By: Michael Hempen
Brought to you by Cous’n Hemp’n Entertainment
Issue 5: Life After Heroland
The Corruption of Sara A.
As if her lack of street smarts wasn’t enough, Sara A. also had an extremely high pitched voice along with a whiney way of talking. The last word in every sentence was dragged out and her voice carried a whimpering monotone. I can mimic this voice to near perfection as I spent years mocking her, both to her face and behind her back. I’m not proud of that, but the shit was funny as hell at the time. Sara A. also almost always made definitive statements. She never questioned her understanding of things, but she was more judgmental than Oral Roberts at a biker rally. As for her name? Her last name simply began with an A, and there was another woman who worked with us at Waldenbooks, of little interested to this story, whose name was also Sara. Her last name began with a B; thus they were called Sara A. and Sara B. respectively. Sara A.’s nickname simply stuck with her long after Sara B. had left.
Smart Jim and I almost always listened to Dennis Miller in the back room of our store while opening shipments. Waldenbooks carried the audio books of Miller’s rants from his HBO show, and we loved listening to those things. Sara A would come into the back room from the sales floor, hear what Dennis Miller was saying, and say in that voice of hers “Dennis Miller is baaaaaaaaaaad…” Notice the lack of an exclamation point there? That’s because of the monotone; there was NO emotion in what she said. It was just a definitive statement.
Sara A. had two sisters, the youngest one named Hope, whom she called ‘Hopey’, and an older sister who, although we never met, incited Smart Jim to fits of near screaming. Sara A.s other sister was in college studying science and geology…while at the same time being even MORE religious than Sara A. This dichotomy of science/religion intrigued me and enraged Smart Jim. He was insulted and incensed that someone could still hold to religion while studying the very nature of why religion is wrong. I don’t think Smart Jim has ever been able to wrap his head around this lack of common sense, although we BOTH came to learn that MANY famous and incredibly intelligent scientists are religious as well.
Anyway, Smart Jim and I would often bring Sara A to tears with our heated, yet friendly oppositions to her viewpoints. Sometimes we’d even make a game of it much like Ian and I did with Lina before we ran her out on a rail, the difference being that none of us particularly hated Sara A. Smart Jim would often state that his mission in life was to corrupt the very soul of Sara A because she was just TOO good. It was never ‘mean’, and over the years Sara A. became more of an annoying little sister to us than anything else. She was fun to fuck with because she never learned. She stuck by her viewpoints…but as is always the case with women like this…the freak in Sara A. eventually surfaced and that freak pointed itself RIGHT at me.
|A typical Sunday night in late '98; |
Rich and his girlfriend Irma on the
bed, Action Jim, Steve, and Sara A.
on the floor
Now, it’s important that you know that Sara A. ALWAYS gave off an air of being better than everyone. You might say she was stuck up. I never saw Sara A. as an attractive woman, mostly because I was enamored of Jackie while we were together and during the two years that I’d know her, Sara A. had become an annoying little sister to me. Her childlike way of talking and immature demeanor just kept me from seeing anything sexual in her, plus she made it quite clear that she was off limits to the likes of me. Hindsight being what it is I can now say that Sara A. WAS a very attractive woman.
I was shocked when Sara A. first started showing up on Sunday nights but we welcomed her into our group. However after she started drinking with us, and keep in mind this was the FIRST time she ever drank, it came out that Sara A. had a crush on yours truly. She made the mistake of secretly telling Action Jim about this crush in the hallway outside my bedroom. Action Jim came into the room with her and immediately told everyone to our great amusement, and to Sara A.s great embarrassment.
However, after the cat was out of the bag, Sara A. began to pester me incessantly; to the point of humiliating herself in front of the others. One night, Action Jim convinced Sara A. to lick my bare feet if she was so in love with me…and she did it in front of EVERYONE. I’m not proud of that. Sara A. began staying after everyone left, trying to convince me to date her. I simply wasn’t interested. I still felt the sharp pain at the loss of Jackie and jumping into another relationship with a woman who I KNEW would require a lot of attention wasn’t what I was looking for; although I admit to enjoying the ego boost. And then one Sunday night, Sara A. made her SEXUAL intentions clear as well as her emotional ones…and folks? I’m ONLY a man.
Sara was still a virgin and had never even SEEN a penis up close. I d1dn’t even know that she HAD sexual desires in the two years that I’d known her, but when that vaginal fuse was lit? I had a stick of unstable vaginamite on my hands. Sara was STILL skittish about sex and she played the sexual card VERY well, begging me to have oral sex with her, and withholding vaginal sex until we started dating. Like I said…I’m ONLY a man. Sara A. and I fooled around one night and I have to say that even though I never stuck my penis inside of her…being with her actually felt good both physically and emotionally. Maybe it was because of the taboo nature of the whole thing, or the fact that I just NEVER thought it would happen, but afterwards I was beginning to change my mind.
Now that I’m older I KNOW how important a woman’s first time is to her and although the youth of today has no problem throwing their sexuality around like escort flyers on the streets of Las Vegas, I know that what Sara A. was offering me was VERY important to HER especially because she held onto it for SO long. So as the next week went along…my views of Sara A. began to change...to soften. I started seeing her as more than a naive little girl, but the woman that she was at 23, and I was actually looking forward to seeing her the following Sunday. Maybe this could happen…
The next Saturday my friend John threw a party. Now, John and his friends are a COMPLETELY different group than my Sunday Night troupe. John has always been a heavy drinker and sports nut; A self proclaimed jock if you will. John could never be described as an intellectual, however he’d been my friend for a long time, so when he invited me to his party, I accepted. John also had an ability to get women drunk like I’ve never seen before. He was the king of beer persuasion. I told people at work about his upcoming party and that Action Jim was coming with me. It promised to be great event. Unbeknownst to me however…Sara A. in her new stalker personality, decided to show up uninvited with the intention of finally sealing the deal with me.
