Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dear Charlie:

Proof positive that you can make ridiculously long-lasting impressions through even the most cursory of interactions:

So last night, I needed to go by Wal-mart, but I hate going to Wal-mart. I hate shopping in general, but Wal-mart is always a madhouse, and I usually talk myself out of going by either hitting a grocery store or Dollar General. I can usually only talk myself into Wal-mart when I would have to hit both stores, otherwise.

Yeah, last night was one of those nights. So, I bribed myself. I made myself a deal: if I went to the dreaded Wal-mart, I could stop by and get a venti Earl Grey tea latte on the way home. I hadn't had one in a while, so I was jonesing for my fix.

So, after running the Wal-mart gauntlet, I dutifully pulled into the drive-thru at Starbucks (also not my favorite place, but they do have that one drink), put in my order, and proceeded to roll up my window so I could belt out "She's Not There" with Santana. When I get up to the window, correct change in hand, the barista guy looks at me funny before taking my money.

"Didn't you use to have a different car?"

I just kinda blinked at him for a moment because, no, I've had Big Bad George for three years now, and I honestly didn't recognize the kid. Before I can come up with something to say, he goes ahead and takes my money and explains himself.

"It's just... you're the only one who ever gets this, and I could have sworn you had a white car."

I kind of laughed. "Well, yeah, I had a white car before this one, but that was like three years ago."

He brightened. "That explains it. I left for a while and just came back, so yeah, that was you."

By this time, someone handed him my tea latte, and he even remembered to stopper it for me. I was more than a little boggled and couldn't help but ask, "Good grief, man, how did you remember that?"

He just grinned and shrugged. "Like I said, you're the only one who orders this, and you're always really nice about it if we're out of Earl Grey. You were even nice the time I gave you a plain old Earl Grey without the latte. You just brought it in and smiled and asked if it'd be possible to just add some steamed milk because you didn't want us to have to remake it."

"Holy crap, that was you?"

"Yup."

Shaking my head, I gave the kid an extra dollar and thanked him kindly and went along my way. Who knew, huh? I mean, I know firsthand how customers treat people in service jobs, but still... to be remembered who knew how many years later just for not throwing a fit?

Wow.

I am, however, very glad to be remembered for being nice instead of for being a pain in the ass for being the only person ordering an item that's no longer on the menu. Whew!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dear Charlie:

Turns out, I'm a bad sci fi fan and I never even knew it.

So over the weekend, I got the urge to watch Blade Runner. Happens to us all. Or it should, anyway. At any rate, that's one of the few classics I never picked up on VHS, which means it's one of the few classics I never managed to replace with DVD. My favorite movie place didn't have a copy in, so I called Family Video to see if, by some chance, they had it for rent.

My luck was in. I came home with it a half hour later and popped it in.

Imagine my shock and shame when I realized that... ahem... it turns out I've never actually seen it all the way through. Blade Runner! I've caught bits and pieces of it several times over the years. I know what it's about and all the little pop culture-y ins and outs. Hell, I can quote the Tears in Rain speech!

But as I sat and watched the rental, I realized there were entire chunks that I've never seen before. I'm not talking the difference between an old version and the "final cut" version. I'm talking a good half-hour section where Roy Batty frigid-questions Chew, the eye guy. Never saw that before. I'm talking the whole section where Rachael comes to visit Deckard and explain that she can't possibly be a Replicant because she has memories of her mother and a picture of them together when she was a child.

Et cetera. Et cetera.

Appalled, I eyed my official Nerd Card with great longing as I prepared to tear it right the hell up. Luckily, I stopped myself and hit Amazon to buy a copy on DVD. Just got it today and have already watched it again, just to make sure I didn't miss anything. AGAIN.

Whew. My nerd cred is safe. I can hold my head high again.