BACKGROUND: iPod: Five Iron Frenzy/Flip The Switch/Get Up Kids/Grand Buffet
Last friday our store had its big release party for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. It was a big Midnight Magic Party, as the company calls it, where we don't close the store at all so that people can come and buy the book. It was hardcore insane crazy madness fun. It was also a very personal triumph for me. It was also the biggest audience I've been in front of since I was a theater fag in Phoeniz, Arizona. Hands down, it was incredible.
Here's the personal part - our store used to have a community relations manager named Missy and she was a bitch. To me, at least, she was a whore. I have a few theories as to why she wanted to see me die. Let's go through them one by one ...
First off, I created my own religion in 1996 and it's still going strong so I think she had some problems with me there, as a lot of people do, and I'm fine with that. I know that there are a lot of easily offended Jesus-lovers out there who automatically tense up after learning that my name is REVEREND Steve from the Church of Ed Wood. And I'm fine with that. I'm not for everybody. I'm like Crystal Pepsi. I loved Crystal Pepsi. But not everybody loved Crystal Pepsi. So that's ok.
Missy the Clear Pepsi-Hater.
Secondly, my wife Natasha and I met each other for the first time while working at the same bookstore. Scandalous, I know. We did a fine job of hiding it but one day we kisssed in the parking lot and who was there in the food court looking at us? Missy. That's right. And what with her fat mouth that loved to gossip and spread rumors, our relationship became the talk of the store for like six to eight months. Managers would have talks with us. We would have our schedules changed around so that we wouldn't have to be around each other. Everyone talked about it. It was crazy. And it was all Missy's fault.
Missy the Shit-Stirrer.
Thirdly, when I was put in charge of the children's department, she did everything in her power to throw f-stop after f-stop in my path. The community relations manager and the kids person is supposed to work together, meet with each other, decide what they want to do, what they should do, formulate plans, ect. Not Missy. She told me what to do, refused to hear me out, and basically told me "do what I say" and that was the end of that. I was held back. I wanted to do so much with the children's section, with the weekly storytimes, with everything. But Missy refused to listen to me.
Missy the Deaf.
Two years ago, we had our bookstore's first Midnight Magic Party for the release of the Order of the Phoenix. And it was shit. Absolute shit. There was something like six hundred people there and what did we have for them? We had a "Bertte Botta Bean Counting Contest." Now, I don't know who the fuck Bertte Botta is, but she aint no Harry Potter character. It was a spelling mistake, obviously she meant Bertie Bots Every Flavor Beans. So, being super duper mister nice guy, I calmly went to Missy and explained to her that she had made a mistake and that she should correct all our flyers and signs and whatnots. This bitch looked me in the eyes and told me, hey, it's not wrong. They call her that in the book. And she refused to change anything.
The night of the Midnight Magic Party, six hundred Harry Potter fans were laughing at us and our big sign that said "Bertte Botta Bean Counting Contest."
In my head I dreamed of a HUGE Midnight Magic Party, the best in the city, maybe even the entire state. We'd have house-storing, wand-making, coloring for the younger kids, homework to do like crosswords, word searches, trivia games, raffles for big prizes, we'd give away a ton of free gifts, and all the while I would be there on the stage in kids, making people laugh, leading everyone through games and look-alike contests, doing stand-up comedy and putting a smile on everyone's face.
I asked Missy if she needed help planning the party but she said that she didn't need anyone's help. So she planned it all by herself. And six hundred people laughed at us.
Two years later, Missy's gone and I've pretty much done everything I had wanted to do with the children's section. Turned it right around. We don't have the biggest or the most up-to-date store in Sacramento but we have the greatest children's department, the best workers in the kids department, the best displays, the greatest and most exciting kids clubs, and I lead the coolest storytimes ever.
But one thing was missing, one last remaining remnant of Missy, a shadow left over from her that needed to be removed. And it finally happened last friday.
I feel sorry for anyone who wasn't at our store's Midnight Magic Party last friday. I took a five minute lunch, clocking in and out of lunch only because I had to. I went over three full hours on that stage without a single break. I was doing trivia contests, giving away a ton of stuff, making everybody laugh, and basically doing a three hour set of comedy for an audience of some six to seven hundred people. My brother-in-law remarked later that it looked like a rock concert. The kid's section was packed shoulder-to-shoulder. I had everybody laughing and cheering and screaming. It was incredible. It was like storytime for a few hundred people. I stood there on that stage, channel thirteen news filming me, a massive swelling audience of a few hundred people shoulder-to-shoulder, all of them cheering and laughing and applauding me and, for a few fleeding seconds, I wished that Missy was in the audience right then so that she could see me finally succeeding, finally taking my place, finally taking what was mine, finally wiping all remnants of that short, fat little woman who made my life hell and refused to allow me the chance to succeed.
A customer came up to me afterwards and asked me if I worked there or if I was hired to come and entertain everybody.
I took yesterday off. My voice was shot, my head was throbbing, and I had a huge fever. But I didn't care. I was smiling. And I thought, this might fade in a few days, a few weeks ... hell, this feeling might fade in a few hours for all I know ... but as of this exact second, I feel like a motherfucking rock star.
Pictures coming soon.