I arrived at the party at around 7 PM. I knew John of course and a couple of his friends, but there were about 30 other people there whom I didn’t know. I started drinking and mingling about talking with strangers and making new friends…when Action Jim showed up at around 9…with Sara A.
Sara A. met Action Jim many times from our Sunday night gatherings and his long visits at Waldenbooks; whether to see me OR Lina before we got her ass got. Because of his dalliances with Lina Sara A. at least recognized his lecherous nature. She knew Action Jim was attractive, but his foot odor problem, the fact that he wore the same thing EVERY day, and the fact that he fucked Lina made him a nasty pervert in her eyes. However, she recognized that Action Jim was probably my closest friend, and not knowing him the way I did, used him to get closer to me…to her ultimate misfortune.
Sara A. was still a very unstable and volatile situation in my mind, and she’d been harassing me about Sunday night all week. I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do about her, but the LAST thing I wanted to see at this party was her. I just wanted a night of uncontrolled drinking to forget everything I’d gone through in the last several months. After they showed up, I pulled Action Jim outside and asked him why the fuck he brought Sara A. to the party. He told me that she had talked to him earlier in the week when he came in to see me at Waldenbooks and asked him to bring her to the party because she wanted to fuck me and she couldn’t wait until Sunday night. He told me that he was just helping me out. This would not be the only time Action Jim ‘helped out’ in his own unique way. Now I not only had to deal with the semi stalky Sara A., but I had to make sure that Action Jim didn’t ‘help me out’ anymore or I would cease to see Sara A. as anything other than another nasty chick that was fucked by the king of manipulation.
To this day folks, I regret what happened that night. That night, any thought I had been entertaining of dating Sara A. came to a screeching halt and where she went from a little sister, to a woman of increasing and budding sexuality in my mind…she became as nothing to me. The corruption that Smart Jim had once jokingly wished upon the naive and immature Sara A. came to fruition that night and as much as I hate to admit it…it was entirely my fault.
As the party went on and John convinced Sara A. to drink more and more, she began telling these complete strangers of her love for me, including all the women there. She was drunkenly yelling at girls, who I didn’t even know, to stop looking at me. She was bringing me beer like a handmaiden, looking at me like a ravenous dog, and just generally embarrassing the shit out of me. A few hours into the festivities, I took her outside and told her she had to go. I couldn’t take it anymore, we weren’t even dating and she was acting like a 40 year old house wife. She began crying and I couldn’t help but feel bad for her. The pit of my stomach, where butterflies are supposed to flutter around when you’re in love, had a different feeling inside of it all together; pity. Feeling bad for someone can be a confusing emotion, especially in the mind of a 25 year old and because of that I made out with Sara A. in front of John’s apartment for a long time that night. She asked me if she could spend the night at my place, but my mother was home on Saturday nights so that couldn’t happen. And then I made a huge mistake…
I didn’t really want to leave the party OR drive Sara A. home while I was drunk, so since Jim has never been a big drinker, and he was still sober…I asked him to drive Sara A. home. Now, the rest of this story, like most other Action Jim stories, I didn’t find out until later. And it WAS confirmed by both he AND Sara A.
Now, as far as I knew Jim drove Sara A. home. The next night, the gang all came over except for Action Jim. Jim called me earlier in the day to tell me that he had other pressing matters to attend, and I thought nothing of it. Sara A. showed up that night and cried the ENTIRE time she was at my place. ALL of us kept asking her what the matter was and she refused to tell us. She just sat there on the big chair in my room and sobbed all night long. After everyone else left, Sara A. came to me, put her arms around me and asked “you like me, right Mike? You don’t think I’m a terrible person do you?” I told her that was ridiculous, who could think anything bad of her? I told her that she needed to calm down concerning the question of ‘us’ and that I liked her a lot. Her sobbing turned into full blown crying and after she left my mother’s condo that night…I never saw Sara A. as a potential girlfriend again.
I often wonder what might have been, but to be honest with you I actually held no emotional baggage for Sara A., so when Action Jim told me what Sara A. had begged and pleaded with him NOT to tell me…I was more disgusted than sad.
That Monday, Sara A. went to Greece with her parents for the week. Her father owned several ‘Nikos Gyro’ places and apparently a small town in Greece. While she was gone, Action Jim came into Waldenbooks for one of his daily visits and while he was there, the truth of Saturday night came out. Action Jim likes to brag and while I was telling him and Smart Jim about Sara A.’s crying jag on Sunday night, Jim felt he needed to relieve himself of his secret.
|Could YOU say no to that face? |
After I asked Action Jim to drive the very drunk Sara A. home, he helped her to his car and started doing just that. He told Sara, that he couldn’t take her home yet because she might get into trouble with her father for being drunk…so while she was near passed out, he took her to the J.C. Motel. When she protested as he helped her into their room, he convinced her of what a nice guy he was being, because he was only thinking of her. I mean, he couldn’t be responsible for her parent’s outrage at Sara. With this ‘nice guy’ routine firmly established…Action Jim convinced Sara A. to fuck him. Disgusting.
Smart Jim and I were SHOCKED. The looks on our faces were ones of disgusted outrage. We both had the ‘O’ face of a fuck doll. One of the stupidities of Action Jim has always been that he will withhold information that he MUST know will come out. What HE didn’t tell us, but Sara A. did was that she BEGGED him the next morning not to tell me. She was as disgusted with herself as Smart Jim and I were. She knew that she made a horrible drunken mistake, and her fear was that it would ruin any chance she might have had with me…and it did.
After she came back from Greece the following week, I wouldn’t talk to her at work and I wouldn’t take her phone calls. I did this more out of disappointment than anger, but I simply didn’t know what the fuck to say to her. Since she had enough sense of propriety to not push the issue at Waldenbooks, she came to my mother’s condo to confront me face to face. She told me that it was a mistake, a HUGE mistake and begged me to help her, because Action Jim wouldn’t leave HER alone now. Action Jim had a taste of pussy and like the ravenous beast he is, he had to have more until he felt he needed to move on. I told Sara A. that THAT was the biggest deal breaker of them all. I all but outcast her from the group and shunned her at work. Again, I’m not proud of my reaction to her mistake, in fact I feel like shit for the way I treated her. And although it’s not an excuse, at 25…how would YOU have reacted?
