Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Strange Incident with the Drunk Regular in the Underground Lair

Best to listen to this song while reading this post:

            I finally got a topic to write about in a chance encounter at the Underground Lair, which is basically what I consider to be a "nerd shop," where they sell nerdy stuff like action figures, vintage toys, vinyl records, geeky magnets, Doctor Who merch (that is IMPORTED ACROSS THE POND FROM THE UK!) and other stuff that's interesting for us nerds.
                                                                                                           
            The encounter took place as follows:
                                                  
            Time: after 5pm EDT on Saturday, October 12, 2013
            Location: The Underground Lair in Bethlehem, PA

            I was on my way home from the library and Harvestfest was taking place, with wine-and-soup trails winding through the main drag of Bethlehem, bars wide open and overflowing with people drinking, some more sober entertainment at various locations, and a ton of vendors selling their wares, and I decided to make a pit stop on the way home to the Underground Lair, who have fantastic shopkeeps and toys I've been feeling nostalgic about.  The inflatable Dalek is there in all its red glory, standing guard next to the register, and we were just chatting until one very drunk individual comes in, looking for his money and his ID.  He was a little mentally lost and, surprisingly, he's a regular at the UGL!  He was obviously drunk (you can smell the alcohol when he unintentionally breathes on you) and he was in and out, in and out, like a drunk needle pulling a thread of alcoholic odor through the fabric of the Underground Lair's shop threshold.

            Not only was he trying to figure out where his ID, money and car is all at, he was weirded out by these dolls that were not very creepy at all, having the drunker version of a Zak Bagans reaction to "creepy dolls".  So I offered to stand in front of them to block their view of him, saying that I'll "stare at him instead".  I wound up standing in front of the dolls whenever he re-enters the shop, as he tries to figure out what happened to his belongings.

            He was also very huggy; I kid you not, he hugged the inflatable guard Dalek twice!  Kris (the female shopkeep who is so awesome she keeps the Facebook page for UGL updated with cool stuff!) was like, "you break it, you buy it, and you don't have your money on you!"  And for some reason, this is a repeat performance of inebriated behavior.  Like, he demonstrated what his mother would yell at him with me in his role.  Kris is like, "Please don't yell at my customers!" and I'm like, "Uhhh, okaaaaay…."  And I think he felt bad after a little light scolding from Kris, so he's like, "I'm sorry," and hugged me!  The good news is his arms and hands stayed north of my equator, so it was really more of a Howard-Raj hug, from The Big Bang Theory.  And, still being nice, I hugged him back.

            He left again, and Kris was wrestling with the dilemma of calling the cops on a drunk regular who is yelling at and hugging both their customers and their guard Dalek, then starts apologizing to me.  I'm like, "It's no big deal.  I dealt with Mom after she had two White Russians, and my sister went through a slightly more intense deal with tequila, where she didn't understand how toilets, pants, gravity, and doors worked."  And she suggested that I leave the next time he comes back.  I suggested leaving before he does, with agreement from her, but he came back before I could act on that idea.  So we had this unspoken exit plan in place: Kris went, "Okay, see you around," and I'm like, "Sure.  See ya, Kris!"  And I added, out of evil impulse and a little vengeance, "Have fun with the creepy dolls!"  I couldn't help tweeting about it while heading home with a "WTF?!" kind of grin on my face, giggling awkwardly.

            I imagine he couldn't stop obsessing about it after I left, staring at them with a drunken paranoia, swearing that he lost his belongings to them.

            Lessons from this encounter:

1.      Don't be so drunk that you lose your money, keys, friends, and transportation.
2.      Have your money, plastic and ID in a WALLET and not a money clip; wallets are harder to lose than cash in a money clip.
3.      If you have to deal with such a drunk, be a little kind and patient; these people can be quite unpredictable, and yelling will result with negative reactions.
4.      If they're slightly uneasy from creepy-looking dolls or clowns or whatever, always mention them when leaving their company so they obsess drunkenly over them instead of hugging inflatable Daleks and complete strangers.
5.      Always blog about these moments!!!


            Apologies to Mom and my sis for mentioning their drunk moments; I simply wanted to share my experience with inebriated people who aren't Puerto Ricans who regularly attend the huge parties that the one particular friend of the family throws every year.  Also to the drunken stranger, who I hope learned his lesson from this experience; I also hope you've sobered up well enough after this with little hangover feelings.

And to laugh it all off, I give you this relevant treat: