about half an hour and suddenly realized I've been listening to the same song over and over again (Light Years from Binural in case you're wondering). Maybe the early start wasn't a good idea after all.

Posted by Chris at September 1, 2005 1:32 PM

that is priceless! You know what I would like to read? The Alkie Ho, by Cole Mist. Do you think they have that?

Posted by: jodi at September 1, 2005 12:12 PM

You have to wonder about people.. and laugh

Posted by: Angelia at September 1, 2005 12:14 PM

Your music selection today, esp. the repeats, makes me wonder if you've entered the Alkie Mist. Very very funny story.

Posted by: Vicki at September 1, 2005 12:33 PM

just when you think you're sleep deprived and everyone knows it....
you come upon someone who's truly just depraved.

don'tcha just love people.
they're crazier than anybody

Posted by: dazeymae at September 1, 2005 1:00 PM

Oh, thanks for the laugh. I needed it.

Posted by: Alison at September 1, 2005 1:01 PM

Their ignorance makes for a great blog post though!!

Posted by: ::c:: at September 1, 2005 2:09 PM

Now come on. When that phone in the aisle ring in the supermarket, don't you want to just pick up and say (really fast) "Aislefivecannedgooods."?

That would be funny!

Posted by: Jon in Michigan at September 1, 2005 2:10 PM

HEEEE. Love it. Hysterical. Hee. Alkie Mist. Heeeeee.

Posted by: Dawnie at September 1, 2005 2:24 PM

That is hysterical!! You're right - WHO does that (pick up the phone at a business). Ha. Maybe she is a receptionist and it just comes naturally.

I have The Alchemist....but haven't read it...yet....I'm waiting for Alkie Mist...ha! Do you have to take alka seltzer and drink arbor mist while reading it? hmmmm....

is it Friday yet?!

Posted by: carrster at September 1, 2005 2:41 PM

haaaaaa.. wow. people sure are nervy. (heh. that's a funny looking word..) I used to have customers do that when I worked at the customer service center at Albertsons. when I'd get really busy & not be able to answer the phone, one of the regulars actually picked up the phone and answered it & told me they wanted the meat department. lol.. crazy :)

Posted by: Manda at September 1, 2005 2:51 PM

I'm guessing that since the guy didn't really do or say anything about her picking up the phone, it means that yes, she DOES do that stuff all the time.

But how are you lucky enough to run into all of these strange people? Pure blog material. Somehow I always get stuck with the normal people around me. *sigh* There goes my blogging career. ;p

Posted by: Kitty at September 1, 2005 2:52 PM

Hilarious. Also. I love that she would pick up the phone.

Christ, I would have died. woo.

Posted by: Amie at September 1, 2005 3:17 PM

Ha, now that's funny.

Posted by: A.K. at September 1, 2005 3:46 PM

Something somewhat similar happened last night while *I* was at Borders. I witnessed an older couple at the information. No, strike that. BEHIND the (unmanned) information desk using the store's computer to presumably look something up. The PBB that came up to help them looked like he wanted to kick them in their geritol-y asses.

Posted by: Rhonda at September 1, 2005 4:21 PM

Wow. That story is choice. Priceless, even. There are no words for the little phone-answering activity. And here we sit and ponder how the some of us made it this far in life...

Posted by: ironic1 at September 1, 2005 4:27 PM

What a great story. Thanks - we could use a little levity here.

Have a great Friday. I hope you're telecommuting. I just love that word.


Posted by: cassie-b at September 1, 2005 5:19 PM

heehee. i love people watching for THIS VERY REASON.

(and i'm embarrassed to say that OBVIOUSLY i've worked in customer service FAR TOO LONG as i knew before you told us that they were looking for the Alchemist.)

Posted by: suze at September 1, 2005 5:34 PM

I haven't read the The Alchemist either. Look at the company you've got there. Afraid now? ;)

Heh, I bet she thought she was being helpful by picking up the phone. I'll admit: I always debate doing it myself. I guess the fact that I'm a chickenshit is what separates me from the crazies out there.

Posted by: Spring at September 1, 2005 6:24 PM

Perhaps Borders and other booksellers should administer 20 question IQ tests at the door.

Nah. Then people like that would never become kulchurd.

Posted by: Allan at September 1, 2005 7:53 PM

you're joking right? i mean, come on, this could not have actually happened. who picks up the phone?? and the alchie mist? oh, this is just too good. why doesn't this happen in front of me??

Posted by: laura at September 1, 2005 7:57 PM

What an odd coincidence. I picked up the Alchemist in a bookstore yesterday, thinking "I've heard about this book somewhere..." That book might do the trick to break my mystery and wizardry overload. (Started with Harry Potter 6 and followed by 2 Harry Dresden books after that.)

Posted by: Oakley at September 1, 2005 8:51 PM

I've seen people do that too (the phone thing), but I was convinced that they were just the most redneck of Redneck Tejas. Obviously, they've migrated to your part of the country...

Posted by: Queen Of Ass at September 1, 2005 9:42 PM

i dont even answer the phone at work, if if it keeps ringing that usually menas the office person isn't there and so we are supposed to answer but i never do...thats pretty funny!

Posted by: lizabetty at September 2, 2005 7:49 AM

That's why they call it "Border's".
Because people BORDER on insanity and stupidity. (and obviously some have crossed over.)

Blog on,

Posted by: Sam at September 2, 2005 7:53 AM

I can't imagine going into Borders looking for a book that I don't know the correct title of. It must have been for somebody else, perhaps? Very funny though. :)

Posted by: Zandria at September 2, 2005 7:39 PM

I can't even being to wrap my mind around the destruction in the gulf. You have captured my feels so very well. Anger...disbelief....and the horror of how we can let this happen in America. I really enjoy your writing. Thanks for your voice.

Posted by: JJ at September 3, 2005 4:54 PM