Later that week Sara A. fell to the stalkery of Action Jim. She dated him for 5 years and during that time he cheated on her multiple times, lied to her daily, stole from her, and before they broke up Jim told me that Sara A. had accused him of being lascivious towards her little sister Hopey. Later that year I left the Chicago Ridge Waldenbooks to work at the Ford City location and none of us saw Sara A. in all the years she dated Action Jim because Jim has a move he uses with EVERY woman he dates. I suppose this is kind of a brilliant move, but at the same time it reminds me of things NOT to do in a relationship.
As I said, Action Jim would lie to Sara A. consistently and about innocuous things that he didn’t even need to lie about. His disrespect for this woman bordered on criminal. He refused to bring her near ANY of his friends for fear of one of his SMALLEST lies being busted out. There were times where Action Jim would be over on a Sunday night and tell Sara A. in front of all of us that he was on his way over to her house…then he’d sit down and stay all night while she blew up his cell phone. It was a lie that gained him nothing. These were the pathological lies of a mental patient. Then he would cheat on Sara A., and use US as his excuse to cover his tracks with her. He told me once that the ONLY reason he continued to ‘date’ her was because she believed everything he said, he got free French fries from her father’s Gyro restaurants, he was able to avoid grannies by sleeping on the couch in her parent’s home, and whenever they went out? She paid for everything. This woman was his greatest grift and to Action Jim she was a puzzle piece in his life that fit PERFECTLY into the bigger picture.
I still feel shitty to this day that I handled this situation the way I did. Sara A.’s formative dating years were not only wasted on, but destroyed by Action Jim whom SHE eventually professed to love, but who loved her not at all.
How Action Jim ‘Helped’ Steve
|Steve and Action Jim|
As I said before, Action Jim has always had a unique way of ‘helping’ his friends. My friend Steve, whom I’ve known for more than 30 years, has never been much of a ladies’ man. Steve’s attractive enough, but he’s just always been awkward around women. He’s not gay either, I mean he’s married with 2 kids now, but I always used to quote Ferris Beuller when referring to Steve “He’s gonna marry the first chick who fucks him” and he did. But back in the 90’s he just didn’t have luck with the ladies…until we met Nikki.
One night Rich, Steve, Action Jim and I all went to the Hooters in Orland Park, which is right across the street from Borders. After dinner we walked across the street to the book store to browse around and maybe look at the artfully done hardcover coffee table books about titties. While we were in the music section, a woman approached us and asked if we needed help, and when Steve came walking up from behind us, you could SEE the spark in her eye light up like the North Star. I’ve NEVER seen a woman make a face like that. If it had been a movie, your girlfriend would have started crying. She brushed past the three of us and extended her hand to Steve, introducing herself as Nikki. Steve was uncomfortable at the obvious flirtations, and I have to admit, she WAS coming on a bit strong. And although Action Jim didn’t seem to give a fuck, wandering away to look at Batman comics, Rich and I were fucking floored. We gave each other a “Steve’s finally gonna get laid” look with broad smiles on our faces, and then we walked away to let Steve work his magic.
While Rich and I were perusing the boobie magazines on the magazine rack, Nikki approached us about five minutes after we left her with Steve. She told us that she REALLY liked him, and the fact that he was playing hard to get made her like him even more. “Hard to get?” Rich asked. She told us that Steve thanked her for being interested in him but told her he had to go. What the fuck?
This was a SLAM fucking dunk for Steve. Other than the Canadian chick he had lied to everyone about nailing, he’d never been laid. The fact that Nikki was so fucking hot brought about our biggest confusion. She was short at about 5’3”, with short blond hair, a small frame and great big ‘ole titties. That mixed with her obvious friendly demeanor made Rich and I envious of Steve’s penis. Rich and I told her to hang on and we went to find out why Steve was allergic to pussy. Steve hemmed and hawed when we approached him, but ultimately we convinced him to give Nikki his phone number. She took it happily, kissed him on the cheek, and then bounced back off to help other customers with a big grin on her face. Steve, Rich, and I collected Action Jim who was by the comic books, and left.
I was SO proud of Steve. I think that I was more excited about him getting laid than he was. The next night I called him and asked if Nikki had called him yet and he told me that she had, and asked him out on a date for that weekend. I poured advice out at Steve, told him that he’d do great, and I even asked him if he needed to borrow money for a hotel room.
After calling Steve, I called Action Jim to tell him the good news. We joked around about Steve’s upcoming date for a few minutes…when I heard a woman laughing in the background. I was with Action Jim nearly every day and as far as I knew he wasn’t seeing anyone. If he’d met someone that day, surly he would have bragged about it by now, so I asked him who that was. “Oh, that’s Nikki.”
WHAT THE FUCK? “Why is Nikki at your grandmother’s house?” I asked him incredulously. There was a slight pause while Action Jim thought of something to say…”Oh, I gave her my number last night and told her to call me for advice on getting Steve to like her.” Apparently, in the short time it took Rich and I to convince Steve to give Nikki his number, Action Jim had skulked over to her and told her to call him. He purposely pretended he wasn’t interested, and then made a move while our backs were turned. “Did you fuck her?” I asked already knowing the answer. Another pause, and then “Well I had to, so I knew what Steve was getting himself into. I was only trying to help him out.” I hung up with Action Jim and called Steve back. “Lose her number and don’t go on a date with her” I said forlornly. “Why?” he asked. “Just trust me, don’t go out with her this weekend.” And he didn’t.
Nikki called me back from Granny’s and begged me not to tell Steve. She’d only fucked Action Jim because he was so nice to her, but she was still crushing big time on Steve. “That’s what everybody who fucks Action Jim sais at first, give it a week” I said and then hung up the phone. Nikki called Steve and I incessantly for the next week, but neither of us would take her calls; Steve because he was just nervous around women, and me because she was just another filthy who-er who banged Action Jim.
Then one night when I came home from work, I checked the answering machine. It was Nikki in tears saying that Action Jim was stalking her and she couldn’t get rid of him. What started as a sexual favor in return for polite advice turned into an unbearable hide and seek game. After telling Action Jim to leave her alone, he started showing up at Borders while she was working, waiting for her outside when they closed, and she’d even seen his car parked outside of her mother’s house that night which prompted her call to me. I called her back and she asked if she could come over. I don’t know why I said yes, but I gave her the address to my mother’s condo. Nikki spent the night that night and I tried to comfort her as best I could. I got us some dinner from McDonalds (hey, I wasn’t trying to fuck her) and we watched TV. And yes, Nikki tried to fuck me too for being nice. She even went so far as to ask if she could borrow a shirt to sleep in, and then took her top off right in front of me to put it on. To be honest with you, it was the biggest temptation I’ve ever felt in my life. But two things stayed my cock; 1.) I wasn’t going to follow Action Jim and 2.) Even though I told Steve not to talk to her, in my mind that was still HIS pussy.
At the time, I was young and I still had a conscience. But I use this story as an example of the lengths Action Jim would go to in furtherance of pussy. He cheated on Sara A., betrayed Steve, lied to Rich and me, and stalked a woman to tears. Steve didn’t mind after he found out, but that betrayal always stuck to the roof of my mouth. “Just trying to help him out”, indeed.
|Action Jim and Nikki|
The next week Action Jim came over to my mother’s condo WITH Linda in tow. He’d convinced her to continue fucking him until Steve came around. She told me that she STILL wanted Steve like she’d never wanted to be with anyone in her life but Action Jim was nice to her so what was the harm in fucking him while she waited? Frankly I was disgusted. Not because she was a filthy who-er, but because she’d already cheated on Steve with Action Jim who was cheating on Sara A. with HER. I told her and Action Jim to get the fuck out of my mother’s condo, and I told Action Jim to never bring her back again. I can only take so much assholery.
Sure I was being judgmental, but only because Steve was involved. I could handle Action Jim’s betrayals and douchebaggery, but Steve was a different story. He was trusting and worthy of a woman who would treat him well, and nobody, ESPECIALLY Steve, deserves Action Jim’s leavings.
The Ford City Waldenbooks
The Ford City Mall, or Ford Shitty as we called it, is a shopping mall on the outskirts of Chicago. It’s a ghetto-riffic mall in which you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. While I worked at the Waldenbooks in the suburban Chicago Ridge Mall, I was offered a lateral movement to the Ford City Waldenbooks as the assistant manager for a woman named Bridgette, and as I was feeling complacent at The Ridge mall…I accepted. After all, Ian had left to begin a more lucrative career, Smart Jim had left for college, Jackie left me earlier in the year, and I didn’t really care to see Sara A. anymore because she was still dating Action Jim. Sara A. would constantly harp on me about Action Jim and try to get me to expose the lies he was telling her, but because she had chosen that path, and Action Jim was still my friend, I didn’t feel the need to bust him out. So off to Ford City I went.
Looking back on it, Bridgette was a pretty decent manager. She was a black woman AND a lesbian, and as a boss she was pretty cool. The two women who worked there with me were great as well. There was Yolanda, a large black woman who was the same age as me, and Diane; an older white woman who complained more than any 10 people I’ve EVER known…but she was sweet so we all got along very well. Yolanda was about as black a woman as you’ll ever meet. She was constantly getting her hair did, she taught me the finer points of Ebonics, and because I could crack her up more than any white man she’d ever met, Yolanda issued me a ghetto pass.
For those who don’t know, a ghetto pass is an invitation that can ONLY be given by a black person to a white person, which allows that white person the use of the word ‘nigger’. Yolanda knew that the few times I let that word slip in front of her, it was in NO way used in a racist way. If it’s possible, I always used the word ‘nigger’ in a respectful and humorous way. Hell, I made fun of white people WAY more than black people anyway.
I know that in a perfect society people don’t SEE black and white, and that’s a nice thing to say…until you’re a white man working in a nearly ALL black environment. Yolanda and I had a very deep mutual respect for one another and she invited to her home for minor holiday barbeques. Her kids loved me too. We would often share our sexual exploits with one another and try to help each other out with advice about the opposite sex. I think that if nothing else does, dating advice transcends color.
After I’d been at the Ford City location for about a year, I’d been working for Waldenbooks for a total of 5 years as an assistant manager and I told Bridgette that I was ready to manage my OWN location. She agreed and talked to her boss about promoting me. Her boss was kind of an asshole and placated me with promises of promotion, to no result. When Bridgette told me she was leaving, she put in a word for me to be promoted to manager…and her boss completely ignored it. Bridgette left and I was made ACTING manager while the District Manager looked for a managerial replacement from outside of the company, so with my new found, if fleeting power, I went on a mad tear.
|Action Jim at Waldenbooks|
In the winter of ‘99 I had to hire people for the Christmas rush. The first person I hired was Action Jim. Action Jim lived with Granny not far from Ford City and much like at the OTHER Waldenbooks, he would come up to the Ford City mall all the time to visit with me. Although Yolanda didn’t give HIM a ghetto pass, her and Diane were fond of Action Jim as well and he became imbedded in my new store over the course of my first year there, so they were happy that he was coming on board.
The next person I hired was Dawn. Dawn was nineteen and I found out later that everything I liked about Dawn was a lie. Dawn was a beautiful brunette who looked like Sandra Bullock. She told me that she graduated high school early and started college at 17, so she was smart as well. It wasn’t too long after hiring Dawn that the two of us started a torrid and sexually gratifying affair. Other than Action Jim, nobody knew of this and we kept it a secret from our fellow workers. But in that time we probably fucked in that mall more than anywhere else. We’d fuck in the back room while the store was open, in the back of the store when it was closed, in the isles, on the bargain book tables, over the counters, in the back hallways of the mall, anywhere we could fuck? We fucked.
I have to admit that after Jackie and I broke up the year before, I wasn’t good boyfriend material. I was selfish, stand-offish, petulant, and a bully, Dawn was a super nice girlfriend, but I guess I just didn’t want to commit. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the adventure of fucking her at work, and Dawn was great to sleep with, but I don’t know…I guess I was just an asshole. However, that didn’t mean that I didn’t care about Dawn and when my new boss hit on her, I used that ‘caring’ and our secret as an excuse to get his ass canned.
The Ford City Cast of Characters:
Over the years I worked there, Action Jim and I made a lot of acquaintances and had some pretty interesting interactions with people. The other employees loved Action Jim and they were never happier than when he and I would make fun of people. The cast of characters that mall produced was amazing and because of this, Action Jim and I would often sit in the back room writing a musical for all the misfits and idiots who would frequent our mall.
The opening number of our musical featured one of our favorite Ford Shitty characters; the window washer guy. The window washer guy spent his entire day, everyday walking around the mall asking everyone from kiosks with glass countertops to store fronts with huge display windows if he could clean their glass. He looked like Brian Doyle Murray (Bill Murray’s brother) only older and he talked a mile a minute with a creaky old man voice and a lisp. On top of his lisp the window washer guy also called everyone ‘CHEEF!’ Yes, ‘CHEEF!’ not ‘chief’ or even ‘CHIEF!’ but ‘CHEEF!’ Ever the Chicago Sports fan, the window washer guy would go on for HOURS talking about the Bulls or the Sox or the Bears, even if you obviously weren’t paying attention. He was short as well, and because of this he had a Napoleon complex. He was one of those guys, and we ALL know one of those guys, that takes EVERYTHING offensively, however when the window washer guy would realize that he needed your business, he’d SNAP out of his pissed off tirade in an amazing 360 and go into polite mode again. If you let him go on, the window washer guy would start slow talking about the Bulls, build up to a crescendo of anger while wildly waving his arms about, and IMMEDIALTY drop back down into sanity. Action Jim and I would often say something to piss him off just to see the transformation. Nobody EVER knew the window washer guy’s name.
Next was Frank the Retard. Frank the Retard wasn’t so much a retard as he was a slow adult. I would NEVER call an actual retard a retard. Frank was a hulking presence of 6’ 7”, he had a CRAZY lazy eye, he was largely overweight, and he was 24 with the mind of a 12 year old. He didn’t have the mind of a 12 year old in the way you may think I have the mind of a twelve year old…he LITERALLY had the mind of a 12 year old. The best way to describe Frank the Retard would be to say that he acted like Lenny from ‘Of Mice and Men’ and looked like Private Pyle from ‘Full Metal Jacket’.
Frank was also a Jehovah’s Witness, not because he knew anything about being a Jehovah’s Witness or because he could grasp the principles of believing in a higher power, but because that’s what his parents shoved down his throat. Now, if you don’t know, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate ANY holidays; not Christmas, not July 4th, not new years day, and not birthdays. I THINK they can celebrate anniversaries, but don’t quote me on that. What am I gonna do, research something for this story? Anyway, Frank would ALWAYS be super excited right before a holiday, and then super sad right after because he didn’t get any gifts. He never understood his own religion so the rest of US at Waldenbooks would pitch in to buy something for Frank at Christmas time and on his birthday. Nothing big, usually a South Park toy of some kind, but you’d have thought we’d bought the Hope Diamond for a woman. Don’t get me wrong, Frank’s family would get him stuff throughout the year, just not on any holiday, and frankly Action Jim and I were a bit afraid that if he DIDN’T get something on the holiday’s, he’d actually GO Private Pyle from Full Metal Jacket on someone.
Frank would come into the Waldenbooks to brag about things people in his family gave him with the excitement of a child. He didn’t come in to read or peruse the philosophical literature section of our store; he ONLY came in to brag loudly. I think he came in to our store mostly because we were all actually nice to him, despite the description I’ve given you here. Frank the retard was actually a nice kid and so, when he asked me for a job so he could have money with which to buy more South Park toys? I hired him. Frank actually turned out to be a wonderful employee at Waldenbooks and hiring him turned out to be a good move on my part. As it turns out, retardation transcends color too. Even our ANGRIEST black customers loved Frank’s child like demeanor and he was a welcome addition to our staff.
One of our more frequent customers was the GOT-zilla! Guy. The GOT-zilla! guy was an older black man who would come in wearing a bulls jersey, shorts and black socks pulled up to his ball sack. He wore the THICKEST glasses I’d ever seen and once a week he’d come in and ask us if the new Leonard Maltin movie book had come in. EVERY week. Then he’d tell us that he wanted to see his reviews of old GOT-zilla! movies. He sounded as if he had Tourette’s syndrome, but ONLY with the word GOT-zilla. When he said that word his body would contort and his head would SNAP up to the left.
There was the ‘shotgun glasses’ guy who would come in everyday wearing a trench coat and big yellow glasses that you would expect someone at a firing range wear. His short stature, balding head, and grimaced face all forced us to speculate for HOURS as to what exactly this man was up to when he wasn’t in our store. But the combination of those glasses and his seeming fascination with NOTHING but gun magazines forced us to believe he was a pedophile serial killer living in his mother’s basement.
Star Wars Mark
And then there was Star Wars Mark, who would become our boss. When the District Manager decided to put a new manager into our store, I was furious. I’d run the store and made us a huge profit over Christmas time so I couldn’t quite understand why I was being passed by. However, Action Jim didn’t seem to mind at all.
Action Jim already knew our new boss as ‘Star Wars Mark’ because he’d seen and spoke with him at various comic book and action figure conventions. Where Action Jim obsessed over Batman, Star Wars Mark obsessed over Star Wars Toys. However, their mutual love of toys was where their similarities ended. Star Wars Mark was married; he was tall, thin, and ugly with an almost plastic looking shiny Hitler hair cut and a pencil thin mustache. Star Wars Mark also had deep, deep, anger issues that showed at work nearly every day making customers and employees uncomfortable around him.
Star Wars Mark was also the laziest man I’d ever met, aside from Action Jim. Mark mostly phoned in his time at Waldenbooks by doing not much of anything and he was as effective a leader as George W. Bush had been. The only thing Star Wars Mark DID do at Waldenbooks, was take away MY favorite job; putting out the new magazines. Since I’d done everything in that store for so long anyway, Mark just let me keep doing everything, except put out the magazines.
Every Monday at Waldenbooks, we’d get in a shipment of magazines; everything from Maxim to Cooking Light. Mark would wheel out a cart and angrily shove his way through customers putting out the new ones. If a customer picked one up and set it back slightly out of place? Mark would loudly ‘harrumph’ and adjust it. He would become increasingly agitated as he put out more magazines and customers would look at them. Action Jim, Dawn, and I would stand behind the counter watching this as if we were watching a nature channel program until he’d notice us and yell for us to get to work.
After he’d been there a month, Yolanda, Diane, Dawn, and even Frank the Retard had all come to me with complaints. But it was Dawns surprise revelation that rid us of Star Wars Mark for good.
Mark had no idea that I was fucking Dawn, so in an act of sad middle aged Star Wars dork desperation…he hit on her, in an illegal way. Dawn had noticed on her last few checks that she was getting paid for hours she hadn’t worked. She only worked about 20 hours a week and she was getting 25-30 on her checks. When she came to me, she’d gotten 42 hours on her most recent check. She’d gone to Mark to tell him that there’d been a mistake with her hours on her checks, to which Star Wars Mark creepily replied: “Oh, there’s no mistake. I gave you those extra hours. Aren’t you enjoying the bigger checks? You should find a way to repay me so you can keep enjoying them.” At which point he winked at her and went back to reading his Star Wars novel.
Dawn told me that she couldn’t have been more creeped out if he’d whipped out his cock and started doing upside down pushups. Yolanda and Diane were in the back room when Dawn told me this and I don’t think the three of us stopped laughing for an hour. I asked Dawn if she could cry on command, and she said that she couldn’t, but she could make it sound like she was crying. I wrote her a short script and she called the Waldenbooks HR department as Diane, Yolanda and I stood by in near tears with silent laughter. Dawn sobbed and hammed it up as she told HR that she was afraid. She told them that she might have to call a lawyer because she didn’t want to lose her job because of this. Mark was always angry and she was afraid of the repercussions after he found out that she’d called HR. After she hung up all of us laughed and high fived each other. The next day, Star Wars Mark was gone. But I still wasn’t made manager.
Kim and the New Manager
It would be another six months before our District Manager gave us a new show runner, and in that time my pay was slightly increased as I became ‘acting’ manager once again. Dawn quit in the autumn of that year after I broke up with her, and as Christmas was approaching I needed to hire a replacement. I interviewed ONE person and to be honest I didn’t really give a shit WHAT Kim’s background was when I interviewed her…she was fucking hot and I gave her the job on the spot. Kim was an almost exact opposite of Dawn. Although they were both the same height, Kim was blonde where Dawn was brunette, and Kim was just a lot more fun than Dawn. Dawn was always serious and clingy, where as Kim was fun and clingy. I can handle clingy when the chick is fun too. As it turned out, Kim was awesome at her job and she took up much of the slack that Action Jim left by not showing up to work on time or sometimes not at all….which is probably why I didn’t mind. Kim was only 18 while I was pushing 28 and she didn’t have a car, so I would drive her home most days…and to my GREAT delight a romance started between the two of us. We didn’t tell anyone, even Action Jim, but when I began scheduling Kim to close with me…he kinda figured it out. Much like I did with Dawn, Kim and I would fuck in the store after it closed. It was a sexual dalliance that lasted for nearly a year and the great thing was that it never affected EITHER of us in the working environment. Our relationship began when the store closed, and ended while we were at work. It was FAN-fucking-tastic.
In January of 2001, the District Manager finally found someone to put into my store as manager and again I was pissed. I had successfully made us a sales gain over the year before, the customers and employees liked me, and I was at the top of my fucking game. To be honest, maybe I wasn’t ready, I don’t know. Self analysis isn’t one of my specialties. Anyway, he put a woman in who may have been the most incompetent boss I’ve ever had. Her management experience came from running a fucking dollar store in the whitest of white neighborhoods. She was an older white woman with NO discernible skills and the personality of an end table.
Her ideas lost that store SO much money that I couldn’t fathom why SHE was sent there to replace me. Her first act as manager? She replaced all of the African American themed books from the windows and display tables with Martha Stewart and Old White Lady cookbooks. THIS was a black mall. Next she put all the Iceberg Slim novels in the back room because they were too dirty. If you don’t know Iceberg Slim, his books are fucking GREAT. They’re all about pimping and black gangsters. The new manager was a wholly religious ZEALOT and if someone cursed in front of her she would swoon and nearly pass out.
Much like with Star Wars Mark, nobody liked this woman. I expected that that’s why the DM hired her, she was the exact opposite of Mark…but sometimes the opposite of an asshole is just an inverted asshole. We all decided she had to go. Because we knew getting rid of her wouldn’t be as easy as it was with Star Wars Mark, I enlisted Action Jim in a campaign of nasty terror in order to get her to quit.
We would leave Playboy and Hustler magazines on her desk with the pages open to very graphic images. We would put hot sauce in her soda cans; we would enlist other friends who worked in the mall to come in and have lude and graphic sexual conversation in front of her, and the thing that FINALLY got her to leave? Jim and I would take HUGE shits at the end of the day and not flush when we knew she was opening the next day. Unfortunately Yolanda would open with her sometime and caught some shrapnel from our ‘shit attacks’. But her solemn way of telling us “y’all nasty” was fucking hysterical.
Shuanne and the Snowmen
In all the time I’ve known Action Jim, there have only been TWO occasions in which he fucked a woman who was not directly or indirectly acquired through ME by some means. In some cases this was frustrating, but in some cases…it could be incredibly amusing. I mean after all, I usually turned these women down for a reason. Make no mistake; I’m not saying that I’m better at getting women than Jim, because in reality I’m not. However I DO have the distinction of being a bit more…pragmatic in the women I choose. Jim doesn’t have that problem.
Ford City Mall was famous for its incredibly hot Latino and black women who frequented it daily. Jim and I called them “Let me tell YOU something’s”. I don’t know what it is about working at a book store, but Action Jim and I would be hit on all the time as the only two men at the store. However, where as I was content in my relationship with Kim, Action Jim would take women he met there to the J.C. motel all the time. He couldn’t take them back to Grannies, and he couldn’t very well take them to Sara A.’s place. However, some of the women Jim fucked in his ultimate quest for pussy were not unlike our other cast of characters in the mall.
Action Jim NEVER turned down pussy. It didn’t matter WHO the woman was, what she looked like, or what her personality was; if Jim thought he had a chance to fuck her? He was going for it. We used to have a black girl come into the store ALL the time and hit on ME. Her name was Shauanne. Now, Shauanne was VERY pretty but I was still seeing Kim. Although, even if I wasn’t seeing Kim I still wouldn’t have gone out with Shauanne simply because she was a crazy person. Shauanne carried around a book bag with her everywhere she went. Inside of this book bag were about 10 stuffed animal snowmen. That’s right, plush snowmen. Whenever Shauanne wanted to talk to you, the FIRST thing she would do is pull out these snowmen, put them on the counter in front of you, and then talk to THEM as if she were talking to YOU. Fucking whack job right? Well, one day after Shauanne had put her snowmen on the front counter at Waldenbooks, she looked at one of them and said “You should take me out to dinner tonight Mike”. Then she’d look at a different snow man and say “don’t you think Mike should take me out to dinner tonight?” then another “He might even get lucky if he plays his cards right”. Kim was standing next to me trying not to laugh while Action Jim was on the other side of the counter listening in on this. I looked over at him and told Shauanne that I was busy that night, but Action Jim would LOVE to take her out.
She looked over at Jim, then looked back to one of her snow men and said “What do you think?”. There was a pause, and then she said “Ok, we’ll go out with him tonight, but we’re coming for YOU next time”. Well, sure enough Action Jim took her out to a pizza place, where she had all of her snowmen lined up on the table. Jim told us that she even ordered through her snowmen. Then he took her back to the JC motel and fucked her. Yolanda, Kim and I couldn’t contain our laughter as he told us that AFTER they had sex, Shuanne pulled her snow men out of the bag, set them up on the end of the bed, and began asking them “Was that good for you?”, “Did you cum?”, “He’s got a pretty big dick for a white man, doesn’t he?”.
The Green Washcloth
|Action Jim smoking in the back|
halls of Ford City
And then there was the green washcloth. ‘The Green Washcloth’ may be my favorite Action Jim story. Another woman who would hit on me all the time actually worked in the mall. Our nickname for her was Jifk, and you’ll find out why in a minute. Again, I was still seeing Kim, but even if I hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have gone out with Jifk because of TWO things. One; she was INCREDIBLY stupid, and two? She had NO upper lip. Well, maybe that’s overstating it, she HAD an upper lip, but it was so thin as to be nearly unnoticeable. Also, because of this it left her upper teeth exposed all the time. She would often pause in conversation and PHYSICALLY pull her upper lip down like a window shade to cover he teeth; it was off putting to say the least.
However, all Action Jim knew is that I wasn’t interested so he decided to swoop in like a vulture and peck his way into the vaginion. The first thing Action Jim did was take Jifk to a comic book convention. For some reason Action Jim pulled this move with A LOT of women. Jim banked on his good looks overshadowing his dorkish demeanor and in most cases he was right.
The next night Jim, Kim, Yolanda and I all went out to a bar, where Jim told us this incredible story.
After the convention, Jim decided to take this girl home and fuck her. On the way there…she asked Action Jim if he’d ever seen the movie ‘Jifk’. “What?” he asked. “Never heard of it”.
“Oh, you know it’s REALLY popular, about that president guy?” she said trying hard to conversant with Jim before she fucked him. “You mean J.F.K.?” Jim asked incredulously. “I thought it was called Jifk.” She said, “Why would they call it J.F.K.?”
“Because it’s about John F. Kennedy…why would they call it Jifk?” Jim asked really wanting to hear her answer. But she simply said “Oh…where were you when he was shot?” Jim was born in 1971. This woman was almost too stupid for even Action Jim to fuck…ALMOST.
Action Jim and Jifk arrived at his Grandmothers place later that evening. He took her there because he knew Granny would be out for the night so he didn’t have to soil a room at the J.C.. He made out with her on Granny’s plastic covered 1960’s sofa, trying hard to not just suck on her lipless teeth. He took off her shirt and exposed, what he explained to us as; the hottest body he’d ever seen. If you could look past her INCREDIBLE butter face, he said, the wonders of her body were almost beyond comprehension.
They both undressed, and Jim turned her around to fuck her doggy style so he wouldn’t have to look at her. He got 3 pumps in…when he heard a car door close outside. It was Granny.
Now at this point in the night it was about 6. Jim jumped off of Jifk, grabbed all her clothes from the floor, and quickly led her into his bedroom closet which was crammed with action figures and comic books. He told her to stay put, and he’d sneak her out as soon as he could. He closed the closet door, nearly having to shove her into his toys as she barely fit in there with them, and then he threw her clothes under his bed.
Action Jim’s bedroom door is RIGHT off the kitchen. He had to shove Jifk in the closet because Granny would KNOW something was up if his bedroom door was closed. And since Granny spent all of her waking time in the kitchen, and could see into Jim’s bedroom from there, he would have to wait for her to go to bed before he could sneak Jifk out. Keep in mind this is a 30 year old man here. For the next FOUR hours, Action Jim kept Jifk in that closet. And she was so fucking stupid, she stayed in there. I think most women would have just walked out naked at some point and left.
At around 10 PM, while Jim had been in the kitchen talking and being very pleasant with Granny for 4 hours and suggesting that she get some sleep, they both noticed a smell; A vile and poopy smell.
Jim suggested that Grannies dog might have taken a shit in his room, and went in to investigate. He quietly slid his closet door open, and Jifk fell out onto the floor with a loud thump. “JIMMY? ARE YOU OK JIMMY?” Granny called from the kitchen. “Yeah Gran, some stuff just fell out of my closet.”
“Get up, get up, get up!” Jim furiously whispered at Jifk. “I can’t stand anymore” She said “I had to go to the bathroom, but….” Jim looked at her naked ass and saw what looked like a shit bomb had gone off on it. He looked up into his closet, and there about ass height, was a huge brown stain in a circular ring on a stack of action figures. “Get under the bed then, I’ll be right back.” Jifk pulled herself under Jim’s bed and he left the room. “Yeah, the dog shit on my carpet” he said as he furiously crossed the hall and went into the bathroom. “Bad dog” Granny said in a childlike voice as she pointed at her poodle who looked up at her questioningly.
Jim quickly sized up the mess he had to deal with in his mind, and where you and I might have grabbed a roll of toilet paper and bucket…Action Jim grabbed a green washcloth from inside the shower and walked back across the hall. He quietly helped Jifk crawl back out from under his bed…and wiped her ass with the green washcloth.
Everyone was leaning forward on the table with eyes of stark amazement at the bar where Jim was telling us this story. Our silence was deafening…until he got to the part about wiping her ass with the green washcloth. Our laughter overpowered every other noise in that room. It exploded from us like the shit from Jifk surly did all over Action Jim’s action figures. The fact that Action Jim told this story with something approaching pride, in itself speaks to the man’s hubris. He cares nothing of the details surrounding the fact that he got laid and has never given thought to the outcome of a story beyond letting everyone know he got some pussy.
Granny eventually went to bed and Action Jim shuffled her out of the house and drove her home. Occasionally she’d come back into Waldenbooks to say hi and we’d all snicker and make farting noises behind her back. It wasn’t the nicest way to handle things, but because Jifk was so unfortunately stupid, she never knew why we were making those noises.
Jim never went out with her again, but believe it or not? Jifk started dating Frank the Retard, and when I left Ford City, they were still together. Good for them.
Jim quit Waldenbooks not long after the Green Washcloth incident, and took a job a KB Toys in the same mall. We still saw each other every day and hung out at each other’s stores to bullshit whenever we could.
Kim and I broke up in the spring of 01 but she continued to work with me at Ford City. It was one of the few amicable break up’s I’d ever have and we remain good friends to this day. At my current job I even hired her brother who was just a little kid when his sister and I dated. Kim just recently had her first child and he’s a fucking beauty.
Ford City Postscript
Not long after Jifk shit all over Action Jim’s closet (I think that for the rest of these stories, I’ll gauge time by how long after Jifk shit in Jim’s closet things happened.) in the summer of 2001, I met Bree. Bree came into the Waldenbooks to shop and we flirted at the counter while she payed for her books. As she was leaving, Action Jim made (what I think was, you can never tell) a selfless move and hit on her for me. As she was about to leave, Jim said loud enough for her to hear; “Mike, didn’t you want to ask her something?” For all I know, Action Jim was trying to embarrass me, but when she stopped and turned around, I asked her out on a date for that weekend. We exchanged phone numbers and she and I dated for about 6 months until I broke up with her for no particular reason…maybe I just wanted to make someone cry.
While we were together though, Bree was a great girl, and what all of my friends have called their “Favorite Mike’s girlfriend”. She was half Arabian and half Irish which made her all beautiful. For some reason, I’ve never dated a woman with curly hair who LIKED her hair…but I fucking love it and not only did Bree have curly hair but it was black as a moonless desert night. Her eyes sparkled underneath that hair and she had a smile that could warm you like an electric blanket.
|Action Jim at a comic |
Much like he did with Jackie, Action Jim seemed to always interrupt us mid-coitus. Since Sara A. wasn’t allowed to be around any of Jim’s friends, the three of us would often go out to dinner. Even though I was no longer collecting comic books, Bree and I sometimes accompanied Action Jim to comic book conventions when there was a celebrity there we wanted to meet. Bree got to meet her favorite director Kevin Smith at one of them, and I had my copy of A Clockwork Orange signed by David Proust, who had a small role in the movie as a muscular house nurse. However, he was at the convention because he was the guy in the Darth Vader suit in the Star Wars movies. Proust was floored that I was the ONLY person in that long ass line who wanted his autograph from A Clockwork Orange, and not Star Wars.
While I was dating Bree, I left Waldenbooks after an incident happened in the parking lot. I went outside to smoke a cigarette on one of my breaks, when I noticed a cop was spray painting a square on the wall near one of the trash dumpsters in the exact spot where I would lean up against the brick and smoke. I asked one of the officers what was going on and he told me that there had been a shooting. One of the bullets was in the wall where I would have been standing had I come out to smoke 10 minutes earlier. That was that. I quit the Ford City Mall Waldenbooks that very day.
Jim got transferred to the KB Toys in The Fox Valley Mall, which was a LOOOOONG fucking way from home for him. But he didn’t seem to mind as it was full of hot rich white women. By this point, Action Jim was tiring of Sara A.’s constant questions and nagging. However, since he still wanted her to pay for everything, he could avoid Granny’s house by sleeping at hers, and she was easy to dupe, he didn’t want to break up with her. She was basically a new Granny…but with the benefit of him being able to fuck her.
Heroland will conclude in the amazing finale: "Heroland Issue 6: Everything's Comin' Up Action Jim!
Heroland will conclude in the amazing finale: "Heroland Issue 6: Everything's Comin' Up Action Jim!